Tracking the Infinity Stones After Avengers: Endgame

With Disney+ series Loki set to change everything with the Time Variance Authority and the Multiverse, we're catching up with where we left each Infinity Stone... and where they could be now.

by | June 8, 2021 | Comments

Avengers: Endgame

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Several years ago, Rotten Tomatoes tracked the location of the Infinity Stones going into Avengers: Infinity War. At the time, the big mystery was the location of the Soul Stone, which turned out to be a big plot point in the film. But three years later, the stones are gone. As revealed in Avengers: Endgame, Thanos (Josh Brolin) used their power to unmake them, forcing the Avengers into committing a Time Heist to reverse the effects of the Blip.

Nevertheless, the Stones continue to exist thanks to variant timelines and that Multiverse that Marvel keeps teasing. And though Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) returned each Stone to the places in history from which the Avengers borrowed them – and their story is seemingly concluded – they may continue to prove relevant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly as the new Disney+ Loki series features the variant of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) who spirited away the Space Stone in Endgame. So, join us on a journey across time and possibility to track the Infinity Stones…

The Time Stone

Doctor Strange

(Photo by Jay Maidment / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: Presumably, in the hands of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) on the rooftop of the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Where It Could Be Now: Although “our” Time Stone is still gone, the loss of it from within the Eye of Agamotto may play a role in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Will Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) convince himself he can safely take a copy of the Time Stone from another reality or timeline? Maybe that choice sets off the adventure as the dark future the Ancient One teased in Endgame comes to pass. Also, trying to break the laws of time feels like the sort of thing Strange would do, even if it means he’d have to talk an alternate version of himself into doing it.

The Space Stone

Avengers: Endgame

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: Back at Camp Lehigh, the S.S.R./S.H.I.E.L.D. base in the 1970 where Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is somehow tolerating the presence of Howard Stark (John Slattery).

Where It Could Be Now: The Stone he returned is only one variant – which Mar-Vell (Annette Benning) will use a decade or so later. The other, as we mentioned above, was nabbed by Loki during the Avengers’ botched attempt to get it just after the Battle of New York. And as we saw as we saw in April’s Loki trailer, it is in the possession of a TVA agent when Loki is arrested. That leaves one to wonder if the Stone will be in their evidence locker or if they have a way to return it to Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) custody in that alternate timeline. Will it continue to be a part of Loki’s overall scheme? Or will his experience with the TVA lead him down a path away from the Infinity Stones?

Also, wouldn’t Steve feel honor-bound to retrieve the Space Stone from Loki and put it back in its proper place?

The Soul Stone

Avengers: Endgame

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: The planet Vormir, where he presumably had a very awkward conversation with the Red Skull (Ross Marquand).

Where It Could Be Now: Still on Vormir, as it requires a steep price to claim it. Although, the return of the Soul Stone brings us back to our favorite pet theory about the upcoming Black Widow movie. Specifically, returning the Stone will release Natasha Romanoff (Scarlet Johansson) from the Soul Space – a scene that could make a very satisfying mid-credit stinger. With rumors that Evans will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some form swirling around, this is the sort of cameo we can see him agreeing to.

The Power Stone

Guardians of the Galaxu

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: On Morag for Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) to discover while nursing a massive headache.

Where It Could Be Now: The return of the Power Stone to its proper place in time is seemingly the most successful of the lot as it means the Peter Quill of that timeline will collect it and proceed through the events of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies being none-the-wiser. Unless, of course, his reality now lacks for a Thanos, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Black Order – all of whom traveled into the future during Endgame. If that is the case, then the Stone is presumably still on Xandar under the protection of the Nova Corps.

Provided, of course, the Guardians of the Galaxy came into existence to defeat Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace). Otherwise, he maybe rampaging across space in some variant timeline.

The Mind Stone

Avengers: Infinity War

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: Next to an unconscious America’s Ass (also Evans) in Stark Tower shortly after the Battle of New York.

Where It Could Be Now: The location of the Mind Stone in that other timeline could be important in the future as it needs to pass into Wolgang von Strucker’s (Thomas Kretschmann) possession not long after the battle. If it doesn’t, then that timeline goes without Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) unlocking an aspect of her powers, Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) never getting his speed, and J.A.R.V.I.S. (Paul Bettany) never becoming a part of Vision (also Bettany). Such a timeline could offer “our Wanda” a source for a proper Mind Stone to give Vision back all his facilities. Well, once she learns about that corpse-like Vision flying around New Jersey.

The Reality Stone

(Photo by © Marvel Studios, © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Where Steve Left It: Somehow, injected back into Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) shortly after Thor and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) took it. Maybe Frigga (Rene Russo) helped out knowing Steve was a friend of her son?

Where It Could Be Now: Presuming this alternate timeline is the same one Thanos was in before he leaped to the future, then the Stone would still be in the possession of The Collector (Benicio del Toro). But as we pointed out with some regularity in our coverage of WandaVision, the red energy Wanda wields visually connects to the Aether and it would not surprise us if the source of the Scarlett Witch’s power stems from the same primordial force contained in the Reality Stone. What that means for Wandas in realities where Thanos never collected the Stones – or even our own Wanda – remains to be seen.

Of course, as the nature of the Marvel Multiverse is still unknown, we are making a lot of presumptions about where the Stones Steve returned could be. For one thing: we are assuming the Stones were mostly picked from one alternate timeline despite the Ancient One telling Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) that stealing them would create divergent timelines at each point from which they were taken. If we take her at her word, then it is possible War Machine’s (Don Cheadle) decision to knock Peter out on Morag means the Guardians of the Galaxy never form and either Ronan or Ego (Kurt Russell) succeed in their plan. Also, the Ancient One’s reality may have been swallowed up by Dormammu even if Steve returned the Time Stone to her. The mere seconds it was gone still could matter.

But one of the elements we’re looking forward to in Loki is a greater clarity about what it means to pluck a Stone from its rightful place in time. Perhaps we’ll even get greater clarity on the success of Steve’s mission to return them at the end of Endgame or, perhaps, we’ll learn of a new power tempting the god of mischief away from his old objectives.

Loki premieres on Disney+ Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

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