There is no doubt that in Avengers: Endgame, the Infinity Stones will play a massive role. Heck, the film was first supposed to be titled Infinity War Part II, which kind of gives it all away. After Thanos gathered all the Infinity Stones in Infinity War and decimated half the life in the universe, everyone and their Flerken know just how powerful these stones are combined. Even alone, the Infinity Stones have extreme power – combined, they make their user a god.
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As the Collector (Taneleer Tivan) explained in Guardians of the Galaxy:
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.
For those who haven’t watched all the MCU films or just want to refresh your memory – here’s everything you need to know about the Infinity Stones before watching Avengers: Endgame. Since time-travel will very likely be involved in some way, we might even revisit some of the past MCU events featuring the Infinity Stones.
Keep in mind that this article is all about the Infinity Stones as depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not the comic book source material as a whole. For avid fans out there like myself, I’ve also included the original gem colours, which were first named Soul Gems when one appeared in 1972 in Marvel Premiere #1.
Original Colour: Purple
- Defy physics
- Travel anywhere
- Rearrange space
- Increase user’s speed
- Grants user Omnipresence at full power
Let’s kick things off with the Space Stone, housed in the Tesseract for most of its time in the MCU. This stone has been the most prominent throughout the MCU, featuring in several films throughout the years. First appearing in Captain America: The First Avengers, the organization called Hydra used the stone to power their weapons for the Nazis, but some had greater aspirations. Red Skull, when touching the Tesseract, was sent through space to Vormir (more on that later) and at the end of the film, S.H.I.E.L.D. recovers the stone.
In the latest MCU film, Captain Marvel, the Tesseract was used by Mar-Vell to build an engine that can travel at the speed of light. This engine blew up and gave Carol Danvers her powers. Later in the film, we see Goose, Carol’s Flerken friend, swallow the Tesseract for safe keeping and later drops it on Nick Fury’s desk as if Goose was coughing up a hairball.
Fast forward to the first Avengers film, where Loki steals the Tesseract from S.H.I.E.L.D. to open a port for a massive army to invade Earth. At the end of the first Avengers film, Thor takes the Tesseract to Asgard to keep it safe. The next time we see the Tesseract appear is in Thor: Ragnarok, when just before Asgard is destroyed, Loki sneaks in to take it, which brings us to Infinity War.
In the opening scene of Infinity War, the god of mischief meets his end (maybe for real this time) as he reluctantly hands over the Tesseract to Thanos to save Thor’s life. It is at this point that we see the Space Stone for the first time, as Thanos breaks the Tesseract and adds the Space Stone to his Infinity Gauntlet. Throughout the film, Thanos uses the Space Stone to get around and at one point, he even uses it in combination with the power stone to pull chunks of a planet onto Star-Lord, Iron Man, Dr Strange all others who went to Titan. If anyone, controlling the Space Stone is much like fast-travelling in games, but at full power, the user can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time.
Original Colour: Yellow
- Create an alternate reality
- Change reality
- Defy the laws of the universe
- Alter universal reality at full power
The Reality Stone is a bit of a weird one and in its first MCU appearance, it wasn’t even technically a stone, but instead, a strange liquid called Aether. The villain in Thor: The Dark World, Malekith, wanted to use this Aether to turn matter into dark matter. The Reality Stone can manipulate matter and at full power, can alter the reality of the entire universe.
Malekith was obviously defeated and afterwards, the Reality Stone was given to the Collector which you read a quote from at the start of this article. This was because the Asgardians didn’t want to keep both the Space Stone and the Reality Stone in one place, as that would be too dangerous. However, that might have been a mistake as at the end of the film, the Collector said “one down, five to go” as if he planned to collect all the Infinity Stones himself.
The next time we see the Reality Stone, Thanos already has it in his possession in Infinity War, when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive too late to stop Thanos from claiming the stone. This is where we see Thanos use the stone to trick the Guardians and stop them in their tracks as well. Oddly enough, the Collector’s body was never found, so we might see him reappear in Endgame. Thanos used the Reality Stone to show Dr Strange what his homeworld (Titan) used to look like before it collapsed as well, but the full power of the Reality Stone hasn’t been shown in the MCU so far.
Original Colour: Green
- Steal, manipulate and alter souls
- Pocket dimension
- Control over all life at full power
The Soul Stone was the last of the Infinity Stones to get revealed in the MCU during Avengers: Infinity War. After Thanos captured Gamora and tortured Nebula so he could get the location of the Soul Stone from Gamora, they travelled to a planet called Vormir where possibly one of the biggest shockers of the film was revealed.
Red Skull, who tried to handle the Space Stone in the first Captain America film, was transported to Vormir and acted as the Soul Stone’s guardian. It was also revealed that to control the Soul Stone, one has to sacrifice something you love. Thanos sacrificed Gamora to take control of the Soul Stone. There are theories that those dusted by the snap at the end of Infinity War aren’t dead, but trapped in the pocket dimension of the Soul Stone, called the Soul World. In the comics, this world is controlled by an entity called Devondra, a type of cosmic parasite. In Avengers: Infinity War, we VERY likely already got a glimpse of the Soul World when Thanos spoke to a young Gamora after his snap.
Original Colour: Orange
- Stop or slow down time
- See the past and future
- Create a time loop
- Time travel
- Change events in the past and future
- Grants user Omniscience at full power
The Time Stone was first revealed during the 2016 Dr Strange film and it could be the key to defeating Thanos. Stephen Strange discovered the Eye of Agomoto artefact in the library of Kamar-Taj during the film. This is the same place where Hulk just happens to land in the opening minutes of Infinity War and a place that Dr Strange now calls his home, protecting our reality as the Sorcerer Supreme.
The Time Stone’s immense power was shown off during the Dr Strange film, when Dr Strange used the stone to trap Dormammu in a time loop, forcing the immensely powerful ruler of the Dark Dimension to leave Earth and our dimension alone. Dormammu is also one of my top picks for Marvel Villains the Avengers could face after Thanos, in case you were wondering.
The Time Stone arguably also played the most important role of them all in Avengers: Infinity War, as Dr Strange used it to look at the future and all possible outcomes, only finding one where the heroes come out on top. Handing over the Time Stone to Thanos in a timely manner (sorry) also saved the life of Iron Man, who could have a major role to play in Avengers: Endgame if my top theory about how to defeat Thanos turns out to be correct. Finally, the Time Stone was used during a heartbreaking moment close to the end of Infinity War. Scarlet Witch destroyed the Mind Stone and basically killed Vision to stop Thanos from gathering all the Infinity Stones. Unfortunately, Thanos just used the Time Stone to reverse time and Scarlet Witch’s actions, killing Vision and taking the Time Stone, subsequently snapping half of all life out of existence.
Original Colour: Blue
- Enhanced intelligence
- Psionic abilities
- Access to dreams of others
- Access to all minds in the universe at full power
The Mind Stone first appeared in the MCU during the first Avengers film, as Loki received the stone from Thanos in order to invade Earth. At the time, the stone seems blue (just like its original colour in the comics) in Loki’s sceptre, but that was just the housing for the stone. We see Loki using the Mind Stone to control people’s minds but he fails to invade Earth even after opening up a portal for his army using the Space Stone, stolen from S.H.I.E.L.D. as mentioned in the Space Stone section.
The Mind Stone also sets up the plot of the second Avengers film, Age of Ultron. Bruce Banner and Tony Stark use the Mind Stone to create Ultron and chaos ensues. However, that doesn’t stop them from using it again to create Vision after Ultron was defeated. Fast forward to Infinity War, where the heroes try to protect Vision from Thanos’ Dark Order. Suri tries to remove the Mind Stone from Vision without killing him, but there simply wasn’t enough time, which leads to one of the most heartbreaking moments in Avengers: Infinity War.
Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were also got their powers thanks to experimentations of Baron von Strucker’s with the Mind Stone when it was still in Hydra control.
With no other options left to keep the Mind Stone from Thanos (the last stone he needed at this point), Scarlet Witch destroys it after Vision begs her to. However, Thanos simply uses the Time Stone to reverse the effects, rips it from Vision’s forehead, puts it in his Infinity Gauntlet and shows “Mercy” to the universe, despite the best efforts of Thor.
Original Colour: Red
- Immense physical strength
- Manipulate all forms of energy
- Increases the power of all other Infinity Gems
- Grants the user Omnipotence at full power
The Power Stone is a bit more special than the rest in my opinion. Not only did it feature in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film where we saw Star-Lord portrayed by Chris Pratt discovers it, then loses it, then hunts it down with his crew of misfits all while it was housed in “the Orb” as shown in the image below. Ronan the Accuser threatens to wipe out planets with it and we get our first MCU appearance of Thanos (not in a post-credit scene). We also learn that an Infinity Stone cannot be held by for long before someone who doesn’t have immense power already. Further, we even get a glimpse of a Celestial.
In Avengers: Infinity War’s opening scene, we learn that Thanos has acquired the Power Stone off-screen, probably because the Nova Corps to whom it was handed over at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy stood no chance against the Mad Titan. Thanos uses the stone to smash poor old Hulk like he was a featherweight, showcasing the Power Stone’s, well, power. However, the reason the Power Stone is special compared to other Infinity Stones is that the stone enhances the power of the other stones when used together. Basically, it is one of the main reasons Thanos could snap half of life in the universe out of existence.
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How do you think the Avengers will get their hands on one or more of the Infinity Stones and defeat Thanos in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comment section below.