Marvel has been laying the seeds for the Infinity War for years, and if you don’t already know the extent, your mind is about to be blown. If you already know, prepare for the prediction I’m about to make.
Thanks to a well-defined release schedule, everyone knows that all these Marvel films are leading up to one big two-part Avengers extravaganza called Infinity War. You may also know that the premise of this two-parter is that the six super-powerful Infinity Gems also known as Infinity Stones (Power, Time, Reality, Mind, Soul, Space) are combined by Thanos (that lurking supervillain in the last four or so films) at which point he tries to destroy the galaxy.
What you may not know is that we’ve already seen as many as four of these stones in previous films. What’s an Infinity Gem? Does touching it kill or negatively affect normal people? Do you need some sort of housing to conduct its power? Is a psychopathic villain plotting to get his hands on it to destroy one or many worlds? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in possession of an Infinity Gem.
Comic fans know that some of the stuff seen so far isn’t canon, but Marvel is all about planting seeds for things, and not totally about canon, so it makes sense that some of the colors don’t match up, some of the shapes are a bit weird, but the Internet has basically come to a consensus on several MacGuffins from the films so far.
You’ve already met several of them:
The Tesseract (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers)
A magic cube that allows instantaneous transportation between points anywhere. Can open portals to other galaxies and worlds. Currently in the hands of the Asgaardians, in Odin’s treasure vault.
Probably: The Space Gem
The Orb (Guardians of the Galaxy)
After spending half the film fighting over it, the Guardians are shown what lays inside: one of the Infinity Gems, which kills several people and later imbues others with total (if unspecific) power. Currently on Nova Prime in a heavily protected vault.
Confirmed: The Power Gem
Loki’s Scepter (The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Loki’s mind-control stick given to him by Thanos in the first Avengers movie? Yeah, that glowing stone wasn’t just any glowing stone. As with the stone placed in the hammer by Guardians of the Galaxy bad guy Ronan, this is one of the ways to harness the power of the stone. Currently in the hands of HYDRA, in some secret underground vault.
Probably: The Mind Gem
The Aether (Thor: The Dark World)
Natalie Portman sticks her hand in some questionable plasmatic goo and suddenly has a lot of questionable powers. Remember all the distorted physics, the doorways to nothing? Sounds an awful lot like an Infinity Gem got powdered. It’s certainly not canon, but there’s something called subtlety that we’re probably forgetting every time a lightning God swings a hammer. Currently in the hands of the collector, because the Asgardians didn’t want two gems in one vault.
Probably: The Reality Gem
Those together give you (again, arguably) the Space, Power, Mind, and Reality Gems. So what’s left? Time and Soul. Or possibly Time and Reality, or possibly more than two. Not a lot of this stuff is confirmed by the studios. But it would make sense that if some are gems, all are gems, and not just really coincidental knockoffs.
What does this tell us for the future movies? Well, for one thing Thanos has a real gambling problem. This guy had as many as three of the stones in his possession at one time or another, and either gave them to sub-commanders or didn’t bother to lock them down. That has to be frustrating. Second, Thanos is going to have to be quite powerful to get his hands on four gems secured by powerful people in well-protected vaults. Not that it’s hard to break into underground fortresses in these movies, but, you know, still. Third, and most importantly, two of these gems have to make appearances before the Infinity War.
I’m going to make speculation here that some will hate, but here goes: One of the remaining gems/stones will appear in Age of Ultron. Here’s how it might happen:
Option 1: The Time Gem will debut in Age of Ultron, and explain all of the scary scenes and flashbacks in the trailer. Everyone will be confused by its power, overwhelmed, until someone finally explains the Infinity Gems to the Avengers, and grandly sets the stage for the Infinity War.
Option 2: It’s actually the Soul Gem that makes its debut. The Soul Gem can, among many other abilities, allow the user to peer into another’s soul—their memories, their fears, their desires. This would also explain the previews, and would have the same effect on the team.
Either way, I’m calling at least one gem in Age of Ultron. And whichever doesn’t make it into the fray will likely end up as a big plot point in Doctor Strange next year. If I’m wrong, please forget you read this by then.