The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been united by a single story thread since the very beginning: the Infinity Stones. Almost everyone has gradually made an appearance, beginning all the way back in Phase 1 of the franchise. All that will come to a head in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, but in the meantime, we’re left wondering where each stone is now, and how they’ll eventually end up in the hands of Thanos.
First, a little background. Known as the Infinity Gems in the comics, there are six stones total. They each carry a unique, special property. Some can destroy entire worlds in the blink of an eye. Others can alter the fabric of reality itself. United together and mounted in the Infinity Gauntlet, they give their owner godlike abilities. So where in the MCU are they now? Here’s what we know.
1. The Space Stone
Seen in: Captain America, The Avengers, Thor: Ragnarok
Better known in the MCU as the Tesseract, we first saw the Space Stone appear as the MacGuffin in the first Captain America. It was used by Red Skull to forge an arsenal of powerful guns and explosives for Hydra.
After sinking to the bottom of the ocean, the Agents of SHIELD dug it up, and began studying it themselves in order to construct their own arsenal. Loki then used it as a portal to help the Chitauri invade New York City in The Avengers, before it ended up in Odin’s vault on Asgard. In Ragnarok, Loki spotted the Tesseract, and we know from the leaked Infinity War footage that he has it once again.
The Space Stone is most known for enabling its user to travel great distances through space, through either portals or teleportation.
2. The Mind Stone
Seen in: The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War
The Mind Stone has popped up just about everywhere, first appearing inside of Loki’s scepter in The Avengers. The scepter then fell into the hands of Hydra, who used it to grant superpowers to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. After the Avengers recovered the scepter, Ultron removed the stone to create Vision, mounting it in the android’s forehead in hopes of inhabiting the body himself. Vision’s consciousness was instead merged with Tony Stark’s other AI, Jarvis, turning him into the hero we now know.
We’ve already seen the stone used to mind control others, but beyond that, its application in the MCU isn’t entirely clear. In the comics, it gives its owner “near-limitless psionic/psychic abilities,” making Vision one of (if not the) most powerful beings in the MCU.
3. The Reality Stone
Seen in: Thor: The Dark World
The Reality Stone was the focal point of Thor: The Dark World, known in that film as the Aether. Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stumbled on it after being transported to a remote cave before it was absorbed into her body entirely. Malekith then took it for himself as part of a plot to cover the Nine Realms in permanent darkness. Thor and company managed to thwart his plan, delivering it to the Collector’s vault on Knowhere for safe keeping.
The Reality Stone’s main abilities are fairly self-explanatory: It can be used to alter the fabric of reality on a fundamental level. Although it appears in a viscous, liquid form, Thor’s Age of Ultron vision showed it solidifying into a red gem.
4. The Power Stone
Seen in: Guardians of the Galaxy
The Power Stone’s first and only appearance in the MCU came in Guardians of the Galaxy, where it was sought out by Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) as a means for destroying entire planets. Ronan was originally tasked by Thanos to track it down and deliver it, but Ronan chose instead to keep it for himself, hoping to harness its power to obliterate the planet Xandar and kill Thanos. Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy managed to turn its power on Ronan and save Xandar, where it currently remains under the care of the Nova Corps. In the comics, it’s also the literal power source for the five other gems in the Infinity Gauntlet.
5. The Time Stone
Seen in: Doctor Strange
While Doctor Strange hasn’t traditionally been the owner of the Time Stone in the comics, it’s revealed in the closing moments of the film that the Eye of Agamotto is, in fact, an Infinity Stone. The Time Stone is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: It can manipulate and control time itself, even going so far as to entirely wind back major events if the user so chooses. Typically, the Eye is an amulet that Strange utilizes for all manner of spells and sorcery. It’ll now take on a much larger role the MCU, currently housed within Kamar-Taj and guarded by Doctor Strange and his order of sorcerers.
6. The Soul Stone
Seen in: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (allegedly)
With the Time Stone making its first appearance in Doctor Strange, that leaves the Soul Stone as the final one unaccounted for. It’s most utilized in the comics by Adam Warlock, whose iconic restorative cocoon made a brief cameo in an end-credits tag following Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This, in turn, has led to many claiming that the soon-to-be-born Warlock is the current keeper of the Soul Stone.
There’s also a theory floating around claiming that Heimdall (Idris Elba) has been the owner of the Soul Stone this whole time, with many pointing toward his ability to see through space and the small yellow jewel mounted in his breastplate as evidence. That’s not backed by anything more than conjecture though, so your guess is as good as ours as to where the stone might crop up in the near future, be it with Adam Warlock, or someone else entirely.
Additional reporting by Becca Bleznak.
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