The Mad Titan Thanos, to fans’ (decidedly unpleasant) surprise, did do exactly what he set out to do and all the superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe together could not stop him. He, with all the Infinity Stones studded in his Infinity Gauntlet, went on to obliterate half of the entire universe.
But many fans have wondered why it took Thanos so long? He earnestly went in search for the Infinity Stones shortly before the events of Infinity War. Why so late? Why not go after Loki’s failure in 2012’s The Avengers?
We know destroying half the universe had always been his goal (Gamora said as much). So why did he wait till Infinity War? So a superhero extravaganza with two dozen superheroes could be made?
Jokes apart, theory says it took Hela’s death to jolt the Mad Titan into action. Hela appeared in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, which was chronologically set just before Infinity War.
Thor’s long lost sister (about which he did not have the slightest clue), Hela was a powerhouse. She was kept in check only due to Odin. After he died, she was let loose.
In terms of feat of strengths, Hela has no equal in the MCU. She did not just stop Thor’s beloved weapon Mjolnir mid-air, she crushed it. (I think we can say that it was her raw power and she was certainly not worthy of Mjolnir). In the past, she had massacred every single Valkyrie except Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie.
Even when, in the end, Thor returned to Asgard, and realised his full powers, Hela remained unstoppable. It was only after the intervention of Surtur, the fire-demon and the bringer of Ragnarok, literal end of the world (in Norse myths), that Hela died (or did she?).
As they say, one mountain cannot contain two tigers. Similarly, there could not be two super-powered villains like Thanos and Hela in the universe. Thanos could not make his move without alerting Hela of his growing power. While he may be her equal, he is also careful, and not prone to display strength openly like Hela unless there is need.
And how did Thanos know about Hela? Well, he also knew about Tony Stark, even though he had not crossed paths with him. Thanos liked to keep a tab on powerful beings. That was crucial if he wanted to achieve his objective of acquiring the Infinity Stones that were scattered in different corners of the universe.
Avengers: Infinity War’s followup Avengers: Endgame releases on April 25.