I think it's been enough time for this to not be a spoiler about Avengers: Infinity War. But still,

So, at the end(ish)

Thor takes his mighty axe and slams it into Thanos, deliberately not killing him so he can gloat about it first. At which point Thanos says he should have gone for his head and clicks his fingers anyway [possibly ending life] for half the universe.

I understand, to a point, why didn't Thor go for his head (in Thor's logic anyway), but why didn't he just bring the axe down on Thanos' left arm at the shoulder (which he was close to anyway) removing his arm completely, both keeping him alive for Thor's chance to rub it in his face, at the same time preventing him from operating the gauntlet as it would be on the ground and thus, inoperable by Thanos?

It's a semi-plot hole that's been bugging me since I saw the movie for the first time way back when, but I've not seen anyone else bring it up, nor offer any theories (other than narrative for all the movies) why that wouldn't occur to Thor.

  • Because based on the 14000605 possible outcomes, Thor had to miss to save the world? Every scenario or plot-hole can be dropped into that 14000605 outcomes which is a genius move by the director duo... Dec 16, 2018 at 3:54
  • It is a good way to mislead and keep the secret while making it seem like they are giving you a hint, but u would class that as a narrative reason vs a superhero reason. Otherwise every question about every movie is "because that's how it was written" Dec 16, 2018 at 19:37
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    @NikhilEshvar That might be a valid reason for “Why didn’t Strange ...?”, but it doesn’t explain why someone not privy to the foreknowledge would act to preserve that particular timeline.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 17, 2018 at 18:15
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    I’m surprised Thor managed to hit Thanos at all, from that distance and given that Thanos had time to react. (Why didn’t Thanos just turn the axe into bubbles?) Dec 27, 2018 at 12:41

3 Answers 3


Just an impulsive decision he made, as cleared by himself, from comicbook

"I would argue that the fan base could be equally upset with Thor, who chose to throw that ax into Thanos chest and not his head," Joe Russo tells ComicBook.com. "Because he wanted to tell Thanos that he got his revenge."

The God of Thunder hasn't been known for his intelligence but acting on impulse and emotion throughout his tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His choice to act on his hunger for revenge rather than simply ending the feud and killing Thanos without claiming his revenge through dialogue fits.

"Had he gone for a kill shot, that snap would not have happened. These are choices that characters who are feeling immense pain make and hopefully, the audience can learn to empathize with those characters because they can grow through stories," Joe Russo went on. "Stories can teach us things and that we should try to see every choice from the perspective of the character that made the choice."

  • He could still do all those things with an slice thanks who doesn't have an arm with a gauntlet on it though, and also as a bonus prevent the snap heard alright the world Dec 16, 2018 at 19:38
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    @SPooKYiNeSS I think ‘autocorrect’ messed with your comment.
    – Lawrence
    Dec 17, 2018 at 18:17
  • It did. As I've said numerous times now both in my question and to everyone's answer. Thor can still have said so those things to Thanos. Thanos can also respond. He would have no arm, but that would not affect his listening it Speech abilities, but it would affect his finger snapping abilities. So again, why didn't he take Thanos' arm of instead of launching into his chest? Dec 29, 2018 at 16:38
  • @SPooKYiNeSS Because it's not like Thor to pause in such a situation, think calmly and rationally, weigh up the pros and cons, and take careful clinical aim at one specific spot. It is in character for him to see his mortal enemy, immediately unleash his rage at him, then think later. I wish people would stop calling characters realistically acting in-character a "plot hole", just because a different, more cool-headed character might have thought to do something better... Jan 25, 2019 at 11:27
  • As I've said (about 6 times now, if not more), chopping Thanos' arm will not kill him, allowing Thor to read gun a book if wanted to, let along a alone a one-liner. But it WOULD prevent thanks from clicking the fingers of that arm. Jan 31, 2019 at 15:16

It's unclear that Thor was properly briefed about the Gauntlet

As @morbo has kindly pointed out in comments, Thor does not know what Thanos has done when he does the 'snap' and extinguishes half of all life in the universe.

THANOS: You should have gone for the head. [Snaps fingers of the Infinity Gauntlet]



THOR: What did you do?

While Thor's cluelessness seems shocking, in fact his early removal from the 'main' narrative of the movie means that he is very poorly briefed about the threat of Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet and ultimate plan.

Thor first encounters Thanos at the opening of the movie when Thanos has only one Infinity Stone. Having been soundly beaten and cast adrift in space, he then heads on an individual quest to obtain a Thanos-killing weapon, thus entirely missing the battle where Thanos defeats Strange, Stark, Quill et al and obtains further Infinity Stones.

When Thor arrives at Wakanda he is pitched straight into battle and there may have been no time to brief him of Thanos's plan and the criticality of the remaining stones and the Infinity Gauntlet.

Had Thor known what would happen, it is highly unlikely that he would have taken the outrageous risk of gloating over Thanos, jeopardizing Thor's own revenge and half of life in the universe.

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    This and Thors need to gloat are the likely the reasons for his chest wound...he even asked what Thanos did after the snap, not knowing what happened at all. Mar 10, 2019 at 23:16

Because Thor wanted Thanos to know that he was the one killing him and to gloat.

After all, after driving it into his chest, Thor snidely says to Thanos "I told you. You'd die for that" in reference to his promise to Thanos for killing Heimdall.

  • I covered that though, my title is misleading since the edit so I'll change it. I'm asking why he didn't take his arm that God the gauntlet off, as he can still give his I've longer while preventing the finger snap and making avengers 4 all about something else. Dec 16, 2018 at 19:36

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