How 'Thor Ragnarok' Fits into Marvel's Infinity Stone Plan

Infinity War, the superhero team-up movie that Marvel Studios has been planning for years, is coming in 2018. Thanks to Thor: Ragnarok, the stage is almost set.

Infinity War will follow Marvel's huge cast of superheroes and gods as they try to keep Thanos (Josh Brolin) from collecting five special space rocks called Infinity Stones. The Stones fit in Thanos's "gauntlet," or his giant gold glove. The Infinity Gauntlet makes a quick appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel's newest film (spoilers ahead!).

These stones have all appeared in previous Marvel movies, though no one in the cinematic universe knows what Thanos is planning to do with them. One space rock, the Soul Stone, is still unaccounted for; many fans now believe it's in Wakanda, Marvel's fictional, hidden African nation, and will make its debut in Black Panther, the only Marvel film remaining before Infinity War hits theaters.

If you're confused, here's a quick guide to each of the Infinity Stones, what they do, and where they were when we last saw them.

infinity war cast The entire cast of the Avengers as they will appear in 'Infinity War'. Getty Images / Jesse Grant

Marvel's grand plan for the Stones

According to the Collector (Benicio Del Toro) in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Infinity Stones are as old as the dawn of time. The Collector, like The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) in Thor: Ragnarok, is an Elder, an ancient intergalactic being. Because the Collector and Grandmaster aren't quite human, they're aware of a race of even older, more powerful beings called Celestials. We've seen two and a half Celestials in the Marvel universe so far: Eson the Searcher, who appeared in a Guardians flashback sequence, and Ego the Living Planet (Kurt Russell) and his biological son Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Only beings as powerful as Ego, Eson, and Star-Lord can wield the Stones by hand.

infinity stone hugo weaving Hugo Weaving as Red Skull in 'Captain America: The First Avenger'. Marvel Studios

The Space Stone

This blue stone powers the Tesseract, a teleportation device used by HYDRA (Marvel's fictional Nazi squadron) in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Space Stone appears again in The Avengers, Marvel's first stab at a superhero team-up movie. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor's half brother, meets Thanos and agrees to obtain the Space Stone for him in exchange for dominion over Earth.

When the Avengers apprehend Loki, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to his homeworld, Asgard, with both his half-brother and the Space Stone in tow. The Space Stone has stayed in Asgard since the events of The Avengers, and Loki spots it again in Thor: Ragnarok, though we don't see him take it. In the Infinity War footage teased at the Disney fan expo this year, however, we see Loki present the Space Stone to Thanos, which means he probably swiped it during Ragnarok.

fan-theory-will-thanos-use-the-mind-stone-to-turn-vision-against-the-avengers Paul Bettany as Vision, whose life force comes from the Mind Stone in his forehead. Marvel Studios

The Mind Stone

We first saw the Mind Stone when Thanos placed it in a scepter and gave it to Loki as a gift. Loki used his Mind Stone-powered scepter to possess and control Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). SHIELD, a government agency devoted to tracking and training superheroes and "meta-humans," took the Mind Stone after the events of The Avengers. In the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, HYDRA stole the Mind Stone and used it to painfully force superpowers onto Black Widow (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). In the same film, Ultron (the physical manifestation of Tony Stark's AI system) takes the Mind Stone, and it ends up in the forehead of Vision (Paul Bettany), where it still remains.

In order for Thanos to get the Mind Stone into his gauntlet, he'll have to kill Vision in the process. Knowing this, fans anticipate watching this disturbing scene in Infinity War.

Jane Foster suffers under the influence of the Reality Stone in 'Thor: The Dark World'. Marvel Studios

The Reality Stone

The red Reality Stone was once used in a war between Dark Elves and Asgardians (including Thor and Loki's father, Odin). During Thor: The Dark World, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) accidentally discovers the Reality Stone, and contact with it nearly kills her. After battling the Dark Elves for the Reality Stone, Thor regains control of it, and it ends up with The Collector in a post-credit sequence.

Though Thor and the Asgardians don't know this, The Collector has also come into contact with another Infinity Stone, though he lost it in an explosion.

power stone guardians galaxy Star-Lord and the other Guardians of the Galaxy wield the Power Stone. Marvel Studios

The Power Stone

The purple Power Stone appears in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, when Star-Lord tries to sell it to The Collector. At the end of the film, Star-Lord outs himself as a half-Celestial by handling the Stone directly, and he leaves it with Nova Corps, an intergalactic organization similar to Starfleet in the Star Trek universe.

doctor strange Doctor Strange wields the Time Stone. Marvel Studios

The Time Stone

The green Time Stone powers the Eye of Agamatto, one of the many magical tools used by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Though Strange used it against Dormammu in last year's Doctor Strange, he eventually returned it to Kamar-Taj, a fictional city, where it is being protected by a man named Wong (Benedict Wong).

Strange's intention is to return for the Stone once he's perfected his powers. When we see him in Thor: Ragnarok, he's gotten considerably better at magic and bending reality than he was in his solo film, so the time to snatch up that Time Stone is probably soon.

all_five_gems_comics_banner The Infinity "gems" as they appear in Marvel Comics (note that the colors have been changed in the MCU). Marvel Comics

The Soul Stone

The orange Soul Stone has never been mentioned directly or seen in a Marvel film, and many fans are anticipating that it will appear in Thor: Ragnarok (which it doesn't) or Black Panther.

What does any of this have to do with 'Thor: Ragnarok'?

Avengers: Age of Ultron included a controversial scene in which Thor visits a magical area, "Water of Sights," where he receives a vision of the Infinity Stones together. After the vision, Thor says, "The Mind Stone is the fourth of the Infinity Stones to show up in the last few years. It's not a coincidence. Someone has been playing an intricate game and has made pawns of us." He doesn't realize it yet, but he's referring to Thanos.

Though director Taika Watiti has said he didn't keep the Marvel cinematic universe in mind when making his film, it's notable that multiple Stones are mentioned, teased, or appear in Ragnarok. The storyline following the Infinity Stones is getting tighter and tighter.

The blue Space Stone can be spotted in Asgard, we see Doctor Strange, who once wielded the Time Stone, and Loki mentions his run-in with the Mind Stone. We don't see the Power Stone or Reality Stone, but we meet The Grandmaster, who a sort-of cousin to The Collector, who currently possesses the Reality Stone and almost owned the Power Stone. Most importantly, in the first Ragnarok post-credit scene, Thor and Loki come across a massive ship that most likely belongs to Thanos.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are currently in pursuit of Thanos because he tortured and abused two of the group's members, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). During the Infinity War footage that D23 fans saw, the Guardians meet Thor when he lands comically on the dashboard of their space ship. That means it's possible that only moments occur between the end of Ragnarok and the beginning of Infinity War.

Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters November 3.

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