Like most insanely powerful fictional relics, the Infinity Stones can have some unwelcome side effects on the people who use them, with even Thanos himself suffering some damage to his arm and his gauntlet after initiating the snap in Avengers: Infinity War. But according to one fan theory, we’ve yet to see what the Time Stone in particular can do when it’s handled in the wrong way.
According to Reddit user Neirdark, we’ve already witnessed the negative effects that the other five Infinity Stones can have when the proper tools aren’t used. Though the Power Stone, for instance, seems relatively stable in the Mad Titan’s Infinity Gauntlet, the object incinerated almost anyone who touched it in Guardians of the Galaxy. Similarly, the Space Stone sent an unwitting Red Skull to another part of the galaxy in Captain America: The First Avenger.
After going through the list of punishments that each stone has enacted on its users, Neirdark comes to Doctor Strange’s treasured relic, and suggests that while the Space Stone can send people through space, a misused Time Stone might send people through time. Specifically, the user suggests that the stone might trap people in an infinite loop or transport them to the Quantum Realm, where we already know that there’s some pretty dangerous time-related phenomena unfolding.
Though it’s unclear if the Marvel movies will ever confirm or disprove such an idea, this theory certainly seems consistent with what we know about the Infinity Stones in general and the Time Stone specifically. If the stone does indeed have such a punishment in store for its user, then next year’s Avengers 4 could be the film to show it, with the highly anticipated blockbuster currently acting as the subject for a plethora of time travel-based theories.
We’ll see if some unfortunate character suffers the consequences of messing with time when the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 3rd, 2019.