troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
The Thing
aka: The Thing 2011
The alien was never hostile until we showed it aggression.

Think about it. The Thing was frozen in the ice block, still alive. The first thing we do to it isÖnot to release it. Instead, we take a power drill, bore down into its body, and rip a chunk of it out. When it breaks out, it doesnít try to attack Derek, who is alone in the room and is an easy first target. Itís true that it kills a dog shortly after this, but who knows how the dog acted. Siberian huskies arenít bloodthirsty fighting dogs, but they certainly arenít chihuahuas. For all we know, the dog attacked the intruder. The Thing is then chased around by the team even as it attempts to hide, and finally attacks Henrik like the cornered animal it was.

And do we respond to this? Kate screams "BURN IT!!", and we open the gas valves all around it and throw a flare at it, engulfing it in a fiery explosion. Now it knows that, if we find it, we donít ask questions. We just set it on fire. Then Kate goes on her huge spiel about how we are to be afraid of it, how it could be anyone, and how we need to conduct tests to find it and kill it. Oh gee, why oh why does the Thing show hostility towards humans from that point forward?
  • Right, because it killing a guy had absolutely nothing to do with their decision to torch it.
    • It killed/attempted to assimilate Henrik before it had imitated any human. At that point, we are safe to assume that it didn't know what humans are, and certainly had no means of communicating with us, nor any idea of why these strange bipedal creatures were chasing it around. It was a cornered animal. Further, we can't even be sure of how much knowledge it gained from Henrik before we set it on fire.

The Ship In The Prequel Was A Predator Ship.

Following off of Alien vs. Predator, The Predators were headed to Antarctica for their rite of passage Ritual. However, unknown to them, the Alien Queen they were taking with them was actually a Thing in disguise, once the ship entered earth's atmosphere, the Thing attacked, crashing the ship into the ice. In the ensuing chaos, the remaining Predators were killed or assimilated. Once it finished with the Predators, the Thing took the form it is found in at the Prequel's beginning (some random alien in the Predator's menagerie) in an attempt to escape onto earth, but froze for 75,000 years instead.

The alien is actually a demon or an Eldritch Abomination of some sort.

In the original ''Who Goes There?", it is described as "pure evil" and the characters constantly bring up the judeo-christian God for some reason. It also explains the No Biochemical Barriers.

The infected humans don't know if they are infected up to a point.
I've seen the film a while ago, so I can't remember if there is anything really contradicting or supporting this idea. It has been shown that the infected can mimic humans right down to the smallest detail, until their existence is threatened. So what if this mimicry includes, you know, the brain as well? So people don't know if they are human or not until it has been proven otherwise, either by others or by circumstances.

A related theory of mine is that during the ending both of them are Things, but they still think they are humans. The infection mechanism has no reason to alter their natural behaviour, so they just sit there sipping rum (or whatever) until they simply fail to die. And then they know.

(Inspired by tonight's nightmare.)

  • If this is so, how does the Thing consciously infect others if those that are infected are unaware that they are the Thing?
    • Instinct?
      • Well, the DNA is viral so it could just be a simple chemical reaction
    • This is one of the mysteries that Carpenter decided to just let the fans speculate on.
  • I always was under the assumption that the Thing doesn't so much "infect" people as it does perfectly imitate them, its primary intention in this case to be to get away from Antarctica, the best way to do so is to try to blend in. After all, the dog they let in started morphing and trying to eat the other dogs, so it certainly knew when it transformed.
    • There is a rather noticeable rift between those who think that things can infect and those who think they have to assimilate en-mass. And a few of us who believe there are a wide range of assimilation possibilities. Assuming a "one cell assimilates another" scenario, all assimilation methods would become exponentially more rapid as more of the body is assimilated.
      • "Slow Assimilation" would work as an infection, from contact with one single cell, or Thing slime/blood etc. At first, like any infection, you wouldn't know it's started. But, then, you may start feeling weird and start getting a bit sick as the Things ravage your immune system and take over your body. It really picks up speed as it approaches significant fractions of the body. At the 1/2 mark, it becomes an instant assimilation of the other half of the body. Blair and Norris are often presumed to have been assimilated this way. It may be possible that all of the mend had some thing cells on them and that Mac and Childs would be assimilated by the end of the movie, or later. The main obstacle to this type of assimilation is that the cells have to burrow through the dead skin layers to get into the body, or come into contact with soft tissues or open wounds. One of the upsides to this type of assimilation is that there would be no torn clothing from an attack.
      • "Aggressive Assimilation" is where a Thing has little time in which to assimilate someone else. So, it attacks them and tries to inject them with as many Thing cells as it can. This may also include "Predatory Assimilation", where the Thing engulfs the target. This is the main reason one would find torn clothing from the assimilated. Bennings is a prime example of this. If the Thing has equal or greater biomass to the target, this is basically an instantaneous assimilation.
      • "Ingestive Assimilation". This is a more of a middle-of-the road assimilation type. It deals with what happens if one is unfortunate enough to eat a Thing, or encounters a Thing that is too small for an aggressive assimilation. Basically, once the Things are in the mouth, they would attack the soft tissues, where they have quick access to the blood vessels. From there, it becomes a jumpstarted Slow assimilation. Outside the body, a mosquito Thing or mouse Thing may bite a person and then inject their entire biomass into them. Again, this becomes a slow assimilation from that point. But, unlike a more traditional slow assimilation, the increased starting biomass of the Things means that it will be completed faster than the infection model.
  • The prequel suggests they're aware, with one burning the lab required for the blood test and another ambushing Kate by leading her into a trap.
    • The prequel also suggests that may be somewhat aware - one of of the infected who reveals himself does so quite suddenly without any shock. This may contradict Bennings-Thing running, however.
    • Maybe its like multiple personality disorder; two minds, the camouflage which still believes itself human and doesn't perceive anything that shatters that illusion, and the true alien mind that knows what it is. You're a Thing but you don't know it. And then you start doing things that you don't remember doing, or don't know why you're doing them (like setting fire to the lab), but for some reason you don't question it, it just feels right and natural. Or you might rationalize it.
  • The original movie also suggests the Things know they're infected. A Thing shreds the blood in the lab, as well as Blair!Thing BUILDING A SPACE-SHIP. He's also very clearly in human form infecting people left and right near the end of the movie. There's also subtle little details like the Things looking at each other when someone has been accused of being infected, as if to say 'well I didn't infect him. Did you?' Really, this troper has no idea where the idea that Things don't know they're Things comes from. My personal theory is that they simply absorb the memories of their prey and thus can imitate them perfectly.
  • The idea comes from the humans who may not be infected, or only in the early stages of it. The Paranoia Fuel is already present, and why wouldn't the Thing let some of the enemy kill themselves?
  • I think that when the Thing attacks a human, it leaves the conscious untouched, while replacing their subconscious. And when nobody's around, the Thing jumps into the driver seat.

The defibulator would've utterly killed The Thing.
Due to its bizarre biochemistry, it's cells would be totally fried by the concentrated shock. That's why it attacked Copper while surrounded.

The Thing is IT.
The incident at Antarctica was another awakening of It. Perhaps It wanted to try something new, e.g. go to a different location and scare and devour some adults for a change. Both the Thing and It are shown to have arachnid features and are capable of shapeshifting. The whole thing about being an alien parasite was merely It fucking with the team. It left after being beaten by Mac, knowing when It was defeated and deciding that It had had Its fun, leaving the survivors to die of exposure.

  • Conversly, who's to say that IT isn't a Thing?
    • Because the Things don't have Deadlights.
      • Then the deadlights are just some alien ability like phosphorescence that the Thing copied from another species on another world. As Fuchs said: "It could have imitated a million life forms on a million planets. It could change into any one of them at any time. Now, it wants life forms on Earth."

The entire movie was Macready's Hallucination after watching Alien and smoking too much of Palmer's weed.

Well, think about it. Alien was a popular film that was just released 3 years ago back then, and would be on HUGE demand at lonely military bases to keep the men there in-touch with present pop-culture.

Freshly pissed off from losing to (and wrecking) Chess Wizard, Mac buys some weed off his apprentice pilot Palmer, burrows the tape from Nauls (who is sick of watching the same film for 3 years, and is excitedly listening to his copy of "Superstitious" which his sister just mailed him), pops back into his cabin, gets drunk, pops the tape in, and lights a phat...

The remarkably similar plot of Ridley Scott's hit, coupled copious amounts of mind twisting narcotic smoke and alcohol, warps Macready's antisocial dislike of the rest of the camp into a fulfilment fantasy wherein he has a JUSTIFIED excuse to burn and kill the men that he's sick and tired of spending the last 3 years with, their forms warped and mixed with his Vietnam War flashbacks into distorted and grotesque abomination by the psychadelic effects of the weed. The trip ends with Childs, the teammate closest to him in personality and the only one he liked, sharing a drink with him as heroes, as his fantasy fades to black and he groggily stumbles back to reality...

"Whoa, that was one fucked up trip... if only I DIDN'T pour my whisky into that cheating bitch..."
"Hey Mac, wanna watch Jaws with us?"
"Ah sure, why not. Got nothing better to do..."

And that's how the film Leviathan happened.

  • Weed is not a psychadelic drug. Although to be fair, Palmer doesn't exactly strike me as averse to lsd.
    • He must have had a batch from the same type of weed they had in Reefer Madness.
    • How does it fare with dreams?

The Thing is a Hive Mind.
In the movie, Mac correctly assumes that each individual part of the Thing is a separate organism. If this is so, then the Thing that landed on Earth must be part of a gestalt entity of Things. A single Thing is sent to a planet to infect and reproduce, with the other Things monitoring each other's progress. Data is relayed from each individual thing, with the mission being a success or failure. If it is a failure, then the decision is made to either ignore that particular planet or to send another Thing to it and try again.

  • If that was so, then the Things would be able to evade the blood test by letting the blood die. The fact that the blood crawls away from a hot needle means that the blood-Thing is an independent organism that wants to survive even at the cost of letting the parent Thing get caught and killed.

  • Infected creatures have a hive mind of cells, but act and think independently of each other. It's the only explanation for the events of the film. When the blood leaves the infected human's body, it's now an independent creature and acts in self-preservation. There's simply no way, per the laws of physics, that individual cells are acting with any intelligence, but for the Thing to be carrying out any modifications of the human brain would require far more intelligence than it demonstrates. What seems most likely is that the cells in each infected creature have some level of intelligence, possibly similar to a human's but unlikely to be greatly intelligent (or else it would've realized that humans would kill themselves for a cause), and this intelligence is in parallel to the (still functioning) brain, taking a chance when it could.

  • Alternatively, the Things that comprise the creature's body share a consciousness until enough damage disrupts it. At which point, all the individual parts go back to being seperate animals and flee accordingly.

  • Yet another possibility: The Thing didn't want them to know it was a Hive Mind, so it sacrificed one of its hosts to let them THINK the test worked.

Mac was the Thing.
No real reason why, but it would explain why he seemed to be calling a truce at the end.
  • Lampshaded by Carpenter in the DVD commentary. And much debated amongst the fans.
    • Jossed by Carpenter's original plan to have Mac shown to not be a thing after being rescued.
  • Alternatively, Childs is the Thing, and may indeed be calling a truce with Mac for being a worthy foe or something.
    • This does carry some weight, as the Things seem to be more worried about their own survival than assimilating everything they come across. Otherwise, Clark would've been the first assimilated human.
    • Maybe The Thing takes on the personality of the person they are assimilating until they are in immediate danger (ie fire). Childs Thing let Mac live for at least a while, out of respect to a worthy challenger. Kind of supported by Palmer Thing having an ashamed look on his face when he knows he is about to be revealed as a Thing.
The Thing was another Alien species that were used as hunting/training fodder for Predators
Seriously take careful look at the beginning sequence of the film itself. Rerun it or take some screencaps of the ship The Thing lands on earth in. Looks awfully a lot like a predator mini ship from the 1st Predator film doesn't it?. Also the ship appears far too small and thin for anything the real form of the thing (as is seen in the final scenes of the film) could fit in. possibly the Thing (kept in housed Viral form) is another form of young Hunter training species that are used by Predators just as the Xenomorphs are used in the Aliens Vs Predator films (the fact that the ship lands/crashes in Antarctica can't simply be coincidence). And while pants crappingly scary even the hypothetical thought of Predators creating Thing/Xenomorph Hybrids is truly Bad Ass Awesome.
  • The ship is shown in the Ice to be effing huge. It's basically the same size as the saucer section of the Enterprise. So, there are some theories that the ship was an interstellar luxury liner, like the Titanic.
  • It is theorized that the pilot of the ship crashed the ship in Antarctica specifically to strand the Things there. Carpenter's take on the matter is that the ship was damaged and just happened to land there.
  • The fact that the Things are extremely susceptible to fire, and pretty much immune to all other forms of damage would mean that the Predators would have to hunt them with plasma-casters only. The plasma-casters are notoriously difficult to use against moving targets. Young Predators, and even those shown hunting the humans in the Predator movies, would be too inexperienced to even consider hunting the Things. Thus, if the Things were a product of Predator engineering, it would be for the older, more experience sharpshooters to prove themselves and brag about. Wolf from Av P 2 would be the kind of Predator who hunts the Things.
    • This was always an issue for Av P for me but also works for this WMG. Why would the Predators purposely make it crash in Antarctica, when the Predator movies go to great lengths to show they don't like the cold and only ever appear when it's extremely hot? If they didn't want it to infect earth then choose another planet. Oh and don't say that it crashed at a point in history when the continent wasn't covered in ice because we see it at the start of the movie.

Only some Things are Evil
However the above theory leads to a 2 way (somewhat interconnected 3-way) theory when this troper was but a young lad many short previews of most of the Predator films, Comics, or related video games clearly stated that the Predators were a Bounty Hunting species and not just a proud race of alien Hunters but a active somewhat law enforcement/mercenary species like Mandalorians who hunted the most dangerous alien criminals in the Galaxy/Universe for thrill seeking kicks and (presumably) giant loads of alien cash.

By this statement then that possibly could mean that the Thing from the film was in fact a escaped prisoner who was captured by a fully trained adult Predator (just the thought of a filmed scene of how the Predator managed to take the Thing down directed by John Frickin Carpenter No Less!! would be enough to send any fanboys knees knocking in anticipation) to be brought back to face justice under whatever the Things Species have for a legal system. However the Thing either in original or Viral form had somehow managed to free itself and attempted to assimilate/absorb itself into its captors body. Unfortunately for the Thing an adult Predators immune system is far more resistant then a mere Humans so in the struggle for control of the ship the Predator intentionally crashed the ship in the most remote place it could think of, in the area of the Xenomorph hive training facility in Antarctica so that. 1. if he/it dies then in only a few decades a new ship of Predator training recruits would find both their fellow hunters remains and.. 2. The frozen viral remains of the Thing so it still could be sent back for trial.

Technically this makes a fair amount of sense as this would make the films content more of a "Insane Slasher escapes from the asylum" plot that Carpenters earlier films were highly noted for. Finally (segewaying back to the theories name) this shows the possibility that not all of the Things are genuinely malevolent and are in the general benevolent and possibly exploratory species that use their cellular absorption ability to not conquer but to merely observe other sentient species by disguise (justifiable given their "True" Uncanny Valley like monstrous appearance) and as with the "criminal" Thing as a primary means of food ingestion and digestion.

This theory would be a definitely good plot point for any future films, Extended Universe Books, Video Games, Comics..Etc. And it would be nice to have at least a couple of alien monsters on our side for once (Preferably some Cute Monster Girls in the form of Claire Bennett or Megan Fox perhaps? ("wink" to the future producers)) which finally leads us to our final theory...

  • The theory is somewhat backed up by some fan speculations. It could explain why Blair-Thing didn't just run off and escape, or why he just stood there and let Mac blow him up. He was still some part Blair, and wanted the Things to lose. It could very well lead to some interesting Thing vs Thing situations.

Real Life takes place in the Thing/Aliens/Predator universes and that H.P. Lovecraft was Right..About EVERYTHING!!
If you think about it (but not too much) all of the named films take place in settings that either are in or as close to realistic places and time/eras no different then what you see outside on a regular basis. Even the futuristic setting of the Alien films aren't that super fantastic not everyone has lasers or their own cutsey talking companion robot. And all of the even remotely implied or guessed backstories of the alien characters take place not just mearly far away from our own planet, but seemingly our galaxy as well.

All of this suggests that our universe mainly consists of Eldrich Abominations and general biological un-humanoid horrors (the unnatural in appearance "Starbabies" from 2001 would also have to be thrown in there as formerly humanoid species that had no choice but to evolve themselves into this all powerful form (according to Arthur C. Clarke) in order to merely survive) that constantly wage inconceivably massive intergalactic war using other abominations as living bio-weapons and all other alien species are either by natural evolution or massive genetic engineering (the Predators could be either one of these) are all powerful warrior beings (this also explains Kryptonians and Daxamites however they mercifully kept their humanlike appearances) just for basic survival. Basically we all unknowingly just live in a Crapsack universe and just dont realize it yet.

This theory also helpfully explains the Aliens Vs Predator films and source material comics, If Xenomorphs (alien biomechanical creatures that can decimate entire civilizations by just breeding) are only used as training practice for their Children what in God's name do their parents and grandparents Hunt? (and on a Regular Basis!!!).
  • Hell screw Hunting! if their species ever went to actual full scale war what by the Hammer of Thor would that look like!!.

This by its own merit also proves that legendary 1920s Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft was correct (or as close to factually correct as possible) about all of the creatures contained within his Cthulu Mythos connected story universe. Basically it proves that somewhere the Great Old Ones do exist and may genuinely be worshiped on other planets as gods. It also proves that all or most of the horror based Science Fiction of the past 100 years was created by some artists, writers, or movie makers had "dreampt" these horrific creatures while they were asleep (in someway this is proven by Dutch modern artist H. R. Giger (who coincidentally designed the appearance of the Xenomorphs in the Alien films) who frequently had vivid and disturbing nightmares in which many of his drawn and painted creations appeared.) via long range telepathy (a process of alien communication frequently mentioned throughout early alien centured literature).

The thing was never meant to be a virus
It's ablility assimilate mammals is just a weird chemical reaction, and an aversion to No Biochemical Barriers. Given the right conditions, we could do the same thing to another alien species.
  • The Things are not viri. They are cellular life forms. A thing is a cell. A shapeshifting cell.
    • The game refers to it as the Cloud Virus.
  • The thing was intended to represent cancer. Carpenter had a stomach cancer scare just before making the movie.

The Thing is running away from The Necrons.
The Thing is an even greater foil for the Necrons than the Tyranids. Think about it.

The thing was a prisoner on board the crashed spaceship, escaped and killed the pilot/crew
The saucer was never the thing's ship, it was either a prisoner, or it was a stowaway.

The thing has a original form
We just never get to see it, but it has it's own physical identity. And likely absorbs and imitates it's prey rather than "infect them" like a virus. Of course this doesn't explain where the extra mass goes but...it does looks like it absorbs rather than "infect".
  • In the original short story, Who Goes There? it's natural form is a blue guy with three malevolent red eyes and tentacles on it's scalp.
  • The things convert living cells into other Thing cells. The precise mechanisms for this is unknown, but quantum computing is suspected to be involved. The origional Thing could have simply been an alien who contracted a disease of some sort.
  • The giant tumor with the eyes and "tongue flower" is the Thing's true form. It's an ambulatory form of cancer.
  • The Thing's true form is a single cell. Rather unassuming and unimpressive.
  • Every Thing form you see is the Things' true form.
  • The Thing was originally designed as a cute little pet that could adapt to any living condition and wouldn't die on little Grrkekk's... And then it evolved.
  • The prequel does give glimpses of what the thing looked like in the ice, but background information given in various cast and crew interviews state that the thing does not have a true form, per se. Or if it did, it was long before it reached earth.

Childs was the final survivor

Being uninjured at the end, he was the one that lived after the fires died down.
  • Jossed by Carpenter's planned ending, which has Mac being the only survivor.
  • Jossed by the game, which has Mac having survived.
    • Confirmed by the prequel that says The Thing can't emulate earrings. Which Childs has.
  • But confirmed in an Alternate Continuity comic book series by Dark Horse, Climate of Fear.

The infected can't identify each other.
We know each one is an individual animal. Really, it makes the whole movie more interesting if the infected are trying to figure out whose human, while the humans are trying to figure out whose infected.
  • Doesn't really make much sense. Especially considering that one being assimilating another has to inject some of their biomass into the target. So, they're essentially all clones. Note that Palmer's blood seems to try to go back to him once it's back on the floor. It looks like it's trying to get away from Mac and "go back home". Also, there are little details, like Palmer and Norris looking at eachother when someone suggest that Mac has been infected, as if to say "I didn't infect him, did you?".
    • Though for a lesser version of this WMG that little detail actually backs it up — it'd mean the infected can't sense if someone else is infected. They/it wouldn't have the problems the humans have (the infected knows who infected them and who they've infected. Well, baring other wild mass guesses), but the right timing of humans finding and destroying Thing-incarnations could presumably set up a situation where one Thing-incarnation is genuinely uncertain if someone else is a Thing-incarnation or human.

The Thing wasn't the pilot of the UFO - it was a bioweapon or animal in containment before breaking out and consuming the pilots
The debate rages on.
We had, at some point, that they would go inside of the ship, in the beginning of the movie, and they would see that the ship was this big biolab and that they were specimen collectors that race, and it broke free and killed everyone in the ship.

The Thing is just mimicking behavior of those it infects - it doesn't actually understand them.
Note whenever it shows its true form and kills someone. It doesn't speak, doesn't taunt the survivors, it just kills. The "I suspect myself of being infected" wasn't a ruse - it was using what they would say.
  • Bennings Thing tried to talk, but it came out in as a Thing howl. He also doesn't attack. He just runs outside and assumes a submissive posture. Perhaps he was trying to say "Alright! You caught me! Please, let me live! I won't assimilate anyone else!"
    • Alternatively, it could be prime proof it doesn't understand - even barring the prequel, it's absorbed several humans already and could have used their intelligence - the Thing could have pleaded out of desperation, but it doesn't.
  • More accurately, the Things understood humans all too well. They knew that if they outed themselves, the others would torch them, rather than listening to what they have to say.
  • Or it could be that it just hadn't finished assimilating his body to the point that it could speak.
  • The fact it actively sabotages attempts to detect it says otherwise, but this may be the Thing itself influencing their behavior if the theory that the Things aren't aware that they're infected up to a point is true.

The Thing has two states: a dormant state, and an active state.
  • If you look at it, it makes sense: until The Thing gets "Outted", it acts perfectly like a human. Why? Because it isn't in it's best interest to "override" the brain, so it basically lets the duplicate of the victim's nervous system behave as it normally would. Once outted, or in danger, The Thing overrides the nervous system and goes into active mode, which, unlike passive mode, has no actual intelligence. In active mode, it has only two prerogatives: kill and/or infect everyone nearby, and survival, when it can't infect it's intended victims. But once it goes into active mode, it can't go back: It infects, it remains in passive mode until it's no longer able to hide it's identity, and then goes active. Active is a last ditch effort: once outted it just tries to infect as many others as it can, and last as long as it can before it can be killed.
  • This is really less WMG than simple observation of the Thing's behaviors. It is one of the few statements in this section that doesn't have any real discussion ongoing about it. Most Thing fans simply accept this as basic Thing biology.
    • Actually it doesn't make sense, and the movie seems to make it clear (at least to this troper) that the Things are individually sentient. Otherwise, how would it have shredded the blood packs? How was Blair making a space-ship in his basement? In the end, Thing!Blair was clearly in human form, infecting people left and right. How could any of the Things operate if it's completely insentient?
      • T Hat doesn't explain The Thing that infected one of the crewmembers, instead of rationally attacking or hiding, runs out in a blind panic and simply screeches at MacCready until he's incinerated.

Childs is the Thing at the end, and Mac figures it out.
  • Throughout the film, Childs has a navy blue parka, which he never changes throughout the movie. However, when he shows up for the final scene, he is wearing a beige coat. A necessary change in outfit for Childs' visibility in that scene? Maybe. But given the level of detail in other parts of the film, maybe not quite. Also, Blair had a beige coat that, under frost and firelight, could easily match the color of Childs' coat in the final scene. Furthermore, Blair is one of the first to be infected, through contact with the Thing's cells. Of course, Childs suddenly changing coats is not sufficient evidence In-Universe to convict, so to speak. At this point, Mac only has a few things to go on - the finer details of Childs' story explaining his absence from the climactic shootout, and Childs' reaction to the bottle of whiskey that Mac was drinking. Childs' excuse is basically that he saw a shadowy figure in the generator room holding a flare and went outside to investigate, and sure enough, we saw an unidentified figure leaving the compound earlier in such a manner as Childs described himself, followed by the lights turning out, as well as a shot of the open door Childs was guarding. All fine - except for the fact that the generator room was a)underground, b)not visible from the door Childs was guarding, and c)located such that Childs would have to leave his post to go inside to investigate it. Mac knows all of this, but needs one final strand of proof. And so he gives Childs the whiskey bottle, knowing that if he reacts poorly to the offer (remember, to stay in character, Childs can't know whether Mac is the Thing or not), Childs is in the clear and the Thing succumbed to the fire. Childs accepts it without blinking and takes a swig. Mac chuckles, because now he knows that his enemy is not more than two feet away from him.
  • The whole point of this long-running discussion on Outpost 31

The prequel will have a really bleak ending
Considering the state of the Norwegian camp in Carpenter's film, it's logical to assume that the prequel film will end with everyone dying after burning the base to the ground in a last ditch attempt to kill the thing, only to fail. With everyone dead, the thing will then take the form of the dog seen in the beginning of the original movie, and run off into the snow.
  • Semi-confirmed. Kate's nowhere to be seen, and Lars gets himself shot.

The Thing was a Symbiote experiment gone wrong.
The Symbiotes have been known to feed off human hosts till they die, with the exception of Venom whom wanted to keep it's host alive. Before then, they probably experimented with ways to feed off their hosts, one of those ways gave birth to the thing whom instead of wanting to feed off of it, wanted to become its host, which is frowned upon. Angry for not being accepted it declared war on the symbiotes and tried to absorb them. The symbiotes with hosts froze it and sent it off in a box which got picked up by a driver (whomever was driving the ship) who was just passing by. The driver picks it up, thaws it out and then it escapes and forces it to crash land in Antarctica. What backs it up is the following:
  • Both The thing and the symbiotes take over their hosts and feed off of them. While the Symbiotes leave behind dry husks, the Thing takes every cell of the host.
  • Their weaknesses to fire is also similar.
  • They can also split into individual sentient pieces for both survival and reproduction.
Kate, Mac Ready and Childs did became Things during their finale battles.
But they aren't the normal ones. Given how much they kicked ass as they did, the Things they are going become would be something like Counter Things, where the Thing inside of them are under their control, and now could face the monster ones.
  • That's either the stupidest thing ever, or the most badass idea on this page.
Kate survived and did not freeze to death in the snow after killing the Carter-Thing
  • The American team in the '82 film never found any body at that location when they were conducting their investigation. Kate survived, perhaps she fled to the Russian camp to await rescue or managed to get a signal out for a rescue team. Or, perhaps she manages to make it to the American camp only to find it torched and everyone dead.

Kate died and froze out there in the snow.
  • Kate has no idea whether or not the dozer she got into has enough fuel to make it to any of of the other outposts. Nor does she know where these outposts even are. And whose to say Carter-thing wasn't lying just to get her into the dozer and no russian base exists? She's toast...or iced.

There will be a sequel with the return of Kate entitled 'The Things'
  • Following in the foot steps of Aliens and Predators, there will be a sequel following the events of the prequel and the '82 film, and it will be entitled 'The Things'.

The Thing is only acting in self defense.
  • Just look at how nervous it acts when it assimilates a human! The movie opens up with a couple of Norwegian blokes trying to gun down The Thing in its dog form. It seeks help from the Americans who unwittingly take it in, only to lock it up with the other dogs. The Thing thinks it's safe until the dogs begin to pick up on its unnaturalness and attack it. Then, feeling threatened, The Thing has no choice but to fight back. When the men torch it with a flame thrower, it realizes that it has made a dire mistake in trying to befriend them. Since it can't simply crawl around in its true form and risk being attacked again, it must assimilate one of the humans. Naturally, they don't take too kindly to this and wage war on the beleaguered extraterrestrial. We later learn that its crashed ship and frozen body were unearthed by the Norwegians, who then proceeded to thaw it out of a block of ice. The Thing woke up, terrified and confused on a planet it didn't recognize, and the humans panicked and tried to kill it. In a last ditch effort to escape, The Thing absorbed a dog and fled. Unfortunately, the survivors of its reluctant rampage were out for blood and have been chasing it across the tundra ever since. Further evidence is revealed toward the end when Macready and the others discover that it was attempting to build a ship out of parts from the helicopters. It was trying to escape. Poor Thing has no idea that its biological properties are capable of massive genocide on earth, it's only trying to save its own hide.
    • Sort of. It's not acting out of maliciousness, but normal animal self-interest. It wants to survive and spread, otherwise it would have just stayed in the dog body.
    • Can be taken either way in the sequel. The Thing kills one Norwegian, but it may be because it knew they were going to kill it one way or another.

The events of the two movies are just a wild weekend to the Thing.
  • The Thing can survive for thousands of years in ice, so it's possible that it has a very long lifespan. Therefore, one can presume that the week or so it takes for both films to transpire is the blink of an eye to it. It's like this: It just woke up, it's ride is trashed, it's on a strange planet, it's still tripping balls on whatever it had as a "party favor" before stealing the ship, and it thinks those humans are tasty animals from the home planet. It's similar to someone on PCP freaking out and trying to eat a rock. All it is is hungry and scared.
    • Serious research flub involving the nature of the Things. They're not eating earth creatures. They're converting them into other Things. Also, it's unlikely that the Things would have anything to do with drugs. Drugs are toxins. They cause the reactions they do by destroying cells in the body and screwing with the body's biochemistry. Each cell in a Thing "body" is actually a Thing, itself. They wouldn't allow themselves to take drugs, any more than they would burn themselves.

Carter was never a thing.
  • He just lost an earring somewhere somewhere in the ship in all the confusion and was just too exhuasted and dumbfounded to get his thoughts clear when Kate pointed out he picked the 'wrong' ear.
    • The inhuman screams when he's torched says otherwise.
    • I really wish there was a scene like this in the actual movie, ending with Kate killing a human being. Or they should have left it ambiguous. Then the audience would have to decide whether Carter really was the Thing, or if Kate had made a tragic mistake. Or even worse, Kate was the Thing, and she was just wiping out another human.
    • I like the idea that those inhuman screams were imagined by Kate. After all, we never see him transform like the others when they are attacked. This is also the only time we ever see a Thing trying to reason with someone.

Kate ends up rescuing Mac Ready and Childs, confirms that neither one is a Thing and they all live happily ever after.
  • She doesn't know the way to the American camp, but drives around the ice pack for a while in the snowcat looking for the Russian base (that may or may not exist) before seeing the helicopter on its last trip back to the Outpost 31 and following it. On the way, she gets trapped by penguins, which explains the delay in her arrival.

The creature grows more intelligent with each human it absorbs, or maintains the memories of its victims.
  • When the creature first broke out of the ice, it attacked a human in broad daylight with witnesses, but once it attacks Juliette and Edvard it begins to display more creative means of attack. It's able to clean up after itself, commit sabotage and operate technology beyond human comprehension. By the time the events of the 1982 film roll around, it is capable of more complex tasks. It's capable of shifting blame away from itself, it remembers tactics used against it and devises countermeasures and even retrofit alien technology to meet its own ends. From this, it can be assumed that the Thing either absorbs brain power from its host or it has a collective memory of the experiences of its victims.

The Thing and its kind were engineered to exterminate the Aliens.
Aliens aggressively attack anything that comes near them and an established hive is nearly impossible to wipe out without destroying a good portion of the local real estate (as in: nuke the site from orbit). Someone (maybe even the same idiots who created the aliens in the first place) got the bright idea to engineer an organism that could infiltrate a nest by taking over the bodies of as many aliens as it could. If a copy's true nature was somehow revealed, it was "programmed" make a big, showy transformation and take out as many aliens as it could before being killed. Meanwhile, all the other copies would join in killing the outed one and continue infecting the hive once the alert was relaxed. Unfortunately, either whatever control mechanism was meant to stop the things once the nest was dead didn't work, or one of them escaped and now they are just one more horrible creature everyone has to watch out for. They aren't malicious though - they're just doing what they were designed to do.
  • It would make more sense to say Vice Versa. Aliens have acidic blood, the perfect self defense mechanism against a creature that attacks cells.
    • Not quite. The aliens' acidic blood (if it can be called that- just because it's what comes out of its skin when it is cut doesn't mean it serves the same function, it could in fact be little more than a highly developed survival mechanism) is most likely made up of cells. Sure, in theory its acidic blood could melt a Thing in its natural state, but they as they are living organisms (bio-engineered by... well, the Engineers, but still) they are presumably made up of cellular tissue. Likewise, as the acidic substance they bleed it part of their biology, it would be reasonable to assume that it too is made up of cells (particularly unusual ones, but cells nonetheless). Therefore, a particularly clever Thing could infect an Alien via the single-cell-assimilation method if by nothing else. As its cells will imitate those of the Alien (be it from single-cell-assimilation, biting an infected host, or whatever) it starts with the more accessible parts of the body, the skin and/or internal organs if there are any- once it's created perfect imitations of those, it'll have an easier time withstanding the acidic blood, and it'll eventually be able to take that over as well. Once the assimilation is complete, the alien-thing will then be able to go on to infect other aliens, as it has the biological capabilities of its host, meaning it can perform the assimilation via hostile takeover method. Alternatively, the Thing could just infect an egg, then live out the life cycle of an alien (possibly infecting the chestburster's host in the process, and allowing that victim to go on to assimilate other unsuspecting people who think they're dead). Once it's grown to full capacity it can start assimilating other aliens. Really, Alien Vs. Predator is nothing, once the Thing gets involved, they're both doomed.

The Thing is from mars.
He's a shapeshifter, in the original novel was telepathic, an his weakness is fire. The Thing is a survivor of Mars extinct wildlife. If the green and the white martians are the equivalent of Earth's Homo sapiens, the the things would be like martian chimps or dogs. That's why they act in a more animalistic and predatory way and lack some of the other martian powers (like invisibility or flight).

The Thing was created by the Engineers.
  • We see that the Engineers had been experimenting with... something. The Black Goo is capable of creating biological weapons and is heavily implied to be responsible for creating the Xenomorphs from Alien. Perhaps The Thing was another project of theirs, one which went wrong. They tried to create a weapon- the result was a shape-shifting monstrosity, it attacked one Engineer, took it over, then another. Before long, the Engineers were split into factions, trying to figure out who was an imitation. One of the survivors then went into cryosleep, but was infected some time after. Thousands of years later, an astronaut stumbled across the Engineer-Thing's cryo pod and woke him up. He then tried to assimilate him, only to find it was a robot. He then went for the others, and infected a few of his human companions, while one human escaped. The Engineer-Thing then got into his pilot's seat and started to fly to Earth, hoping to assimilate life-forms there, only for his vessel to be shot down when another ship crashed into it. The Engineer-Thing then attempted to corner and assimilate the last surviving human, but she distracted him with a formidable menace in the form of a giant squid-like monstrosity. She escaped from the planet, while the Engineer-Thing assimilated the squid-like monster who had taken it over, and gave birth to a new type of alien.

Kate is a Thing.

Now, I realize this one is a tough one to swallow, because Kate is our protagonist, however, there are some clues to back it up. Firstly, she touches Thing Blood when she finds the fillings, allowing the infection to begin. Over the course of the film, Kate is slowly infected, transforming more and more into a Thing. Now, Things clearly do not have a hive mind, and Kate is still attacked by Edvard!Thing and Sander!Thing, who may not even recognize her as one of their kind. Now, the ending of the movie has been debated a lot, especially with the very silly Thing putting the earring back in the wrong ear. Kate sees this and now, fully a Thing, blows him away rather than risking him doing something equally dumb and blowin gtheir cover in the Russian base. This is why she isn't seen in the original, nor are the Russians heard of. She simply kills them all, and has already made her way back to civilization before the first movie began. How's that for a sufficiently bleak ending?
  • Except that might not have been thing blood. The crowns might just have gotten some blood from the wearer on them. Given that the thing will defend itself on a cellular level, why leave little bits of itself behind when it never exhibited this behavior before? If it was something else then it might be more feasable...

Mac Ready is A Thing.
Not The Thing, but A thing. The thing absorbs the memories of anything it infects. The one that got him actually thought it was really Mac Ready and acted the way he did. Meaning it's a self hating thing and will kill other things even if it was ones it accidentally created.
Nauls is the Thing.
Not intentionally, but he was the only one that didn't show up after Mccready and Childs freeze on the burning outpost.
  • Jossed, as there were several attempts to film his death scene. The final Blair-Thing was also supposed to explode out of Nauls's body, but they couldn't get the special effects to work in time. A lot of the gore on the final Thing belonged to Nauls, though.

The first Thing was an alien that was pursuing the thing.

The one from the 1951 movie was following the ship from the 1982 movie. It crashed in the Arctic, while the Thing crashed in the Antarctic. It was thawed out 31 years before the Thing was unearthed by the Norwegians. Because it couldn't speak English it caused a ruckus. It may have also tried to kill everyone, because it thought they were infected.
  • The only flaw with this idea is the general timeframe of the crashes in relation to each other- the 1951 alien was implied to have only crashed a day before the movie started, the 1982 alien had been buried there for a hundred thousand years. However, it might be that the first Thing had picked up a trace of some sort from the other vessel and knew it was somewhere on one of the ends of Earth's axis. By accident it checked the wrong end and crashed.

Childs is a Super-Thing, and was so for most of the movie. Said Super-Thing is a real sadist.

The ways Childs acts for a good portion of the film, staying fairly calm even when confronted with some nasty situations, not to mention the "Perfect Copy" question, means that he is likely familiar with these sorts of situations. That is because he is the main "Thing" and is infecting the others with his Thing-bits in order to play some fun mind-games with everyone, like it's some sort of hobby. Unlike the other Things, the Childs-Thing has a huge amount of self-control and doesn't go crazy or act on survival instinct like the others. Childs is one of the more featured characters in the film, like the dog was at the start. The final scene where Childs and Mac Ready meet up is the Childs-Thing giving cheers to such a fun game. Both of them know who is and isn't infected, but the moment has overtaken them and they know it's over.

Kate eventually ends up in Toronto.

How does she not age after 30 years? I dunno, Subspace.

The thing is a version of the melding plague from the Revelation Space universe. The ship was a grub ship.

The melding plague subverts and modifies biological and technological machinery, melding people into one another. When a person accidentally fell into the cage holding the alien grub, he was ingested by it, shortly afterwords the grub grew a human voice and vocal cords on its side.
The Thing was throwing a hissy fit n the prequel.
In the first movie Mac deduces that when the thing woke up it wasn't in the best of moods. In the Prequel the Thing rather than take a moment to spread paranoia fuel, is exposed more times than in the original. The reason being was it was pissed off after waking up and throwing a fit ergo not thinking straight. In the original it's being able to spread paranoia only lashing out when it gets foiled is simply the Thing finally calming down.

There is one more Thing out there.
While indicative of a possessive, an apostrophe can also refer to an omission. For example, 'Katie's hat' refers to a hat belonging to Katie, but 'Katie's out there!' means "Katie IS out there." Now take another look at the title: "John Carpenter's The Thing"...
By the time the Original Thing ended it figured out how to pass the Fillings test.
First and foremost it was hinted in both the game and the unproduced sequel miniseries that it eventually figures it's way out of the bloodtest. So odds are prior to that it becomes smart enough to know some people have their traits both organic (I.E. Norris' weak heart.) or inorganic (Child's Earring.) So Childs could be the infected one and the earrings are a way to throw us off.
Bennings was outpost 31's second in command.
In the original novel, Mac was the second in command. The base would presumably have one in the movie, and since he isn't automatically made commander when everyone is suspicious of Garry, means it would be one of only two people who weren't there: Blair and Bennings. Bennings was already mentioned as Garry's long time friend, and Clark takes orders off him with no complaints. Nauls even calls him Bwana at one point. Interesting to note that Bennings is Meterologist and 2nd in command, as both of those roles were taken up by Mac in who goes there.
The Thing can collect voices as well as transformations.
Considering how the last you see of The Thing in the film is the form of the dog from the beginning, and you can hear a bit of canine growling coming from the beast, The Thing could supposedly mix and match its options by utilizing any voice it hears.

The Thing is a genetically-engineered alien super-spy.
It's abilities and behavior certainly suggest it being an infiltrator.
Carter Thing really wanted to talk about it.
Why else didn't he attack Kate even when they were alone.
The Texas Chainsaw MassacreWMG/FILM13 Assassins

alternative title(s): The Thing1982; The Thing 2011
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
68350
5