Marvel reveals Thanos’ real name, and it’s…

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Jan 2, 2018, 8:33 PM EST (Updated)

Warning: Spoilers for Marvel’s Thanos #14 are ahead. Turn back now or proceed at your own risk!

Now that Marvel’s Thanos #14 is out, fans are gobbling up Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s newest batch of labyrinthine twists and turns in the Mad Titan’s ongoing, and well-received, origin story. And for anyone who’s followed Thanos since he first debuted in the 1970s, there’s one piece of information that’s always been absent from that story — until now.

That’s right, Thanos #14 drops one of the biggest reveal bombs we’ve seen in a while, even if the dramatic moment is couched in an old king’s whisper. For fans, it’s a name outing that might just rank up there with Cosmo Kramer’s (and no, thankfully, Thanos’ name isn’t "Cosmo.")

Are you ready?

Thanos’ birth name — the one his mother chose for him before a single glance at her son drove her insane — is “Dione.”

King Thanos delivers this chunk of new lore at the culmination of an identity crisis for the time-warped young Thanos, who aligns with his far-older self once he recognizes how powerful he’s destined to become. Only one other person in the universe — his mother Sui-San — ever knew his birth name, and she died on Titan before having a chance to utter it even once.

Although Sui-San chose the name “Dione,” it’s King Thanos who wields it as a key that unlocks present-day Thanos’ trust and inspires the pair to team up. Confronting King Thanos in anger after the king has obliterated the Celestials, young Thanos shows just enough fight to be amusing — but not in the least damaging — to his future, far more powerful self.

Intrigued, and fully aware of whom he’s dealing with, King Thanos plants a bug in young Thanos’ ear when he whispers his birth name — a name only Thanos himself, in any epoch, would know.

There’s much more to it than that, and, in fact, King Thanos is a cosmic machinator of the highest order, capable of pulling strings like a time-traveling marionette puppeteer. Not much in Thanos #14 happens without King Thanos willing it, or at least allowing it, and that includes letting us — and current-day Thanos — in on the name his mother gave him.

Want to dive deep into Thanos’ rich backstory? Check out SYFY WIRE’s handy explainer here, and then stay up to date by snagging Marvel’s Thanos #14, out now.