WandaVision’s grief line was used to justify Scarlet Witch’s actions in Westview, but it also explains why Star-Lord was not to blame in Infinity War.
WandaVision’s final two episodes finally cleared up one of the most emotionally-charged debates of Avengers: Infinity War: the question of Star-Lord’s guilt. Vision’s beautiful line about grief being “love persevering” was easily a stand-out moment but it should also work as hard for Star-Lord as it does for Wanda. And it being used to seemingly justify Wanda’s victimization of the Westview residents means the same excuse should be afforded to Peter Quill.
Quill already had an easily accessible out point for the debate, because his interference was a required part of the one reality where the Avengers won (hence Doctor Strange doing nothing to stop it). But that didn’t quite put an end to the accusations that Star-Lord single-handedly ruined the heroes’ chance of stopping the Mad Titan from snapping his fingers. He became as big a part of the post-release discourse, in fact, as the question of whether Thanos was right to wipe out half of the universe.
Star-Lord’s actions were not his own and crucially, Vision’s infinitely quotable musing on the nature of grief adds a much-needed discussion to his narrative arc. Because if Wanda’s actions – bordering on the illogical – can be interpreted as no more than grief amplified by traumatic love, then so can Peter Quill’s. The romances, after all, are not massively different at their hearts and Quill deserves something of the same justification.
Like Wanda, Star-Lord’s life was a catalog of trauma. His father was an absentee megalomaniac who gave his mother cancer and killed her as a loose end, he was bullied at school, stolen by space pirates, and forced to live a life removed from all family. He was then reunited with his father, saw the truth revealed, and realized his true father was the pirate who kidnapped him only to see him die too. And then the love of his life, who saw him for more than his reputation and forgave his faults was killed. Yet Quill’s inability to stop himself from hitting Thanos in a sorrowful rage on the discovery of Gamora’s death was taken as the avoidable actions of a fool. The double standard, considering Drax, Zemo and T’Challa were all presented as justified in their grief in other MCU arcs was always confusing.
But aligning Star-Lord’s actions with those of Wanda under the empathetic umbrella of Vision’s assessment of grief changes that perception entirely. And it fixes an injustice that painted Star-Lord in a cruel light considering his love for Gamora had been not only entirely believable but also soothing to him. Both were effectively orphans but united by their experience of abusive fathers, both brought together by the rejection of the families forced on them. Quill’s actions were impulsive and reckless, but they were no more than an act of love persevering. It just took WandaVision to happen to make sense of them properly.
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