Is The Collector Dead Or Alive? MCU Fans Can’t Seem to Agree

Wanted dead or alive: The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) Collector, a character that is last seen in Avengers: Infinity War.

Reward: More fun with Benicio Del Toro and bragging rights about being able to solve one of Marvel’s weirder mysteries. 

No matter how many reference material one reads, it’s impossible to determine for sure what happened to The Collector in the MCU. In the absence of a definite answer, Marvel and other fan forums are collecting various theories about what happened to the character. 

Who is ‘The Collector’?

Gamora and the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy
Gamora and the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy | Marvel

Marvel sometimes introduces characters in its signature end credits scenes. Wanda was one of those, and so was The Collector, also known as Taneleer Tivan. 

He first appeared in the end credits scene of Thor: The Dark World. His backstory was that he was the leader of an intergalactic conglomerate known as the Tivan Group.

Since he had a particular predilection for collecting different objects and specimens, Tivan was given the title “Collector.” As such, he oversees a wide-ranging group of objects, one of them being one of those bothersome Infinity Stones. 

The collector explained the importance of the Infinity Stones in Guardians of the Galaxy, with his offbeat sense of humor meshing well with the oddball Guardians. Unfortunately, the stone ends up wiping out Tivan’s collection, with Tivan buried in the wreckage.

This was not his end, however. Tivan next appeared in Infinity War, with Thanos getting the Reality Stone from Tivan and throwing the Collector into a specimen cage.

Gamora then attacked Thanos and seemingly killed him, but the real Thanos revealed himself. Tivan disappeared at the same time, revealing that he was an illusion himself, maybe? This made the fate of the Collector no less clear. 

Some say The Collector is dead

On Reddit, fans debated what happened, with the topic starter posting: “I read somewhere that Benicio Del Toro suggested somewhere that he’s actually alive, but unless we actually see him (on) Guardians 3 or some other movie or Disney+ show, I prefer to think Thanos disposed of him. There’s no reason Thanos would’ve spared him, and he definitely would’ve had it coming for everything that happened to both Carina and her predecessor.”

Another fan agreed, replying: “‘I’m guessing dead. (Thanos) doesn’t directly kill anyone unless they were directly in his way of getting a stone. Or a threat to him getting the stones. But on Knowhere it looks like he blew up the entire place. Probably sparing no one.”

Even if Thanos did spare Tivan at the time, it’s possible he may have been taken by the Thanos snap. But if that were the case, he would be alive when the Avengers undid the snap in Endgame.

Others believe The Collector is alive

Probably the strongest evidence that the Collector is alive is that the actor who played him thinks he is. Del Toro told Cinema Blend writer Conner Schwerdtfeger: “I think he’s alive. Yeah… I think that, you know, I think he’s alive. You’re talking to him!”

Normally the actor’s word would close the case, but then again, this is the MCU we’re talking about here. With the possible exception of Robert Downey Jr., the actors aren’t the bosses, Feige is.

On the other hand, characters in the MCU have a remarkable way of cheating death. Heck, half of the Avengers did it. Then again, Tivan is no Avenger. 

One fan on Reddit pointed out the Collector is  “one of the Elders of the Universe. They tend to not die despite how things might look. Regardless, if he is dead, I doubt the MCU will ever confirm it. As is, it’s ambiguous enough to bring him back whenever they want.”