Avengers: Infinity War retconned the origin of the Infinity Gauntlet - and in so doing introduced a whole new continuity error into the MCU. Marvel has a reputation for playing the long game; most viewers assume that visionary Kevin Feige has plotted out the future of the MCU years in advance. In reality, while Marvel Studios do usually have a sense of the general direction things are going on, they frequently course-correct based on their directors' latest ideas.
Take Thanos, for example. As hard as it may be to believe now, there was a time before the Mad Titan was the much-hyped mega-villain of the first three MCU phases. He was introduced in the post-credits scene of The Avengers, and has evolved a lot from there to becoming the best villain in the MCU.
All this does mean that, sometimes, Marvel do slip up. Every now and again, they drop an Easter Egg or a subtle hint teasing the future, only for it to backfire. None of these are ruinous, but they show the nature of the filmmaking process more overly than intended. And, unfortunately, the Infinity Gauntlet has actually become one of the biggest examples.
Thor and Age of Ultron Made A Plot Hole
It all started in 2011's Thor. One scene showed the Frost Giants raiding Odin's Treasure Vault, aiming to take the Casket of Ancient Winters. In the background, visible for only a fraction of a second, there's a glimpse of the Infinity Gauntlet. At the time, Marvel had no plans for the Infinity Gauntlet; it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter Egg. Of all the countless Easter Eggs the studio have planted in their films, though, this is the one that's proved most problematic. As soon as Marvel introduced Thanos the next year, it was clear the Infinity Gauntlet would play an important role in the ongoing story of the MCU.
Then came Avengers: Age of Ultron, and a second Joss Whedon post-credits scene featuring Thanos. This was a stranger scene, not obviously tied into the narrative of the film at all. It saw Thanos retrieving the Infinity Gauntlet from an unknown repository, and commenting, "Fine. I'll do it myself." There was no hint as to who the Mad Titan was speaking to, but the scene clearly implied that Thanos himself possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, and was now pursuing the Infinity Stones. It was one of the most important parts of the build-up to Infinity War.
And it directly contradicted Thor. How could the Infinity Gauntlet be on Asgard when it was also owned by Thanos? Even more strangely, the two Infinity Gauntlets are clearly for different hands, one for the right, the other for the left. Marvel was faced with one of two choices; they could either ignore this continuity gaffe or choose to fix it. They ultimately settled for the latter.
How Thor: Ragnarok Fixed The Plot Hole
Fast-forward to last year's Thor: Ragnarok, and one scene finally resolved the continuity problem. After Hela, daughter of Odin, gained control of Asgard, she paced through the All-Father's Vault, eyeing up the treasures contained within. She's hardly impressed by the Casket of Ancient Winters, although the Tesseract does catch her eye. But Odin's Infinity Gauntlet is treated with scorn. "Fake," Hela declared. "Most of the stuff in here is fake."
Taika Waititi's film carefully rewrote the history of both Hela and Asgard, revealing an imperial past that Odin had done his best to bury. Asgard was hardly the benign force for good it had always seemed to be; in fact, Odin himself had previously led Asgard's forces across the Nine Realms, plundering them for their wealth. Proud and arrogant, he had claimed the universe's greatest treasures - and those he could not acquire, he faked. Asgard had to be the best, the greatest, and the wealthiest; if the cosmos had a treasure, he had to be seen to own it. Odin's Infinity Gauntlet was one of those fakes.
Those few seconds retconned away a plot hole that ran all the way back to 2011. Odin didn't have the real Infinity Gauntlet at all; in fact, his fake wasn't even of the right hand. Instead, Thanos possessed and always was in possession of the real Infinity Gauntlet. Continuity was fixed, and Marvel fans were thrilled that the House of Ideas had actually taken the time to fix such a small continuity problem.
Until, that is, Avengers: Infinity War retconned the history of the Infinity Gauntlet - and in so doing created a whole new continuity SNAFU.
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