‘You should’ve gone for the head‘.
If you are a Marvel fan, I’m sure that this quote still haunted you long after you watched Infinity War. Not only is it one of Thanos’s greatest lines, but also the most iconic line in the entire series. At this point, it seemed like Thor saved the day and was able to kill Thanos. However, he attacked the wrong body part, and Thanos was able to click his fingers, eliminating fifty percent of all lives.
Throughout 24 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought to life great superheroes. Each comes with a unique story and exquisite traits that make them irreplaceable in audiences’ hearts. From Thor’s formidable God of Thunder to Rocket Raccoon the chattering mercenary, the heroes all have their charisma. But, what about the villains?
Well, there has been a running joke among the fans that Marvel’s villains are lackluster. Many of them lack a justifiable motive and are only meant for the heroes to shine. Still, it doesn’t mean that creating a fascinating villain is impossible for MCU. So far, Thanos is considered the closest to perfect, and thus the most popular among audiences. He is not the mediocre type of antagonist who just wants to commit a massacre for fun. Instead, he has this vision of “transforming” the universe into a better place.
Thanos You should’ve gone for the head
Of course, there have been countless controversies regarding whether Thanos was right or wrong. Nonetheless, the mad titan has left a mark on the hearts and minds of MCU fans. Regardless of how you feel toward him, Thanos’ words would still stick in your mind after you leave the cinema, and perhaps many days later.
Truth be told, I’m a die-hard fan of Iron Man, but it doesn’t stop me from admiring Thanos. That’s why I’m here to share with you the 12 most memorable quotes from his MCU journey. Sure, ‘You should’ve gone for the head‘ is iconic, but there is a lot more to it to remember!
“You Are Strong, But I Could Snap My Finger And You’d All Cease To Exist”
This quote from Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War proves that Thanos doesn’t know how to mince words. It is painful anticipation of what was going to happen in Avengers: End Game. Thanos acknowledged the Avengers’ ability with this only phrase and knew that his Infinity Gauntlet’s power far surpassed their power.
Soon, these words came true: At the end of Infinity War, Earth Mightiest Heroes and all of their allied forces, from Dr. Strange to T’Challa and all of his Wakanda warriors, were defeated by Thanos’ use of Infinity Gauntlet. Half of Earth’s population vanished immediately as the Mad Titan clicked his fingers.
Thanos understands the destructive power of the gauntlet – ‘You Should’ve Gone For The Head’. Source The Indian Express
“Fun Isn’t Something One Considers When Balancing The Universe…”
“But this does put a smile on my face.”
As the story of Infinity War unfolds, we know that Thanos is a man of mission. Although he could have played the role of a two-dimensional villain, MCU’s scriptwriters added layers of depth to Thanos’ personality, thus making his motive more complex. While many see him as a terminator, Thanos considers himself their creator and savior. He thought by leveling the entire planet, people will rise from ashes as fewer inhabitants are fighting for resources.
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Thanos’ excitement – Source: Screen Geek
This line is a humorous harbinger to other similar lines Thanos would blurt out in the final battle with the Avengers in Endgame. It was also a reference to The Crow when the antagonist Top Dollar told antihero Eric Draven before trying to kill him: “If it is any consolation to you, you’ve put a smile on my face.”
“Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be”
In another circumstance, this line would sound perfectly normal. When Thanos utters these words, though, they are calm and creepy. Discussing how his plan will offer harmony to the world was a very remarkable moment for Thanos in his MCU journey. It shows that he has clear goals and motivations.
“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.”
Like Bernard of Clairvaux wrote, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, all of Thanos’ beliefs come from a place of good in his distorted mind. He never once thought his actions were malevolent. By teaching young Gamora about balance, he tried to convince those around him that everything he did was righteous.
“You Have My Respect, Stark…”
“When I’m done, half of humanity will still be alive. Hope they remember you.”
Regardless of how you feel toward Thanos, he is not the kind of vulgar villain that you can see everywhere. He has motive and holds on to it. When Thanos and Iron Man engaged in what would probably be their final battle, Stark failed to defeat the Mad Titan and was stabbed in the chest.
“You have my respect, Stark” – Source: IGN Portugal
Thanos then delivered this line. He could have chosen another way of wording, like “When I’m done, half of humanity will disappear”. Instead, he chose to give Stark some glimpses of hope that the other half would live on. This phrase paid homage to Tony Stark but at the same time mocked him. It also foretold Iron Man’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame.
“You’re Not The Only One With Cursed Knowledge”
To me, this is one of the best interactions between Thanos and Iron Man. The Mad Titan uttered this line when they first crossed paths, and soon we figured out that they already knew each other.
I find it intriguing that Thanos tried to empathize with Tony Stark and his life struggle. Knowledge is always considered a source of power, both in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in real life. Hence, witnessing someone with superior intelligence admits it is a curse provides a new perspective.
“I Know What’s Like To Lose”
The complete line is:
“I know what’s like to lose. To feel so desperately that you’re right, yet to fail nonetheless. It’s frightening, turns the legs to jelly. I ask you to what end? Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. And now it’s here. Or should I say, I am.”
“I know what’s like to lose”
As a Titan, an immortal cosmic being, the way Thanos comments about Asgardians’ failure in Infinity War seems to be out-of-place. While it is nearly impossible to think of Thanos in a desperate situation, the line seems bitter in its sense of realism. Thanos, as he was saying these words, revealed a part of his character in the comics.
After Thanos’s snap and half of the Earth’s population vanished, the Avengers followed the exact path he foresaw: They tried to escape from the failure and stop him once again. However, despite Thanos considered himself their “fate”, the Avengers knew how to take advantage of their desperation, thus changed this destiny.
“You Were Going To Bed Hungry, Scrouging For Scraps”
This is the line that shows the “mercy” of Thanos:
“You’re going to bed hungry, scrounging for scraps. Your planet was on the brink of collapse. I’m the one who stopped that. You know what has happened since then? The children born have known nothing but full bellies and clear skies. It’s a paradise.”
There is hardly any moment that shows Thanos’ humanity. One of them is when Thanos mindfully described how he took Gamora away from her home planet, a planet he erased all of the inhabitants. When Gamora saw a vibrant, lively world, all he saw was a rotten place filled with socioeconomic and political problems that would ultimately lead to its downfall.
By eliminating most of its population, everyone had enough resources, and people no longer had to fight over it. That was Thanos’ definition of “paradise”.
If you ask me the most intriguing and poignant storyline in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’d say that it’s the relationship between Thanos and Gamora. This relationship reached its peak when he sacrificed her to obtain the Soul Stone.
“What did it cost?”
Thanos then witnessed a smaller version of Gamora asking him what it costed to get the stone. The answer was short and simple: “Everything”. Though it was just one word, this moment was truly thought-provoking. It showed Thanos’ vulnerable side and how much he cared about his daughter.
“The Hardest Choice Requires The Strongest Will”
Being depicted as a brilliant villain, Thanos has never acted abruptly. He considered every aspect carefully before making decisions. The Mad Titan was well aware that every action comes with a consequence. Hence when he made it his goal to destroy the planet, he knew he would have to bear the guilt of eliminating half of the population.
There was only one thing he couldn’t imagine: The Avengers’ willpower was even stronger than his. Soon, they came up with their plan to reverse the situation. In the end, Thanos had no other choice but to respect this outcome.
“All That For A Drop Of Blood”
When we first heard this line in Infinity War, it sounded like nothing but sarcasm. It could be implied as “look at all of the efforts you made, and you can only do this to me”.
However, after Thanos uttered this line, there were countless theories arisen among fans. Redditor BertrandsMate believed that this was a reference to the AlienVSPredator franchise: “If it bleeds, we can kill it”. Therefore, by proving that Thanos can bleed, Tony proved that Thanos was not immortal. He had flaws the Avengers could take advantage of. That explains why Stark cut him and why Dr.Strange needed Stark to be alive.
It’s also the inspiration of countless internet meme – Source: Reddit
Before the one in Avengers: Endgame, Thanos has mentioned this line several times. Thanos was well aware that no matter what the Avengers did, whether the choices they made were right or wrong, he would cause inevitable damage to humans. Just like destiny, the outcome of his action is unavoidable.
“And I’m Iron Man”
This was most clearly when the Avengers found him after he wiped out half of the Earth. Thanos, totally calm, told them that the use of the Infinity Gauntlet nearly killed him. Still, he got what he wanted, and the damage was then irreversible.
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“A Grateful Universe”
Here is the whole line, I quote:
“I will shred this universe down to its last atom and then, with the stones you’ve collected for me, create a new one. It is not what is lost but only what it is been given… a grateful universe.”
Thanos ultimately crushed the original stones after using the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of the population. However, the Avengers managed to combine the power of Pym Particles and Time Travel to retrieve the stones again. There was only one thing they couldn’t imagine: Thanos from the past followed them back to the present, trying to ruin their effort.
In Infinity War, Thanos intended to take away half of the population only. In Endgame, he decided to eliminate all. He made his mind to create a brand new universe with inhabitants who knew nothing about the previous lives. According to Thanos, only then can they be grateful for what he has done.
Still, ‘You Should’ve Gone For The Head’ Remains The Most Notable Line
Aside from the quotes, I listed above, Thanos still has many memorable lines that left us thinking long after watching the film. Still, for me, “You should’ve gone for the head’ is the most significant. It officially marked the Avengers’ defeat and made way for a marvelous end of phase three.
Quora user Jon Hairner pointed out that people begin to use ‘You should’ve gone for the head’ as a statement of bravado. It implies that their opponents will not get a second chance to defeat them. This alone shows significant the line is, as it slowly becomes a part of our daily language.
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