Especially in light of the events in and leading up to Avengers: Infinity War, where we know that in the very least two Infinity Stones are on Earth and one was on Earth in the past, and the fact that all the main 'good guys' are from Earth or have a ties to Earth (Thor, and the Guardians of the Galaxy via Peter Quill)

Is there an in-universe reason that Earth is somehow special or unique?

Or do we just fall back on the out-of-universe explanation (we Earthlings think we're the center of the universe and we relate to stories about us).

Related: Why has the large galactic community not really interacted with Earth?

  • 1
    Perhaps it has something to do with the relationship between Earth and Asgard? Commented May 8, 2018 at 4:29
  • Also anyone find it strange how some chump from earth (Stephen strange) a 'backwards planet' can absolutely pwn loki a god who does indeed know magic, like that's weird right?
    – Ummdustry
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 16:59
  • @HarryJohnston - That was my thinking. Earth has a major portal connecting it to Asgard. Asgard is important, hence Earth is important by reflected light
    – Valorum
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 19:02
  • 3
    It's where we keep all of our stuff.
    – J Doe
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 18:12

6 Answers 6


When the MCU began there was only the Time Stone and the Space Stone on Earth, while all other stones were spread across the universe, or at least they were before some powerful beings began gathering them.

Thanos saw Earth as especially important due to it having multiple stones, so he gave Loki the Mind Stone for his invasion of Earth in The Avengers. After Loki lost, the Mind Stone was left on Earth, while the Space Stone was taken to Asgard, therefore there were still two stones there for some time. This is why Thanos seeks out the other off-Earth stones first, so that he is formidable enough to fight for the remaining Earth stones.

  • 5
    Just to be clear, I'm not asking exclusively about the Stones because it seems Earth is unique for other reasons (i.e. the preponderance of "superheroes" from there vs. other planets -- e.g. Quill, Stark, Banner, Parker, Rogers, Strange) One might be able to tie them to each other or to the Stones, but it sure doesn't look like that's a sufficient explanation in all cases. Commented May 7, 2018 at 16:42
  • 4
    “When the mcu begins there is only the time stone on earth” — weeeeell, in Captain America: The First Avenger, we see that the Space Stone was on earth, in Norway (within the Tesseract) in 1942, and presumably for a fair number of years before that. Loki doesn’t get to the Tesseract until Avengers, and Thor takes it back to Asgard after that. “After Loki lost the mind stone was left on earth therefore there was three stones there for some time” — nope, Thor pretty promptly took the Space Stone back to Asgard. So just the two stones (Mind and Time) there for a while. Commented May 7, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine, I would assume there are plenty of other superheroes out there, but because they had no connection to Earth they never found out what Thanos was up to in time to help. Granted, the fact that the Guardians just happened to run into Thor seems to stretch coincidence, but I'm sure we could come up with an excuse if we tried - for example, perhaps Peter's dormant Celestial powers aren't quite as dormant as we thought. :-) Commented May 7, 2018 at 21:21
  • 1
    @HarryJohnston: “the fact that the Guardians just happened to run into Thor seems to stretch coincidence” — they didn’t just happen to run into him. They picked up the Asgardian distress signal, and followed it in hope of getting paid for a rescue. Stuff like that is, apparently, what they do. Commented May 7, 2018 at 23:09
  • 1
    @HarryJohnston: we’ve got no idea, because we’ve seen basically no details about the geography and communication practicalities of space travel in the MCU. Maybe the Guardians could have picked up the signal from almost anywhere, maybe they’re the only ones who bother with stuff like this, maybe the Milano is really fast. Commented May 9, 2018 at 7:22

Well it's part of the Nine Realms for one, and known as Midgard to the Asgardians. The Ice Giants once invaded Midgard (via Norway, at the future site of New Asgard), but were repelled by the forces of Odin. The humans developed religions around the Asgardians as a result. Odin evidently spent some time there, evidenced both by his fondness for it leading him to seek it out as his place of death, and the fact that the Tesseract was left there, looked after by a Cult of Odin for centuries (until it was taken by Red Skull). Midgard is even at the orbital center of the Nine Realms! So in some sense it's only to be expected that it would seem to be the center of the Universe, as it is somewhat literally the center of the cosmic nimbus of Yggdrasil.

Peter Quill was the result of Ego breeding with literally anything that moved throughout the universe. Whether this means that humans were particularly compatible with him genetically or just means that Peter was the lucky lotto winner is unspecified.

So that's most of your connections. Most of the rest seem to be because the Earth, while connected to the Nine Realms, was actually somewhat isolated as well as largely undeveloped and technologically unsophisticated (relative to gate and star traveling species). This makes it a convenient hiding place, such as for Mar Vell, as it otherwise seems unremarkable and out of the way.

There doesn't seem to be any particular reason why the sorcerers seem to operate off of Earth. But there is a known alien sorcerer, suggesting that other planets may also have their own variants of the organization Strange is a part of. Then they're only special for having the time stone. This was there since the time of Agamotto, thousands of years ago. Assuming he had a similar travel ability as provided by the sling rings then he might have encountered the time stone in some other location, and found it through concerted efforts and great skill.

  • 2
    "nimbus" is a type of cloud. Did you mean "nexus"?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:40
  • @StopHarmingMonica Nope, it's a nimbus, which doesn't mean just cloud; it can mean an "(energy) halo", which is pretty much exactly what Yggdrasil is. Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 9:21
  • the word nimbus does not appear on that wiki page
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Nov 7, 2019 at 10:33
  • @StopHarmingMonica It appears in many other descriptions, including links already within the answer, the point of this new link being that it provides a particular description which is consistent with "nimbus". Otherwise you might just try to claim one typo has been copied across sources indiscriminately. Commented Nov 9, 2019 at 18:15

Because Earth i.e, Midgard is located at the center of the nine realms

From MCU's perspective

As Thor describes in Thor: The Dark World,

Thor: Well Heimdall had lost sight of you, you were no longer on Earth.

Jane Foster: Well, how's that possible?

Thor: I believe you were in between worlds. The Nine Realms travel within Yggdrasil, orbiting Midgard in much the way your planet orbits the sun. Every five thousand years the worlds align perfectly, we call this the "Convergence".

Thor: The Dark World

Thus, the strategic location of Planet Earth makes it the "point-of-interest" in the cosmos.

enter image description here
Thor (2011)

As seen in Thor's rough sketch of the cosmos, being at the center of the realms, Midgard acts as an hub and in order to get to any of the realms, one has to eventually pass by our system. This makes it special within the MCU (in-universe).

EDIT: Here is Dr. Erik Selvig's representation of the 9 realms in Thor: The Dark World

enter image description here

From MCAU's perspective

Even in other media, it is mentioned that Earth (our Solar System to be precise) is located in a strategic position that can be helpful to access the galaxy with ease. In the animated series Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Mar-Vell explains why the Kree and the Skrulls are fighting to take our system under their empire

Hawkeye: How come a planet in much less whole solar system being a strategic position? It's space, you could just gone around it.

Mar-Vell: So how Something about space time in this sector make it very easy to find, open and stabilize wormhole here.

Thor: This true. The Asgardians have long known of the ease and which we can travel through in front of this part of this Midgard through it's portals. It is the Middle Realms, after all.

Mar-Vell:The Krees want to create a stable wormhole passage, to move their fleets through this area.

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 24 (Live Kree or Die)

I speculate that the Out-of-universe explanation could be:

since we know Earth much better than any other place in the universe, it is easier to have an Earth-centered story arc that can connect well with the audience.


It is difficult to explain the importance of Earth without using the out-of-universe explanations that you've already given.

In terms of why the events of the War of the Infinity Stones takes place on Earth is both simple and complicated at the same time; it happened on Earth because most of the combatants had a tie to it, and that it was a gathering place for the Stones, at that time.

Why this was the case, is more complicated and in-depth.

The most likely explanation is a theory from The Vision, who states:

[Vision]: "I have an equation."
[Sam Wilson]: "Oh, this will clear it up."
[Vision]: "In the 8 years since Mr. Stark announced himself as Iron Man, the number of known enhanced persons has grown exponentially. And during the same period, the number of potentially world-ending events has risen at a commensurate rate."
[Steve Rogers]: "Are you saying it's our fault?"
[Vision]: "I'm saying there may be a causality. Our very strength invites challenge. Challenge incites conflict. And conflict... breeds catastrophe. Oversight... Oversight is not an idea that can be dismissed out of hand."

-Captain America: Civil War. [emphasis mine]

The very existence of these 'heroes' has somehow created an attraction to Earth. Is this some sort of unexplained magical advanced scientific connection? Or pure coincidence? Either way, there seems to be a causality.

It's not a stretch then to realise that it's only a matter of time before a cosmic-level event occurs on Earth.

From the 8 years since Tony Stark declared that he's Iron Man up until the events of Infinity War and Endgame, there have been a series of intricately intertwined events that have lead everyone to Earth[MCU Phases 1 - 3].


Let's go through this chronologically.

Iron Man

Tony Stark is from Earth and this is his origin story. Pretty straightforward why this movie takes place exclusively on Earth. Out-of-universe: Marvel most likely wanted to start their cinematic universe with a hero people could relate to, so making him a human from Earth is one way to do that.

The Incredible Hulk

Again, Bruce Banner is from Earth and this is the Hulk's origin story.

Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 depicts Justin Hammer and Ivan Vanko's quests for revenge against Mr. Stark (the former due to being constantly embarrassed and outshone and the latter for the conflict between Anton and Howard). Both these villains are from Earth, so naturally this movie will also be set on Earth.


This is the first movie where things get more interesting. Obviously Midgard is one of the 9 realms, so as an Asgardian, there is a good chance Thor might come here.

Why did Odin send Thor to Midgard and not to say Vanaheim? Well it's likely that Odin wanted to teach Thor a lesson in humility and having to live among weak Earthlings seems to be a good way to teach him that.

Thor Odinson... You have disobeyed the express command of your King. Through your arrogance and stupidity, you have opened these peaceful Realms and innocent lives to the horrors of war.

Therefore, since Thor was here, Loki also decided to cause mischief on the planet and as Nick Fury said:

Last year earth had a visitor from another planet who had a grudge match that leveled a small town.

And Thor:

When I first came to earth, Loki's rage followed me here and your people paid the price.

Hence, while Earth is not the principle setting of this movie, scenes are once again based on Earth.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Now the main plot of this movie centres around the Tesseract. Why is the Tesseract on Earth? Well in the last movie, we saw the Frost Giants attack Tønsberg, Norway and the Asgardians come to Earth's aid. Why did the Frost Giants choose Earth as their initial realm conquest? Well, like I said in the previous section as to why Odin likely wanted to send Thor to Earth, Midgard has a reputation for being full of weaklings (relative to the other 9 realms).

Since the Tesseract is on Earth, it is found and used by the Red Skull to develop advanced weaponry and the Allies are forced to turn to Dr. Erskine to create a super-soldier to combat them.

The Avengers

Now Thanos is introduced and he wants to collect the 6 Infinity Stones. The Tesseract is known to be on Earth so he sends Loki (with the mind stone) to go collect the space stone.

Therefore, Earth is the location of another conflict.

As an added bonus, Loki is happy to target Earth because he is mad at his brother and knows Thor is fond of the planet thanks to the events of their last movie.

Oh, you should thank me. With the Bifrost gone how much dark energy did the Allfather have to muster to conjure you here? Your precious Earth.

Loki seeks vengeance and Earth is the perfect target for that.

I do not know. Loki's mind is far afield, it's not just power he craves, it's vengeance upon me. There's no pain that would prize his need from him.

Therefore, Earth becomes the setting for the Avengers.

Iron Man 3

Similarly to Iron Man 2, Killian has a quest for revenge against Iron Man. However, Maya Hansen convinces him that she needs Stark to help her with the Extremis formula.

Oh, I see. So, you were trying to save Stark when he threatened us?

I've told you, Killian, we can use him.


Pepper. Pepper. Pepper.

Look, if we want to launch product next year, I need Stark. He just lacked a decent incentive. Now, he has one.

As the villain is again from Earth, this movie is set on Earth.

Thor: The Dark World

Now the out-of-universe answer as to why Dark World is partially set on Earth is so that they could get Darcy, Erik, and Jane back into the plot. The in-universe answer is that the Convergence causes the worlds to align.

The Nine Realms travel within Yggdrasil, orbiting Midgard in much the way your planet orbits the sun. Every five thousand years the worlds align perfectly, we call this the Convergence.

Jane was thus able to stumble onto the Aether (reality stone) and a citizen of Earth becomes a key part of the main plot.

Then, during the climax Malekith needs to go to Greenwich because that's where the 9 realms are connected. Thor and the gang must then go there too to stop him.

Malekith is going to fire the Aether at a spot where all the nine worlds are connected.

Amplifying the weapon's impact. With each additional world, the power will increase exponentially. The effect would be universal.

Therefore, the final battle takes place (mostly) on Earth.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Pretty easy to explain why this movie takes place on Earth. HYDRA grew from the ruins of the Red Skull's operation through Zola infiltrating SHIELD.

After the war, SHIELD was founded and I was recruited. The new HYDRA grew. A beautiful parasite inside SHIELD. For seventy years HYDRA has been secretly feeding crisis, reaping war. And when history did not cooperate, history was changed.

As SHIELD is an Earth-based organization, this movie takes place on Earth.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Only the first part of this movie takes place on Earth. This is easily explained by Ego paying Yondu's Ravagers to collect all his children. One of these is Peter Quill who was born to a Terran mother.

I hired Yondu to pick you up when your mother passed away. But instead of returning you, Yondu kept you.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

This movie is set on Earth as the Avengers have been formed from the events of the last Avengers movie. They go on raids to try and find Loki's sceptre. Stark and Banner then use the mind stone to create Ultron to defend the Earth. Ultron instead decides he wants to destroy the Earth.

And whether or not he admits it, his mission is global destruction.

Therefore, as a result of Stark and Banner building Ultron, he decides to destroy the Earth and the movie is set on the planet.


This movie being set on Earth is also pretty straightforward. Darren Cross, a citizen of Earth develops Pym particle technology, and Hank Pym wants to stop him.

Therefore, the plot takes place on Earth.

Captain America: Civil War

This movie's plot is centred around the Sokovia Accords, formed by the UN (an Earth-based organization).

For the past four years, you've operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That's an arrangement the governments of the world can no longer tolerate. But I think we have a solution.

The movie's subplot is also focused on the search for Bucky Barnes (who is a resident of Earth).

Therefore, it is pretty self-explanatory why this movie is set on Earth.

Doctor Strange

While searching for a way to cure his hands, Doctor Strange joins the sorcerers whose duty is to defend Earth from mystic threats.

While heroes like the Avengers protect the world from physical dangers, we sorcerers safeguard it against more mystical threats.

Therefore, when Dormammu and Kaecilius try and destroy the Earth, Doctor Strange tries to stop them and the movie is set on Earth.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Earth is only briefly shown in this movie. Ego goes to various planets to impregnate female creatures to try and get a child who shares his power so he can complete his self-imposed mission.

Over thousands of years… I implanted thousands of extensions of myself… on thousands of worlds. I need to fulfill life’s one true purpose… To grow and spread… covering all that exists… until everything is… Me!

Therefore, since one of those females is Meredith Quill, parts of the movie are set on Earth.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

This is another pretty straightforward movie to explain. A teenager from Earth gets bitten by a radioactive spider and fights crime on the planet. The main villain is scavenging parts from past battles that have taken place on Earth. Therefore, the plot is set entirely on Earth.

Thor: Ragnarok

Earth is only shown briefly in this movie. Since Loki sent Odin to Earth, Thor must accompany his brother to go find him. Then they find Hela and the rest of the movie takes place off-world.

Black Panther

Another pretty self-explanatory movie. Wakanda is a country on Earth so the plot takes place entirely on Earth.

Avengers: Infinity War

Since the time stone and the mind stone are both on Earth, Thanos sends the Black Order to go collect them.

When they fail, he comes himself. Since Vision is in Wakanda, that's where Thanos heads and eventually Snaps.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Pretty straightforward movie again. Hank and Hope are trying to rescue Janet so that's the main plot of the movie. Since, they're all residents of Earth, that's where the movie takes place.

Captain Marvel

The Tesseract is being used on Earth by an undercover Mar-Vell to help the Skrulls find a new home. Her laboratory is also orbiting Earth.

Yon-Rogg eventually finds out what she's up to and comes to Earth to collect the Tesseract. An Earth woman, Carol Danvers is caught up in the conflict and accidentally gains powers. She is then captured by the Kree and brainwashed.

Later, Carol accidentally crash-lands on Earth so the Skrulls and Kree both come to the planet (the Skrulls to try and convince Carol to help them and the Kree for the opposite reason).

Therefore, a good portion of the plot takes place on Earth.

Avengers: Endgame

Scott Lang manages to escape the Quantum Realm and the surviving Avengers try and rebuild the Gauntlet by going back in time to get stones. Thanos finds out what they're up to and comes to Earth with his army to claim the Gauntlet.

Therefore, Earth gets caught up in another major event.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Just like Homecoming.

In conclusion, it seems Earth only appears special and unique because a large number of MCU characters are residents of the planet or beings from other worlds come here for a reason (Thor as a punishment, Thanos for stones, Skrull and Kree for Captain Marvel, etc.)



  • Earth is special!
  • Out of universe - Too help the audience connect with the stories
  • In universe - For "reasons" identified by the writers
  • Aliens have made Earth Special...
  • BUT we have also made ourselves special!

I don't pretend to know everything about the Marvel universe, but I will make some key points I think come into play:

I think really it comes to the point of writer's making Earth special - tying in our planet to help the audience connect. This makes us all think that we matter and that our planet really has the potential for great things and that great things can happen here at any moment...

Though in universe it does seem aliens like our planet for "reasons"... most of which are coincidental and "forced/fabricated" by the writers.

  • Peter's dad (Came here cause human women are attractive...)
  • Thor (Came here cause he liked it... and cause human women are attractive...)
  • Kree (Created the Inhumans while doing their own science stuff and stashed them on Earth)
  • Vishanti (Involved with the mystical arts aspect of Earth; though I'm not sure to what extent...)
  • Mephisto (Created Ghost Rider; not sure where he really comes from...)
  • ETC... (I am sure there are obvious ones I am missing)

That being said, Marvel is also keyed to our genetic and scientific advancements. So Earth is also special because we are really coming into our own and putting our planet on the interstellar map.

Quickly first, (cause its "less" our fault) our genetics have started to unlock themselves creating mutants, such as the X-Men. So our own genetics are advancing making humanity special.

More importantly however, our scientific processes have advanced enough that we can create our own special stuff.Through technological knowledge we have created Black Panther, using space rocks sure, but we still did that.

But then there are the pure intellectual breakthroughs we have made such as Iron Man, Ant-Man, etc. With science we created Captain America and then we tried to replicate that with Hulk and etc. With our scientific achievements we have also opened the possibility to force our genetics to unlock, such as Deadpool. AND we have also accidentally put ourselves on the map with heroes like Anti-Man and Spiderman... go human error!

Of course, Earth is not the center of all things. The universe existed without us and our breakthroughs. Wars were waged, advancements made, heroes lived and died... but our introduction on a "galactic" stage is not purely an "accident."

True that aliens have helped put us on the map, but we would have gotten there eventually. Also, the fact that we have made it "out there" despite not being ready for it shows the potential we have and what we can accomplish. I think Iron Man going toe to toe with Thor when they first met was an important point. Despite our "tiny" frames we had advanced enough that we could hold our own with a "god."

  • 2
    “our genetics have started to unlock themselves creating mutants, such as the X-Men... With our scientific achievements we have also opened the possibility to force our genetics to unlock, such as Deadpool” — not in the MCU we haven’t. Commented May 7, 2018 at 23:16
  • Aren't Scarlet Witch and Deadpool both mutants?
    – Odin1806
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 1:42
  • 4
    Deadpool isn't exactly part of the MCU, and the MCU version of Scarlet Witch isn't a mutant. Commented May 8, 2018 at 4:27
  • Peter's dad (Came here cause human women are attractive...) [citation needed]
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 21:00
  • Thor (Came here cause he liked it... and cause human women are attractive...) No he didn't he was banished here by Odin.
    – Möoz
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 21:00

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