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The Hunt for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Infinity Stones


For every hardcore Marvel fan disappointed by Iron Man 3‘s complete refusal to look to the stars – especially following Marvel’s the Avengers‘ mid-credits Thanos reveal – Thor: The Dark World‘s mid-credits scene seems designed to give the more cosmically-inclined crowd what they want.

Spoiler alert, but The Dark World‘s mid-credits scene places Sif and Volstagg in a setting we’ve never seen before: a corner of the Collector’s tricked-out showroom. There, Benicio Del Toro – disguised completely in the Collector’s Space Liberace persona – takes the ancient Aether out of the Asgardians’ hands, thus keeping this Infinity Stone separate from the one already under Norse protection. This confirmed that the Tesseract is indeed an Infinity Stone, something previously revealed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige who previously outted the weapon as the space stone, and also confirmed that the phrase “Infinity Gem” has been left on the printed page. Now, they’re “stones.”

So with the Space Stone and the Aether, which we’ll assume is the Power Stone due to its havoc-wreaking capabilities and color, accounted for, where could the other four Infinity Stones pop up as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues its slow march towards the showdown with Thanos?


Soul – The most mystical stone of the bunch, the green Soul Stone can affect the souls of the living and the dead. The MCU has yet to venture into mystical territory, with the magic found in the Thor films explained away as an advanced form of science. But with a Doctor Strange film possibly on the horizon, it seems like the MCU is ready to take the plunge into the astral plane. If so, it makes perfect sense that Doctor Strange would come up against the Soul Stone.


Time – There’s one franchise that manipulates time in a manner similar to the Time Stone, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that the orange gem could use next spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier as an entryway into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we’ve already seen how Steve Rogers survived to the present day, how the film version of Bucky made it seventy years into the future mostly intact remains a mystery. It’s possible that his nefarious employers could be using age-defying technology powered by the Time Stone, much in the same way the Red Skull used the Space Stone to power his weapons in Captain America: The First Avenger.


Mind – Because the two known stones in the MCU have both been used by villains, it would make sense to tie the blue Mind Stone to a villain known for mind control. It just so happens that Jessica Jones’ arch-nemesis, the Purple Man, has that exact power. While Zebediah Killgrave gained his manipulation abilities via a standard chemical accident so often seen in comics, his power could easily be explained in Jessica Jones’ upcoming Netflix series as a side effect of exposure to or possession of the Mind Stone. Nestling an all-powerful Infinity Stone into the main plot of Jessica Jones might also be a great way to get viewers to pay attention to a show starring one of the lesser-known Marvel heroes.


Reality – Next to the Power Stone, the yellow Reality Stone – which has the power to grant the user any imagined wish – has to be the most desired gem. The logline for 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy mentions that the titular ragtag gang of fugitives has in their possession “something everyone wants.” Odds are that something is an Infinity Stone, and odds are it’s the most powerful Infinity Stone. Considering how powerful this stone is, it would make sense for it to be one of the few – if not the only – stone to start out in the hands of hero rather than a villain. After all, if a villain has the Reality Stone, they’re one wish away from dominating the universe.


  • Richard Casey

    I kinda assumed Loki was using the mind gem in Avengers, that’s what his pokey stick was using.

  • alientraveller

    Wouldn’t the Soul Gem be with Adam Warlock (Thanos’s nemesis), a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy? I know he’s not been cast for the film but given Adam is prone to go into hibernation he could still play a role in the film.

  • Steven Simmons

    The scepter was powered by the Tesseract which in the Cinematic Universe is the Space Gem.

  • Steven Simmons

    Could be a big stretch. I don’t know if we are going to see AW in the Guardians film, or any other film before Avengers 3.

  • Roados Dragun

    I so want Adam Warlock to make a film appearance!

  • Jon Carroll

    I was just watching Captain America last night and I think I figured out how Bucky survives without the Infinity Stones. When Steve rescues him from Hydra he’s strapped to a gurney instead of in a pen with the rest of the Howling Commandos. My theory is that the Skull was experimenting with a version of the super soldier serum derived from the unfinished version in his own blood and using Bucky to test it. Later Bucky falls off the train with a river below it. It’s not a stretch for me to imagine that he entered suspended animation same as Cap.

  • beane2099

    In the Winter soldier story it was revealed that Bucky was kept in cryogenic storage in between missions so they could use him indefinitely. I doubt the time gem would come into play here. I’m still willing to entertain the notion that Loki’s scepter might indeed have been the mind stone (despite the whole “it’s powered by the cube” business) but it also might not have been. I think we’ll get one more stone in Guardians (time or reality). We might see something in Avengers 2, but I don’t think so. I think we’ll see two more in Phase 3 leading up to the Infinity Gauntlet and the last one in the movie that deals with the Infinity Gauntlet specifically. This assumes there’s going to be an actual Infinity Gauntlet and not something else.


    Says who? Everyone I’ve talked to has referred to it as the mind gem. It’s the same color as the gem that Loki used, and what Loki was doing makes FAR more sense that he was controlling their mind then somehow the space gem doing that.

  • Darthballs Prostate Exam

    Where are you getting that the Tesseract is the space stone in the MCU? You say it so matter of factly, but that’s never been established. I’d say most likely it’s the mind stone given it’s ability to manipulate minds. If they’re even assigning them the comic designations which they’re most likely not. It doesn’t even make sense that they’re calling the Tesseract an Infinity stone, the cosmic cube had nothing to do with the infinity gems. Also they made a point in Thor 2 saying the Aether is not a stone, it’s liquid, so I don’t get how they’re calling that and the cube stones. Also, I think we’ve already seen another stone on Agents of Shield, whatever’s inside the German “084” device, they said its “Tesseract technology”. And regarding Adam Warlock (who was actually Thanos’ only real friend, not his nemesis), it’s been spoiled that he’ll have a cameo in suspended animation as part of a The Collectors collection, which means he’ll probably be reanimated in Guardians 2. And since the Soul Gem belonged to Warlock, it’s most likely already unknowingly part of the collection.

  • ak2k

    The Infinity Gauntlet was seen briefly in Thor. Inside the Asgardian vault. The prop was also shown at a Comic Con in 2010. So I don’t think we have to worry about Infinity Utility Belts.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Have you even read this article because it clearly says that Kevin Fiege himself confirmed that the Tesseract is the space stone.

  • Z-Ram

    How cool would Adam Warlock emerging from a cocoon be as an ending credit scene???

  • Z-Ram

    …with the soul gem on his forehead!

  • beane2099

    Yeah but I didn’t put much stock in that. Blink and you missed the Gauntlet in Thor. And as far them calling it the Infinity Gauntlet in production stills, Bryan Singer told us we saw “Nightcrawler” and “Quicksilver” in X Men I only to reveal wholly different characters in X2 and the upcoming Days of Future Past. So I ain’t too trusting on that.

  • Ceirwyn

    1. Okay, first the colors you have as gems are not the traditional colors associated with the gems. The panel with the gems at the top is part of Infinity where something really funky is going on with the gems, I believe. Given that the blue gem in Loki’s staff in Avengers functioned as the mind gem, I think we can say they’re sticking with the traditional colors for the film.

    2. In the original plot line, Loki did start out with the mind gem. The soul gem (which was green) started out with Adam Warlock. Guess whose cocoon we saw in the Thor 2, GoG clip? Yep, Warlock. It sounds like Space is the Tesseract and Aether is Power. That leaves Time and Reality as the two we’re missing.

  • Ceirwyn

    You are correct. The stone in Loki’s staff was the mind gem and not related to the Tesseract at all. Don’t know who started that BS.

  • Ceirwyn

    Yep. See that cocoon in the GoG clip. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Can’t have Thanos without Warlock/Magus/Goddess.

  • Ceirwyn

    The Mind gem and the Space gem are two independent items that do not need each other to function, but all the gems can buff and tweak each other.

  • Adam Warlock

    There is no infinity gem/stone in the staff. It states clearly in the movie that it is POWERED by the Tesseract, which Feige does confirm is the Space Stone.

    As of yet, there has NEVER been a Mind Stone in the MCU.

  • GuardiansFan

    TIME could also go with the guardians of the galaxy…perhaps a sequel that includes the original guardians…

  • disqus_4f0x2ILDgI

    The Guardians could have the Time OR Mind Gem. I have a sneaking feeling the Reality Gem will be in the possession of the Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron, explaining her reality-warping powers in the cinematic universe.

  • demoncat_4

    kind of thought the gem loki was messing with was the power gem since Lokie craves nothing but power. and guardians of the galaxy the space gem fits them better since both are cosmic. doctor strange when he ever arrives think would be more the lines of either the reality or soul gem. marvel fans will just have to keep watching for what gem pops up leading to thanos and no doubt now the gauntlet

  • lewis4510

    I remember seeing a photo of a Spanish movie poster for GOTG. In it Peter Quill is holding a large oval stone. It’s hard to tell what color it is.

  • demoncat_4

    that may be one of gems after all. we will have to wait for the film to find out

  • Yio

    Actually the Aether is the reality gem hence Malekith changing the worlds into his own reality of darkness. The power has been nerfed a bit so that why he needed the portals aligned so he could get them all at once

  • mastadge

    I don’t think they’ll be spreading the stones over a whole bunch of movies and shows. They probably just introduced the concept in the teaser and will have most or all of the rest of them show up in Guardians.

  • Ceirwyn

    I wondered about that, but I don’t think it was the reality gem. After all, reality way back when the dark elves were happy was darkness, and Malekith just wanted it to revert back to that state. In that way, it could have been the time gem or the power gem.

    From the wiki, The power gem “Accesses all power and energy that ever has or will exist, and can boost the other gems’ effects. Allows the user to duplicate almost any physical superhuman ability and grants Omnipotence.”

    while the reality gem “Allows the user to fulfill wishes, even if the wish is in direct contradiction with scientific laws.”

    And the time gem “Allows the user total control over the past, present and future. Allows time travel, can age and de-age beings and also be used as a weapon by trapping enemies or entire universes in unending loops of time. Also at full potential (with all the stone together) grants Omniscience.”

  • B. Pratt

    Those weren’t Marvel Studios movies though. They seem to take continuity pretty seriously. Replacing Terance Howard with Hotel Rawanda was the worst thing they’ve done so far.

  • B. Pratt

    Quicksilver could have the Power gem.

  • mobbdeep

    I can see a few more Infinity stones being featured in either Guardians, Avengers 2, or Dr. Strange but I imagine that Avengers 3 will have them looking for the remaining stones before Thanos gets ahold of them.

    I can’t see Avengers 3 starting with Thanos already having them via mid-credit scenes spaced out over several years and movies.

    A more interesting plot would have the stones be a MacGuffin that Thanos and his henchmen race against the Avengers to find with the big climax being the havoc wrecked when they are all finally gathered.

  • Ian ‘link’ Fletcher

    He’s called Andy Dwyer.

  • anj2099

    The soul gem Should be green originally worn by the legendary Adam Warlock check out the Jim Starlin stories second to none lo many years ago. Pure Quality!

  • Zarathos No Daimaōh

    You are assuming it’s the mind gem because Loki could control people . Doesnt explain how he used it to power a stargate for chitauri forces and teleported himself at some point .The Tesseract can open rifts through space and time. Incidentally it can power stuff and weapons with it’s energy as seen with the Hydra weapons in Captain America , and most likely the staff and tech Loki used to mind control people


    I think we have to look at what has happen on screen right before us to understand where marvel is going.

  • JusticeBringer

    In the mid-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World, it’s stated that both are Infinity Stones. Kevin Feige revealed that the Tesseract was Space, something that was indicated in The Avengers when they kept calling it a portal and gateway.

  • Observer

    That could simply be the depowered harness. You need quite a stout glove to contain the power of 6 MacGuffins.

    Rather disappointed they’re going that route (making the Cube etc Infinity Stones) but I guess it makes a twisted sense and minimizes the need for further backstories.

  • Observer

    That could be interesting, perhaps she accidentally gives Jarvis free will and makes him go Ultron.

  • Observer

    Seeing where they’re going with this, collecting artifacts of power as infinity stones puts me in mind of 2003’s JLA vs Avengers storyline. In it there were six DC and six Marvel artifacts that all those heroes were put in conflict over by the villains Collector and Krona (who was standing in, really, as a version of the Anti-Monitor).

    The Marvel artifacts in that story were the Ultimate Nullifier; the Evil Eye of Avalon; the Wand of Watoomb; the Casket of Ancient Winters; the Cosmic Cube; and the Infinity Gauntlet. If you substitute the Aether for the Gauntlet, which obviously can’t be it’s own infinity stone, you can see could already be halfway home on defining the gems in the MCU. (The Cube/Tesseract already well-documented, and the Winters in Thor 1)

    This leaves us with the Wand, the Evil Eye, and the Nullifier. The Nullifier is almost exclusively an FF/Galactus device, so it’s not clear how they would handle that. The Eye of Avalon has time and dimensional travel listed among its powerset, so it might make a good Time Stone. The Wand of Watoomb is originally from Conan but in possession of a Dr Strange nemesis in modern times, and could possibly make a good Soul Stone, perhaps tying it back to Adam Warlock somehow.

    If any of these were to be substituted, I have a couple of candidates. The M’Kraan Crystal “the nexus of realities’ might become the strongest candidate for the Reality Stone. It is supposed to be more than the Phoenix’s birdcage, as I understand it. And the Serpent Crown, having powers of mind control and illusion could become a prime choice for the Mind Stone. Additionally, recasting it as an artifact of Odin’s brother “The Serpent” (instead of Set) it could give them an opportunity to give a nod to Fear Itself in Thor 3 – and might help explain the end of Thor 2 if it were in Loki’s possession. Having 3 Infinity Stones in 3 Thor films might be viewed as *too* Thor-centric by Marvel, however, regardless of Odin’s power and the function of his vault – and they may wish to save some artifacts for likely Phase 3 starters such as Black Panther (mystical connection to Bast/Panther God after all) and Dr Strange. So we’ll have to wait and see… But feel free to call me, Kev, I can keep a secret! lol

    I think reality would shatter if DC and Marvel cut a backroom deal for JLA vs Avengers – then we’d have to be hoping (really hard) DC could make a worthy series of films revealing the backstory of their six items: the Spear of Destiny; the Book of Eternity; the Orb of Ra; Psycho Pirate’s Medusa Mask; the Bell, Jar and Wheel of the Demons Three; and the Green Lantern Power Battery. (let’s substitute the OA battery for Rayner’s, K?) And that we could keep all the prinicipal actors together for the most epic film ever.

    Whew! Maybe I should have submitted this as an article?

  • Jmacq1

    I suspect the Time Gem is the MacGuffin in Guardians of the Galaxy, actually. And the scenes with Yondu will take place in the 30th century after the team is transported there (Just a hunch), then they have to go back to “set things right.”

    The Chitauri scepter holding the mind gem has never been confirmed by anyone at Marvel. It’s been rampantly speculated by fandom, but at this point it’s nothing but a rumor…and a rather weak one at that, given that the scepter would then seem very weak compared to the other MacGuffins so far. For instance…all you need to stop it is to have an arc reactor in your chest, apparently.

    The Soul Gem in Dr. Strange makes perfect sense. I wouldn’t be sure on Marvel introducing a gem/stone outside of the movies, though….

    I’m not sure there will be an all-powerful MacGuffin in Captain America 2. Though I suppose that will remain to be seen when the next preview comes out. So far it would seem kind of out-of-place.

  • braunrodman

    It seems like they may be taking a lot from Thanos Quest so we may see a bunch of immortals and a bunch of Gems in GotG

  • axehorn99

    They might go Magnus first, then turns into warlock due to exposure to soul gem/stone? Or post credits scene of Soul stone plus hibernation equals Adam Warlock

  • Observer

    Just noticed that Joshua Oppenheimer is one of the writers developing a Dr Strange script. This is of note, as he worked on 2011’s Conan the Barbarian. And that is of note because the Wand of Watoomb originated in the Conan mythos before being a part of the modern Dr Strange mythos. Hmm…

  • Observer

    I rather agree about the mind gem rumor, I think people are just underestimating Loki’s magic. The time gem will be a fun one however they decide to do it. If I had the Reality Gem I’d see if they could work it into the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

    As for the contrivance of everything revolving around Earth, that’s one they’ve been dealing with for years in the comics. Actually, though, up to half of them (or more?) were in Asgard’s keeping as we started. Two of the possible 3 so far are recovered and back in the vault and the other is in the hands of the Collector. There’s no guarantee that all of them will ever make it to Earth at one time really, as half aren’t there now and our heroes may wind up making the trip to space if Thanos gets them first.

    Oh dear, I just realized Loki now has the Tesseract again, and the keys to whatever else he wants from the vault. I just wonder – why he would have had the Aether sent to the Collector?

  • Sylar Wesker

    aaaaannnnnnnd dont forget the 7th ULTRAVERSE GEM !

  • artooanalog

    I was kind of thinking the kid in Iron Man 3 was a kid Nova, which is why they didn’t have a teaser in that one, to me it makes sense, the kid brings up how his dad left, maybe Peter Quill is his father? I dunno…

  • darktick

    The gems above of not named for the right colors they are suppose to be. Plus remember loki had the gem in the staff while the cube is on earth. That meaning they are 2 different gems completely. Loki is the God of mischief which would only make sense for him to have the blue mind gem. The space gem is purple there is no reason that once the cube is broken down it can’t become a more dense color of purple. For the whole gauntlet in Odin’s Chamber I’m confused with it. Unless Odin had it made as a mock version of the gaunlet which Thanos could go and steal so the power of the cubes could go inside each gem.

  • Kieran McMullen

    I’m throwing a theory out here: The Reality Gem either IS or is INSIDE scarlet witch.

  • scythewing

    The most powerful of the gems is the soul gen not reality. Plus those stones are going to look a little goofy on the gauntlet.

  • yeahigotone

    Everyone know the new X-Men movie is going to bring out the time stone. I mean its in the title. Come on guys.

  • Hamm3rtym3

    That bs was stated explicitly in a movie called the avengers. Numerous references in the movie link the spear as being powered by the cube, not to mention nick fury says it outright

  • Just Some Random Guy

    You realize they have confirmed that the Aether and the Cube are infinity stones, right? Considering they have several stones to go, it’s not far fetched that the stone Loki had was the mind gem.

  • Just Some Random Guy

    The space gem (ie the cube) was responsible for opening the rift, which is why it was plugged into the machine. But the staff could *stop* it, and it wasn’t necessary to keep the staff in the machine open/run the portal, unlike the cube. So saying it’s the same as the cube isn’t right. The stones are linked, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the same.

    Guys, there’s no reason that the big blue stone in the staff *couldn’t* be the mind gem. They didn’t tell us because Loki wasn’t the focus of the movie, but it makes a lot more sense to get as many gems in as quickly as possible. After all, we have to figure out Loki is actually an anti-hero/anti-villain at some point.

  • Luke

    Okay, so I was on screen rant, and a few other websites and the theory is that there was actually two gems in Avengers, Tesseract (space) and Loki’s scepter (mind). While in the Avengers people said that the scepter was powered by the Tesseract, it can easily be a mistake, even Thor said that we were dealing with a power beyond (earth) that it was a higher form of war. Since he also stated that our “magic” is science to him, and we don’t fully understand his science, we easily could mistake one gem for another. To add to the fact that the scepter could be a different gem, the last three movies with actual end credit teasers (Ironman 3 just had stark and banner) the Avengers had the tesseract, thor 2 had the Ether, and Cap 2 had the scepter, showing that this is actually a different gem all together. People think Scarlet witch may have the reality gem (since mutations aren’t allowed in Marvel Cinema) and then in Cap 2 they also referenced our friendly neighborhood Sorcerer Supreme, Steven Strange, he could have the soul gem. GoG could also use the time one, I’m just guessing.

  • hamm3rtym3

    Umm that bs was started by a movie called the avengers. You may have heard of it. Not only is it explicitly stated in the film that lokis spear is powered by the cube, but selvig and widow in the climax refer to it as well “you cant defend against yourself” meaning the staff or spear is running on cube juice, not a seperate stone

  • Anonyme

    No i think richard’s right when you’ll see the winter soldier mid-credit scene you’ll understand

  • Rich

    It makes more sense that the Aether is the Reality stone and not the Power.

  • McLovin

    I am going out on a limb and guessing the “Toolbox” Nick Fury gave Coulson in the season finale of Agents of Shield is an Infinity Stone. I also theorize Coulson’s character will transform into Captain Marvel and the “real” Mandarin (not Trevor) is Skye’s father. At least I hope I am right as those revelations would somewhat redeem that show’s weak 1st season.

  • MA

    I just had a crazy theory for one Stone. In Iron Man 2, Stark makes a new element to power the arc reactor that his dad said would change the world, and made it seem crazy important. Loki’s staff (apparently one of the Stones based on end of CA:TWS credit scene) could not affect Stark in Avengers. Could the new element in the arc reactor be one of the Stones, such that the staff could not affect Stark? Just an idea for an Easter Egg stretching across lots of movies. Been re-watching some of the Phase 1 movies, and seen some stuff in there I had missed – I did not realize that Coulson was in Iron Man 1!

  • Robert

    I believe so too with another key scene to back up that theory. In the credits of Cap 2, we see Baron von using the power of the sceptor to create Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Now with the characteristics of the mind gem, it gives powers like telepathy and telekinesis. Now its highly possible Thanos had possession of the Tesseract and used some of its power to power up the sceptor allowing it to have the space gem properties as well.

  • Terry

    The Tesseract is the Space stone, while the Orb seen in Guardians of the Galaxy is the Power stone. The aether is unknown, but it would make sense for it be the soul gem since it’s seen to dwell inside of the host giving them power that they can use. However it looks like when it’s in the body of lesser beings it can overwhelm them slowly draining them.

  • danny

    a lot of people are saying that the staff is the mind stone, and although it makes sense, I personally don’t think it adds up that Thanos just gives the staff to Loki which seems like a risky move. maybe the staff is powered by the mind stone? I hope it’s not that easy I’m having fun with all this stone speculation.

  • Talyn81

    As they get closer to Avengers Infinity War Part I & II I would like to see at least one of the infinity gems be introduced during either the Agents of SHIELD or Agent Carter series.

  • deema_d

    The reality stone, alone, does not make anyone, at all, one wish away from anything, at all, on a universal scale.

  • cerberus108

    You actually just gave the perfect reason why the big BLUE stone couldn’t be the mind gem. The cosmic cube is already the Space Stone, and it is blue. Each of the Infinity Stones is a different color, so there couldn’t be two blue stones. Of course, they could have it randomly change color in the future, which would be a complete and utter cop-out well above Marvel’s record of good storytelling. Plus, why would Thanos hand out an Infinity Stone to one of his brand new henchmen? Isn’t his ENTIRE character motivation to collect them all?

  • cerberus108

    The Tesseract is the Cosmic Cube which is the Space Stone, it’s all been confirmed. I know it’s taking a departure from comic book lore, but that’s what they’re doing. I haven’t seen Agents of Shield unfortunately, but I can already tell you that “tesseract technology” means it’s a HYDRA weapon powered by the Tesseract, a.k.a. the Space Stone, just like the dozens of other times they’ve used this exact same idea.

  • cerberus108

    The colors are still the same, but they’ve been switched around with the stones. They are still blue, red, yellow, orange, green, and purple, just different names. Also, you are assuming Loki’s Staff is the mind gem, which it probably isn’t, because it’s blue. The Space Stone is already blue, meaning they would have two blue stones. Plus, why would Thanos give away an Infinity Stone to anyone for any reason? It’s his entire motivation for existing.

  • Th34

    I think the puppet master has the Purple infinity Stone.

  • Th34

    Docter Strange has the Soul Stone Thanos.

  • Th34

    Thanos, the Soul Gem is actually on the forehead of Moon Dragon.