The big plot thread running through almost all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films since the beginning has been the introduction of the Infinity Stones. Each of these powerful artifacts, all dating back to the dawn of time, has the ability to control a different property in the known universe. In the pages of the classic Marvel Comics, the stones (there called the Infinity Gems) were combined together by the mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin in the films), who placed them all on his Infinity Gauntlet, which in turn made him the most powerful being in the universe. This story ran through the epic
There are six Infinity Stones all together, although so far over the course of 14 Marvel Cinematic Universe films, we have only been introduced to five of them. Here is a primer for Marvel fans to get caught up one each of the Infinity Stones–i.e., which film they first appeared in and where they are now–before Thanos gets his greedy, evil paws on them.
The Space Stone / The Tesseract
The Tesseract was properly introduced in 2011’s
Decades later, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), secretly tried to use the Tesseract in the creation of a new class of energy-based weapons. Loki then stole it from S.H.I.E.L.D. and used to it open a portal through space, which brought his alien army the Chitauri to invade the Earth. This invasion was of course stopped by the Avengers in their first big screen outing; afterwards, Thor returned the Tesseract to Asgard, where it resides once again in Odin’s vault.
Last Seen: Being taken by Thor back to Asgard, at the end of 2012’s
The Aether / The Reality Stone
The Aether, a.k.a. the Reality Stone, was first seen in Thor: The Dark World, and although it is technically an Infinity “Stone,” we see it almost only in its liquid state. What its exact power is remains unknown, but it was almost used to physically alter the nature of reality itself. In its film debut, the lord of the Dark Elves known as Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), tried to use it to snuff out all light in the universe. Bor, Thor’s grandfather, put a stop to him and took possession of the Aether, and hid it away on a secret planet.
There it stayed dormant until the events of The Dark World. Once they got it back, Thor and the Asgardians had to decide where to safely hide it, as it was recognized that having two Infinity Stones kept in such close quarters would render too easy a target. The Asgardians decided to turn it over to The Collector (Benicio del Toro) in the end credits tag of
Last Seen: Going into the Collector’s vast collection, in the end credits tag after 2013’s
The Orb / The Power Stone
This stone was first seen in
Last Seen: In the custody of the Nova Corps on Xandar at the end of 2014’s
The Mind Stone
This one actually also made its debut back in the original
Eventually, the mind stone is freed from the scepter, which had fallen into the hands of HYDRA, and was used in the creation of a powerful sentient android that had the stone embedded on his forehead. That android, going by the name the Vision (Paul Bettany), helped the Avengers defeat their robot nemesis in
Last Seen: In 2016’s
The Eye of Agamotto / The Time Stone
In last year’s
The Eye was then kept hidden and safe inside the ancient library of Kamar-Taj, home of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Doctor Stephen Strange was able to use the Time Stone to defeat the dark lord Dormammu from conquering our dimension.
Last Seen: Safe in the hands of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, at the end of 2016’s
The Soul Stone
This one has yet to make its film debut, but expect it to show up in either
Are you ready now for the big cosmic battle of
[brightcove video_id=”5396289801001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”rJs2ZD8x”]