I feel very naive. Infinty War started rolling along and I got so excited– they were finally giving me the Gamora arc I’d been waiting for! Her backstory! Her complicated emotions about her upbringing! Her desire to live but also her absolute willingness to die to protect the universe! Nebula! This is what I wanted.
And then we got to that scene on that cliff and I could just feel it all sinking in my gut
Because that whole time, they hadn’t been writing that arc for Gamora’s sake, they’d been writing it for Thanos.
And you know how you can tell? Beyond just that her end was to further his plot, beyond just that she was fridged at the bottom of a long fall for Thanos’s grief and Quill’s rage, it’s this–
The Soul Stone asks you to give up that you love most. If this scene was about Thanos then it reads like this: he did. He made that trade, sure-footed but heavy-hearted. It’s a scene intended to complicate him, to humanize him, and to show his utter devotion to his goal. It makes him a more comprehensible but also more powerful villain.
But if it was a scene about Gamora AND IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN, then it reads like this, and this is what proves it was never about her journey:
Gamora turned to her toxic, abusive father and told him no, this isn’t love, and the narrative murdered her to prove her wrong.