Where are all the MCU Infinity Stones now?

They haven't used the title all that much in the films, but the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been built around the Infinity Stones. Often called "Infinity Gems" in the comics, these mystic superpowered baubles have shown up in almost every Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film to date — and its all been leading to Infinity War.

The mysterious Tesseract; that powerful stone in Vision's forehead; Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto — those powerful little rocks are all among the MCU's Infinity Stones. Marvel fans have seen big bad Thanos searching for and plotting to get his hands on them since the first Avengers film, and everything climaxes in Avengers: Infinity War, when he's showing up on Earth to just take them all for himself.

But where exactly are the Infinity Stones in the MCU? We've encountered most of them already, and it isn't hard to surmise where in the Marvel Universe the rest might be scattered. Here's the full rundown of where we can find all of the MCU's Infinity Stones leading up to Avengers: Infinity War.

The Mind Stone (Vision's headgear)

Loki used the Mind Stone in his scepter to great effect in The Avengers, brainwashing folks like Hawkeye to do his bidding along the way. Earth's Mightiest Heroes spent the early part of Avengers: Age of Ultron tracking it down from Hydra's control, and Tony Stark tapped into its power to create the extremely powerful new hero Vision to help the team defeat Ultron. One side effect of that creation process? The Mind Stone is literally what gives Vision his immense power in the MCU, meaning that particular Infinity Stone is currently embedded in his forehead. When last we left Vision at the end of 2016's Captain America: Cvil War, he was serving on the "official" Avengers squad under the leadership of Iron Man.

It stands to reason this will be one of the easiest Stones for Thanos to find once he lands in the middle of New York City, and footage from the film's first trailer seemingly shows one of Thanos' minions making a move to pluck it out of Vision's skull. No word on exactly what that will mean for Vision, but it's likely not good news.

The Space Stone (a.k.a. the Tesseract)

The Space Stone has been kicking around the MCU since Captain America: The First Avenger under the moniker of the Tesseract, and has been used by both the Red Skull and Loki in attempts at world domination (S.H.I.E.L.D. also held it for a while to try and mine its capabilities for super-weapons). After Thor, Iron Man and the gang defeated Loki in The Avengers, the Tesseract was shipped back to Asgard for safekeeping inside Odin's vault, which housed all kinds of powerful goodies. That was the last place this particular Infinity Stone was seen, though considering Asgard was destroyed down to its foundations during Thor: Ragnarok, it stands to reason it survived in some way. Best guess? Loki was the last person in the vault, so he almost certainly grabbed it before sparking the match to burn Asgard to the ground on Thor's order. The first trailer for Infinity War offers its own clues, showing Loki holding the Tesseract in the street — so if nothing else, we know he ends up with it somehow.

The Time Stone (Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto)

The Time Stone was first introduced to the MCU in Doctor Strange as the Eye of Agamotto, discovered among the artifacts being held by the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Strange uses it to create a time loop to save the world from the reality-devouring Dormammu, outsmarting one of the Marvel Universe's most dangerous entities. Despite the fact that he saved the world, Strange is still learning the ropes when it comes to the mystic arts, so the Time Stone was put back in the hands of the Masters of the Mystic Arts and is likely being stored at Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal. When Thanos inevitably attacks, it would make sense for him to either come after the Stone in his pursuit — or perhaps Doctor Strange will arm up with the Eye as he heads into battle with the Mad Titan. Regardless, that Infinity Stone is already on Earth and should make for an easy target for Thanos.

The Reality Stone (Thor: The Dark World's Aether)

The chain of custody on the Reality Stone is a bit harder to track than the rest of the MCU's Infinity Stones. First introduced in Thor: The Dark World as the extremely powerful Aether sought after by Malekith, the Reality Stone was eventually recovered by Thor by the end of the film once the Dark Elves were vanquished. After that, the post-credits scene in The Dark World revealed the Asgardians decided to hand the Stone off to the Collector (eventually introduced fully in Guardians of the Galaxy) for safekeeping, likely because of the dangers of keeping two stones in Odin's vault on the same planet. The Collector's home on Knowhere was eventually destroyed in Guardians of the Galaxy, though it stands to reason he dug the Reality Stone out of the rubble and is still in possession of it at this point. That's assuming he hasn't simply sold it off to Thanos in the meantime, of course.

The Power Stone (Guardians of the Galaxy's Orb)

Most Marvel movies revolve around powerful MacGuffins, but few are as powerful as the mysterious orb everyone is fighting over in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. That world-destroying orb is the Power Stone, which Peter Quill tracks down on a planet during the film's opening set piece, and Ronan the Accuser later attempts to manipulate to wipe Xandar off the map. Quill eventually reacquires it, and holds hands with the rest of his team at the climax of Guardians of the Galaxy to use its power to take out Ronan once and for all (following an epic dance-off, of course). Once the battle was won, Quill handed the Power Stone over to the Nova Corps for safekeeping on Xandar. Presuming it hasn't wandered off to another spot in the MCU, it would seem that Thanos will have to wage war against the entire intergalactic police force to get his hands on this particular Infinity Stone.

The Soul Stone (Location Unknown)

The first few phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have done most of the heavy lifting introducing the majority of the Infinity Stones, but one mystery remains: The Soul Stone. The mysterious final stone has seemingly yet to be introduced in any way within the MCU — though a few theories abound. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already planted the seed for Adam Warlock's introduction, and the Soul Stone is intimately connected to his origin story in the comics. So if Marvel wanted to bring that character into the fold ahead of Guardians Vol. 3, it'd make for a convenient outlet. 

The most likely option, though, seems to be Black Panther. The land of Wakanda is the most technologically advanced on the planet, and is an extremely spiritual place, to the point we see Black Panther actually travel to the spirit realm to confer with his late father. Looking to the footage we've seen of Infinity War, Wakanda seems to factor in heavily — to the point we see a full Wakandan army charging into battle. Could Wakanda be in possession of the final Infinity Stone, and that charge is the nation's battle to keep it from falling into Thanos' hands? It'd make a lot of sense, and give Black Panther a clear role and Wakanda real stakes in Thanos' assault.

The Gauntlet

All of the MCU's Infinity Stones have to fit together somehow, and that's where the Infinity Gauntlet comes in. It's designed to hold them all and give the wearer practically godlike powers, and Thanos has a leg up on the competition: The post-credits scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron showed Thanos wearing the gauntlet (though at that point it was lacking the Stones themselves). It would seem that he's already in possession of the Gauntlet and only needs to gather the Stones when Infinity War rolls around.

As keen-eyed fans are likely also aware, the Infinity Gauntlet was previously shown all the way back in 2011's Thor, when it was featured in the background of Odin's vault — included simply as an Easter egg at the time. It created a continuity problem once things started barreling toward an eventual war with Thanos, so Thor: Ragnarok cleverly retconned that Gauntlet to confirm it was actually a fake. When Hela takes over Asgard and raids Odin's vault, she throws the Gauntlet down and notes it's just a prop. It made for a fun joke, but also cleaned up a messy plot thread that had been left dangling since 2011.

Infinity Stones assembled

The promo art and early footage from Infinity War shows Thanos seemingly in possession of all the Infinity Stones in the MCU, which doesn't bode well for Earth's Mightiest Heroes. If the Gauntlet has a power set similar to the one that's been portrayed in the comics, all the heroes in the MCU will have their hands full stopping Thanos. It allows the wearer to manipulate time and change the past, manipulate space and matter, and basically rewrite reality itself on a whim. The comics version of the gauntlet, when fully powered, can also give the wearer godlike omnipotence. 

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention a few weird rules to keep in mind from the comics: the glove can't be used to destroy itself, for starters, and it only works in its own universe. Considering the MCU has yet to go full multiverse, that's unlikely to be an issue, but good to keep in mind in case Miles Morales comes swinging in from the Ultimate Universe to try and save the day.