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Avenger's Infinity War *Spoiler* Discussion

Hussar

Legend
But that hardly makes him rational. Do audiences really need someone to point at Thanos and exclaim, "You are mad, mad I say!"? Do they really need to spell it out that Thanos is crazier than a poop house rat? I mean, the whole plan is irrational, and, even the justifications for it are the flimsy rationalizations of someone whose grasp on reality is tenuous at best.

I mean, follow the crazy train here. "My world experienced resource depletion because of overpopulation. So, in order to save everyone else from the same fate, I'm going to commit universe wide genocide. First, I'm going to do it in person, visiting world after world murdering millions and billions, but, now, I got my hands on the thing that could restore my planet, save all my people and bring about a golden age, so, I'm going to ignore all that and murder half the universe so I can sit on a lake and feel good about myself."

Do we actually need someone in the movie to tell the audience that this is bug:):):):) nuts?
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Agreed. He’s not portrayed as mad, or called “the mad Titan”. I don’t know the comics, but the movie does not display an irrational protagonist (and he is this movie’s protagonist).
His very plan and the way he carried it out is "mad." He's had decades to figure things out and settle on a plan that doesn't work, as opposed to others that would. The world has gone from 3 billion in 1960 to 7 billion in 2011. It more than doubled in just 51 years. Halving the population doesn't do much to save resources since the populations will replace themselves very quickly. His plan is insane. His single minded pursuit of it, to the point of murdering what he loved most is also kinda crazy.

If he was rational, he would have settled on a solution that works, such as altering birth rates so that the populations drop to half and stay that way, or just replenishing the resources while making sure that populations don't increase further.

So while they don't explicitly call him the Mad Titan, he portrays it pretty well in the movie.
 

Hussar

Legend
Let's also not forget that much of the movie is told from Thanos' perspective. So, of course he's not going to call himself "mad". To him, he's perfectly rational and his solution is also perfectly rational.
 

Rabulias

Adventurer
So any speculation on the Avengers 4 title? Word is that it has been kept under wraps as it is too spoilery.
I guess that means it was a spoiler for the end of Avengers: Infinity War. I wonder if it will be something along the lines of Avengers Reassembled or Avengers: Heroes Return?

I was also thinking about Avengers Forever, as that limited series involved time travel, but it's not too spoilery.
 

Joker

Villager
So any speculation on the Avengers 4 title? Word is that it has been kept under wraps as it is too spoilery.
I guess that means it was a spoiler for the end of Avengers: Infinity War. I wonder if it will be something along the lines of Avengers Reassembled or Avengers: Heroes Return?

I was also thinking about Avengers Forever, as that limited series involved time travel, but it's not too spoilery.
Avengers: The Dustbin Chronicles
 

trappedslider

Explorer
I finally saw it last night and well : T-Tesseract (Space Stone) H-Hurl his (step)daughter off a cliff A-Aether (Reality Stone) N-Necklace (Time Stone) O-Orb (Power Stone) S-Scepter (Mind Stone)
 

Hand of Evil

Villager
Yea, no one needs to say Thanos is mad; he has ultimate power literally in his hand and does away with half the population WITHOUT thinking about what other options he had at his finger tips. Nope, not once does he say; with this power I could unify the galaxy, create food replicators, do away with hunger, war, and lead the galaxy into an age of enlightenment. :)
 

OB1

Registered User
Great! So now we agree that Thanos as presents in the film is completely mad, it also means that he has no character arc. The one choice he seems to make, throwing Gamora off the cliff, is a part of his madness. That’s why he fails so completely as a protagonist and why the film can’t stand on its own. The film fails because it’s nothing more than a series of, then this thing happened. It’s not a story, it’s a list.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Great! So now we agree that Thanos as presents in the film is completely mad
I still don't. The film establishes that he is willing to do something extreme. The film does not establish that this is, in fact, madness.

That’s why he fails so completely as a protagonist and why the film can’t stand on its own.
That would be because he is the antagonist, not a protagonist. He is an antagonist with a lot of screen time, but an antagonist regardless.

The film fails because it’s nothing more than a series of, then this thing happened. It’s not a story, it’s a list.
I think you'll have to make more clear what you classify as a list of events, and what you classify as a story, if you want folks to accept that assertion.

However that comes out, I whould note that as an antagonist, we are not really watching for his character development. We are given his basic motivations, but we are not expecting him to change over the course of the film - that is nice to have, sometimes, but not really necessary for a satifying conflict. If he's going to change at all it'll be in the second movie. For now, he's effectively a force of nature.
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
So here's the thing:

https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/energy-government-and-defense-magazines/wildlife-population-management

Conversely, when the numbers of a target population have become too great to be sustained by the food or territory available, then predators can be introduced, or a human-mediated cull can be done.
Bold added by me.

Is the presentation, above, rational?

If it is, then the critique of Thanos cannot be that culling in general is non-rational.

(There is a deeper point, which is a strong argument against culling, which is that the need for population management arises because of what people have done to disrupt the environment, and the focus really needs to be on people and their behavior.)

Thx!
TomB
 

OB1

Registered User
[MENTION=27897]Ryujin[/MENTION] that’s exactly the problem! Instead of two complete stories with a cliffhanger, we are getting two non stories that might become one story when watched together.
[MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION] - a story is about a character who wants something and has to overcome one or many obstacles to achieve it by making choices that affect the outcome. Thanos wants something and faces obstacles (driving the plot), but his choices are rendered meaningless due to his madness.
[MENTION=13107]tomBitonti[/MENTION] - two points here, culling works because it’s highly controlled, with the decision on how much to cull based on the particular needs of each population and it’s resources. Second, animals need to be culled because they don’t have the human capability of reason to find solutions to the problems facing them. Rational beings understand you can’t snap your fingers and make everything happy ever after. Problems have solutions and there will always be new problems to solve.
 

trappedslider

Explorer
In case anyone has forgotten he pointed out how his home world refused to listen to him and his solutions and was then self destroyed, then he later pointed out how his method worked on Gamora's home world. He figures it worked on one planet, now let's try all the others.....
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
a story is about a character who wants something and has to overcome one or many obstacles to achieve it by making choices that affect the outcome. Thanos wants something and faces obstacles (driving the plot), but his choices are rendered meaningless due to his madness.
I suppose that's one interpretation. But, it is easily argued that every character with a spoken line in the movie wants one or more things. Each of the Avengers (and various associated people) collectively and individually want to stop half the universe from being killed, for example. And, in a typical story in Western heroic fiction, the protagonist is reacitve, rather than proactive. The antagonist creates the basic conflict and many of the obstacles. Without the antagonist, there is usually no story, because the protagonist is not challeneged.

You are actively choosing to interpret it with Thanos as the protagonist. As you note, the resulting story does not make much sense. Why, then, hold to that interpretation? If you turn it around, and note the varius superheroes are the protagonists, then the story comes out much more reasonably.


Second, animals need to be culled because they don’t have the human capability of reason to find solutions to the problems facing them.
Um, humans often don't have that capabilty. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is a fine example - humans did to that island pretty much exactly what Thanos' people did to their homeworld - they consumed the resources until the island could no longer support them. The devastated the ecosystem. And they all died.

Just because a people have the ability to reason, in general, does not automatically mean that they (either individually or collectively) recognize a problem exists, have the understanding to formulate a solution that works, or the will to make it happen. Unless Thanos is unrealiable, there is proof that a culture can fail to beat this challenge.


Rational beings understand you can’t snap your fingers and make everything happy ever after.
No rational being (to our knowledge) has had access to the power implied by the Infinity Stones. It is perhaps better to note that one's ability to solve problems is limited by, among other things, one's ability to impact reality. Thanos' ablity to impact reality... was very large.
 
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Hussar

Legend
Umm, the culling model doesn't work in this case because you never just cull once. You have to cull repeatedly, over time, every time that the population needs to be controlled. There's no sense that Thanos is going to wipe out half the universe every fifty years or so just to make sure that things stay in balance.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Umm, the culling model doesn't work in this case because you never just cull once. You have to cull repeatedly, over time, every time that the population needs to be controlled. There's no sense that Thanos is going to wipe out half the universe every fifty years or so just to make sure that things stay in balance.
Yep. In fact, Thanos says explicitly that after doing this, he's intending to retire to some now-bucolic world - probably the one Gamora comes from. And we see him there ate the end of it!

Given the broad audience that doesn't necessarily know about population growth rates, or what the "culling model" is, the movie *really* could have done with pointing out that a single culling won't work. Even better to show Thanos rejecting that logical point. That would have actually made it clear that Thanos is "mad" rather than just an extremist.
 

Hussar

Legend
Yep. In fact, Thanos says explicitly that after doing this, he's intending to retire to some now-bucolic world - probably the one Gamora comes from. And we see him there ate the end of it!

Given the broad audience that doesn't necessarily know about population growth rates, or what the "culling model" is, the movie *really* could have done with pointing out that a single culling won't work. Even better to show Thanos rejecting that logical point. That would have actually made it clear that Thanos is "mad" rather than just an extremist.
I dunno. "I'm going to wipe out half the population of the universe to save it" isn't exactly the most rational of ideas. Do we really need to be explicitly told that Thanos isn't running on all eight cylinders? Then again, apparently so since people have actually argued that this idea might actually have any merit. :uhoh:
 

Jhaelen

Villager
I dunno. "I'm going to wipe out half the population of the universe to save it" isn't exactly the most rational of ideas. Do we really need to be explicitly told that Thanos isn't running on all eight cylinders? Then again, apparently so since people have actually argued that this idea might actually have any merit. :uhoh:
That's because the general idea of reducing a population in order to save them (or their environment) _is_ rational, as has already been pointed out in this thread. It's the over-generalization and scope that turns it into madness.

I recall reading about the 'advantageous' side effect of wars of reducing populations. There's definitely precedence. I think it's more a question of morality than rationality.
I.e. other methods of regulating population growth may be less questionable.
 
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