(Warning: The following contains potential SPOILERS for upcoming movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including both 'Doctor Strange' and 'Avengers: Infinity War.' Proceed with whatever level of caution the all-seeing eye of Agamotto suggests to you is wise.)
Now, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be practically overflowing with mysteries, teases and implied future plotlines, but there are none quite as mysterious, teasing or definitely on their way as the Infinity Stones. The six mysterious gems that will — in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War — most likely find themselves embedded into the mad Titan Thanos's Infinity Gauntlet are, after all, some of the most iconic MacGuffins in comic book-dom — not least because we've already met four of them in the MCU.
As it turns out, though...
We Now Know Where Five Of Marvel's Infinity Stones Are Hiding
While the Space, Mind, Reality and Power stones have all been revealed over the past few years of Marvel Cinematic Universe-ing, the final pair — the Time and Soul stones — have thus far remained mysteriously hidden. Fans, however, have long theorized that a fifth stone will appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange, and that it would, in fact, absolutely positively be the Time stone.
However, such theories were very much lacking one key ingredient — and indeed have the full force of Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige's apparent debunking of them standing against them. You see, Feige recently noted that:
"We don’t get into [the Infinity Stones] in [Doctor Strange] because, again, we’ve got a lot to take in ... A lot of new concepts, a lot of new characters, there’s a lot of new mythologies that we didn’t to clutter up by telling you about other MacGuffins."
Which would seem to suggest that we won't be seeing any Infinity Stones in the movie, right? Well, perhaps. Here's the thing, though:
It Seems That The Time Stone Will Turn Up In Doctor Strange After All
That, at least, is very much the impression given by Doctor Strange's prop-master, Barry Gibbs, who revealed during a set visit earlier this year that Strange's Eye of Agamotto just so happens to open at one point, revealing a small, green stone hiding inside.
Which, with Kevin Feige having previously revealed that the Eye of Agamotto is able to manipulate time, would seem to make it likely that the Eye does in fact contain the Time Stone. Or, alternatively, the folks at Marvel are just screwing with us, and Thanos is actually just going to turn out to be Stan Lee in a fantastic Halloween costume.
While we try to work that one out, though, let's take a look at...
Where The Four Infinity Stones We Already Know About Are Currently Hiding
The Space Stone, a.k.a. The Tesseract
What is it? Remember that shiny blue cube that Loki used to create havoc back in The Avengers, and that the Red Skull spent so much time obsessing over? Yeah, it's that. It's also, however, a supremely powerful teleportation device — hence its ability to open a giant, Chitauri ship-sized portal.
Where is it now? Hopefully, in Asgard, under the protection of Heimdall. With Loki currently up to no good up there, though, it's tough to say for sure. What's more, with Thor: Ragnarok on the way, it's probably safe to assume that it's going to have a new home by the end of 2017.
The Mind Stone, a.k.a. The Scepter
What is it? Capable of controlling the mind of pretty much anyone it comes into contact with, the Mind Stone first came to prominence in the form of Loki's Thanos-gifted Scepter, which he memorably used to ruin Hawkeye. More recently, though, the Mind Stone has found its way into The Vision's forehead, and thus essentially joined the Avengers.
Where is it now? Wherever Vision is, presumably — which, by the time Avengers: Infinity War rolls around, could be pretty much anywhere.
The Reality Stone, a.k.a. The Aether
What is it? In stark contrast to the gem-like rest of the Infinity gang, the Reality Stone arrived in the MCU in the liquid-like form of the Aether. Under the control of the Dark Elf Malekith, it was used as a powerful weapon, though its key function remains the ability to turn matter into dark matter.
Where is it now? In an ideal world? In the care of Taneleer Tivan (a.k.a. The Collector), and stored in his newly rebuilt collection. In a worst case scenario? In the wake of the destruction of his "museum," it could really be anywhere.
The Power Stone, a.k.a. The Orb
What is it? As its name suggests, the stone is essentially pure, uncontrollable power, capable of energy projection so powerful that it can destroy planets in mere moments. What's more, it is virtually unusable by regular humanoid lifeforms — unless, it seems, they have the power of friendship/mysterious parents who are not of this world. Yeah, that's right, I'm looking at you, Peter Quill.
Where is it now? On the Nova Corps homeworld of Xandar, within a high security vault. Which means we're probably going to get to see Thanos organize a good ol' fashioned heist, which is nice.
All of that, then, only leaves one final member of the six — the Soul stone — left to be discovered. A final MacGuffin for Avengers: Infinity War to play with, perhaps?
Still want more on Doctor Strange, and what else we're going to see? Never fear, we've got you covered right here.
In the meantime, what do you think? What's next for the Infinity Stones? Let us know below!