(Warning: The following contains theoretical SPOILERS for Marvel's upcoming 'Doctor Strange' and the wider MCU beyond it. Proceed with whatever level of caution the Eye of Agamotto suggests to you is wise...)
Much like all of the finest stories, The Marvel Cinematic Universe has long had a great mystery at its core. Where other series' might have speculated about the membership of the The Avengers or on the future of Iron Man, the MCU long ago nailed its colors to the mast of a mystery galactic in scale: that of Thanos, and the Infinity Gauntlet.
After all, Thanos's big reveal in the closing moments of The Avengers didn't just confirm that the mad Titan would be coming to the MCU (and, essentially, that everything was building towards the as-of-then-unannounced Avengers: Infinity War — it also gave us a burning question to ask, and gradually see answered:
Just Where In The Nine Realms Are The Infinity Stones?
After all, with Thanos clearly in search of the six immensely powerful gems, the location of the as yet unrevealed stones has long been the burning question at the core of the MCU.
The Space Stone lies within the Tesseract (which first appeared back in Captain America: The First Avenger), while the Mind Stone is currently to be found in The Vision's forehead, having spent some time in Loki's Scepter back in The Avengers. The Reality Stone, meanwhile, is currently being guarded by The Collector, having been deposited there after turning up in Thor: The Dark World as The Aether, while the previously Orb-contained Power Stone was left with the Nova Corps by the Guardians of the Galaxy after being reclaimed from the villainous Ronan.
That, though, leaves two further stones out there to be found: the Time Stone and the Soul Stone. So, where are they hiding — and when will we see them arrive?
Well, if this fan theory is correct...
One of The Infinity Stones May Well Be Hiding in 'Doctor Strange'
Indeed, as intrepid Redditor stevethesquatch argues:
Every powerful or sought-after item up to this point in the MCU has been housing an infinity stone — the Tesseract and the Loki's Scepter from Phase 1, the Aether and the Orb from Phase 2 — have all been powered by the stones. Also, each of these items have been given no backstory and come from another realm or world. This means other powerful items like Tony Stark's Arc Reactor couldn't have an infinity stone even if we wanted it to.
With Doctor Strange looking set to introduce yet another key object, it might just mean we're set to see another Infinity Stone turn up in the movie — hanging around Strange's neck:
Doctor Strange's necklace, the Eye of Agamotto, is one of the mediators through which he channels the magical arts. It's a powerful amulet, and based on [the theory of] powerful objects, it's possibly the source of the next [Infinity Stone].
What's more, there's a further theory floating around the interweb that might just support the logic of the Eye of Agamotto being an Infinity Stone. Fans have long theorized that the six Infinity Stones' sources have been cunningly designed to begin with a letter from Thanos' name.
The Tesseract (T), Aether (A), Orb (O), and Scepter (S) do, after all, collectively make up four of the six letters of Thanos's name, leaving H and O still to be (theoretically) discovered.
Now, while the Eye of Agamotto wouldn't fit into that pattern, it's entirely possible that — like the Orb and Loki's Scepter — the Eye would instead be known by a more functional name. A necklace, perhaps, thus giving us our N?
The big question then:
Just Which Infinity Stone Would It Be?
Well, as stevethesquatch argues:
It's simple; Doctor Strange will be using the powers of the Time Stone. The Eye of Agamotto has many different abilities, including the ability to see into the past and suspend time. Marvel produce Kevin Feige even said in an interview [
] that the Eye would be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially with its ability to manipulate probability. This sounds an awful lot like the Time Stone and its powers.
Which, if true, would leave only the Soul Stone (and perhaps the letter H) — but that's a theory for another day.
Whatever the truth of the matter, though — and we'll have to wait until November 4 to find out for sure — it sure is a neat theory, and one well worth the pondering.
What do you think, though?
Is Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto the Time Stone?