We are just days away from Infinity War, and with this monumental gathering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ahead of us, let’s take a moment to review the biggest link between all of these stories: the much vaunted Infinity Stones.
We know that each stone on its own is incredibly powerful, but if they’re ever brought together, they would imbue a near godlike status. Over the past few years, the Mad Titan Thanos has been orchestrating events in order to bring these stones to him, with the goal of using them to wipe out half the universe in an instant.
Here’s what we know of each Infinity Stone so far, and where we last left them:
The blue Space Stone is currently housed within the Tesseract.
For thousands of years it was in the possession of the Asgardians, until it made its way to Earth for unknown reasons. It was hidden in Norway for some time, before eventually being taken by Johann Schmidt of HYDRA. After his death, the Tesseract was retrieved from the ocean by Howard Stark and came into the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In his hunt for the stones, Thanos struck a bargain with Loki to retrieve the Space Stone from Earth, but failed, and the Tesseract was returned to Asgard once again.
Powers: As part of the Tesseract, the Space Stone is capable of creating gateways through space, and is also an incredibly potent energy source. Like some of the other stones, the Space Stone seems to have some sort of limited intelligence.
Location: The Tesseract was taken from Odin’s vault by Loki, shortly before the destruction of Asgard. It is now with him on the Statesman, the starship that the Asgardians evacuated onto.
The yellow Mind Stone was previously contained within the Scepter, a weapon given to Loki by Thanos to aid him in retrieving the Tesseract from Earth.
Following Loki’s failed invasion, the Scepter was retrieved by S.H.I.E.L.D., who used it as part of their weapons research. It was later taken by HYDRA agents who had infiltrated the organization, and was key in Wolfgang von Strucker’s attempt to create enhanced individuals.
After the Avengers retrieved the Scepter, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner used it to further the Ultron Program, an experimental AI that would be able to direct Stark’s Iron Legion in global peacekeeping efforts. This inadvertently created an extremely hostile AI, who broke the Scepter in order to retrieve the Mind Stone, and planned to use the stone to create an organic body for himself.
Instead, the Avengers managed to retrieve the body before Ultron could be uploaded into it, and instead placed Stark’s Jarvis AI into it, creating the Vision.
Powers: Like the Tesseract, the Mind Stone is an extremely powerful source of energy. S.H.I.E.L.D. used it in the development of new weaponry, while HYDRA was able to use it to power adapted Chitauri technology. Wolfgang von Strucker was also able to use it to grant individuals superhuman powers.
Within the Scepter, it was also capable of controlling people’s minds, and allowed Loki to project his consciousness across space to communicate with Thanos’s emissary. The Mind Stone itself is described as a computer-like device, and was able to impart full sentience to the artificial beings Ultron and the Vision.
Location: The Mind Stone is contained within the Vision, and is apparently the source of his powers.
The red Reality Stone is housed within the Aether, a liquid-like substance that was previously in the possession of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim.
Following their defeat at the hands of the Asgardians, the Aether was sealed away in an unknown location. Thousands of years later, it was accidentally unearthed by Jane Foster, who was infected by it, becoming the stone’s host. However, the Aether was later successfully drawn out of her body. Afterwards, it was retrieved by the Asgardians, and given to the Collector on Knowhere for safekeeping.
Powers: The Aether is capable of converting matter to dark matter. It can also bond with a being, granting them extraordinary abilities. It is currently unknown if the Reality Stone itself holds further powers if released from the Aether.
Location: The Aether is still in the Collector’s collection on Knowhere.
The purple Power Stone is contained within the Orb.
For a time, the Power Stone was in the possession of a Celestial known as Eson the Searcher, who wielded it as a weapon. At some point though, the stone was contained within the Orb, and hidden on the planet Morag. In a similar deal to Loki’s, Thanos tasked Ronan the Accuser to retrieve it, but it was intercepted by Peter Quill.
Ronan was able to reclaim the Orb on Knowhere though, and betrayed Thanos by keeping the stone for himself, infusing it into his warhammer. Ronan was killed during his attack on the planet Xandar, and the stone was resealed into the Orb, and given to the Nova Corps to protect it.
Powers: When infused into a weapon, the Power Stone is capable of creating powerful, destructive energies that seem only limited by the wielder. In the hands of a Celestial, the Power Stone was able to destroy an entire planet. Unlike other stones though, it does not seem to imbue any powers or abilities when inside of its containment device.
Location: The Power Stone is currently inside of the Nova Corps vault on Xandar.
The green Time Stone is contained within the Eye of Agamotto, a powerful artifact created by the first Sorcerer Supreme.
It has been in the possession of the Masters of the Mystic Arts for thousands of years, and for a time, it was protected within the walls of Kamar-Taj. It was used by Doctor Stephen Strange to defeat Kaecilius and Dormammu, and returned to Kamar-Taj.
Powers: With the right training, the Eye of Agamotto can be used to manipulate time itself, freezing or even reversing the natural flow of events. The Ancient One was also able to use the Eye to peer into the future to some extent, and foresee possible futures.
Location: The Eye of Agamotto is stored in Kamar-Taj, although it was most recently seen in the possession of Doctor Strange when he met with Thor and Loki.
The mysterious sixth and final Infinity Stone is currently a big question mark in the MCU. Its location and relevance to Thanos’s quest will likely be revealed in Avengers: Infinity War later this week.