In Thor: The Dark World, Jane Foster stumbles upon the Aether. It attaches itself to her. She then carries it around for much of the film, which seems to cover at least one full Asgard day in universe. The medical people on Asgard state that the Aether's energy will eventually kill Jane, but she is able to carry it for quite some time.

Contrast this with the Tesseract and the Purple Power Stone. When Red Skull held the former, he was beamed somewhere. Admittedly, Nick Fury was able to hold it briefly with no ill effects. The Power Stone is quite lethal to most anyone who tries to wield it briefly. Only by fusing it with his hammer was Ronan able to wield it, and Star-Lord needed the assistance of most of the Guardians to wield it manually.

Which brings me back to Jane. She had minimal issues carrying around the Aether for hours upon hours. There were some side-effects, but that's nothing compared to the other Infinity Stones. Is Jane superhuman, or is the Aether oddly easy to wield?

  • in the movie didn't they say it would kill her eventually, and it would kill her if they tried to take it out?
    – Himarm
    Aug 7, 2014 at 15:41
  • @Himarm Yeah, they did.
    – user1027
    Aug 7, 2014 at 15:42
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    Does she ever actually wield or control it? I seem to recall her just acting as a host body for it.
    – phantom42
    Aug 7, 2014 at 15:55
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    I imagine that the difference may lie in which Infinity Stone is being used. The gem in GotG is the Power Stone, while the Tesseract is the Space Stone. They both act in ways you'd expect them to. Depending on which Stone the Aether is supposed to be (I've never seen the movie) it might make sense that it would kill an unworthy wielder much slower. Aug 7, 2014 at 16:37
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    I agree with TenthJustice - each stone is different according to its power and/or properties.
    – Omegacron
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


No. Jane Foster is not superhuman. In this instance, it is her lack of superhuman power that helped her to survive.

If these Infinity Stones function in a fashion similar to their comic counterparts, then this is either the Reality Stone or the Power Stone.

  • If it is the Reality Stone, then its ability is to alter reality based on the the thoughts of the wielder. But the wielder has to have a mind capable of understanding the vastness of Reality and perhaps the power to manipulate fundamental forces. She had neither, so she acted as a beacon to someone who could (Malekith). (In my opinion, the Aether seems to function as the Reality gem would in the canon comic universe.)

  • If it is the Power Stone, then the stone would amplify the abilities of the person who was wielding it, making them fantastically more powerful than they were already. In the case of a human without superhuman capacity, nor the physiology to support such power, doing so would simply exhaust the host and leave the Aether sitting around waiting to be found. Not the greatest thing that could happen if you are trying to find the ideal host.

In typical Marvel fashion, we are left to decide which is which and as displayed, a case could be made for either.

  • Since we know the Aether feeds on the lifeforce of mortals inadequately skilled to utilize its power, we can assume it is also aware of who is unable to use it.

  • To those with the skills, capability, durability and capacity, the stone imbues them with incredible power capable of altering and perhaps even ending reality as we know it.

As far as the other stones apparent affects:

  • The Red Skull is a man of great ambition and incredible will. He was probably transported somewhere within the Tesseract's range of ability, through space and possibly through time. Given he is the arch-enemy of Captain America, it would not surprise me to see him arriving in the present any day now. As far as Nick Fury's apparent lack of triggering any effect, he may simply have not desired anything beyond moving the device when he had it.

  • The Purple Stone (whose corresponding Infinity Gem is likely to be the Power gem) requires a superhuman host to utilize it for any length of time. Given that Ronan was able to use it (though his weapon-staff, which was an already considerable device) meant the gem considered him a user capable of using it with both power and ambition to match.

  • Peter Quill is able to hold the device, but is unable to wield it. Why? He is not quite human, which may have given him a chance to pick it up, but only when his will and the Guardians collectively added their wills to Star Lord's did the gem momentarily agree with their mutual (likely impulsive decision) to DESTROY RONAN. Once this was completed, Gamora locked it away. It is unlikely any of them would be able to use this gem without ill effects individually.

  • 1
    The purple stone from Guardians is the Power Stone.
    – user1027
    Aug 7, 2014 at 21:45

Okay, some of these answers are overly complex. There is a simpler answer, and it has to do with the fact that this stone IS different than the other infinity stones.

The Aether is shown to be parasitic in the Marvel cinematic universe. At one point when Jane Foster is in Asgard, a lady says "The infection... it's defending her." In response, Thor says, "No, it's defending itself". The Aether latches on to a host and then uses its power to defend that host from harm. It's that simple. It does NOT immediately destroy the carrier, unlike the other infinity stones, because of this. Having said that, over time it would likely cause mortals to deteriorate due to its incredible power.

Don't listen to these overly intricate answers from fans of the comics. The reality is, there are many deliberate deviations in the Marvel cinematic universe from the comics. So with all their (fans) knowledge of the comics, the information they have is not necessarily cannon in the Marvel films.

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