Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

Published 1 month ago by , Updated August 16th, 2014 at 10:59 pm,

Marvel Comics Infinity Soul Gems Stones Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

If Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done one crucial thing for the bigger picture plans of the franchise as a whole, it would be pushing the concept of Infinity Stones to the forefront. We may not have known it at the time, but the MacGuffin of Phase 1 – the Tesseract/Cosmic Cube – was one of these Infinity artifacts as well. In Phase 2 films Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy, there was no hiding what the driving plot device was: these all-powerful items are dangerous and everyone wants them.  But what are they really?

The Infinity Gems (“Stones” in the movies), or Soul Gems as they were originally dubbed when introduced in Marvel Comics in the ’70s, are six over-powered and indestructible artifacts, the most powerful in the Marvel universe. Each of the six has a unique property but together, they can be used to alter, destroy or recreate the entire universe. Together, they grant someone the power of a god.

In the comics, these are the six gems, differentiated by their color and attribute, offering abilities ranging from time-travel and bending the physical laws of the universe, to teleporting across the galaxy and controlling the souls of the living or dead:

  • Mind (Blue)
  • Power (Red)
  • Reality (Yellow)
  • Soul (Green)
  • Space (Purple)
  • Time (Orange)

Infinity Gems Color Scheme Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

In the movies and cartoons, these “gems” are referred to as “stones” and while we don’t know why Marvel Studios is changing the name slightly, they are also inexplicably changing the colors as Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige told us last year. Then again, not even the comics can keep them straight. Note the color and label differences in these two comic pages:

Infinity Gems Avengers Comics colors 2 570x876 Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are


Infinity Gems Avengers Comics colors 570x572 Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

The Tesseract, seemingly the blue Infinity Stone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is the Space stone – as evidenced by its use in The Avengers as a portal to transport Loki in the film’s intro, and later, to allow the Chitauri alien invasion force to enter the skies above New York. All of the stones are seemingly infinitely powerful judging by how the Red Skull and HYDRA used the Tesseract to power their advanced weapons in Captain America: The First Avenger - and how Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) was able to draw knowledge out of his interactions with it.

There’s potentially another example of the Infinity Stones housing knowledge in the post-credits button of Captain America: The Winter Soldier where we meet Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) – a villain of The Avengers: Age of Ultron – and see him at a secret HYDRA base using Loki’s staff from The Avengers for some nefarious purposes, perhaps to learn about or create super powers in ordinary people and begin the “age of miracles” as von Strucker labels it. That staff might be housing the Mind Gem since Loki was able to use it to put Hawkeye, Selvig and others under his control. We know it’s tied to the power of the Tesseract from what Selvig says in The Avengers but it clearly has mind-altering abilities so it’s tied to that gem as well – somehow.

Reality Stone Aether Thor 2 The Dark World 620x370 Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

Jane Foster and the Aether

Then came Thor: The Dark World and its all-powerful MacGuffin, The Aether. This red stone (not actually in the form of a stone) was thought by some to be the Power Stone – based on the destruction it created when used by Malekith – but it’s possible it’s actually the film franchise’s version of the Reality Stone given its ability to convert matter/dark matter. In the comics, the red stone is Power, but in the movie it’s seemingly Reality.

So that’s potentially three out of six gems if we’re counting Loki’s staff as one (and it might not be), and we just saw a another (the fourth?) in Guardians of the Galaxy, where a purple Infinity Stone is something everyone’s chasing after hidden within the orb Peter Quill steals in the movie’s opening. Some characters want it for money, some want it to destroy a planet (Ronan), some want it for themselves (Thanos). In an interesting scene ripe with exposition, when audiences meet The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), we learn a little about the origins of the Infinity Stones and how they existed and were created at the outset of the universe (see: Big Bang Theory). This particular stone is purple, which represents Space in the comics – but in the film, as confirmed by GOTG writer and director James Gunn via Twitter, it’s the Power Stone.

Let’s recap.

All we need now are the Soul and Time Infinity Stones (which will likely be yellow, orange or green) and once we have all six, Thanos will attempt to collect them all, and put them together in the Infinity Gauntlet, an item first introduced in Odin’s Vault in the original Thor and showcased at the Marvel booth at Comic-Con 2010.

Thor Movie Infinity Gauntlet Infinity Stones In Marvel Movies: What They Are & Where They Are

Infinity Gauntlet featured in ‘Thor’


NEXT PAGE: What happens when Thanos gets ALL the gems?…

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TAGS: captain america, captain america 2, doctor strange, guardians of the galaxy, guardians of the galaxy 2, the avengers, the avengers 2, thor, thor 2


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  1. If I may add my two cents, I’m starting to think that maybe the Aether is actually the Soul Stone as opposed to the reality stone. Here’s my reasons why based on the numerous times I’ve seen thor 2:

    1) The aether itself appears to be symbiotic and possibly sentient like the soul gem in the comics. It required a host body to draw its energy from which could kill the host user itself (like how it nearly killed Jane Foster) and it showed the ability to defend itself (when it blasted away anyone who threatened jane foster). The aether also makes eerie screeching sounds and even showed the user visions (like how jane witnessed the universe turning dark or even Asgard turning into a burden wasteland before malekith sucked the aether out of her body) and apparently recreates lost limbs (as seen in the end battle with malekith)

    2) It is possible that Malekith was planning to use the aether to alter the universe back to darkness. However, I believe that maybe he was going to suck the life out of the entire universe and make it like svartaheim (the dark elves realm, I don’t remember how it’s spelled at the moment) where it was a barren wasteland with little to no life at all. Could converting matter to dark matter mean the same as sucking life out? I’m not sure. Also in the comics, the user of the soul gem could alter all life in the universe.

    3) As confirmed by James Gunn, the cocoon in the collectors museum is indeed Adam Warlock’s cocoon, who wielded the soul gem on his forehead. With both the museum and the cocoon blown apart, it is possible that Adam warlock is alive and out there somewhere. And since we don’t know if the collector still has the aether or not, maybe it’ll be part of Adam warlocks introduction to the mcu since he could steal the aether if the collector indeed still has it. Or maybe he took it after he was freed.

    That’s what I believe and feel free to discuss. I could be wrong of course.

    • I’m also sure the Aether is the Soul Stone. the way Odin describes it “it seeks out host bodies, drawing strength from their life force” and just the way it acts… with Malekith wanting to wipe out all life in the nine realms… definitely seems like the Soul Stone.

      in the comics, the Reality Stone grants wishes, but I can see them use it to just do some funky reality-bending magic in Doc Strange.

      which leaves Mind & Time still to be seen.

      Loki’s Sceptre is NOT a Stone, come on. the Asgardians knew about the Infinity Stones and Thor’s just gonna stare the Sceptre in the face on the Helicarrier without ID’ing it? come on.

      it’s a weapon that draws power from all the stones. it has elements of them all if you look at it:
      1. opens & closes wormholes (SPACE)
      2. acts as an intergalactic space phone (MIND)
      3. allows Loki to control other beings (SOUL)
      4. fires big ol’ blasts of energy (POWER)
      5. bestows reality altering powers on Scarlet Witch (REALITY)
      6. bestows super-speed on Quicksilver (TIME)

      my guess is it will prove a useful weapon in the battle against Thanos. can see Nebula stabbing him with it (for some reason).

    • I totally agree with what you are saying. 100% bro

  2. so if that tesseract is really the gem that transports ppl to the other side of the galaxy.. then basically all those people who were vaporized in Cap 1.. were just transported.. lol Nazi’s in Space sounds like a cool movie.. HAIL HYDRA!!

    • Actually there is a Space-Nazi Movie called Iron Sky… pretty funny too

  3. Here’s another crackpot idea.
    I’ve heard the interesting theory recently that loki’s sceptre essentially works as a channel for the other stones (hence shield believing the sceptre was pulling energy through the tesseract in avengers)Personally I don’t believe it to be the mind stone at all
    Scarlet witch and quicksilver both seem to posses reality altering powers of some sorts, perhaps they were created in a hydra experiment during the period of thor 2 when the aether was on earth and loki’s sceptre was pulling energy from it?

  4. Wait, so the Tesseract isn’t the Cosmic Cube? I thought it was the movie version of the Cosmic Cube.

    • I think in the MCU they are the same thing.

  5. I appreciate the analysis, but I really wish people would stop misusing the word “Macguffin”. Remember the checklist:
    - Check to see if it is interchangeable. For example, in a caper story the MacGuffin could be either the Mona Lisa or the Hope diamond, it makes no difference which. The rest of the story (i.e. it being stolen) would be exactly the same. It doesn’t matter which it is, it is only necessary for the characters to want it.
    - Does it do anything, and if it does, is it ever actually used in story? If the answer to both is yes, it’s a Plot Device, not a MacGuffin. For Plot Devices that get the same attention as a MacGuffin, compare Magnetic Plot Device.

    None of the stones have been macguffins in their respective films.

  6. Everyone is forgetting that Loki is running s*** in Asgard now. Think about that for a minute. Isn’t the Tesseract in Asgard? Oh, why yes it is. Perhaps Loki will now retrieve the Tesseract AND the Gauntlet for Thanos now? Yes he will. Thanos can then teleport to where the stones are as long as he knows the location. And Aether is a Soul Gem btw. Last I checked it was in The Collector’s possession along with a cocoon containing Adam Warlock who just happens to be linked to the Soul Gem. In the end credits Adam’s cocoon is gone and The Collector looks depressed as f**k (LOL). Adam may have awakened and stole the Soul Gem. It would make so much sense. As for the Scepter holding the Mind Gem….I believe it. People always overlook the obvious. I like how the gem uses mind control but doesn’t work on Tony Stark…..maybe because Stark’s chestpiece contains a similar energy that canceled out the effects…Hmmmm just some food for thought guys. :D

    • If Loki was using a soul stone/infinity gem to control people, and it’s power was defeated by tony stark’s/iron man’s core, and I don’t care what element he created for its creation, consider this post to be my facepalm. Those things are supposed to be POWERFUL. like bend and break the universe powerful. They don’t give the power of a god. When Thanos put that pimped out Michael Jackson doohickey on his hand, he took on every god available, single handed (no pun) and all at the same time. And he Won. That’s way more than a “performance issue”!

      • I understood only half of what you’re saying. Loki was using a mind gem. No doubt about it. I just finished watching The Winter Soldier AGAIN and the post credits give the ultimate hints.

  7. *spoiler for the show Avengers Assemble*

    Regarding the space stone…at the end of the last epp in season 1 the red skull gives the Tesaract to Thanos.

  8. Huh. But I always thought the tesseract was more like the Cosmic Cube — because it’s blue and a cube.

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