It is well-known that the MCU is tied together by the , most of which have already appeared; and they will play a central role in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

They have all shown up in a space of ten years (a trivial span of time compared to their history) and all mostly on Earth, or in interactions with characters with close connections to Earth (i.e. Star-Lord and Thor).

Is there an in-universe explanation for the convergence of the Infinity Stones in time and space?

  • 4
    Err... I guess we'll find out in the Infinity Wars? Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 17:53
  • @Gallifreyan, possible, but there could still be some mention already given they have appeared in -- what? -- six films? Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 17:54
  • 2
    Not sure if this falls under future works or not, since all they've done so far is show up and be portentious. Or if it just falls under Humans Wrote The Damn Plot.
    – Radhil
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 17:54
  • I would also accept any plotlines from the comics that apply. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 17:55
  • 1
    @Terriblefan - Earth isn’t really replete with superpowerful people, or at least not as much as it might seem. For example, the Kree have regeneration and enough strength to go head-to-head with many Inhumans. And that’s all the Kree (not even their more formidable individuals such as Ronan the Accuser), and it doesn’t even count their advanced technology.
    – Adamant
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


The short answer is: Thanos.

For whatever reason, Thanos has begun looking for the Infinity Stones. This has caused at least two that had previously been dormant to resurface.

  • The Mind Stone was given to Loki by Thanos to help him conquer Earth.
  • The Power Stone was found by Star Lord because someone paid him (well, the Ravagers) to find it. We aren't given confirmation, but I think we can presume Thanos was the ultimate buyer.

Two others were on Earth already, long before the current series of movies began:

  • The Space Stone was hidden by the Asgardians on Earth a long time ago, and rediscovered by the Nazis in the 1940s. The arrival of Thor finally prompted SHIELD to begin studying it.
  • The Time Stone has been in the possession of the Masters of the Mystic Arts for a long time. It was never "hidden" -- the people who had it even seem to know what it was. They just kept it secret.

The only one that seems particularly suspicious is the Reality Stone. Of all the appearances of the stones, the fact that Jane Foster just so happened to walk through a portal that led to the Aether at the exact moment she did, is very convenient. In-universe, of course, it was time for the Convergence to happen, but Jane being in exactly the right place, and the portal going to exactly the right place, is the least-explainable part of the whole Infinity Stone saga.

Thor, for his part, seems to realize that "someone" is behind the sudden appearance of the stones. He makes the same comment you did at the end of Age of Ultron:

The Mind Stone is the fourth of the Infinity Stones to show up in the last few years. That's not a coincidence. Someone has been playing an intricate game and has made pawns of us.

Of course that someone is Thanos, and he's doing exactly what Thor thinks, but it's not clear that all of these appearances are his doing. I can't see how he could have influenced the Convergence, for example, or Odin's choice to exile Thor. However, Thanos seems to know a lot about these stones; he may have known that the Convergence was his only chance at the Reality Stone, and detected SHIELD messing with the Space Stone; that may explain why he picked this particular time to start his quest.

  • "but I think we can presume Thanos was the ultimate buyer." - I don't think we can. The Ravagers interrogated the Broker (who was their buyer) and found his buyer to be the Collector. While it isn't confirmed yet in the MCU, the Collector has a precedent for opposing Thanos.
    – DariM
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 22:10
  • Except Gamora tried to steal the stone at the Broker's to keep it from Thanos... she was the one who suggested they sell it to The Collector.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 2:43
  • Gamora suggested the Collector to >Peter Quill<, who had no idea who the Broker planned to sell to. >Yondu< later interrogates the Broker separately, makes him break the confidentiality of his buyers, and gets sent to Knowhere based on the information he gets from the Broker (youtube.com/watch?v=J5tIYBr2g4s). Both trails coincidentally lead to the Collector, not Thanos. The reason Gamora was sent out is because Ronan's >troops< failed to recover the Orb, and it's in the hands of parties Thanos does not control. She merely chooses not to return to Ronan after retrieving it.
    – DariM
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 3:00

We already know that the Mind stone influences people, their ambitions and priorities. Thanos already has this prior to The Avengers, when he gives it to Loki as a tool to conquer Earth and retrieve the Space stone (the Tesseract). We saw it directly influence Bruce Banner, Strucker, Tony Stark, Ultron, and the Twins during their development.

This is pure speculation and opinion, but my theory is that the Mind stone, which governs and links into all consciousness in the Universe, is the true mastermind. It gave Thanos the knowledge, and idea of, bringing all the stones together to use as a weapon. It gave him subconscious knowledge of where to start looking for the other stones. This ties into the Order/Chaos aspect of the Marvel universe. It's never been fully established in the MCU that these entities truly exist or are accessible, but we've seen hints of it:

  • Thanos grinning at 'courting death' in the Avengers post-credits scene
  • Mordo using the Staff of the Living Tribunal during Doctor Strange; Dormammu and the alternate realities
  • Odin's explanation of the Aether's origins and first major use during Thor: The Dark World
  • The Collector's explanation of the source of the Infinity Stones during Guardians of the Galaxy with the artifact of the cosmic entities
  • The first half of season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Ghost Rider

I think the Mind stone (the Consciousness of the Universe) is playing Thanos like a fiddle, partially driving (or multiplying) his desire to court/please Death, to eventually bring balance to the universe (since that ends up being the theme of all these grandiose deus-ex machina macguffin movies) because it knows Thanos will fail.

  • 1
    i just want to point out that Thanos grinning at 'courting death' quote is i think a shot back at the comics where Death is a actual entity and a woman who Thanos is in love with. the quote "To challenge [the humans] is to court death." can be interpreted as "To challenge [the humans] is to be involved with Death romantically". if i recall the comics talk about how Thanos created the Infinity Gauntlet to destroy the universe to win Death's favor in regards to being with her
    – Memor-X
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 3:04

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