[Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, obviously]
Following the events of Avengers: Infinity War, our heroes can be separated into three camps: those who are alive (Iron Man and Thor), those who are dead… for now (Black Panther and Spider-Man), and those who are dead and not coming back (Heimdall). Then there’s Gamora, who falls (no pun intended) between categories after she was thrown into a pit on Titan so Thanos could acquire the Soul Stone — “a soul for a soul.” But it’s hard to believe Marvel would kill one of the Guardians of the Galaxy with a third film coming in 2020.
We won’t know her fate until Avengers 4, but during a recent surprise appearance at Iowa City High School, Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo seemingly confirmed a theory that Gamora, who we see as a child after Thanos snaps his finger, continues to exist within the Soul Stone. “It’s implied [the scene is] the Soul Stone,” they replied. “It’s all orange around, then he’s inside the Soul Stone with the amount of power that it took to snap his fingers — he has this out of body experience… When he goes inside the Soul Stone, he has this kind of conversation with the younger version of his Gamora.”
“She in fact is [the Soul Stone], yes. It was an attempt on our part – because we don’t like two dimensional roles or three dimensional villains, every villain is a hero in their own story and as insane and psychotic and brutal and violent as Thanos is, he’s a more complex villain if you go on a journey with him emotionally. He does care for things and it is complicated for him to execute his plan and it cost him something. He said at the end that it cost him everything and that it was the only thing he loved which was Gamora which is why we put him back with her at the end. I just want to reiterate with the audience that he does feel true emotion even though he is a monster.” (Via)
The Russos have since debunked their own comments, calling it a “misinterpretation” and that Thanos’ vision was “a spiritual representation.”
“The power that it took Thanos to click his fingers, he’s so dramatic that if you look closely at the film and the damage of the gauntlet… it damages his arm dramatically. And that moment when he clicks his fingers sends him into this ethereal plane inside of the Soul Stone where as part of his quote unquote hero’s journey in the film, he has one last moment to convey a sense of guilt about what he’s done. It illustrates what a complicated character he is. So, to clarify, it’s a spiritual representation of her and obviously that’s something that the Soul Stone has power to do. But really it’s there to illustrate his pain and his guilt. I wouldn’t read much more into it beyond that.” (Via)
But for real, why is Gamora?
For more with the Russo Brothers (who, it should never be forgotten, have gone from directing episodes of Community to answering questions about magical alien-killing stones), including clues for the title of Avengers 4, head here.