With only two films remaining before the release of Avengers: Infinity War, one of the most popular topics of speculation amongst fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the location of the Soul Stone. And it’s perfectly understandable why – not only will the Soul Stone’s current location give us an idea on how the plot of Avengers: Infinity War will flow, it simply feels good when your guess is proven right. So people have been theorizing on where the Soul Stone actually is, including myself. Rather than talk about my own theory though, I’d like to talk about each and every Soul Stone theory that I’ve come across, assessing the plausibility of each one.
Before we get to the Soul Stone though, let’s do a quick recap of what the other five Infinity Stones are and where their last known location was:
Space (The Tesseract)
Where: Asgard (in possession of the Asgardians, The Avengers)
Reality (The Aether)
Where: Knowhere/Unknown (last seen in possession of Taneleer Tivan, Thor: The Dark World end credits)
Power (The Orb)
Where: Xandar (in possession of the Nova Corps, Guardians of the Galaxy)
Mind (Loki’s Scepter)
Where: Earth (with Vision, Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Time (The Eye of Agamotto)
Where: Earth (in the Sanctum Sanctorum, Doctor Strange)
With that established, let’s begin with the theories!
1. Thanos already has the Soul Stone
One theory that’s been going around is that Thanos is already in possession of the Soul Stone, which is how he gained control of the Chitauri (The Avengers) and why he’s got lackeys like Gamora, Nebula, Ronan, and the Black Order following him. This theory is plausible, as Thanos was already in possession of the Mind Gem at some point (he handed the Scepter over to Loki in The Avengers), but it doesn’t make sense in terms of storytelling for this to be true. First of all, each Infinity Stone has either been central to at least the plot of an entire film (Aether in Thor: The Dark World, The Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy) or was an important plot device that moved stories forward (the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, Loki’s Scepter in Age of Ultron, the Eye of Agamotto in Doctor Strange). We’ve seen how powerful these Stones can be in past films; we need to see how powerful the Soul Stone is for us to accept that it is on the same level as the five previous artifacts.
Not only that, but we’ve seen several people break free from Thanos’ influence – Gamora never seemed like a willing follower, Ronan easily went against the notorious despot, and Nebula seemed to be acting independently in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. If they were under the influence of the Soul Stone, I doubt that they would have easily broken free from Thanos’ control.
2. We’ll see the Soul Stone at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War
This theory is also being discussed by MCU fans, that the Soul Stone is the first Infinity Stone that Thanos will go after in Infinity War. This would then grant him the power needed to pursue and obtain the rest of the Stones. While also plausible, I go back to my reasoning above – it doesn’t make sense for this to happen from a storytelling perspective. Again, the Soul Stone needs to have equal amounts of screentime as the other Infinity Stones for us to be sold on the idea that it is as powerful as the others. I don’t think a film’s first act is enough to establish this.
3. The Soul Stone is in Wakanda; this is where the Black Panther draws his powers from
There are only two more films before Avengers: Infinity War – Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok. Given my point that the Soul Stone needs a similar amount of screentime for audiences to be sold on it, then it has to be at least a key plot device in either one of these films right? And this is what gives rise to the Black Panther-Soul Stone connection.
Essentially, Captain America: Civil War served as the Black Panther’s origin story in that we saw how he took on the mantle and that we got an idea on what his powers and abilities are. We know that he is clad in a vibranium-weave body suit that makes him impervious to harm to some extent, with bullets simply bouncing off of it. We know that he’s got superhuman speed and strength that’s more than a match for a Super Soldier and an assassin with a cybernetic arm, but we don’t necessarily know where this power comes from – it’s not the suit because he wasn’t wearing it when the Winter Soldier escaped captivity. Some fans think that the Black Panther gets his superhuman powers from the Soul Stone, and I’m not sure why exactly. I guess it’s because Thor has already been involved in two Infinity Stone-related events (The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World) and a third one would already be too much.
I highly doubt this is the case though. First of all, this does not match neither the Black Panther source material nor the powers that the Soul Stone is supposed to have – control over the souls of other beings. Second, this would mean that the Black Panther would be de-powered at the conclusion of Infinity War, once Thanos successfully obtains all six of the Stones. As for Thor being too involved in the Infinity Stone storyline, let’s not forget the “vision” that he had in Age of Ultron that Marvel forced Joss Whedon to include. Marvel wants Thor to be one of the characters at the center of the Infinity Stone storyline; it’s more believable to see the Soul Stone in Thor: Ragnarok than in Black Panther.
Which brings us to the next three theories but before that, let me share a concept that I came across while doing research for this topic. Some guy on the internet (not me) came up with the T.H.A.N.O.S. theory:
In case the image didn’t load, the theory is that each of the Infinity Stones were introduced as an object that starts with one of the letters of the name THANOS:
T = Tesseract (Space)
H = To Be Revealed (Soul)
A = Aether (Reality)
N = Necklace (Time)
O = Orb (Power)
S = Scepter (Mind)
Personally, forcing the Eye of Agamotto into this theory as simply “Necklace” feels like a reach but the other four Infinity Stones fit the theory really well, so I’ll let it pass. I definitely can’t think of a word that starts with an H that fits the Eye of Agamotto, so it’s probably the “Necklace” – which leaves us with “H” for the Soul Stone, leading me to the next three theories:
4. The Soul Stone is Thor’s Hammer
The Soul Stone being Thor’s hammer Mjolnir meets a couple of requirements – it is represented as an object whose name starts with an H (hammer) and we’ll see it in Thor: Ragnarok (and not Black Panther). But that’s the only thing that this theory has going for it, in my eyes. Each of the other Infinity Stones were shown to have powers that line up to their names – Space (the Tesseract opened up interdimensional portals), Reality (the Aether reshaped reality), Power (the Orb displayed immense destructive power), Mind (the Scepter allowed low level mind control, made the Ultron A.I. sentient, gave the Vision sentient thought) and Time (Doctor Strange’s time manipulation spell).
The Soul Stone is supposed to have powers that are related to souls, which is not what Mjolnir does. So far, Mjolnir has done the following onscreen: allow Thor to fly, grant him control over lightning, and is a melee weapon that can only be wielded by someone who is worthy. The powers of Mjolnir don’t line up with anything related to souls. So no, I don’t think the Soul Stone is Thor’s hammer.
5. The Soul Stone is in Heimdall’s possession
The Asgardians have been presented in the MCU as beings that are quite similar to humans, only stronger, tougher and with a longer lifespan. Of all the Asgardians that we’ve seen, only four have shown special powers: Thor (wielder of Mjolnir), Odin, Loki and Heimdall. Both Odin’s and Loki’s have been explained as due to knowledge of mystic arts or sorcery, while Thor’s control over lightning and thunder come from his magical hammer. But Heimdall’s ability to see all and hear all has never been explained.
I don’t think it’s far-fetched for Marvel to tie the Soul Stone to Heimdall’s powers. Part of the Soul Stone’s powers, according to the source material, revolves around controlling souls. It looks like this ability was switched with the Mind Stone which was shown to grant it’s user mind control powers in the MCU – in comic books, the Mind Stone granted the ability to read and access minds from all across existence.
Compare these two powers: (1) to read
minds souls from all across existence and (2) to see all and hear all in the Nine Realms; aren’t these two abilities similar? One point of contention is that Heimdall’s power seems to be low key for something that’s fueled by an Infinity Stone, but note that the other Stones all had seemingly low level powers when housed by “containers” (Tesseract, Loki’s Scepter, Eye of Agamotto). Both the Aether and the Power Stone were presented as capable of destroying entire planets.
All these, plus the fact that Heimdall starts with an H and is a great fit when it comes to the T.H.A.N.O.S. theory, makes me feel really strongly about this.
6. The Soul Stone is in Hela’s possession
Last but not least, another H that we’ll see in Thor: Ragnarok is Hela, the “goddess of Death”. Some have said that Hela is able to destroy Thor’s hammer Mjolnir easily due to the Soul Stone’s powers (I don’t see the connection), or that she easily invaded Asgard because she is in possession of the Soul Stone. I’ve reviewed both the teaser and the full trailer for Thor: Ragnarok several times but can’t really see any clues that would support this. Maybe the Soul Stone allowed Hela to take control of Surtur (the big fire demon)?
Or maybe it’s this – Heimdall has the Soul Stone and Hela is pursuing him in order to get the powerful artifact? Based on what we’ve seen, there’s very little connection between this new supervillain and the last remaining Infinity Stone that’s out in the wild, save for her name starting with an H. Still, this is more plausible than the other theories on this list.
And there you have it – the most commonly repeated Soul Stone theories that I’ve come across. If you ask me, I’m betting that the Heimdall theory will turn out to be the correct one as all the clues we’ve seen fit together like a glove to a hand – or should I say Gauntlet?
What do you think about the list of theories on where the Soul Stone is? Do you have your own theories or ideas? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment or two below!