What and Where Are Marvel's Infinity Stones
Here we explain the most coveted objects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
The Infinity Stones are the MacGuffin of the MCU
A MacGuffin is that person or object in a movie that everyone is after. In Raiders of the Lost Ark it's the titular Ark of the Covenant or in Star Wars: The Force Awakens it's Luke Skywalker himself. Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe the MacGuffin is the Infinity Stones. These powerful objects are coveted by many characters in this vast universe. The overarching villain of the franchise is Thanos, a shadowy alien being who's sole mission is to seek out each of these gems and use them to wreck havoc for his own selfish reasons. Now, with the recent release of Black Panther into theaters and the forthcoming Avengers: Infinity War (in which the stones will play a prominent role) it's time to look at where these stones are and what they can do.
The Infinity Stone's Origin Story
We get our first real explanation for the stones in Guardians of the Galaxy when the titular misfit band of heroes meet The Collector on Knowhere. They come to deliver the Orb which contains one of the Infinity Stones to him and he tells them about the mysterious objects. He tells them that, "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. These stones it seems can only be brandished by beings of extraordinary strength. These carriers can use the stone to mow down entire civilizations like wheat in a field." So, that's their origin in a nutshell, but what is each stone and what can it do?
Tesseract - Blue - The Space Stone
The first Infinity Stone we see in the MCU is the Tesseract also known as the Space Gem because it can control and manipulate space by opening wormholes to teleport people to other places. This is the blue Infinity Stone which was found by Red Skull in 1941 and used to power all of his weapons and vehicles. It was then found by S.H.I.E.L.D. at the bottom of the ocean after Captain America's battle with the Hydra leader, and was later used by Loki to arrive on Earth and unleash his alien army. After his defeat by the Avengers, Loki and the Tesseract were taken back to Asgard by Thor where the Infinity Stone was kept in Odin's Vault. That is, until last year's Thor: Ragnarok where Loki stole it again before his homeworld was destroyed. In the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War it seems that Loki gives the cube to Thanos in hopes that the Mad Titan will spare his life. We also see Thanos place it on his Infinity Gauntlet later in the trailer.
Aether - Red - The Reality Stone
The next Infinity Stone we find in the MCU is the Aether from Thor: The Dark World. In the film, the dark elf Malekith seeks to use this Infinity Stone to plunge the world back into eternal darkness. This red Infinity Stone can do just that thanks to it's ability to bend reality. It's a unique looking stone as it has a fluid state and can infuse itself into the body of an individual such as it does with Thor's ex-girlfriend Jane Foster. When Thor finally extracts the Aether from Jane and defeats Malekith, he sends his trusted friends Sif and Volstagg to take the powerful object to The Collector on Knowhere where it remains still.
Orb - Purple - The Power Stone
Guardians of the Galaxy introduces us to the third Infinity Stone also known as the Orb. This object contains the Power Stone which is sought after by basically every character in the film. This seems to be the most straightforward of all the Infinity Stones as it creates blasts of energy that wipe out anyone and anything in it's path. Ronan the Accuser gets his hands on it after Star-Lord steals it from a temple on Morag at the beginning of the film. The villain isn't defeated until the Guardians join forces to take back the Power Stone and stop him. This Infinity Stone currently is on Xandar in the Nova Corps vault. However, it won't be there for long as Thanos already has it on his Infinity Gauntlet in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer.
Scepter - Yellow - The Mind Stone
The Mind Stone is the fourth Infinity Stone we find the MCU. Actually, we had seen it before but didn't realize this as it was housed in Loki's scepter in the first Avengers movie. However, that's not revealed until Avengers: Age of Ultron when the titular artificial intelligence removes the yellow stone from the scepter which was stolen by Hydra's new leader Wolfgang von Strucker after the Battle of New York. Ultron's plan to use the Infinity Stone to create a new body for himself backfires when the Avengers steal the new creation and it becomes a hybrid of Ultron and Iron Man's other A.I. creation JARVIS calling himself The Vision. So, now Vision carries the Mind Stone right on his forehead. It has the ability to control and manipulate the mind. This Infinity Stone gives Vision his considerable superpowers, and was also used by Hydra to infuse twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff with their abilities. In the Avengers: Infinity War trailer it seems like some of Thanos' goons are trying to remove the stone from Vision's head.
Eye of Agamotto - Green - The Time Stone
In Doctor Strange we are introduced to the fifth Infinity Stone known as the Eye of Agamotto. When the titular hero puts on the powerful green object he discovers it has the ability to manipulate time. The ancient sorcerer Agamotto found the Time Stone and created the Eye to contain it so that the gem could be used by other magicians. It assists Doctor Strange in his defeat of both the dark dimension's demon Dormammu and his servant Kaecilius. At the end of the film, Dr. Stephen Strange returns the Infinity Stone to the Sanctum in Kamar-Taj with Wong. However, if you look closely you can see Doctor Strange wearing the Eye of Agamotto around his neck again in the Avengers: Infinity War trailer.
Unknown - Orange - The Soul Stone
The sixth and final Infinity Stone is the Soul Stone. This orange gem has not been seen in the MCU. Most fans thought it would appear in Black Panther, but that film did not feature any Infinity Stones. So, it seems we will first see the Soul Stone in Avengers: Infinity War. How and where it will show up is anyone's guess, but we do have a general idea of what it can do thanks to the comic books. In the Marvel comics, the Soul Stone has the power to reveal information by peering into another's soul and can trap souls inside itself in an idyllic false world. It also has the ability to grant it's wielder access to the memories and skills of those imprisoned within it. It's even been known to revert beings to their natural state, protect its wielder from attacks, and render it's target temporarily unconscious.
The Infinity Gauntlet
The only thing that can bring all of the Infinity Stones together is the Infinity Gauntlet. This huge golden glove has places for each and every one of the Infinity Stones allowing the wearer to control all of the gems at the same time. This is what Thanos puts on at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron saying, "Fine. I'll do it myself." This teases the much more hands-on approach the Mad Titan will take in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. However, Thanos does not possess the only Infinity Gauntlet as Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige stated that there are more Infinity Gauntlets out there. This suggests that our heroes may take possession of their own Gauntlet and Stones to even the battlefield. Avengers: Infinity War is scheduled to be released in theaters on May 4.