There are six Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the location of one, the Soul Gem, remains unknown. Some fan speculation and intriguing theories offered several neat ideas for how the Soul Stone could be introduced in Thor: Ragnarok but it wasn't and the Taika Waititi directed adventure is as standalone as promised.
Over the course of 11 years and 22 movies, the Infinity Stones will have served as the MacGuffins of the MCU, the binding glue that brings all of the stories - and the ultimate villain of them all - together, leading to the franchise's conclusion in the untitled Avengers 4 in May 2019. Or at least, it's the conclusion of the MCU as we know it, the "culmination" of all the movies to have released so far to take the words from Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige who orchestrated the whole universe.
Before Marvel Studios wraps up the three 'Phases' (let's call the whole thing Volume 1) the last Infinity Stone must be introduced, must get some sort of story wrapped around it, and must be collected by the big bad villain Thanos (Josh Brolin) and placed with the other five Stones into the Infinity Gauntlet - the mighty golden glove that houses all six stones - so we can see Thanos use it to wreak havoc upon the universe.
Thor: Ragnarok is the 17th feature film by Marvel Studios, leaving five other movies still to come before the party wraps up. There are therefore a options for where the Soul Stone may be:
- Black Panther - February 16, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War - May 4, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp - July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel - March 8, 2019
- Untitled Avengers 4 (Its title is a minor spoiler) - May 3, 2019
However, given the nature of Avengers: Infinity War, it's a certainty that the Infinity Gauntlet will be used in this film next year by Thanos. That means the Soul Stone must be introduced in the next few months. It would be weird and almost cheap from a storytelling standpoint for it to just briefly get introduced in Avengers 3, so it's a safe assumption Black Panther is where the last piece of the puzzle remains.
So, throw those Thor: Ragnarok theories about Hela (Cate Blanchett) having the Soul Stone, or it being in Odin's Eye, or Heimdall having it as his own source of power, in the trash. The Soul Stone is in Wakanda, the secretive, isolated fictional nation in Africa where Black Panther reigns, and it makes a lot of sense when you break it down.
- Black Panther (2018) release date: Feb 16, 2018
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017) release date: Nov 03, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019