Next year's Avengers: Infinity War is set to be the crowning glory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, drawing together plot-threads that have been in the works since back in 2008. One of the most important of these, of course, is the mystery of the #InfinityStones — powerful, ancient objects of near-infinite power, sought after by the Mad Titan, Thanos himself.
So far, we've seen all but one of these Infinity Stones in play. The last one was revealed in 2016's Doctor Strange, when Benedict Cumberbatch's mystical neophyte took to walking the streets with the Time Stone round his neck. The Soul Stone is the final Infinity Stone to be uncovered, and speculation is rife about where it might show up. Now, in a thrilling comment at Sydney’s Supanova Comic Con, Chris Hemsworth has revealed we'll be seeing that last Stone very soon indeed! According to Reddit user Lawrensaw:
Chris does know where the soul gem [sic] and we'll find out "real soon".
The fact this comment has come from Chris Hemsworth — Thor himself — strongly hints that the Soul Stone will indeed appear in Thor: Ragnarok.
What Are The Possibilities?
Some fans have always believed the Soul Stone would crop up in Thor: Ragnarok. After all, Avengers: Age of Ultron saw Thor confront the revelation that someone was seeking out the Infinity Stones. We know that his quest led him back to Asgard — where he unwittingly released Hela, Cate Blanchett's formidable villain, who unleashes her fury on Asgard! Is it possible that's because Hela, traditionally the Norse Goddess of Death, possesses the Soul Stone?
Another popular possibility is that the Soul Stone is associated with Heimdall (it's tied to a much-loved acronym for T.H.A.N.O.S.). By this argument, the reason Heimdall specifies he can see the "souls" of everyone in the Nine Realms is because he owns the Soul Stone. Although fans are excited about this particular theory, I consider it unlikely; as we saw at the end of Thor: The Dark World, the Asgardians aren't comfortable having more than one Infinity Stone on their planet.
Be Wary Of Assumptions
Before we get too excited, though, it's worth noting that there's one other film before Avengers: Infinity War — #BlackPanther. Wakanda has traditionally been presented as both a high-tech country, and a mystical one; in fact, the Black Panthers typically go through a ritual that takes them to an astral realm, where they encounter the Panther God. One sacred place in Wakanda is the Necropolis, the so-called "City of the Dead," where the souls of every Black Panther remain. As the Panther God once described it:
"Necropolis. The Wakandan City of the Dead... Where Black Panthers go to die. And where you will rule. As king of the dead. Every Panther that has ever lived, their strength, their knowledge is now yours. Every battle fought... Every battle won. Unbeaten. Unbroken. A crown of the unconquered. A king of kings. My champion. My Black Panther."
A Soul Stone would fit very nicely into this kind of concept. Not to mention, of course, it's possible the final Stone will be revealed in Avengers: Infinity War itself. Fans may like the idea of the Stones emerging in all corners of the MCU prior to Infinity War, but there's nothing to stop the Soul Stone staying hidden until Thanos makes his mark in the third Avengers movie. Plus, filming for Avengers: Infinity War has already begun; so if the stone is due to turn up there, Hemsworth would already know.
We know that #InfinityWar seems to feature a lot of action set in Wakanda; a lot of the supporting cast from Black Panther are set to appear in the film, and there have been numerous casting-calls for what appear to be Wakandans. What's more, it's now pretty much certain that Thanos will attack the Earth with the support of his agents, the Black Order; that's got fans particularly excited to see one much-loved scene from the comics where they invaded Wakanda, and clashed with the Black Panther. The catch, of course, is that the Black Order would have little reason to invade Wakanda if they didn't believe there to be an Infinity Stone there.
Whatever the truth may be, one thing is clear; the last Infinity Stone will soon be revealed. The Soul Stone is the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle Marvel has been putting together for years. Will the T.H.A.N.O.S. acronym turn out to be right? Will Hela be owner of the Soul Stone? Or will it instead be in Wakanda? Chris Hemsworth is right; we'll soon find out!
Do you think the Soul Stone will appear in 'Thor: Ragnarok' or in 'Black Panther'?
(Source: Reddit; Poll Image Credit: Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios)