The First Gem?
Just a forewarning, this involves spoilers and speculation from the Avengers “secret ending.” So, if you haven’t seen it yet, then don’t read any farther.
There’s a lot of rumors flying around out there involving Thanos’ appearance at the end of the movie’s animated credits. I was shocked to see him, but after seeing the movie twice, his appearance seems to make perfect sense. After discussing the movie with a few of my fellow comic-loving friends at work, we got into a discussion about the direction the new films are going to be taking. Obviously there are going to be references and end-of-credit scenes in Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 hinting at a bigger plot just like there were in their pre-Avengers films. Everyone in the know just assumes that Thanos means the Infinity Gauntlet/Gems/War/etc. will be revealed in the newer movies. But, don’t forget we’ve already seen the Gauntlet:
It was in Thor, granted we only saw it in the background of Odin’s Vault for about 5 seconds, but it’s already made a cameo in the movie universe. This a better picture of the prop I found when it was on display at one of the Cons. In the film it appears (as above) to be complete with the stones already imbedded into it, but doesn’t that big blue stone in the middle look familiar?
Is it a coincidence that Loki’s staff holds blue stone capable of controlling the minds of anyone who comes into contact with it and the the blue Mind Gem of the Infinity Gauntlet has the same ability? Maybe it’s just fanboy speculation, but I think that we’ve been shown the first of the Infinity Gems without realizing it.
But if it was hidden in Odin’s Vault, then how did Thanos, and later Loki, come to possess it? It could have been stolen, the vault isn’t impregnable, especially to someone as powerful as Thanos or as sly as Loki. There was also something in the movie Loki said to Thor that got me thinking, too. Loki wonders aloud how much Dark Magic Odin had to unleash to send Thor to Earth in search of the Cosmic Cube. Did Loki recognize the Gem from his days in Asgard? Could Odin have wielded the Gems to transport Thor and lost the Gauntlet in the process? Or did he barter away the Gem to Thanos in exchange for help? Or was the Gauntlet in the vault even the real thing? Loki had been playing with dark forces even at the beginning of Thor – maybe he switched it out knowing if he lost control of Asgard later, Thanos could use it to save him.
There are a lot of possibilities, but I do think that it is the Mind Gem we’ve seen Loki use in the movie. I’m reminded of Tom Riddle’s diary in The Chamber of Secrets, thinking how significantly insignificant it was until later when we learn it was a Horcrux and it’d been foreshadowed six books away. To the people who asked: “Who’s that?” seeing Thanos at the end credits, the blue stone probably seems just as unconnected and unimportant as the diary. And I think that’s exactly what Marvel wants.