Avengers: Endgame may have tied a Thanos-shaped bow on all things MCU up until that point, but there was still one lingering mystery hanging over proceedings: what happened to the six Infinity Stones in the present-day Marvel universe? We now have an official answer.
At the end of Infinity War, Thanos destroys the Infinity Stones. However, in Endgame, Captain America and the team head back into the MCU timeline to pick up the Infinity Stones once more and use them to defeat Thanos. Cap then heads back in time to return the Infinity Stones back to their rightful place in the timeline, thus trying not to interfere with history so the events of Infinity War and Endgame still play out. The question many had, though, was were the Infinity Stones still around after Cap placed them back in time? Did they somehow survive Thanos' wrath?
As revealed on a recent Instagram post (H/T ComicBook.com), each Stone is confirmed to have been "destroyed".
The Soul Stone, the Mind Stone, the Reality Aether, the Time Stone, the Space Stone, and the Power Stone are no more.
What that means for the immediate MCU future is up for debate. Most notably, it removes the most powerful weapon in the universe from the equation (multiverses aside), though also seemingly puts a rubber stamp on Vision’s death in Avengers: Infinity War – something that could be explored in more depth in Marvel Phase 4 and the upcoming Disney Plus series WandaVision.
It also marks the official end of the Infinity Saga: with 23 movies under its belt, the MCU must finally move on from the Stones and forward into a future that stars vampire hunters, Eternals, and maybe one or two mutants for good measure. That’s a fair trade-off.