After watching Avengers: Infinity War, I got a powerful sense of what the characters felt as they witnessed the aftermath of Thanos’s master plan. After activating the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos became omnipotent and wiped out half of all life in the entire universe. Soon after Thanos retreated, we watched as many of our favorite characters were turning to dust and how the survivors reacted.
With Thor, he came to realize that all of his efforts to kill Thanos and avenge his people were in vain and regrets not taking a head shot when he had the chance. With Captain America, we witnessed Bucky Barnes, who was his oldest and best friend since the Great Depression, vanish before his eyes. Considering how attached he was to Bucky, Cap must have felt as though a large chunk of his past and identity was ripped away from him. For the people of Wakanda, they watched helplessly as half of their countrymen disappeared, people they have known their entire lives. In particular, Okoye, captain of the Black Panther’s guard, watched as her beloved king turned to ash and there was nothing she could do to stop it. For Rocket Raccoon, he watched as Groot, who has been his most faithful friend and surrogate son, fade away in front of him. With War Machine, he called out to Falcon, unaware that his friend was already gone. With Scarlet Witch, she probably welcomed her fate because the man she loved, Vision, was gone along with her reason for living.
In the other side of the galaxy, Tony Stark and Nebula watched as their comrades disintegrate before them. Mantis, who as innocent as she was compassionate, died never to bond with anyone again. Drax, who was cheated of his chance to avenge his family, never got to see that vengeance fulfilled. Star-Lord, not only lost the woman he loved but lost his life on the same day. Doctor Strange clearly knew this was the only way they would defeat Thanos in the long run and left the other heroes to finish the war. Easily the most heartbreaking death would be Peter Parker, a kid of just 16 years old with his whole life ahead of him, died without every seeing his hopes and dreams fulfilled.
For Tony Stark, seeing his companions die one by one was severely nerve racking. Despite all of his preparations for Thanos’s inevitable appearance, Tony Stark had to face the fact that all of his efforts were in vain. The death of Peter Parker was particularly devastating for Tony Stark because he saw him as the son he never had. As he told Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming, “If you had died, that would have been on me.” After Peter Parker vanished, Tony Stark briefly looked at his hands, thinking he would fade too. When it became clear that he was not going anywhere, Stark was left alone with the grim reality of his folly. Nebula, who had spent many years trying to stop and kill Thanos, was embittered that she was unable to achieve her goal and is now more hellbent on killing him than ever.
In the end, the Avengers had to accept the new reality Thanos had imposed on the universe. For the first time since Civil War, they had failed to stop the villain. All the friends and loved ones were gone and they were crushed by the finality of their ultimate failure. The question remains, “Will they be able to undo what Thanos has done?” With a new Spider-Man on the way, it is obvious that the Avengers succeed in defeating Thanos once and for all, but at what cost? Some say that the Avengers will sacrifice themselves in defeating Thanos and bringing balance back to the universe. If that is the case, a new generation of heroes must rise to seize the Avengers’ mantle as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.