'Infinity War' Wakanda Connection? Fans Trade Theories About the Location of the Soul Stone

Last week, Marvel Studios announced it was moving up the release date of Avengers: Infinity War by a week, to April 27. The company, owned by Disney, followed up that announcement with a line-up of as-yet-untitled Marvel films stretching into 2022.

It's a really good time to be a Marvel fan—and it looks like the ride is never going to stop.

But first is the intergalactic showdown Marvel's cinematic universe has been leading to since Iron Man premiered in 2008. After showing up in post-credit scenes and a supporting role in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) will finally invade the Earth with his armies. In the background of a decade's worth of Marvel movies, Thanos has been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones, and by the start of Infinity War​, it appears, he's closer than ever to finding them all.

Over 10 years of movies, Marvel has seeded the Infinity Stones in various, creative ways, and heading into Infinity War, the location of most of the stones is accounted for: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has the blue Space Stone, Vision (Paul Bettany) has the yellow Mind Stone, The Collector (Benecio Del Toro) has the red Reality Stone, the Nova Corps (led by Glenn Close) has the purple Power Stone, and Wong (Benedict Wong) has the green Time Stone.

The only one missing: the orange Soul Stone. No one knows where it is, exactly, but Marvel fans have some ideas.

Chadwick Boseman in "Black Panther." Marvel/YouTube

The Wakanda theory

Most Marvel fans hoped the Soul Stone would make a quick appearance in Black Panther, but Ryan Coogler's tremendous superhero film wasn't all that bothered with MCU continuity—probably for the best. But because Infinity War trailers show most of the Avengers gathering in Wakanda, some Marvel faithful believe the orange gem is hidden there. In February, one Reddit user posted his belief that the Soul Stone is simply at the bottom of Wakanda's vibranium mine, and many Marvel nerds have decided he's right.

THANOS theory chart
A chart created by an anonymous fan and circulated throughout Marvel fanatic circles. Imgur

The T.H.A.N.O.S. Theory, Part One

As pointed out in a viral image macro, all of the Infinity Stones have been encased in a hiding place that starts with a letter in Thanos' name. The blue Space Stone, for instance, was referred to as "the Tesseract," or the T in Thanos, for several films. When the red Reality Stone first appeared in Thor: The Dark World, most characters called it the Aether, or the A in Thanos. Following this theory, the only remaining letter is "H," and many fans believe this signifies Heimdall (Idris Elba), the all-seeing Asgardian whose golden eyes allow him to view life throughout the galaxy. Marvel nuts who subscribe to the T.H.A.N.O.S. Theory believe Infinity War's big baddie will have to blind Heimdall to get the final stone from his skull. A vision that Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) has in Avengers: Age of Ultron only added fuel to this theory's fire: among her dark predictions was a blind Heimdall.

Adam Warlock as he appears in Marvel comics. Marvel

The T.H.A.N.O.S. Theory, Part Two

Then there are the fans who like the T.H.A.N.O.S. Theory except for the Heimdall part. These viewers believe the real key to the mystery is Adam Warlock, a comic book favorite briefly hinted at in a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credit scene. A perfect man created in space, Warlock is sometimes referred to as simply "Him," which would give the "H" in Thanos an appropriate hiding spot. This theory is made even more believable when you consider, in the comics, Warlock had a bond with the Soul Stone. (We still don't know why James Gunn bothered to introduce Warlock in his second Guardians film, but then again, he introduced Howard the Duck in his first one, and nothing came of that.)

The "entire Soul Planet" theory

Many shots released from Infinity War portray Marvel's superheroes fighting Thanos on an unidentified desecrated planet. This theory simply states that because the environment has popped up so many times in Infinity War trailers and teasers that it has to carry some significance. Because the planet looks vaguely orange, some fans have dubbed it a Soul Planet, and they're hoping Thanos travels there to obtain his final gem.

spacex iron man costume spacesuit astronaut
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has asked the costume designer from the 2008 Hollywood film "Iron Man" to design SpaceX suits. Paramount Pictures/ YouTube

The Tony Stark theory

In some new Infinity War promotional art released this week, an artist commissioned by Disney overlays each of the Infinity Stones atop their corresponding character. Thor appears in the Reality Stone, Cap appears in the Space Stone, etc. Trouble is, the Soul Stone has Tony Stark encased inside it, and until now we've been given no information linking Iron Man to the final stone. While some believe Tony has been secretly hoarding the Stone for a decade—unlikely, as he definitely would have tried to use it in his tech—others recall the line in Iron Man 2 when Tony's father, Howard, said, "What is and always will be my greatest creation, is you." That was most likely an endearing figure of speech delivered from prickly father to equally prickly son, but if taken literally, Howard could have fused the Soul Stone to Tony.

Regardless of where Thanos finds the Soul Stone, the Avengers will have their hands full trying to keep him from destroying all of existence. That battle begins April 27.