I make terrible predictions. That's what I do. I have a long, storied history of making very big, bold predictions that not only wind up being a little off, but being the MOST off possible. Like, not even close to right. Like, declaring there will NEVER be Star Wars sequels or that Deadpool would be a box office bomb.
So in an effort to hold myself more accountable, I'm doing predictions on a weekly basis here on Dorkly, all related to my typical nerd stuff. And for each prediction I get wrong, I'll actually have a price to pay - so here's this week's prediction, and the punishment I'll endure if I miss the mark.
I have been thinking a lot about the upcoming adaptation of that "collect the mysterious gems" sidequest in Skyrim, titled "Avengers: Infinity War" for some reason, a lot lately. Mainly because I think it looks insanely cool and badass and I'm awed by the sheer scale of what it is and what it represents (the culmination of like 8 separate franchises all melding together into a singular vision and finale, of sorts), but also because I'm a comics goober who is anxious to see my favorite characters and moments replicated on-screen, with punching and whatnot.
And as part of being an online dweeb / comics nerd / weird obsessive, I've been thinking a lot about the actual progression of Infinity War - Thanos is on the ultimate Fetch Quest, trying to grab 6 MacGuffins to fit into his shiny glove so he can snap his fingers and fix the universe (and impress his crush) once and for all. But with the tight lockdown on leaks and the general aura of mystery that surrounds every big MCU film, one thing that's been kept under wraps in HOW he's actually going to go about doing that - namely, IN WHAT ORDER WILL THANOS COLLECT THE INFINTY STONES?
And here's the order I think he's gonna get 'em:
1. Power Stone
2. Space Stone
3. Reality Stone
4. Time Stone
5. Soul Stone
6. Mind Stone (yellow wasn't showing up great so I'm making this one black)
Why that specific order? WELL LEMME TELL YA!
Virtually every trailer has shown Thanos in possession of two stones - the Space Stone and the Power Stone - no matter where he is or what he's doing. Punching Iron Man in the ruins of Titan? Two stones. Trying to grab Cap's face in the savannah of Wakanda? Two stones. No matter what, Marvel is only willing to admit (at this point) that Thanos gets the Space Stone and the Power Stone through its trailers for the film - but I think each shot is bullshit.
Here's the thing Marvel's gotten VERY good at with Infinity War - editing the CGI to mask key plot points. Thor very famously was shown with BOTH eyes in the trailer shown at D23 / Comic-Con last year - despite the fact that Marvel knew quite well Thor would be down one eye after Ragnarok. They've also been very shy about showing off Thor's new weapon, Stormbreaker - which is VERY CLEARLY what he's supposed to be holding up in this shot (but was removed because they don't wanna give away how cool it'll be I guess?):
My guess is the same is happening with Thanos' jewelry collection - at the fights on Titan and Wakanda, I fully expect Thanos to have way more than two gems, but actually showing what gems he has at each stage would give away too much of the plot, so Marvel sneakily decided to edit the CGI slightly differently for the purpose of trailers. That being said, I think the two gems that ARE being shown are being shown for a reason - they are, in fact, the first two that Thanos collects within the first couple minutes of the film.
Anyways, here's why I think he'll be gettin' those stones in this order:
Marvel has quite the uphill battle with establishing Thanos formally in this movie - see, he's been AROUND ever since 2012's The Avengers, but this entire time, all he's ever done is sit on his stupid floaty space throne and ask other people nicely to steal some Infinity Stones for him, please. Hell, he's actually DOWN one Infinity Stone since the series began - he was originally in possession of the Mind Stone (which he loaned out to Loki to help with his attempt to take over the Earth in exchange for delivering the Space Stone / Tesseract to Thanos), and now he's got jack squat.
Basically, Thanos has been all bark, no bite. People keep TALKING about how EVIL and POWERFUL Thanos is, but all we've ever seen is him getting repeatedly humiliated while hanging out by himself and occasionally putting on his special glove. For someone who is supposedly the ultimate badass in this universe, they've gone a long way at making him a total laughingstock.
So Infinity War needs to justify his rep FAST and do some serious damage control - which is why he'll be grabbing the Power Stone (secured on Xandar by the Nova Corps) first. We don't really have any characters we care too much about there, so it'll be the perfect spot for the cold open, establishing who Thanos is and what he's after, and how totally merciless he is (when he obliterates the entire planet, as Ronan was tryin' to do before getting distracted by some dancing in Guardians of the Galaxy).
Well, this seems like a pretty easy one - at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, we saw Thanos' huge-ass ship ominously staring down Thor and Loki. Already armed with the Power Stone, Thanos is gonna board the ship (along with the Black Order), threaten to crush Thor's puny skull, and get handed the Tesseract by Loki to spare Thor's life.
Thor'll be hurled out into space (so he can smack into the Milano and meet up with the Guardians) and Loki will be killed for his failure in the first Avengers (as Thanos' stupid mouth servant told him:
You will have your war, Asgardian. If you fail, if the Tesseract is kept from us, there will be no realm, no barren moon, no crevice where he can not find you. You think you know pain? He will make you long for something as sweet as pain.
And...he failed. So, uh, bye Loki. At least you'll slightly redeem yourself before dying (or somehow faking his death AGAIN, which would be a very Loki thing to do).
Plotwise, the Collector and his possession of the Reality Stone isn't HUGELY important, other than to get the Guardians more involved with chasing down Thanos. Plus, it was the main MacGuffin in Thor: The Dark World, so making it a quick middle stone to grab and be done with makes sense - no one wants to remember that movie TOO much.
Anyways, post-Xandar, the Guardians will know Thanos is after the Infinity Stones and know that their ol' buddy The Collector has one, so they'll meet up there - Gamora gets to throw a few barbs at her dad, there'll be a scuffle, and the Guardians won't be able to stop him, leaving them no choice but to go to Thanos' ruined home planet of Titan in a last desperate attempt to synergize all the Marvel brands once and for all I MEAN stop that purple dude from getting more jewelry.
Well, we know the spinny donut ship is hovering over New York City. The only Infinity Stone in New York City in hanging from Doctor Strange's neck, which isn't the most secure place, really - and that's what Thanos' buddies are here for. At least a few members of the Black Order pop out, do some battlin' against Strange, Wong, Tony Stark, Spider-Man, and Regular Bruce Banner...but eventually Strange is separated from the group and taken by Ebony Maw, whose whole deal is that he can basically brainwash you/hyper-manipulate your mind with his voice (which is EXACTLY what he did to Strange in 2013's event series Infinity, except there he was looking for Thanos' crummy kid, Thane). The whole "Strange screaming in horror as clear spikes are driven through him" is just an astral projection metaphor for Ebony Maw taking over his mind, causing Strange to hand over the Time Stone.
Once Ebony Maw has that, the ship departs - with Spider-Man aboard (that shot in the Super Bowl spot of Spidey freaking out as the ship begins to leave Earth's atmosphere), Iron Man chasing close behind, and Strange probably sling-ringing himself aboard to try to get that stone back.
But mostly, I'll be thinking of that extremely creepy imagery of Ebony Maw taking over Strange's mind in Infinity.
This is one of the biggest mysteries in the MCU right now - where the hell is the Soul Stone? Literally every other Infinity Stone has been introduced in a previous film, except the Soul Stone. Is it hidden in the Vibranium mound beneath Wakanda? In Hawkeye's stupid farm? Inside Nebula's skull?
My take: It's on Titan.
Explanation: That's why everyone's fighting on Titan. Probably, like, buried deep or something where Thanos needed most of the other stones first to get to it. That's why they hadn't introduced the Soul Stone yet - there was no other film it would fit naturally into. But hey, I dunno where EXACTLY on Titan it is, that's not what I'm here to predict so don't hold me to this.
The last stone Thanos gets has to MEAN something big - and the Mind Stone is going to be the biggest gut-punch, because to get it, Thanos will have to effectively murder Vision. It's what gave Vision actual sentience, what powers his body - to remove it would be to destroy Vision entirely. That's why the Mind Stone has to be last - it would be pretty anticlimactic for Thanos to invade Wakanda, beat through all of the Avengers, MURDER VISION, and then go "Oh shoot, better finish up and grab that Reality Stone from Benicio del Toro."
Nope, the Mind Stone is definitely gonna be last - because what SEEMS to be happening (from the trailers) is that:
I'm taking a pretty big risk here - I could have just predicted where the Soul Stone is and be done with it, but I decided to basically GUESS the entire plot of Infinity War. Probably not a smart move. If I'm wrong about the ORDER of any two stones, I'm toast. And even by my own admission, Marvel loves to toy with us and feed us misleading information with trailers - and given so much of this prediction is based on what we saw in the trailers, there's a damn good chance I could be WAY WAY off.
So, if I'm wrong, I will dig through as much Thanos-related fan fiction as I can find and post the top 10 weirdest, most upsetting Thanos sex scenes on the internet. I will subject myself to crudely-written Space California Raisin erotica and bring you, the reader, only the most choice segments. I rarely read stuff that I ACTUALLY like - and yet I will break my cardinal rule and read through only the weirdest and most unfortunate writings on the internet.
I've already peeked into a few. I really hope I don't have to do this one.