In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos demonstrates the immense power of the Infinity Gauntlet by wiping out half of the universe. But he almost failed to perform his infamous snap after nearly being killed by Thor's Stormbreaker. So, how did the Asgardian's weapon overpower a completed Infinity Gauntlet?
The explanation is surprising, but makes a lot of sense.
Thor's Stormbreaker isn't just any weapon; it was made for a king. Forged by Dwarf King Eitri, it's the strongest weapon the Dwarves have ever made for Asgard—the Thanos-killing kind of weapon that Thor nearly died to create.
As Avengers: Infinity War showed, Stormbreaker is capable of absorbing and manipulating energy, even giving Thor the power to summon the Bifrost. We also see that Stormbreaker bonds uniquely with Thor's powers, as it sparks with the God of Thunder's lightning during the battle on Wakanda.
The weapon proves to be so powerful that even a blast from Thanos' completed Infinity Gauntlet proves to be no match. But that's actually only half true.
When collecting the Infinity Stones, Thanos is able to take full advantage of their individual powers using the Infinity Gauntlet. For example, we see him use the Reality Stone on Knowhere and the Time Stone on Wakanda to undo Vision's death.
Together, however, and the Infinity Stones are omnipotent, giving Thanos the ultimate power to wipe out half the universe. Thanos could have stopped Stormbreaker if he used the collective power of the Infinity Stones, but as we saw after his snap, doing so greatly damaged the Infinity Gauntlet.
If he were to have wasted the power of the Infinity Stones on stopping Stormbreaker, Thanos wouldn't be able to snap half the universe out of existence. So, he did try to stop Stormbreaker, but he purposely didn't utilize the full power of the gauntlet, otherwise his mission would be over.
When Avengers 4 finally comes around, we know that Thanos will be gravely injured following the snap. That will give Thor a terrific opportunity to kill the Mad Titan using Stormbreaker—except we have no idea where Thanos is.
We have no idea how the next chapter in the Avengers saga is going to shake out, but hopefully we get to see Thor continue to utilize the full power of Stormbreaker.