Does Thanos not get all the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Infinity War? Here’s why he only has two stones in the marketing. The new Infinity War trailer has almost everything fans wanted: more bearded Cap, more quips, more cosmic threat, more Wakanda. The only things really missing (aside from perennial absentee Hawkeye) is the Infinity Stones themselves.
The entire point of the MCU-capper is to have Mad Titan Thanos, who’s been teased since the mid-credits scene of The Avengers in 2012, collecting the various MacGuffins from across the previous films. He’s had six years to get ready, and after eighteen movies of hype, you’d be expecting a big threat. He’s a being who in the comics destroyed half the universe’s population just to impress Death, and based on Gamora in the trailer has similar finger-clicking goals here. However, MCU Thanos is slacking.
The first tease for Infinity War showed Thanos with two Infinity Stones: the Power Stone (from Guardians of the Galaxy) and the Space Stone (formerly the Tesseract). The former he presumably stole from Xandar, possibly in the film’s opening sequence, while the latter is given to him by Loki in a scene following directly on from the end of Thor: Ragnarok. That was fine at the time: the film was still in the early days of its marketing so wasn’t going to show much detail from later in the story. Everybody assumed we were just getting early-on glimpses. After all, the teaser also had Infinity Stone holders Doctor Strange and Vision coming under fire.
Now, though, the new trailer has deepened the mystery. Thanos still only has two Stones in this trailer, but we definitely see him from later in the movie this time; the money shot is Captain America blocking the Infinity Gauntlet during the Wakanda fight, and it still has only Power and Space in it. We know Wakanda is the film’s third act, so while this is exciting confirmation Thanos does make it to Earth, it leaves some big questions about how well he’s doing in his quest.
While that does make Thanos look bad at a job he was so confident in he proclaimed “I’ll do it myself” in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it does fit with the known plot of Infinity War. Unlike the comic Infinity Gauntlet, which has Thanos already in possession of all six Infinity Gems and using their powers almost immediately, Avengers 3 is more of a heist film, showing his quest to get the prize. Wakanda is the staging ground for both the Mind Stone (in Vision’s forehead) and Time Stone (in Doctor Strange’s Orb of Agamotto), so he can’t have a full set there. Besides, it wouldn’t make sense for him to catch ’em all all if he’s going to end half the universe the moment they’re in possession.
Only having a third of the stones does tease a bit of Avengers’ plot, though: it seemingly confirms that the Reality Stone (Thor: The Dark World‘s Aether) and Soul Stone (still a mystery, although some believe to be in Wakanda) won’t be attained by Thanos yet, with him instead going for the Earth-based ones. That leaves where the movie’s really heading at an impasse, possibly pointing to something cosmic after the jaunt in Black Panther’s homeland. Indeed, Marvel 10 year promo teased a four-stoned gauntlet, suggesting he’ll get more.
Related: Where Are The Infinity Stones?
All that theorized, it could all just be misleading advertising. Thanks to the amount of CG compositing involved in their shots, Marvel is the master of hidings things from trailers – see Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War‘s airport battle – and so you can never truly trust what they’re showing. It may be that Thanos does have more ingots at this point but they’ve been removed from the trailer to preserve spoilers. After all, if he had the yellow Mind Stone, that would have some serious implications for Vision.
What Thanos’ meager set of Infinity Stones reveals, ultimately, is that Avengers: Infinity War is a battle for the collecting, not the use of power. We knew that, of course, so this really only asks more forward-thinking questions: what’s going to go down in that ending? After all, if Avengers 4 is going to be a time travel film, something has to go seriously wrong.
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