When Thanos snapped his fingers at the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War, did he actually consign half the life in the universe to oblivion? Or, instead, will next year's Avengers 4 reveal that the victims of the "snap" - including heroes like Spider-Man, Star-Lord, and Black Panther - were transported into the Soul World, a realm existing inside the Soul Stone, as many have theorized.
The location of the Soul Stone, last of the six Infinity Stones, was one of the abiding mysteries of the MCU. It was finally revealed in Avengers: Infinity War, with Thanos learning that it was hidden on the distant world of Vormir. He sacrificed his daughter Gamora in order to obtain the Soul Stone, but barely used its power. Although tie-in comics had described the Soul Stone as "the biggest threat" of all the Infinity Stones, the film itself didn't even hint at what the Soul Stone could do. Thanos acquired it late in his quest, and the only clear thing he used it for was to work out which Doctor Strange was real, and which were illusions.
Given the Soul Stone's actual role in Avengers: Infinity War was relatively underwhelming, it's hardly surprising that many viewers are speculating it will be particularly important in Avengers 4. A surprisingly common theory suggests that it could well be key to undoing the "snap" itself.
- This Page: The Soul Stone Theory
- Page 2: Why The Soul Stone Theory Is Wrong
- Page 3: The Soul Stone's REAL Role In Avengers 4
The Soul Stone Theory Explained
The fundamental problem of Avengers: Infinity War is that the film kills characters we know are due to return. Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently in production, a movie set "minutes after" the events of Avengers 4. Kevin Feige himself recently confirmed that Doctor Strange 2 is certain to happen, while director Scott Derickson dropped a curious hint that suggests pre-production could begin next month. There's also been substantial discussion about Black Panther 2, hardly a surprise given the film grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide and essentially forced the Oscars to set up a whole new award, "Best Popular Film." If three of the most important "snap" victims are set to return, it's reasonable to assume that all of them will do so. Although some Marvel figures are still trying to persuade viewers these deaths will last (most notably the Russo brothers), their attempts are in vain; Thanos's horrific act is clearly destined to be undone, just as it was in the comics. The only question is, how?
This is where the Soul Stone Theory comes in. According to this theory, Thanos didn't actually kill half the life in the universe at all; instead, they were consumed by the Soul Stone. In the comics, the Soul Stone is a sentient being in its own right, and has a voracious desire to consume the souls of living beings. Anyone unfortunate enough to be consumed by the Soul Stone winds up trapped within a realm inside the Soul, known as the Soul World. Importantly, it's quite possible to both escape the Soul World, and to be freed from it. The Soul Stone Theory suggests that the surviving Avengers will liberate their "deceased" colleagues from Soul World, take the battle to Thanos in one final fight, and then free the rest of the Soul Stone's victims too. Some even suggest that the original six Avengers will be the final sacrifices that lead the Soul Stone to release these victims; "A soul for a soul," as the Red Skull hinted.
It's a compelling theory, and at first glance it's strongly inspired by the comics themselves. What's more, the Soul World did indeed appear in Avengers: Infinity War. When Thanos snapped his fingers, his consciousness was briefly transported into the Soul World, where he spoke to the spirit of Gamora, the woman he had sacrificed to the Soul Stone. Given this is the case, the Soul Stone Theory has proved compelling enough to persuade many viewers
But is the Soul Stone Theory true - or is it instead something of a red herring?
Next Page: The Problems With The Soul Stone Theory
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019