- "Before creation itself, there were six singularities. Then the universe exploded into existence, and the remnants of these systems were forged into concentrated ingots... Infinity Stones."
- ―The Collector
The Infinity Stones are six immensely powerful objects tied to different aspects of the universe, created by the Cosmic Entities so that way, each of the stones can possess unique capabilities that have been enhanced and altered by various alien civilizations for over millennia of years.
Only beings of immense power can wield the stones, such as when the Celestials used the Orb to pass judgment on entire planets, although sorcerers, Celestial hybrids and androids appear to have the capability of using the power of the Infinity Stones. Lesser beings are usually unable to grasp the full power of the stones and are destroyed by them when direct contact is made, such as the illness of Jane Foster when exposed to the Aether, the disappearance of Red Skull by the Tesseract, and the incineration of Carina by the Orb. However, it is possible to create a container to prevent a person from being in direct contact with the Infinity Stones, but allowing the user to wield their power. An example of this is the Time Stone sealed within the Eye of Agamotto.
- "There are relics that pre-date the universe itself. An ancient force of infinite destruction."
Before the Universe began, six singularities existed. Some time after the Universe exploded into existence, these were formed into the six Infinity Stones by the Cosmic Entities. Each stone represented a different aspect of the universe (Space, Mind, Reality, Power, Soul, and Time).
Weapon of the Celestials
- "These stones, it seems, can only be brandished by beings of extraordinary strength. These carriers can use the stone to mow down entire civilizations like wheat in a field. Once, for a moment, a group was able to share the energy amongst themselves, but even they were quickly destroyed by it."
In the distant past, the Orb was used by the Celestials as a means of placing judgment upon worlds and their populaces, wiping out entire civilizations by touching its power on the planet's surface. However, the stone was just as dangerous to its handler as it was to the societies against which it was used, as its insufficiently powerful handlers were destroyed by its power.
Malekith and his army of Dark Elves attempted to harness the power of the Aether and use its destructive power to destroy all of the Nine Realms. Led by Bor, the Asgardians managed to steal the Aether and stop Malekith's war. In response to the defeat, Malekith sacrificed the majority of his people, including his own wife and son, in an attempt to wipe out the Asgardian invaders, putting himself, his second in command Algrim and a few survivors into hibernation.
With the Dark Elves seemingly having been defeated and the Aether now in the possession of Asgard, King Bor was asked what was to be done with it. Bor knew that the Aether was far too powerful to be simply destroyed as he would have preferred, so he ordered that it be buried deep where nobody would ever be able to find it. Under Bor's orders, it remained hidden and untouched for five thousand years.
- "My weapons contain enough destructive power to decimate every hostile capital on Earth. Quite simply, gentlemen, I have harnessed the power of the gods."
- ―Johann Schmidt
During World War II, Adolf Hitler's right-hand man Johann Schmidt became fascinated by tales of ancient mythical powers and decided to locate the Tesseract to discover its true power. In 1942 Schmidt invaded Tønsberg and found the Tesseract in a box hidden behind a sculptured mural of Yggdrasil, the world tree. Schmidt took the Tesseract back to his headquarters in the Alps to be experimented by Arnim Zola. Schmidt and Zola were able to harness the Tesseract's power to create and fuel their weapons of war.
In March 1945, Schmidt intended to use the Tesseract-powered Valkyrie and flying nuclear bombs to destroy several world-wide strategic points. However, Schmidt was confronted by Captain America and the Howling Commandos who aimed to stop him. During the battle, Rogers damaged the machine that was using the Tesseract to power the Valkyrie. Angered, Schmidt physically handled the Tesseract, only for the object to open a portal across space that consumed Schmidt's entire body before closing, leaving his fate unknown.
With Schmidt seemingly having been killed by its power, the Tesseract fell burning through the floors of the Valkyrie, causing it to plunge into the sea below. Some time later, it was recovered by Howard Stark, CEO of Stark Industries and a member of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, who was attempting to locate his friend Captain America. Stark had the Tesseract locked away with the SSR where it was kept and studied for the next seventy years.
In 2012, after his defeat at the hands of Thor, Loki came into contact with the alien race known as the Chitauri, and their master, Thanos, who had already been seeking the Tesseract. Loki promised to retrieve it from Earth and give it to Thanos in exchange for his army. Through manipulation of the Tesseract's energy, Thanos teleported Loki to the Tesseract's location at the Joint Dark Energy Mission Facility.
Thanos also provided Loki with a Scepter containing the Mind Stone. Once Loki arrived on Earth, he found a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who had been experimenting with the Tesseract's power. Loki used the power of the Scepter to defeat them all, before putting Clint Barton, Erik Selvig and several other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents under his complete control, ordering them to kill Nick Fury and steal the Tesseract for him. Selvig continued to experiment on the Tesseract in order to learn how to open a large sustainable portal.
When Loki was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., the Scepter fell into their hands and was experimented on by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. However, the Mind Stone's power proved more subtle and began to infect the Avengers personally, making them more untrusting and causing a large argument between them that only ended when Banner realized he had been unwittingly made to pick up the Scepter. During the Attack on the Helicarrier, Loki regained the Scepter, which he used to murder Phil Coulson before escaping.
Selvig used the Tesseract and Stark Tower to create a portal above New York City which allowed Loki's army to pour through and attacking, beginning the Chitauri Invasion. With hordes of Chitauri and Leviathan charging through the portal, only the Avengers stood in their way. Loki tried and failed to control Iron Man with the Scepter. Eventually, Black Widow was able to close the portal using the Scepter while Iron Man destroyed the Chitauri Command Center with an Atomic Bomb before Loki was captured by the team.
While Loki was taken back to Asgard with Thor to await punishment by their father Odin the Tesseract was handed over to Thor to be kept away from the World Security Council. Thor and Loki used the cube to teleport themselves back to Asgard before Thor handed the cube over to Heimdall who used its power to rebuild the Bifrost Bridge, which had been destroyed during the Duel at the Bifrost Bridge, finally allowing Thor and the other Asgardians to be transported across the Nine Realms with ease once again.
As the Convergence began across the Nine Realms, Jane Foster accidentally discovered and became infected with the Aether, alerting the Dark Elves to its presence. Malekith waged war against Asgard, who were protecting Foster, to regain the Aether. Eventually Foster came to Svartalfheim where Malekith reclaimed the Aether and absorbed it.
Malekith took the Aether to Earth where he attempted to use its power to infect the entire universe with eternal darkness. Thor also returned to Earth where he confronted the leader of the Dark Elves. Malekith used the Aether to battle Thor across worlds during the Convergence until eventually they became separated and Malekith unleashed the Aether's power. Thor and Erik Selvig were able to destroy Malekith before he could complete his plans.
The Aether was soon regained by Asgard who decided that it was too dangerous to keep two Infinity Stones so close together, so they kept the Tesseract where it was and decided to relocate the Aether. Eventually, Lady Sif and Volstagg decided to hand the Aether over to Taneleer Tivan, who vowed to keep it safe within the Collector's Museum. However once the Asgardians left, Tivan announced to himself that he intended to locate the other five stones.
While the Tesseract was taken to Asgard, the Scepter remained on Earth where it fell into the hands of HYDRA's leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. In HYDRA's hands, Strucker and List began experimenting with giving normal humans gifts via the Scepter's power, and, in the process, killing everyone except for Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, who were granted incredible powers to be used for HYDRA's benefit in their war with S.H.I.E.L.D..
The Orb was hidden away inside Morag's deep Temple Vault where it was eventually located by Yondu Udonta's Ravagers. Before Udonta could claim it however, Star-Lord found it and took it for himself, only to be almost immediately confronted by Korath the Pursuer who had been ordered to find it by Ronan the Accuser. During their ensuing confrontation, Star-Lord escaped with the Orb, despite being chased down by Korath's army of Sakaarans and becoming the target of Gamora, who had been sent by Thanos and Ronan to reclaim the Orb. The Nova Corps captured Star-Lord for his crimes and also took the Orb.
Star-Lord and Gamora made a deal, along with Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax the Destroyer to join forces to escape the Kyln and sell the Orb to the Collector. The plan worked out and eventually, the group made it to Knowhere where they were greeted by Carina and the Collector, who told them the full story of the Infinity Stones. Just before the Collector could buy the Orb, Carina touched the stone inside, causing a massive explosion which destroyed the Collector's Museum and forced them to escape.
As a result, the Orb was located by Ronan the Accuser, whose forces of Sakaarans led by Nebula managed to overpower Gamora and claim the Orb for themselves. Having learned the true power of the Orb, however, Ronan chose not to hand it over to Thanos as he had agreed, and instead took its power for himself, planning to use it to destroy Xandar before attacking Thanos himself, while gaining the support of both Nebula and Korath the Pursuer in his plans.
Although Ronan the Accuser attempted to destroy Xandar with the Orb's incredible power, he was confronted by the Guardians of the Galaxy who were supported by the Ravagers and the Nova Corps who all fought against him and his army. During the Battle of Xandar, Ronan's ship the Dark Aster was destroyed and he himself was killed when Star-Lord took the Orb's power. Star-Lord handed over the Orb to the Nova Corps to be locked away for safety.
Creating a Vision
Having been held by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the Scepter was eventually found by the Avengers and taken into the custody of Tony Stark, who decided to use it in his experiments to bring life to Ultron, who he planned to use to bring about a peaceful world with the help of Bruce Banner. However the Mind Stone's power gave Ultron too much wisdom and gave him a vicious and bloodthirsty viewpoint of humanity itself, driving him to the point that he sought to destroy it completely.
During his war with the Avengers, Ultron stole the Scepter and used it, while combining the knowledge and resources of Helen Cho and the Vibranium he had taken from Ulysses Klaue, to create a new and powerful body known as the Vision. The being was taken from him when the Avengers stole the Cradle during the Battle of Seoul, leading to Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Thor granting the being life with the Mind Stone embedded in its skull.
The Vision viewed Ultron as a danger to Earth and decided to join the Avengers in fighting him. During the Battle of Sokovia, the Vision used the power of the Mind Stone against the overwhelming army of Ultron Sentries, and combined its power with Iron Man and Thor's power to overpower and defeat Ultron, who could not match Vision's power. With the war won, Vision decided to join the Avengers and use his remarkable power to aid the protection of Earth.
Thor went to the Water of Sights to see again the disturbing vision that Scarlet Witch had caused him to have during the Battle at the Salvage Yard. Garnering better details, Thor saw the Scepter relieved of its stone, the Aether, the Orb, and the Tesseract all lined up into a row. Thor then went to Avengers Tower and helped to bring Vision to life because he possessed the Mind Stone; Thor understood its relationship to the other Stones and how Vision could help in the final defeat of Ultron. Later, Thor related his knowledge that four of the Infinity Stones had been located.
- "I wish to understand it. The more I do, the less it controls me. One day... who knows? I may even control it."
As they were talking at the New Avengers Facility, Vision explained to Wanda Maximoff that although he knew where the Mind Stone had come from, he did not know its true nature. He said to her that the more he understood it, the less it controlled him and some day he may control it. Later, during the Rescue of Wanda Maximoff, Maximoff used her powers to control the Mind Stone and push Vision many meters beneath the facility.
The next day, at the end of the Clash of the Avengers, War Machine asked Vision to disable Falcon's wings with the Stone. However, the beam Vision fired accidentally hit War Machine's Arc Reactor, causing him to crash on the ground. At the hospital where James Rhodes was treated, Tony Stark approached Vision and asked him how it had happened, so Vision answered that he had been distracted and he did not know it was possible.
Attack on the Sanctums
Having been stored within Kamar-Taj for safeguarding, the Eye of Agamotto was eventually discovered by Doctor Strange during his studies. Taking the Eye, Strange experimented with its power by creating a time loop in which he regrew an apple several times until he was discovered by Wong, who warned him to stop due to the risks of using such a powerful item. Strange kept the Eye with him during his battles against Kaecilius and the Zealots, not yet using its power.
When Strange and Karl Mordo travelled to Hong Kong to confront Kaecilius, they discovered that the Sanctum located there had already been destroyed and that Kaecilius and his Zealots were successful in their plan to bring Dormammu and the Dark Dimension to Earth. Strange then used the Eye's power to rebuild the Sanctorum by reversing time. However, Kaecilius stopped him, almost allowing Dormammu to come to Earth, so Strange went into the Dark Dimension and used the Eye to trap Dormammu in a time loop.
Each time Doctor Strange was killed by Dormmamu, time reversed until just before their confrontation, where Strange kept Dormmamu prisoner, albeit at the cost of his suffering. Strange told Dormmamu to end his assault and take his zealots with him in exchange for Strange breaking the loop. With the war over, Strange left the Eye in Kamar-Taj with Wong having confidence Strange could wield the Eye without abusing its power once he has mastered its powers. Until then, he cannot wear it in public. However, Strange did wear the Eye during his meeting with Thor.
When Hela was in Odin's Vault, she passed by the Tesseract and noted "that's not bad", making it the only relic where she was actually impressed by. Later, as Loki was about to summon up Surtur to cause Ragnarök, he passed by the Tesseract as well and took it so he could warp himself to the Statesman ship with Thor and the rest of the Asgardians before Asgard was obliterated.
- Stone Color: Blue
- Original Containment Unit: Tesseract
- Current Location: Inside the Statesman (since 2017)
- Current Owner: Loki (since 2017)
- Previous Owners:
- Description: The Tesseract is named for its cube-like appearance and is capable of controlling space itself, providing the user instant access to any location throughout the universe if used correctly. The unique element that composes the Tesseract has also been used to create advanced weaponry by races like the Humans. This stone played an important role in humanity's development during the dawn of the superhero age, attracting the attention of forces such as Red Skull and Thanos, both of whom sought to use the Tesseract's power for their own sinister intents. It is later revealed that the cuboid is a containment unit built around the actual Infinity Stone so that it could be somewhat safely handled and controlled. Despite that, touching the stone bare handed can still have dire consequences as seen with Red Skull. In Thor's vision, the Tesseract is shattered to unveil the blue Space Stone contained within.
- Stone Color: Yellow
- Original Containment Unit: Scepter
- Current Location: Earth, in Vision's head (since 2015)
- Current Owner: Vision (since 2015)
- Previous Owners:
- Description: The Scepter was a weapon that utilized the yellow Mind Stone housed inside a blue computer module, which also masked the stone's presence. Stark originally saw the Stone as a power source, whereas once J.A.R.V.I.S. had the opportunity to study the stone he stated it was more akin to a very powerful computer. The stone within had already been in the possession of Thanos when he gave it to Loki to aid him in his invasion of Earth. It grants to the user powerful mental abilities, like the power to subjugate the minds of others, bending them to the will of the user, as well as project the user's consciousness to a higher plane of existence. The stone was also said to greatly increase the intelligence of those capable of wielding it, as shown in the cases of Loki and Wolfgang von Strucker. When Loki failed in his campaign, the Scepter fell into the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D., eventually being passed on to HYDRA via sleeper agents. The Scepter was then used in various HYDRA experiments, notably inducing superhuman powers in young Sokovian twins Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, and other capabilities such as mind control, astral and energy projection were unearthed as well as telepathic and telekinetic powers. The protective casing of the Scepter's gem was eventually broken by Ultron and the contained stone was used to bring life to the Vision. Thor later entrusted the stone to Vision, stating that Vision was worthy and that safety was hard to come by nowadays. Despite being a part of him, the stone's origin was a mystery for Vision and he wished to understand it so he could control it.
- Stone Color: Red
- Original Containment Unit: Aether
- Current Location: Knowhere, inside the Collector's Museum (since 2013)
- Current Owner: Taneleer Tivan (since 2013)
- Previous Owners:
- Description: The Aether appears as a dark, red, viscous liquid. It acts like a symbiotic force, capable of being absorbed into the body of a living host, giving the user the ability to warp reality at will, granting that person immense strength, durability, powers, and subjective influence over the universe. Malekith planned to use the Aether's reality bending abilities to cover all Nine Realms in darkness; however, he was stopped by the combined efforts of Thor and Jane Foster. Only two people, Jane Foster and Malekith, are known to have been hosts for the Aether, but circumstances prevented the full extent of the Aether's potential from being explored. It is later shown that the Aether is actually an Infinity Stone contained in a liquid form, and in Thor's vision this liquid solidifies into the red Reality Stone.
- Stone Color: Purple
- Original Containment Unit: Orb
- Current Location: Xandar, inside the Nova Corps Headquarters (since 2014)
- Current Owner: Nova Corps (since 2014)
- Previous Owners:
- Description: The Power Stone is an incredible power source, it increases the user's physical abilities and allows it to manipulate energy, which, when used at full potential, has enough power to obliterate an entire planet when unleashed. This stone was sought by Thanos, who tasked Ronan the Accuser to acquire it from the dead planet of Morag, in exchange for destroying Xandar. Star-Lord acquired the stone instead and was prepared to give it to Taneleer Tivan with Gamora until its destructive power was unleashed at Knowhere. Soon after, Ronan obtained it and harnessed its energy with the intent of destroying all life on Xandar and killing Thanos. Star-Lord and the Guardians of the Galaxy were able to take the stone from Ronan and collectively harness its power to destroy him. They then gave the stone to Nova Prime Irani Rael for safe-keeping on Xandar.
- Stone Color: Green
- Original Containment Unit: Eye of Agamotto
- Current Location: Earth, inside the New York Sanctum
- Current Owner: Doctor Strange
- Previous Owners:
- Description: The Eye of Agamotto is an ancient artifact, a pendant created by Agamotto, the first Sorcerer Supreme, presumably to contain and harness the power of the green Time Stone contained inside. After being stored for an unknown amount of time on a pedestal in Kamar-Taj, it was recently wielded by Doctor Stephen Strange, first to aid him in his learning of sorcery, then in his final fight against Kaecilius and Dormammu. When wielded by someone having the necessary knowledge and skills, it appeared to be able to control the flow of time, be it on a small or massive scale, notably to turn back something to a previous state, to accelerate its time in order to apply changes that have not happened yet, or to lock it in a time loop, resetting its state until the wielder stops its effect. It appeared skilled sorcerers, or perhaps users of powers from the Dark Dimension could to an extent subtract themselves to the effects of the stone, stopping the time reversal affecting oneself or detecting one was stuck in a time loop. It was noted by Wong and Karl Mordo that the use of the Eye was contrary to the natural order of things and extremely dangerous. With Wong's approval, it was placed back on its pedestal by Strange until he learned how to properly harness its powers. Strange branded it once again a little while later while meeting with Thor and Loki.
- Stone Color: Orange
- Original Containment Unit: Unknown
- Current Location: Unknown
- Current Owner: Unknown
- Previous Owners:
- Description: Unknown
Each of the Infinity Stones has the ability to be wielded and used by either a single being of exceptional power, or collections of lesser beings who focus their intent. The power of all six stones can be harnessed collectively with the help of the Infinity Gauntlet, but none who have attempted this have survived. The Stones are also completely indestructible, as not even the incredible power of Mjølnir is able to destroy the Reality Stone, for instance. Thor describes the Infinity Stones as the greatest power in the universe, and "unparalleled" in their destructive capabilities. Even a tremendously powerful being like Dormammu is unable to escape the Time Stone's infinite time loop.
The power of the stones are so great that Asgard deems it unwise to house two stones in one place, despite the fact that their vault is extremely well guarded.
- In the comics, the stones were originally referred to as Soul Gems before Thanos decided "Infinity Gems" was a more appropriate name. The six gems consist of Mind, Soul, Power, Space, Time and Reality and all of the gems, with the sole exception of the Time Gem, were shattered. They were recreated after Secret Wars ended and the Marvel Universe was restored, with the Reality Gem appearing in the extra-dimensional Weirdworld.
- As of 2015's comic event Secret Wars, there is now a newly created seventh Gem: the Death Gem, able to instantly kill anything. It is yellow like the Reality Gem (comic version) but it was created to be a decoy for it, and it was used on Thanos by its creator, Anwen Bakian.
- In another universe called the Ultraverse in the comics there is a seventh gem in the mainstream comics called the Ego Gem, which is gold colored.
- Ultron's use of the Mind Stone is a substitute for the encephalo-ray he uses to brainwash or mind-read his victims in the comics.
- Vision's Mind Stone is the substitute for the Solar Gem he uses in the comics.
- Only certain powerful beings can wield Infinity Stones without being harmed. These include the Celestials, the Dark Elves (namely Malekith), the Kree (namely Ronan, though he did promptly place it within the Cosmi-Rod), the half-human Star-Lord, whose father was a Celestial, and Thanos himself. All others, such as Humans and Krylorians, are promptly killed by its power. However, humans that are skilled in magic like Doctor Strange can wield the Infinity Stones. Additionally, artificial beings such as Ultron can hold the stone, as seen when Ultron holds the Mind Stone and puts it in Vision's forehead.
- So far, at least one Infinity Stone appeared in every phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The stones were first named as such in the Phase Two film, Thor: The Dark World.
- The only films in the series to not feature Infinity Stones are Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Of the stones, the Aether is the only one that is fluid and ever-changing, while the other stones were contained in objects, such as the Tesseract, the Orb, the Scepter, and the Eye of Agamotto. The Soul Stone has yet to be revealed, though Guardians of the Galaxy implies that its color is orange.
- A deleted scene from Avengers: Age of Ultron, where Thor goes to the Water of Sights, explains how he knew that four Infinity Stones were found at that time, despite being ignorant of the events in Guardians of the Galaxy.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Guardians of the Galaxy
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Thor: The Dark World
- ↑ Captain America: The First Avenger
- ↑ The Avengers
- ↑ Thor: The Dark World Prelude
- ↑ Thor
- ↑ Captain America: The Winter Soldier Mid-credits Scene
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ Captain America: Civil War
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 Doctor Strange
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Thor: Ragnarok
- ↑ Kevin Feige Lays Down Details on Marvel's Cinematic Infinity Gems
- ↑ James Gunn on Twitter
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron/Home Video