With the highly anticipated finale to the ‘Infinity Saga’ Avengers: Endgame set for release in just under a month, it seems about time for an Infinity Stone crash course to remind us of the history, power and potential of these gems in the upcoming conclusion to the Golden Age of the MCU.
What are the Infinity Stones?
Also known as ‘Infinity or Soul Gems’ in the comics, the Infinity Stones have been weaved effortlessly into the overarching narrative of the MCU’s films. Their function is first discussed by The Collector in Guardians of The Galaxy (2014), who describes them as six singularities forged into concentrated ingots. Each have their own set of abilities and can only be wielded by someone or something mighty enough to endure their power. As displayed in the narrative of Infinity War (2018), anyone who can obtain and use all six infinity stones has power and control over the entire universe.
The Space Stone (Tesseract)
Appears In: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Captain Marvel (2019)
Powers: Gives the possessor the ability to teleport anywhere in the universe, Move objects or beings, Warp space and Open portals.
History and Timeline: The Tesseract has been featured in the highest amount of MCU films. It was first introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), where centuries ago Odin left the Tesseract with the Norwegians on Earth for safe keeping. Hydra and Red Skull take it in 1942 in order to try and weaponize it. Towards the end of the film the stone creates a portal in space, taking Red Skull with it. In Infinity War (2018) we find out that the stone banishes Red Skull to Vormir to guard the Soul Stone. The Tesseract then burns a hole through The Valkyrie ( The ship which Captain America sacrifices himself on) and falls into the ocean, later to be discovered by Howard Stark. In Marvel’s latest blockbuster Captain Marvel (2019), we find out that the Tesseract was potentially given to the Kree under cover operative Mar-Vell by Howard Stark to power a light speed engine to end the Kree/Skrull war. The Tesseract is rediscovered in Marv-Vell’s secret lab in orbit. It is then swallowed by Goose the Flerken and is kept for safe keeping by Nick Fury and Shield. It then appears in The Avengers (2012), used by Loki to create portals in space allowing for the Chitauri to invade New York. When Loki is unsuccessful, Thor takes the Tesseract back to Asgard and it is kept in their vault until the finale of Thor: Ragnarok (2017) where Loki secretly retrieves it before Asgard is destroyed. The opening scene of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) shows Thanos invading the Asgardian refugee ship to retrieve the Space Stone from Loki.
Future Potential: Now that we know Captain Marvel’s power derives from the tesseract itself, it is possible that she will be able to destroy the Space Stone the same way Scarlet Witch was able to destroy the Mind Stone, through having a similar energy signature to the stone.
The Reality Stone (Aether):
Appears In: Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Powers: Revert and manipulate reality to anything the possessor wishes, Have full control of not only their own reality but every living creature’s reality.
History and Timeline: In the beginning of Thor: The Dark World (2013), Malekith the Dark Elf wants to use the Aether to revert the nine realms back to darkness. The Asgardians stop him and hide the stone for safe keeping. When a convergence is nearing, Jane Foster is accidentally sucked into a space-time portal leading her to the Aether which possesses her. Eventually Malekith removes it from her, but the Asgardians stop him once again. In the post credit scene it is taken to The Collector by Lady Sif and Volstagg for safe keeping. It is in The Collector’s layer that Thanos later invades, takes the reality stone and abducts Gamora.
Future Potential: With time travel and multiple realities being an evident part of Endgame’s narrative the reality stone may play a part in restoring to world following its post apocalyptic down fall.
The Power Stone
Appears In: Guardians of The Galaxy (2014) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Powers: Enhances strength and the ability of the possessor, Amplifies the powers of other Infinity Stones.
History and Timeline: The Power Stone is first seen stored in an orb on the planet Morag in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Star Lord steals it and takes it to Xandar where he meets the rest of The Guardians of The Galaxy. They attempt to sell it for units, but once they realize the scale of its power they chose for it to remain with them for safety. Ronan the Accuser gets the stone and threatens to destroy Xandar, but the Guardians are able to use the stone to destroy Ronan. The orb and stone is given to the Nova Corps for safe keeping on Xandar. However, off screen and prior to the events of Infinity War (2018), Thanos wipes out Xandar and possesses the Power Stone, the first of the six stones he is to wield.
The Mind Stone
Appears In: The Avengers (2012), Avengers Age of Ultron (2015) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Powers: Ability to connect and take control of other peoples minds, Access individuals thoughts and memories.
History and Timeline: The Mind Stone originally resided in Loki’s scepter in The Avengers (2012) and it used to control the minds of both Hawkeye and Dr Erik Selvig. The stone in its natural form is unvielled in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) when the Avengers retrieve it from a Hydra research base in Slovakia where Hydra has been using the stone to give the Maximoff twins (Wanda and Pietro) their powers. Tony and Bruce then use the stone to give their Super-Bot ‘Ultron’ sentience. Before he is destroyed, Ultron attemps to build the perfect body for himself using vibranium and the Mind Stone. This then becomes Vision and the stone remains embedded into his forehead until Scarlet Witch tries to destroy it and it is torn out by Thanos in Infinity War (2018)
Future Potential: There could be a potential redemption arc for Scarlet Witch in Endgame. Perhaps since she was not able to successfully destroy the stone in Infinity war she will be able to obliterate or control it this time.
The Time Stone
Appears In: Doctor Strange (2016) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Powers: Manipulate time, Cause time loops, Look into alternate realities, Create multiple time lines, Access to the past and future, Revert objects to original state, Accelerate speed of decay.
History and Timeline: In Doctor Strange (2016) Stephen Strange is introduced to the Time Stone by Wong. It is placed in the Eye of Agamotto and is kept in the Sanctum Sanctorum. In the film, Doctor Strange masters its powers and creates a time loop trapping Dormammu and causing him to surrender before using the stone to restore peace after all the destruction. In Infinity War (2018) Strange uses the Time Stone to look into all the possible alternate realities telling Tony that there is only one scenario in which they win before surrendering the Time Stone to Thanos.
Future Potential: Doctor Strange willingly sacrificed the stone after swearing to protect it. Therefore we can assume, that Thanos had to retrieve all stones and execute the snap in order for the Avengers to win in the end. With time travel rumoured to play a large part in Endgame we could assume that the time stone will play a large part in creating multiple time lines alongside the Quantum Realm.
The Soul Stone
Appears In: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Powers: Control all living and dead souls, Corrupt or damage souls, May contain a pocket dimension.
History and Timeline: The Soul Stone was the final stone to be featured in the MCU. We find out in Infinity War (2018) that Thanos previously sent Gamora looking for the stone and to prevent him from having it she burned the map to it. After having to endure watching Nebula be tortured Gamora surrenders and takes Thanos to Vormir where the Soul Stone is guarded by Red Skull as a punishment for his previous interactions with the Tesseract. To possess the stone Thanos sacrifices Gamora, who he later sees as a young version of herself in what is rumoured to be the Soul Stone’s pocket dimension.
Future Potential: It could be thought that all the soul’s taken during the snap now reside in the Soul Stone. Maybe as a result of the destruction of the stone, those souls will be returned to their original state.