Avengers: Infinity War's trailer finally gives fans a proper look at Mad Titan Thanos and his violent, planet-shattering quest to bring together the six Infinity Stones. In fact, it actually reveals the order in which he acquires the six gems, in the process showing the details of his true master plan.
The Infinity War story has been building since the Tesseract was first introduced in Thor's post-credits scene, but really began rolling with the introduction of Thanos himself in The Avengers' mid-credits stinger. Since then, we've been shown five of the Infinite Six: the Tesseract (Space Stone) in Phase 1; the Aether (Reality Stone) in Thor: The Dark World; the Orb (Power Stone) in Guardians of the Galaxy; the Mind Stone in Avengers: Age of Ultron; and the Orb of Agamotto (Time Stone) in Doctor Strange. Rounding the set off, it's now looking all-but definite the missing piece - the Soul Stone - is in Wakanda, setting the scene perfectly.
Read More: Where Are Marvel's Infinity Stones
But knowing what and where the Stones are is a pre-Infinity War concern. Now the trailer's here and hype machine is rolling, it's all about Thanos' conquest. And we have a pretty good of how it's going to go down (potential, speculation-based spoilers ahead).
Thanos' Epic Infinity War Plan Revealed
It appears Thanos goes through the Cosmic realm before heading to Earth. The Stone most prominent in the trailer is the Space Stone; we see Loki holding up the Tesseract to presumably Thanos (in the process confirming the theory he swiped it from Odin's Vault at the end of Thor: Ragnarok) and later the big purple beast placing the blue gem in the Infinity Gauntlet. Already in there, however, is the purple Power Stone. This was last seen on Xandar, meaning Thanos has already led an assault against the Nova Corps (possibly the opening scene of the film) before heading to the new Asgard ship.
Knowing the first two stones he gets, the next stop seems to be the Reality Stone, last seen being taken to the Collector's museum by Sif and Volstagg in Thor: The Dark World's mid-credits scene. Indeed, the leaked Infinity War clips from last week showed Thanos assaulting The Collector in his museum (destroyed after the events of Guardians of the Galaxy) as Star-Lord and co. sneak in. They seemed aware of his existence, so this would presumably come after they bumped into a shipwrecked Thor and learned of the Mad Titan's decimation (although it's unclear where the God of Thunder is at this point).
Whether that line proves fruitful or not (it appears not as Thanos doesn't yet have the red gem in his gauntlet), he then sets his eyes on Terra, which has a whopping three out of six of the Stones. He turns up in New York, teleporting in using the Space Stone. This looks to be a bid for the Time Stone; this was previously shown being stored in Kamar-Taj in the Himalayas, but Doctor Strange is seen wearing it around his neck in the trailer, meaning he's moved it to his Manhattan Sanctum Sanctorum. This leads to a big fight between Spidey, Iron Man, Strange and possibly Hulk. Again, whether Thanos gets his prize or not isn't shown, but based on the footage he definitely leaves a lot of decimation behind.
Around the same time, the Black Order attack Vision, who has the Mind Stone in his forehead, in Edinburgh. The android and Scarlet Witch are in the Scottish capital, possibly hiding out, but become a target of the Children of Thanos; as shown in the trailer, the go straight for the gem. This is where Captain America/Nomad turns up (possibly after a call from Tony) saving the duo but at the very least getting into the fight.
Finally, we turn to Wakanda. This is the setting for a major setpiece that features several of the previously disparate Avengers brought together (Hulk, originally in NYC, is there right behind Cap), so clearly takes place after everything else and is thus presumably the finale. It's been theorized before that Black Panther's home nation is powered by the remaining Soul Stone, and this focus seems to not only confirm that but makes it the battleground for the Avengers' final stand against a rampaging ultimate foe. Out of all the Stone sources, this makes the most sense for it to be hard to find; it's quite possible Thanos didn't know the secluded nation existed until the Avengers led him there/an already-claimed Stone revealed it.
What Thanos' Plan Tells Us About The Rest Of The Movie
Although many of the details of Avengers: Infinity War are still massive Marvel secrets even after the trailer, it has provided us with the ability to deduce the villain's scheme: Thanos starts cosmically, getting the Power and Space Stones (and looking for the Reality Stone) before turning his eye Earth-wards, rampaging for the Time, Mind and Soul Stones respectively. And with that, we know the movie's basic plot beats and begin to understand the villain.
Thanos has been described as the film's "protagonist" for a while now, which always felt a bit off. However, it's becoming clear he is more than just a plot instigator; the Mad Titan is on a journey. He starts off in the safety of the Guardians' cosmic realm and slowly builds up power before going to Earth, a place that has been explicitly established as dangerous to him; back in The Avengers, The Other said that to challenge its protectors was "to court death", and while he there responded with a smile, Thanos putting it off in favor of getting Stones from other, seemingly well-defended places definitely shows a trepidation in assaulting the Avengers head-on without some support. Does he feel fear?
Beyond that character positing, the story gains structure - and purpose. The Russos have likened Infinity War to heist movies - just as The Winter Soldier was an espionage drama and Civil War a psychological thriller - and a build-up of weapons (the first five Stones) before a final assault on Wakanda fits that remit.
We finally know how the villain of Avengers: Infinity War plans to take over the universe. Now it's time for the bigger question: how are the Avengers going to stop him?
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