Where is the Soul Stone? There are only two more Marvel movies before next year's epic Avengers: Infinity War, and we're guaranteed to see the Soul Stone in one of them. The cosmic nature of Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok has always looked promising for Stone-watchers, and the THANOS theory has led fans to speculate that the Stone could be connected to Heimdall, Hela, or even Thor's hammer.
Now though, another fan-theory is beginning to gain traction. Is it possible the Soul Stone has been staring us in the face this whole time?
The Odin Theory
The idea first appeared two months ago when Redditor RJC2506 suggested that the Soul Stone could have been in Odin's possession all along. The theory explains that Odin's tremendous power is actually linked to the Soul Stone in the MCU. This would make sense given that Odin bound Mjolnir with an enchantment that assessed the worthiness of Thor's soul. What's more, he shows a preternatural knowledge of events across the cosmos. The theory even explains the Odinsleep; the Soul Stone has a ravenous appetite to consume souls, and Odin could well be sating it with his own eternal soul. The Odinsleep could well be a periodic state of near-coma the All-Father goes into in order to recover.
In an amusing twist, ScreenRant recently pointed out that this even fits with the popular Heimdall theory. In the comics, the bearer of the Soul Stone can use it to grant gifts to another. Heimdall's ability to see souls anywhere in the universe could indeed be tied to the Soul Stone after all, but in an indirect way, as Odin may have granted him those powers.
This theory takes a grim direction though suggesting that in Ragnarok's first act, Thor will learn that his brother has taken Odin's place on the throne of Asgard. The two will head to Earth, but will arrive too late to save Odin from the wrath of the escaped Hela, who reclaims the Soul Stone. Bearing the Soul Stone once again, she's able to effortlessly break Mjolnir, and proceeds to launch her war on Asgard. Meanwhile, Heimdall would lose his borrowed powers now that the Soul Stone is no longer in Odin's possession, neatly explaining Thor's vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Does This Fan-Theory Work?
This is probably the most complex, sophisticated fan-theory yet when it comes to establishing the Soul Stone's location. That said, its very complexity makes it one of the most attractive to date. Asgardian magic has often been portrayed with a distinctive orange hue, the color we'd expected to see from sorcery associated with the Soul Stone. (Odin's eye-patch is bright orange, leading some fans to speculate that he conceals it behind the eye-patch, perhaps even in the empty socket.) Meanwhile, this fan-theory follows the pattern of Doctor Strange, establishing a pseudo-scientific basis for magic.
Intriguingly, it's already been hinted that the Asgardians want the universe to at least believe they once possessed more than one Infinity Stone; we saw a fake Infinity Gauntlet in Odin's Treasure Room in Thor. It's possible that, at some ancient time, Odin truly did wield the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet. Indeed, this may be the reason the Celestials were almost rendered extinct. As with many who briefly bore the Gauntlet, we can then assume that Odin scattered the Stones, fearing he may become corrupted by their might — Although he ultimately kept the Soul Stone for himself.
Fans have always been confident that Thor's vision in Age of Ultron was a hint of things to come in Ragnarok, and have typically focused on Heimdall's comment to Thor in the vision. This fan-theory subtly reinterprets that scene, suggesting the whole thing — including the fact Asgard had gone to Hel — foretells the loss of the Infinity Stone. It would definitely be an example of smart writing and clever long-range planning on #Marvel's part.
Unfortunately, this fan-theory does have one real weakness and ironically, it's the same one that undermines the Heimdall theory too. At the end of Thor: The Dark World, Heimdall states that it is unwise to keep more than one Infinity Stone on the same planet. That's likely because Infinity Stones are drawn to one another. The more #InfinityStones you have in one place, the more likely others will turn up. Asgard already possesses the Space Stone though, so surely the Soul Stone can't be hidden there too?
However while this was a fatal flaw for the Heimdall theory, it's not for this one; Odin is very secretive indeed, and we can easily imagine he's kept the Soul Stone's location hidden all these millennia. Because of this, Heimdall may simply not be aware that there are already two Infinity Stones on Asgard. It's also worth noting that Odin has had millennia to master the Soul Stone's power, and may well have learned how to conceal its presence.
This is probably one of the most intriguing fan-theories to date, and it works surprisingly well, neatly explaining why Hela is in New York (we know Odin is hiding in the streets of New York), and why we've then glimpsed her rejuvenated by a surge of power. It draws together subtle plot-threads that have been part of the #MCU since 2011, and provides a pseudo-scientific in-universe basis for the power of the Asgardian race. In fact, this is one fan-theory that may well turn out to be true.
Do you think Odin possessed the Soul Stone all along? Let us know in the comments below.