Marvel Studios started its film series relatively grounded, explaining away some of the crazier elements with exaggerated science and technology. Over the last 11 films, it’s been slowly and deliberately introducing more cosmic and magical elements into the foreground — all leading up to 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, where Thanos will finally jump into the Bad Guy Foreground. It’s a lot to ask an audience to keep track of everything, and for the most part you can enjoy the films without a degree in comic book history. After Thor Ragnarok, every Marvel’s Universe fan have eyes on Avengers: Infinity War, where everything is coming full-circle, though, with the Infinity Stones
But what are the Infinity Stones really? Where did they come from? What do they do? And can you remember where they all are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… because I’m still a bit fuzzy about that? That’s why I’ve created the ultimate guide to the Infinity Stones, which answers all these questions and more, so we’re all set for the upcoming Avengers blockbuster next year.
What are the Infinity Stones?
“Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots… Infinity Stones.” — A blonde-haired Benicio Del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy
That’s the most succinct explanation we get about the infinity stones in all of Marvel’s first 11 movies. Well, they’re stones… of Infinity? Ok, they may not sound like much but the Infinity Stones are actually more powerful than anything we’ve ever seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whoever holds all the stones is basically a god and that’s saying a lot in a universe full of superheroes. Okay, so… what are the six stones, and where have I seen them before?
SPACE STONE (TESSERACT )
As seen in both Captain America (used by Red Skull) and The Avengers (used by Loki), the Tesseract is a blue stone capable of teleport anything from one point in the universe to the other. It houses unlimited renewable energy. Therefore, SHIELD wants to manufacture futuristic weaponry with the help of this stone. Last we saw it in the homeworld of Asgard at the end of Thor Ragnarok.
REALITY STONE (AETHER)
The ruby-red Reality Stone is a bit harder to describe, with its powers affecting humans by essentially rotting them away. The Aether (Reality Stone) is a red floating liquid thing that attaches to a host and… makes him or her stronger (as it did with baddie Malekith). By the end of the film, it was given to The Collector (aka “blond Benicio Del Toro”) for safekeeping — although his whole house was wrecked during Guardians of the Galaxy, so who knows if it moved at that point.
POWER STONE (ORB)
The Power Stone has to be kept in an special container because, guess what, it’s really powerful. This is the stone that actually wrecked The Collector’s home in Guardians of the Galaxy. The purple stone gives the wielder incredible power — superhuman strength shooting beams of purple destruction, and possibly wiping out all organic life from a planet just by touching the surface.
MIND STONE (LOKI’S SCEPTER / VISION)
The yellow Mind Stone has taken on a few different forms in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most notably Loki’s sceptre and as part of Vision himself in Avengers: Age of Ultron. First used as a brainwashing tool by Loki, then used it for a series of experiments to create superhumans by unlocking their minds to hidden abilities. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch gained their powers from these tests, and Vision eventually came into being as a result of the Mind Stone and Iron Man’s JARVIS operating system becoming fused into a synthetic body originally crafted for Ultron.
TIME STONE (EYE OF AGAMOTTO)
The Time Stone, held in the green-tinged necklace known as the Eye of Agamotto in Doctor Strange, can manipulate time to the user’s will. With the help of this stone, you can Visit the future! Alter the past! Speed up and slow down the passing of time! Stay young forever! Reboot the entire series and start over! (Just kidding… probably.)
We’ll have to look to the Marvel comics for help here, as the Soul Stone hasn’t been revealed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. The Soul Stone is definitely orange, as explained by the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy, confirms as much. As for its power? The Soul Gem could prove to be the most powerful Infinity Gem. According to the Marvel Comics, it could trap souls inside another world.
So, basically, if (when) Thanos gets his hands on all the Infinity Stones, the Avengers are screwed. In the first Thor movie, Odin calls them “an ancient force of infinite destruction,” so yeah… they’re not playthings.