With Black Panther having been released in theaters to great success, Marvel has checked every movie off the list prior to May’s release of Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos is on his way to Earth, and there’s nothing to stand in his way now. But there are still a handful of questions remaining, including the whereabouts of the final Infinity Stone.
So far, five of the six Infinity Stones have been revealed in previous MCU movies. But the orange Soul Stone was not seen at any point in Black Panther, leaving us to wonder where it might be. Could Marvel be pulling a major surprise and having it pop up somewhere that we might have missed? Let’s take a look at what we know about the Soul Stone and a handful of credible theories.
What is the Soul Stone?
As for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not a whole lot is known about the Soul Stone. We know that it’s orange and that it officially exists, thanks to a speech by the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy. But outside of that? Nothing, really. Taking from the comics, the Soul Gem was created from an all-powerful being that committed suicide out of loneliness.
The power of the Soul Gem allowed the one that possessed it to have complete control over reality. That meant power over all life in the universe, and the ability to manipulate or alter both dead and living souls. Frankly, it’s kind of a creepy power. It’s understandable why the Soul Stone hasn’t been revealed quite yet.
Next: One very revealing theory
The THANOS theory
There is one fairly credible theory about how the Soul Stone might eventually be revealed. Each Infinity Stone has come into play in a specific item, and the theory is that the first letter of each item will spell out an interesting word: Thanos.
But as of now, only five of the six letters have been revealed. The Space Stone in the Tesseract, the Reality Stone in the Aether, the Time Stone in Doctor Strange’s necklace, the Power Stone in the orb, and the Mind Stone (originally) in Loki’s scepter. That leaves the letter ‘H’ for the Soul Stone. By the time Doctor Strange had been released, fans were left with a few good remaining theories on where the final Infinity Stone may show up.
Next: Odin’s first-born child
With Thor: Ragnarok presenting one of the biggest final pieces of the MCU puzzle before Infinity War, most fans assumed that the Soul Stone would finally arrive on the big screen. After all, the villain of the movie (played by Cate Blanchett) was Hela. Once Odin had passed on, she was released from her prison and arrived to take her rightful place as Queen of Asgard. It would’ve been a cinch to have Hela, who had all kinds of knowledge about what items were hidden away in her father’s vault, reveal the Soul Stone.
But alas, it was all for naught. Hela did do us the favor of calling out Odin’s Infinity Gauntlet as a cheap forgery, however. That was a plot hole that had yet to be resolved, with the massive gauntlet originally seen in Odin’s vault in Thor but then again with Thanos in one of Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s after-credit scenes. Sadly, that moment was Hela’s biggest contribution to the MCU.
Next: Another Asgardian could have the stone.
The best guess that anyone could make is that the Soul Stone would reside with Heimdall, the all-seeing Asgardian guard of the Bifrost. Heimdall can see all the people within the nine realms, and one might even say that he can see their souls.
And what’s more? He has orange, glowing eyes. Those eyes disappeared and became white in Thor’s vision from Age of Ultron, which he first received warning of an impending attack. Had Heimdall’s eyes gone white after losing the Soul Stone?
It’s fair to say that this one is still up in the air, and maybe the best current guess as to the stone’s whereabouts. But it was never revealed in Ragnarok, and the last we saw of Heimdall he was floating on a space ship with the rest of the remaining Asgardians. Could Thanos acquire both the Space Stone (Loki has the Tesseract) and the Soul Stone in one quick swoop?
Next: One very big problem with the Heimdall theory
Thanos doesn’t have it yet
Unfortunately, there is one major reason to doubt that the Soul Stone resides with Heimdall. Having seen the early trailer for Infinity War, we know that Loki — somewhat reluctantly — hands over the Tesseract to Thanos, which the Mad Titan uses to create a portal to Earth. In the trailer, we can clearly see that when Thanos puts the blue Space Stone in his gauntlet, the only other stone present is the purple Power Stone.
This means that the orb, which was last known to be in the possession of the Nova Corps, has been obtained by Thanos and his Black Order. Given that he arrives on Earth without the Space Stone all but confirms that it’s not in Heimdall’s possession.
That is, unless Marvel is using some trailer trickery like they did with Ragnarok. If you’ll recall, the official trailer hid the fact that Thor lost an eye in his battle with Hela. Even the first teaser for Infinity War had to be adjusted so that fans at D-23 wouldn’t see ahead of Ragnarok that Thor is wearing an eye patch.
Next: Could it be in Wakanda after all?
The vibranium meteor
Could it be that the Soul Stone is actually hiding out in Wakanda after all? Although it wasn’t apparent in Black Panther, there are reasons to believe that it could end up being found there. We know that none of the other stones are found in Wakanda, and yet in the trailer we see a massive battle taking place there between Thanos’ minions and a handful of our heroes — sans Spider-Man, Vision, Doctor Strange, and a few others.
Could the Soul Stone be hidden inside the giant meteor that originally brought vibranium to Wakanda? Could it even be the source of the vibranium’s mysterious power? As for now, it’s all just theory. At any rate, vibranium doesn’t have an ‘H’ at the beginning. But there is one other Wakandan source that actually makes a lot of sense.
Next: Our best guess at where the Soul Stone is
The Heart-Shaped Herb
One of the most important items in the movie are the Heart-Shaped Herbs which are used to give Black Panther his power. During a key scene in the film, T’Challa drinks from the herb and is able to briefly converse with his father in the afterlife. If that doesn’t scream “Soul Stone,” what does? It also helps a bit that the THANOS theory is satisfied here, with the Heart-Shaped Herb beginning with an ‘H’.
Of course, the issue is that Killmonger had the entire crop burned. Could it be that the Soul Stone is buried deep within the ground, and that merely burning all the herbs can’t keep them from growing? Again, this is all speculation. All we know for sure is that the Soul Stone will have to make its appearance in the MCU eventually, and that day is coming soon.
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