If you thought that the MCU had a lack of compelling villains before, what if we told you that the overarching big bad of the entire saga wasn’t the unusually intriguing Thanos, but a literal stone? That’s what’s being posited by this latest fan theory, which draws on evidence from The Avengers right through to Avengers: Infinity War to argue that all this time, the Mind Stone has been the true source of evil from which everything else stems.
Reddit user Zaneman777 makes the case that whenever Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have had a major enemy to take on, the Mind Stone was always somehow involved. First of all, it’s observed that Thanos was in possession of the relic before the events of The Avengers, and that it may have been during this period that the stone corrupted the Mad Titan and made him the genocidal despot we know today.
After that, the Mind Stone was passed on to Loki for the Chitauri Invasion, and Zaneman777 points out how Thor seems pretty perplexed by just how villainous Loki has got, suggesting that this was not a natural progression in personality for the character. You could probably argue that Loki’s actions in The Avengers are actually pretty consistent with his devilish scheming in Thor, making this hardly a drastic change in behavior, but we’ll let this slide for now.
In any case, it’s pretty clear that Hydra were able to use the Mind Stone to sinister ends in Captain America: The Winter Soldier when they engineered the superpowers of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, before it was used once more to create the titular villain of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The consistently noble-spirited Vision, however, seems like a pretty major obstacle in this theory, but a commenter makes the case that since the stone is essentially part of Vision, he may be somehow immune to its corrupting effects.
While this all sounds like a bit of a stretch, it’s still an admirable attempt to tie together all of the Avengers’ cinematic outings with a single antagonist. Granted, you could argue that Thanos already fulfills that role, but then again, the Infinity Stone seemed to play a far more direct role in the action than the Mad Titan did prior to Avengers: Infinity War.
All in all, if you find the Mind Stone to be the more interesting choice of main villain, then by all means go take this theory as fact, but don’t be surprised if the Russo Brothers have some rather different plans in mind for Thanos and his many stones when Avengers 4 comes out on May 3rd, 2019.