The Infinity Stones were at the centre of the Marvel Cinematic Universe throughout its first three phases and fans got to see just how powerful they can be when Thanos got his grubby mitts on them. The consequences of these gems falling into the wrong hands were shown in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, and to call them seismic would be an understatement. But according to a new fan theory that’s doing the rounds, they were nothing the MCU hasn’t seen before.
Reddit user u/Night-Monkey15 has theorized that Thanos is actually the second villain in MCU history to gather all of the Infinity Stones, and to evidence these claims, the Marvel fan points to that fake Infinity Gauntlet we caught a glimpse of in the original Thor and Thor: Ragnarok. The theory rightly states that Odin must have known about the gauntlet’s existence to create such an accurate replica, but why would Hela, who had been imprisoned for thousands of years, have recognized the cosmic glove when she encountered it in Ragnarok?
This was once written off as a minor plothole, but it serves only to strengthen u/Night-Monkey15’s claims. The Reddit user believes that another being gathered all of the Infinity Stones and united them in a similar gauntlet long before Thanos.
“I believe that someone made a gauntlet, got all six stones and did something bad enough to get Odin and Hela involved they probably worked with the masters of the mystic arts, Olympians, Eternals, Celestials and many other people.
“After they got the stones they separated them so they could never be reunited, Odin got the space stone, the master of the mystic arts got the time stone, the people of Morag got the power stone and so on and so forth.
“Odin then made a fake gauntlet so anybody looking for the stones would be found and killed. But that’s just my theory.”
Although it seems more likely that Marvel simply hadn’t plotted out Thanos’ MCU arc in its entirety when it allowed that gauntlet to be planted in the original Thor, the theory might have some merit. Particularly the idea that the full set of Infinity Stones had been used once before. Why else would the good guys go to such lengths to keep them apart? Perhaps the consequences of them being used in conjunction with one another were already well documented. And if nothing else, it helps Marvel explain away that Hela-related plothole.
The Infinity Stones are still very much at large in the MCU thanks to Captain America’s efforts to return them to their original locations, but it seems unlikely that they’ll play a major role in future phases of the franchise. They were, of course, the McGuffin for Phases 1 through to 3, dubbed the Infinity Saga, so it would make sense for something else to take their place going forward. Perhaps the mystic rings we’ll be learning more about in next year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the artefacts that inspire the next epic crossover?