In the Avengers: Age of Ultron,

after the Scepter is first retrieved from Sokovia, Jarvis studies the mind stone within the scepter, and Tony Stark shows Bruce Banner a 3D projection of the mind stone's consciousness. When Stark and Banner try to create an interface to the mind stone's consciousness, the side effect is that the mind stone somehow turns the then potential Ultron into something unintended. ... So the implication is that Ultron is a manifestation of the mind stone.

But later in the movie,

after Ultron and Dr. Cho create a new body for the mind stone, and after Jarvis is uploaded into the body, Thor uses his hammer to bring the body to life in the form of The Vision, which also seems to be a manifestation of the mind stone. If the mind stone is so universally powerful, then why are its two manifestations at war with each other? Why are Ultron and The Vision not of the same mind about things?

The Vision

has the power to reach into a (later) weakened Ultron and purge Ultron's presence all across the internet, and then to destroy the last remnant of Ultron via thought power at the end of the movie, indicating that they both are based on the same power.

Is the explanation that,

while the mind stone cannot be contained, it can be wielded to one extent or another, and that more than one entity can wield the mind stone's power at the same time? So that Ultron is Stark's vision of the mind stone, while The Vision is Thor's vision of the mind stone, and ultimately Thor is able to create and wield a more powerful vision of the mind stone that Stark is able to wield? Perhaps the mind stone's power comes from the same place the Thor's hammer's power comes from?

Can someone who knows this please explain it, along with some references? My theory above is just from watching the movies.

  • "Two manifestations at war with each other" - One hydrogen bomb will not cancel out the other... Pretty much as simple as that...
    – Stark07
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 6:05
  • 4
    I want to say one word to you, just one word. J.A.R.V.I.S. Commented May 21, 2015 at 11:29

3 Answers 3


Ultron 0.5 was NOT the raw "consciousness" of the Mind Stone, but rather it was an advanced AI program that HYDRA had been developing, based on that consciousness.

In the scene where Tony asked Bruce to look at the AI representation, he was analyzing NOT just the Scepter itself, but also the flash drive onto which he had downloaded all of HYDRA's projects and data. Since he wasn't able to salvage all of the data, he and JARVIS were attempting to piece together what HYDRA had been working on. And when discussing this particular project with Bruce, he specifically says that Baron von Strucker was attempting to design an AI program.

enter image description here

TONY: Meet the competition.

BRUCE: It's beautiful...

TONY: If you had to guess, what's it look like its doing?

BRUCE: Like it's thinking. You mean this could be a... It's not a human mind. (pauses) I mean look at this... They're like neurons firing.

TONY: Down at Strucker's lab I saw some fairly advanced robotics work. They deep-sixed the data but... (pauses) I gotta guess he was knocking on a very particular door.

BRUCE: Artificial intelligence.

TONY: This could be it bruce... this could be the key to creating Ultron.

BRUCE: I thought Ultron was a fantasy.

TONY: Yesterday it was.

As for what Tony and Bruce were actually working on, that's covered in the very next lines. They were attempting to harness the incomplete HYDRA AI by finishing it (it still lacked any kind of interface for interacting with humans), and then applying Tony's existing Iron Legion protocols to it. There are also implications that Tony may have used his own brain scans to enhance/finish the AI's interface. The result - and their goal from the beginning, the whole point of Tony's ULTRON Protocol - would be

a fully-sentient version of JARVIS, one that could think for itself and control the Iron Legion. Such a system would potentially render The Avengers obsolete, leaving Earth under the protection of an Iron Legion army.

However, as we witness, the end result is not quite what they expected.

TONY: If we can harness this power, apply it to my Iron Legion protocol...

BRUCE: That's a man-sized if.

TONY: Our job is if.

For the most part, Ultron worked exactly as he was intended to. His biggest flaw, and really the ONLY reason he's a villain instead of what Tony hoped for, is summed up by The Scarlet Witch in a single sentence:

WANDA: ULTRON can't tell the difference between saving the world and destroying it.

A Note on HYDRA's Files

While Tony does say that HYDRA "deep-sixed the data", it's also indicated that he was able to retrieve at least partial files from their computers:

When entering the HYDRA base

TONY: Sentry mode. (glances around room and plugs flash drive into nearby computer) Okay Jarvis, you know the drill, I want it all. Make sure you copy Hill at HQ.

NATASHA: We're locked down out here.

TONY: Then get to Banner, time for a lullaby. (looks around room again) I know you're hiding more than files... Hey J, give me an IR scan of the room real quick.

JARVIS: The wall to your left. I'm reading steel reinforcement and an air current.

So, although it's never made clear how much of HYDRA's files were destroyed, it's apparent that JARVIS was able to recover at least some of them - enough to indicate to Tony what they were working on. That, along with the code stored within the Scepter, was enough for Tony to recreate (and finish) the project with Bruce's help.

  • 2
    'deep sixed the data' sounds like Tony wasn't able to retrieve HYDRA's work on the AI.
    – user1027
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 19:43
  • 2
    @Keen I agree, but dialogue from earlier indicates they were recovering files. I assume that HYDRA successfully purged or corrupted most of the files, but not all. Baron von Strucker's exact words to his underling is "I'm going to surrender. You delete everything.", but we don't know if he was actually able to delete all of it before Tony hacked into the system. The guy WAS panicking pretty badly and seemed keen on getting out of there as soon as possible.
    – Omegacron
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 20:34
  • We see the deletion of all HYDRA data interrupted, but that line indicates that the AI research was gone.
    – user1027
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 21:21
  • What does "deep-sixed the data" mean? It's not a term I've heard before watching the film, and even now I'm still not sure what Tony meant. Commented May 2, 2016 at 13:53
  • 1
    @maguirenumber6 - it's slang for attempting to destroy something.
    – Omegacron
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 11:57

One Liner: The main difference is that whilst Ultron was created from the Sceptre, The Vision was not.

Vision was essentialy JARVIS, who had been transcended into being a consciousness rather than just a "Natural language UI". That is why he is most definitely not a manifestation of the Mind Stone. The Mind Stone powers him.

In conclusion: The Vision was built with a JARVIS core.

Whereas the entirety of Ultron's consciousness comes from the Sceptre. Stark had no hand in it. He merely imported what was inside the Sceptre's gem.

Thus, Vision is not exactly a manifestation of the Mind stone. So it's not really two manifestations of the Mind stone fighting each other.

  • Agreed. Ultron was based on the technology found in the protective casing rather than the mind stone itself. Whereas the Vision was based on JARVIS and the power of the Mind stone.
    – Dyn0myte
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 17:59
  • 2
    It's also worth noting that Ultron was created FROM the Mind Stone, while the Vision retained the Stone in his forehead. There could be some corruption happening when Ultron was "downloaded," as though the AI was designed to work with the Stone but malfunctioned when it was booted up on third-party hardware.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 17:52
  • @Nerrolken - That's a very nice way to put it! Yes.. I suspect something to that effect...
    – Stark07
    Commented Jun 30, 2015 at 5:52
  • 5
    Wait a sec. No one else is gonna deal with the fact that Stark07 just said "whilst?"
    – Misha R
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 19:29
  • @MishaRosnach - :O You got me :P
    – Stark07
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 8:04

Ultron and Tony are repeatedly compared to one another by the other characters in the film. When they meet in the vibranium refinery, Tony laments that Ultron stole a quip by something like "a second", and their relationship is likened to a father and a child -- sure, Tony created Ultron, but Ultron also takes after Tony in personality.

Tony is obviously struggling with some... issues. He's self-destructive, and while he means well he tends to deal in absolutes. As Omegacron says, there are implications that Tony used his own brain scans to fill in the holes -- be they caused by Hydra's corrupt files or the Mind Stone's incompatibility with the hardware he had on hand.

JARVIS, on the other hand, is designed to meet Tony's needs. While Tony holds onto delusions of grandeur and simple morality, JARVIS has only ever been concerned with Tony's well-being, since he was originally a simple program designed to serve him.

Anyway, the Vision being designed around an entity whose prime directive is TO SERVE makes the interpretation of his goal a far cry from Ultron's, who may well have been using Tony's personality as a baseline for interpreting the Mind Stone's information.


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