Mind Stone (yellow)
The final stone Thanos got his giant hands on when he ripped it from Vision’s head was the Mind Stone. It gives its user powerful mental capabilities, including reaching a higher plane of consciousness and controlling the minds of others. When Thanos placed it in the Gauntlet, he transcended his mortal existence and became a literal god with the power to create and destroy life at will. This was also how he made his dusting arbitrary–the stone determined that for him. Perhaps this is the same concept as god being omnipotent but also giving Adam and Eve free will.
He needed the Mind Stone just as much for its other ability though. Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said Peter Parker took longer than the others to vanish because he was fighting his demise. Without the Mind Stone it’s possible some would-be victims would have been able to survive for a lot longer, if not entirely.
Time Stone (green)
Thanos told Doctor Strange it would be “mercy” to kill half of all life in the universe in an instant, but with planets separated by billions of light years that isn’t possible without the Time Stone. The Mad Titan can freeze time everywhere, regardless of relativity, so all of those deaths happened at roughly the same exact moment.
This might seem like the most obvious use of any individual stone, but we know from the end of Doctor Strange that using the Time Stone on such a grand scale runs “contrary to the natural order of things,” which is why it is probably the only Infinity Stone that needed another one to counterbalance it.
Reality Stone (red)
Thanos showed off the power of the Reality Stone on Knowhere when he tricked the Guardians, and he relied on it multiple times during the fight on Titan. It’s so powerful the VFX team considering using it as the reason for the actual “dusting” (along with the Soul Stone). But when Thanos snapped his fingers, he didn’t change reality in the same manner as he did earlier in the movie. He just made the reality we already knew worse.
The Reality Stone’s major contribution is counteracting the Time Stone. By freezing time everywhere, Thanos destroyed the natural order, which would have had unintended consequences if not for the Reality Stone. He did create an entirely new reality, one where he could manipulate the entire universe at once.
Space Stone (blue)
The Mad Titan’s plan involved the entire universe, but… :checks notes:…space is big. That’s not an issue for whomever wields the Space Stone though. It lets its user be anywhere in an instant by opening up a portal. That’s how Loki brought the Chitauri fleet into New York City.
During the snap the Space Stone allowed Thanos to not only stop time, but to be everywhere at once. The Power Stone normally needs to on a planet or in close proximity to its victim, but the Space Stone let its powers spread across the universe.
Soul Stone (orange)
Most of what we know about the Soul Stone still comes from Marvel comics. It can manipulate all living souls, and that’s why it exacts such a price to possess it. The entire point of collecting all of the stones was to kill half of all lives in the universe, but while the Mind Stone took his victims’ will to live, and the Power Stone took their bodies, the Soul Stone took something else entirely.
What did it do exactly? The Russo Brothers confirmed the Soul Stone allows its user to trap souls in a pocket dimension, which is where Gamora went. Was that where she was when we saw her as a young girl (in an orange world) after he snapped his fingers? Could that be where the rest of his victims also went when they turned to dust? That’s the most important question we still need answered, but Red Skull did tell Thanos the Soul Stone has a certain wisdom.
It’s main job might have been to do something Thanos never intended–saving everyone until the Avengers can undo the snap.
What do you think though? How did each Infinity Stone contribute in its own way? It would be a snap to use our comments section below to let us know.