By TC Phillips
We’ve been talking a lot about the Infinity Stones over the past few articles, but what actually are they? In this final lesson we’ll take a look at the six Infinity Stones Thanos needs to conquer the galaxy, and where they were last seen.
What is the Infinity Gauntlet?
In the post-credit scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron, we finally got a good look at Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet.
Designed to hold the six Infinity Stones, once completely powered by all six stones it would give the wearer ultimate power over the universe and reality itself. If Thanos is able to collect all six stones, he could literally snap his fingers and will whole planets out of existence. Needless to say, even a gauntlet with just a few stones holds incredible power, but if Thanos succeeds in collecting all six it will be utterly disastrous.
Fun fact: We first saw an Infinity Gauntlet in the very first Thor film, held as an artefact in Odin’s vault on Asgard – which caused all manner of confusion when Thanos donned his own gauntlet at the end of Age of Ultron. However, Thor Ragnarok straightened everything out as the gauntlet in Odin’s vault was revealed by Hela to be a fake – moreover the big difference is that Thanos’s gauntlet is left-handed, whereas the fake one was right-handed.
What are the Infinity Stones?
In the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, The Collector (played by Benecio Del Toro) explained that before the universe began there were six incredibly powerful singularities. Sometime after the universe exploded into being, these singularities were condensed and forged into the six Infinity Stones. Each stone represents a different primordial aspect of the universe: time, space, mind, soul, power and reality.
The stones are so powerful that each on its own is capable of destroying an entire planet, and only beings of immense power are capable of touching a stone without being consumed by it.
The Space Stone
Current known location: In Loki’s possession aboard the Asgardian refugee ship headed to Earth
The space stone, contained within the object known as the Tesseract, was the first Infinity Stone to appear on the big screen during the events of Captain America: The First Avenger. Stolen by Hydra, the stone was used to power their weapons and technology until such time as it was lost in the ocean during Cap’s final showdown with Hydra leader Red Skull.
When Tony Stark’s father Howard set out to recover Captain America, he instead found and recovered the Tesseract, which eventually fell into the hands of SHEILD who were using it for experiments when it opened a space bridge that allowed Loki in to wreak havoc during the first Avengers film. Following Loki’s defeat, Thor took the Tesseract (along with his brother) back to Asgard for safe keeping.
During Thor Ragnarok it is suggested that Loki stole the Tesseract from Odin’s vault during the evacuation of the planet, and currently has it with him aboard the refugee ship Thor has set on a course to Earth. It is unlikely either the ship or the Tesseract will reach Earth though, as the post-credit scene revealed Thanos closing in on their vessel. As such, it’s a pretty safe bet that the space stone will be the first Infinity Stone that Thanos claims as his own.
The Mind Stone
Current known location: Right in the middle of Vision’s forehead on Earth.
Ironically, Thanos used to have the Mind Stone in his possession all along, until he gifted it to Loki (it powered his sceptre that allowed him to control people’s minds) who was sent to Earth to recover the Tesseract and subjugate the peoples of Earth. When Loki was defeated, his sceptre was recovered by Hydra and formed the basis of their experiments on artificial intelligence which would ultimately lead to Ultron.
When Ultron sought to create his ultimate body with Vibranium, he smashed the sceptre to recover the Mind Stone and embedded it into the forehead of his new intended body. Thankfully the Avengers recovered the body first, uploading the consciousness of JARVIS into it instead and creating Vision.
The Reality Stone
Current known location: In the possession of the Collector
Capable of taking the form of a viscous, dark red liquid rather than a literal stone, the Aether is a weapon of great power wielded by the Dark Elves who sought to plunge the universe back into eternal night. During the events of Thor: The Dark World, the Aether was recovered by Thor’s love interest of the time, Jane Foster, and ultimately reawakened the Dark Elves from millennia of slumber.
During a final battle with Thor, the Dark Elf Malekith drew the Aether into himself and came close to achieving his goal before he was ultimately defeated. Following his death the Asgardians managed to contain the Aether, but as Odin felt it unwise to house two Infinity Stones in his vault (he already possessed the Tesseract), he sent it to the Collector instead for safekeeping.
The Power Stone
Current known location: Protected by the Nova Corps on Xandar
The Power Stone, housed in an Orb which protected those who would hold it, was first recovered by Peter Quill aka Star-Lord during the events of Guardians of the Galaxy. Whilst Ronan the Accuser sought the Orb in order to destroy the planet Xandar, his master Thanos had far greater schemes in mind for it once he was done. Unfortunately for Ronan, one showdown and kick-ass dance-off later with the Guardians of the Galaxy, saw him destroyed by the same power of the stone he sought to wield.
Knowing the Orb and the stone it contained to be far too dangerous to be in any one person’s hands, Peter Quill ensured that the power stone went to the Nova Corps on the planet Xandar to protect.
The Time Stone
Current known location: In the possession of Dr Strange on Earth
Another Infinity Stone known to be on Earth, the time stone powers the mystical artefact “The Eye of Agamotto” and was used by Dr Strange to protect Earth from invasion by the demon Dormammu, as he created a time loop which he would only break once Dormammu acceded to his demands.
Capable of affecting time on both small and large scales, it is highly likely Dr Strange will once again use the Time Stone to travel through or change time during the events of Infinity War.
The Soul Stone
Current location: Unknown
The Soul Stone is the last of the six Infinity Stones to be revealed in the MCU, and fan theories abound about its current whereabouts. Some even go so far as to suggest that Tony Stark himself is the soul stone incarnate (I’m not sure about that one myself).
For my money, I betting that the whereabouts of the soul stone will be uncovered early in the movie and the missing Avenger Hawkeye will be the tasked with heading off on his own an retrieving it. But until the movie comes out, we really have no idea where the soul stone is or what form is takes.
Alright boys and girls, that’s it for your Infinity War preparatory lessons, there’s only one thing left to do now – go and buy your tickets!
See you at the popcorn stand!