CW: Domestic abuse, violence, murder, death, and spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War was a great movie or at least 90%-95% of it was great. Despite enjoying the film, that other 5% was enough for me to exit the theatre, after the credits, with a bad taste in my mouth. It’s been a year since Infinity war came out and the sequel, Avengers: End Game, came out the midnight before this article went live. So why am I still thinking about this other 5%? Why does it bother me so much? Why can’t I just relax and enjoy what almost everyone agrees is a good movie? Why am I letting just one thing ruin it for me? Today, I’m going to be talking about the Gamora problem.
I feel it necessary to stress that my issue is not with the film, as a whole, but specifically, the film’s treatment of the character, Gamora. For those of you who don’t know who Gamora is, I’m glad you’re finally home. I know life must have been quite difficult for you, this past decade, but don’t worry. I’ll never let those bastards capture and imprison you ever again. I don’t know how you survived such an endeavor. You’re a stronger person than I will ever be. Anyways, Gamora is a member of The Guardians of the Galaxy, a popular superhero team that does most of their work (you guessed it) IN SPACE! She is the most focused and mission-oriented member of the team. Gamora keeps everyone on task when they’re getting too distracted and is, in many ways, the adult of the team. Her adoptive father is the Mad Titan, Thanos, who killed Gamora’s parents and kidnapped her at a very young age. Her adoptive sister, Nebula, and she experienced abuse after abuse by Thanos’ hands as he raised them to be warriors. Both sisters eventually escaped. They did so separately but are driven by the same goal. They both want vengeance on Thanos. That is their primary motivation. In Infinity War, we see this from Nebula but not so much from Gamora.
Actually, we don’t really see much from Gamora, as a character, at all. In the first meaningful interaction she has in the movie, Gamora asks Star-Lord to kill her if Thanos gets a hold of her. It’s not like Gamora to just give up before a thing even happens. Shortly after, Thanos gets a hold of Gamora and after Star-Lord fails to kill her, she just accepts her fate and doesn’t even try to fight back or escape. This is not the Gamora we’ve seen in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. She just follows Thanos around until he’s ready to use her for what he wants (he wants a fancy rock called the soul stone, by the way). This is because Infinity War doesn’t treat Gamora like a person. Instead, it treats her as a prop up until the single scene that I hate more than anything.
Basically, there is a scene where Thanos and Gamora come to a cliff guarded by Red Skull, who is now a space ghost. Red Skull tells them that if Thanos wants the soul gem, he has to trade a soul for a soul and sacrifice someone he loves by throwing them off the cliff. Thanos says, “I’m sorry, little one,” and throws Gamora off the cliff. She dies on impact and Thanos gets the soul stone. There is a lot wrong with this scene but I’ll just get to the point I want to make here. The movie is sending a message that since Thanos murdered Gamora and got the soul stone, he must love her. This is absolutely not okay. The movie is telling its audience that domestic abuse is love.
I can’t believe I have to say this but domestic abuse is NOT love. Thanos murdered Gamora’s family, kidnapped her, turned Gamora and Nebula against each other, stole her childhood, and murdered Gamora so that he could get a fancy space rock but the film asserts that since Thanos did get the fancy space rock, he must love her despite all of this. Let me make this clear. Thanos does NOT love Gamora. People who love you do NOT treat you like this. They don’t emotionally abuse you, they don’t manipulate you, they don’t turn you against your friends and family, and they absolutely do NOT inflict any sort of physical harm upon you. If anyone does these things to you, they don’t love you. You are in an abusive relationship and you need to get out of there as soon as you can. Please visit https://ncadv.org/resources. That link has a list of people and resources that want to help you.
So yeah. I liked most of the movie but that scene sends a dangerous, irresponsible, and wrong message. I really wish I could just get over it but I can’t. I can’t be the only person who noticed this, can I? Surely, there must be someone else out there who has brought this up before. This is too big of a thing to go unnoticed or are we all just blinded by the Marvel hype train? I remember many people commenting, “holy shit, Red Skull,” when Infinity War first hit theaters. I don’t remember anyone talking about this, however. Domestic abuse is NOT love. Shame on Marvel for saying otherwise, shame on Disney for saying otherwise, and shame on anyone else that says otherwise. I need a drink…
- Avengers: Infinity War. Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Firm), et al. Avengers. Burbank, California: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2018.
- “NCADV | National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.” The Nation’s Leading Grassroots Voice on Domestic Violence, ncadv.org/resources. Accessed 24 Apr 2019.