The biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date is about to be released; Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of ten years worth of stories, involving a continuity that’s based from eighteen different full length feature films and dozens of characters. Fully enjoying Infinity War will rely on one’s knowledge of the MCU, especially about the Infinity Stones – the MacGuffins that the film will revolve around.
If you’re not a Marvel Studios fan and you didn’t really keep track of what happened when and which is which, let me help you out by revisiting where each of the Infinity Stones are. Infinity War will be following Thanos on his quest to obtain each of the Stones, so you’ll want to be at least familiar with the settings and locations that will probably be featured in the film.
Infinity Stone #1: Power
First Seen As: The Orb
First/Last Seen In: Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy started off with Star-Lord on a contract to find and return an artifact known as the Orb, which put him in the crosshairs of Ronan the Accuser and the Kree, who were being employed by Thanos. Ronan eventually gains possession of the Power Stone housed inside the Orb and attempts to use it to destroy the planet Xandar. At the film’s climax, Star-Lord and the rest of the newly-formed Guardians of the Galaxy manages to defeat Ronan and surrenders the Power Stone to Xandar’s Nova Corps.
We don’t see the Power Stone again in succeeding films, so we can assume that the Nova Corps would still have it. If the Avengers: Infinty War trailers are to be believed (that Marvel Studios didn’t do any color alterations), then the Power Stone is going to be the first stone that Thanos will get his hands on.
Does this mean that Thanos is going to leave Xandar in ruins? Or maybe just half of it? Will Glenn Close and/or John C. Reilly make a cameo appearance? Will Marvel Studios use this as an opportunity to bring the Nova character to the big screen (like I talked about here)?
Infinity Stone #2: Space
First Seen As: The Tesseract
First Seen In: Captain America: The First Avenger
Last Seen In: Thor: Ragnarok
The Space Stone has the distinction of appearing in the most MCU films to date, first as a mysterious artifact of power known as the Tesseract that the Red Skull found back in the first Captain America film. Originally thought to be lost in the ocean, the Tesseract resurfaced in The Avengers which transported Loki to Earth and allowed him to open a portal for Thanos’ invading Chitauri forces.
After the Battle of New York, Thor brought back the Tesseract to Asgard where it remained up until Thor: Ragnarok. In the Avengers: Infinity War trailers, Loki handing the Tesseract over to Thanos is featured prominently, as well as Thanos’ act of placing the Space Stone into his gauntlet.
Anyone who has seen the different trailers should be able to guess that Thanos will attack the ship that the Asgardians used to evacuate their planet in Thor: Ragnarok (supported by that film’s end credits scene) so I guess the only question here is: how many of the Asgardians are going to survive?
Infinity Stone #3: Reality
First Seen As: The Aether
First/Last Seen In: Thor: The Dark World
The only other Infinity Stone that’s not on Earth (that is, if we believe all the cues in Black Panther regarding the Soul Stone’s location – more on this next week), the Aether first appeared in Thor: The Dark World after it sought Jane Foster as a host/bearer. It then transferred over to Malekith the Dark Elf, who planned to use it during the Convergence to bring the Nine Realms to “darkness”.
After Malekith’s defeat, the Aether came into the possession of the Asgardians who in turn gave it to Taneleer Tivan (the Collector) during the post credits scene of the same film. We don’t see the Aether onscreen again (not counting Tivan’s “presentation” in Guardians of the Galaxy) so the current assumption is it is still in his hands.
Just judging from the Infinity War trailers, we know that Thanos gets a hold of the Power and Space Stones before making his visit to Earth, so the biggest question for me is if Thanos is going to get the Reality Stone first or if he’s going to save it for last. Is the Reality Stone the reason why the Infinity War Trailers are implying that Thor is off on a separate quest instead of joining the Avengers on Earth?
Infinity Stone #4: Mind
First Seen As: Loki’s Scepter
First Seen In: The Avengers
Last Seen In: Captain America: Civil War
When Loki was employed by Thanos to retrieve the Tesseract, he was given a scepter which he used to bend humans to his will, such as Dr. Selvig whom he had tasked to build the portal-making device and Hawkeye whom he turned into his lackey.
Somehow, the Scepter made its way into the hands of Hydra, which was then used by Baron Strucker to perform experiments on different subjects – the only survivors of which are the Maximoff twins who gained superhuman powers. Tony Stark used the scepter to complete his “Ultron” A.I., which turned it completely sentient. Ultron finally cracked the scepter’s “gem”, revealing the much smaller Mind Stone inside. Ultron placed the Mind Stone into a synthetic humanoid body that became known as the Vision.
Some of the Infinity War trailers explicitly shows one of Thanos’ minions attempting to remove the Mind Stone from the Vision’s forehead. Does he succeed? Will removing the Mind Stone result in the Vision’s “death”?
Infinity Stone #5: Time
First Seen As: Eye of Agamotto
First/Last Seen In: Doctor Strange
The final Infinity Stone to be explicitly shown on screen, the Time Stone is a gem that is housed in a necklace and is referred to as the Eye of Agamotto by the sorcerers under the supervision of the Ancient One. The film’s primary antagonist, Kaecilius, succeeds in his mission to break the boundaries that separate Earth from the Dark Dimension. In order to prevent the Dark Dimension from completely engulfing the Earth, Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to trap Dormammu (a dark and powerful entity that rules over the Dark Dimension) in a time loop and force him/it to leave Earth.
The Infinity War trailers do show scenes and battle sequences set in New York with Doctor Strange prominently featured, so Thanos may be splitting up his forces and having them go after the earthbound Infinity Stones at the same time. There is at least one version of the Infinity War trailers that shows Doctor Strange in captivity – is Thanos going to succeed in getting both the Mind and Time Stones before Infinity War ends?
Infinity Stone #6: Soul
First Seen As: ???
First/Last Seen In: ???
The last Infinity Stone, we have yet to really see it shown explicitly. So we have no idea where it is, or who’s holding it.
Or do we? Have we been given clues already as to where the Soul Stone is located? That’s an interesting question… A question best answered in a full write up! Come back next week to catch my article about where the last Infinity Stone can likely be found and all the clues that hint towards that conclusion!
There you have it, a recap of the films where each of the known Infinity Stones were seen, along with their last known locations. You can actually use this as a guide on what MCU films to rewatch as well, if you’re planning on doing an MCU marathon viewing prior to Infinity War but don’t want to watch all eighteen MCU films. Are you as excited as me about Marvel Studios’ biggest film since the first Avengers movie? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment or two below!