Thanos and The Joker - Ideology Unleashed

what do you believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger there's nothing more terrifying than a villain who believes in a cause whether that's Thanos and balance or the Joker and chaos lots of villains become all the more powerful from fervent belief in an ideology but that on its own isn't actually enough if you think back to a movie you probably haven't thought of since you last watched it Ultron was also a villain who believed strongly in an ideology over the course of his Avengers movie he makes it clear that he is trying to achieve peace on earth with that peace coming at the cost of the human race despite that Ultron has ultimately become one of the lesser baddies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as pantheon of villains so why what is it about Thanos and the Joker that makes them so great while Ultron doesn't make nearly the same impact well there's two reasons why the first is the subject we covered in my first video on villains rule number one make them people now that rule doesn't have to be literal there are some pretty human feeling androids out there they can be human CGI creations or Western robots but villains need to feel like real people secondly when it comes to villains who fervently believe in a cause or an ideology the cardinal rule of writing rears its head here yet again show don't tell a villain can go on a five minute monologue about their beliefs but as an audience that will feel hollow unless we see that belief in action how deeply does their fanaticism go what are they willing to sacrifice for their cause as a primary villain of infinity war Thanos follows those two rules to a tee first off Thanos is a fully developed person we feel for Thanos and can understand where he's coming from even though we disagree with his methods we stand why he believes the only way to save the universe is to call the number of mouths to feed and that's because he shows us his old planet this was a place he loved it was his home but they ignored his warnings about their dire future and now he has no home it's lost forever not only is that tragedy the event that drives his beliefs it's also one of the things that makes him feel like a real person many of us have in some form experienced a loss that we wish we could fix or change and so we feel for Thanos because if there are two things we humans experience it's love and loss and speaking of love Thanos's love is also explored in his scenes with Gamora as the movie progresses we see that he truly does care for his abducted and adoptive daughter it's not exactly what you call a healthy relationship but again it serves to make Thanos feel more like a real person instead of a big purple CGI creature who smashes things for no reason but more than being fleshed out as a person the writers also made sure to show us just how far the nose was willing to go for his cause and I'm not talking about the finger snap that wiped out half the universe and sent kids home crying after going to the movies that snap was always part of the deal that's what Thanos wanted to do from the start to achieve his goal of balance no I'm talking about with the quest for balance cost Thanos and what did it cost this is the kicker this is what makes us as an audience see how powerful thinness is belief is in his own ideology we know that Gomorrah may be the only person he has ever loved but when Thanos has to choose when he's confronted with the choice of sparing his daughter or gaining the power of an infinity stone he sacrifices the only thing in the universe he loves we see this decision tear him apart he's crying as he performs a deed and roars of the pain it's causing him but he believes his cause is worth any cost even a cost that would break him and it's seeing that in action that makes Thanos truly terrifying and things aren't so different with suicide squads Joker just kidding things aren't so different with the Joker from The Dark Knight the movie wastes no time in making him feel like an actual person and it does this through his varied backstories first the one about his abusive father and then the one about his wife who got in deep with the loan sharks both are contradictory but it doesn't matter you can believe one of the two stories or you can subscribe to the popular fan theory that he's a veteran survivor who watched his friends in the military get blown up to little fanfare or a truckload of soldiers will be blowing up nobody panics because it's all the point is through Heath Ledger's one-of-a-kind performance it's very clear to us as an audience that behind the clown makeup is a real human and the human is someone who has suffered greatly and it's that suffering that put him on his ideological crusade in the name of chaos but that suffering also means that unlike Thanos the Joker has nothing he loves left the only thing that he can sacrifice for his cause is his life but he puts that on the line time and time again the character is clearly one who meticulously plans all of his schemes to the last detail but no one is perfect and no plan is beyond failure The Joker believes so strongly in driving Gotham to chaos that he doesn't care he is willing to die for his cause at any point during the bank robbery mob boss confrontation SWAT car chase and especially in his confrontation with Harvey in the hospital one slip-up or stray bullet could have put an end to him and all of that culminates at the end of the movie when he causes a massive scene with the two fairies knowing that he will either end the night killed by the police or captured by Batman all of that to distract the cops and Batman from the true agent of chaos now in the city Harvey two-face Gotham's former white knight the Joker knows that even if he dies Harvey's corruption and murders will have broken the city chaos will have won and everyone will believe what the Joker believes it's a powerful sacrifice and it's only thwarted because Batman is willing to make an equally powerful sacrifice to save the city's soul he takes the blame for Harvey's murders but that breaks him for eight years he can't come back until Bane gives him no choice in the Dark Knight Rises so once again of villains fanaticism not only makes them all the more compelling and frightening it also makes them all the more effective in confronting our heroes and so relative to Thanos and the Joker it's easy to see why Ultron failed he's not a person he's a literal robot with no backstory his whole personality is founded upon the poorly worded directive that his two dads gave him peace in our time peace in our time that's all he wants and as he improves his body his viewpoint shifts to the only way to have peace is to evolve but even that inconsistency isn't what really hurts him as a villain it's the fact that he never has to pay a price or sacrifice anything for his beliefs he just kills a bunch of people that he doesn't care about and he has thousands of replaceable bodies so it's not like he even can sacrifice his life he has literally nothing to lose until the last moments of the movie when he really does just have one body left then he half-heartedly argues with vision and is promptly obliterated we're never shown how much his cause means to him as a person he never has to give anything up for his beliefs he starts out with all of the power in the world and just keeps that up until the Avengers can figure out how to cut him off from that power and by taking a look at his failings we see all the more what makes Thanos and the Joker so compelling they always put their cause first they risk everything they have because their beliefs are more important to them than anything else and that means that any scene they're in feels that much more tense and that much more dangerous because you never know just how far they'll go for the thing they want to be a great ideological villain it's not enough to believe in something an ideological villain has to be willing to sacrifice everything for their beliefs whether that comes in the form of something they love or their own life it's those unshakeable antagonists the ones who continue down their path no matter what they lose along the way that are truly powerful they become the ones we're afraid of as children and they still impact us when we're adults dread them run from them but destiny still arrives massive thanks to my first patreon supporter Jada pakoda not only do you get your name in the credits as promised you also get this personalized shout out thanks again for your support it means more than you can imagine and if you'd like to join Jada in their patreon Asst there should be a link somewhere on screen right about now

I dont feel villians should be hated for being bad…
Their ideology really is important to understand what they actually want after doing those specific things.
But really Thanos surprised me that he would go to such an extent just to save other people from seeing what he saw on his planet.
I <3 Thanos

Also the thing of avengers infinity not really emotional is that you know the people that are dusted are coming back so not really emotional and sure thanos won but not permanently but joker did win win permanently that’s won of the reasons the dark knight was so good because we know that joker won permanently since it’s based on the real world

If ultron explained the morality of humanity and if the avengers did anything good ultron would be more interesting than thanos

Jokers got one goal . That's to expose the hypocrisy of the good people living .. He want to showthe mirror to these kind of people and by breaking their spirits and driving them to chaos …

Pls don't compare with Thanos . He is nowhere near joker . Marvel has to try even harder to level him !!

I paused the video at 4:38, sighed loudly and felt compelled to unsubscribe and close the video but I'm glad I didn't… well played

I think Thanos is a better written character than the Joker in the movies. Thanos was willing to sacrifice everything to kill half the universe, he had to kill Gamora the only person he actually loved. He didn't wanted to see other planets suffer like Titan did, so he tried to save every planet on his own way. He was basically a hero, but nobody saw it like that. I still think the Joker is a pretty good villian in the movies and one of the best, but in my opinion Thanos is better.

Another reason (I think) Ultron was a weak villain is because they made him crack too many jokes for me to take him seriously as a threat to the heroes, not to say villains can't be funny, they can be very funny, like the Joker, but it shouldn't distract from their character and goals.

To be good Superhero you need to have a Villain with a Purpose and Belief. That's why Dark Knight Trilogy and Avengers are Very Successful.

Since you compared joker with Thanos, I gotta say that joker is definitely a great villain but totally different from Thanos, cuz all the joker wanted was seeing a chaotic society instead of bringing any good to the world, while Thanos sacrificed his daughter just to bring balance to the universe so that tragedies happened on Titan will not happen again on any other planets, at least from Thanos' perspective. I just thought it might not be appropriate to compare these 2 characters together since a lot of people believe that Thanos is actually not a villain. Still, it doesn't change the fact that Thanos and joker are both successfully portrayed characters. BTW love your video, thank you 🙂

Its good, but can you do a Ghidorah ideology. What are Ghidorah's goal in Godzilla: King of the Monsters(2019).

Joker is actually a better villain than Thanos because the former doesn't need any type of superpowers to impact the story. Also, The Dark Knight is a thought provoking deconstruction of Batman and his moral values.

Usually anytime the topic of what Makes Thanos a good villain is brought up, it's mentioned that he feels and comes off as human. However, I like how you showed actual examples of why that is and gave us the details, whilst contrasting that with Ultron. I also never noticed how those backstories about the Joker added to his humanity(however little it may be) I do think though that Thanos' goal was made more clear than the Jokers, but maybe that's just because I was younger when I watched the Dark Knight. Great vid!


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