Civil War Man wrote: ↑
Tribble wrote: ↑
On the other hand, one would think “Soul for a Soul” could mean that the initial sacrifice could be swapped.
Apart from demanding sacrifices and being needed for the gauntlet, does the Soul Stone actually do anything in the MCU?
If you could just return the stone for the soul equivalent of a cash refund when you are done with it, it is not a sacrifice. It's just putting up a soul as collateral. Sacrificing someone you care about, knowing you will never get them back, is a lesson that the power of the Soul Stone is not to be used lightly.
Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. I don't like the premise, I don't like the Fridging, but if you're going to do that, don't make it cheap.
As for powers, Soul and Mind are the two directly life-related stones, so presumably someone with the Soul Stone could use it to, for example, create life from nothingness or instantly kill someone.
The former would be far more impressive. The latter, any of the Stones can be used to accomplish in various ways.
Some speculation as to what each stone contributed to the Snap:
Soul and Mind combine to allow the Snap to seek out sentient life (since the Snap didn't appear to affect plants) and kill it.
Reality turns the dead into dust so they don't leave corpses lying around.
Space and Time combine to allow the Snap to affect the entire known universe simultaneously, instead of forcing Thanos to travel to specific people and snap them individually.
Power provides raw power for the other Stones to harness to better fulfill their roles.
That makes sense.
IIRC, I believe there were some behind the scenes statements to the effect that Soul was needed to pull it off on a universal scale? But I'm not sure.
I also have a theory, a modification of an earlier incorrect theory I had WRT to Black Panther, that vibranium was created by the Soul Stone, given that the Heart Shaped Herb, which was established in the movie as a plant mutated by radiation from the vibranium meteorite, allowed T'Challa and Killmonger to enter a kind of spirit realm and speak with their dead fathers. If that were the case, allowing communication with the dead could also be included among the possible powers of the Soul Stone.
That's an interesting idea. I can see that, yeah.
I have no answer regarding the missing Thanos timeline, but the Loki with the Tesseract timeline is pretty easily fixed. Captain America goes back to New York, puts the Mind and Time stones back where they need to be, and then, you know, stops Loki from being able to run off with the Tesseract in the first place. The whole point was that the alternate timelines are only created if you don't return stuff to the same point where you took them.
I guess that depends on whether Loki stuck around, and what you figure Cap's chances are of cleanly taking down Loki one-on-one (he lost their one-on-one fight in Avengers, and was saved by Iron Man).
Here are the things his ending told me:
1. He is a person that has basically only known war and the next fight all his life. Age of Ultron specifically calls this out with both his Scarlet Witch-induced hallucination, as well as Ultron specifically taunting him about the perfect soldier who would be lost without a war. He retires to a quiet life with Peggy because he's tired of the life he had.
2. He joked about how Tony always told him to "get a life" and so he decided to see what the fuss was. If he continued to involve himself, he would still be unable to let go of war.
3. He knows that, for all of the pain that results, the history he knew turns out alright in the end, because it's already happened. If he starts interfering and changing things, that history might not turn out okay. Suppose he tries to save Bucky, and fails, so now he's in a world where he's responsible for his best friend's death instead of the one where he is eventually saved? Suppose he saves Howard and Maria Stark, and that new path results in Tony never maturing beyond his initial self-absorbed self or becoming Iron Man?
The first two points I get completely, and I have no problem with the idea of Cap settling down to a more peaceful life. Man's earned it, a hundred times over.
My problem is with him going back and trying to rewrite the past, but just a very small bit of it that affects him personally. Via the Butterfly Effect, him being with Peggy all those years ought to shake up the entire timeline substantially, unless we posit some sort of unestablished force of fate keeping everything else conveniently on-track. So there are consequences, but we're supposed to imagine that Captain "We don't trade lives" America just sits back and lets it all happen so he can enjoy his happy ending?
Yes, there are good reasons for him not to interfere (though I don't know if it would be in-character for him to accept that if it meant standing by and watching people die). But by those same reasons, he shouldn't have gone back at all. Unless he didn't really change anything, and he was really married to Peggy in the past all along, but that would contradict how time travel is shown working elsewhere, which is that its not a loop, but creating alternate timelines where things are different based on your going back.
Again, its a really nice, sweet, lovely piece of fan service, which gets more and more problematic the more you think about it.
Moreover, those little changes snowballing into bigger and bigger ones should be the case for every alternate timeline they created by going back to get the Stones, and Cap going back again at the end arguably shouldn't have "fixed" anything, but just created even more alternate timelines branching off from the previous alternate timelines, because the whole point of the alternate timelines is that you aren't changing the original reality by going back, but creating a new alternate one.
I think this has been gone over before, but she does not say that they are a necessary part of reality. She says that it is necessary to keep them where they are supposed to be. Taking away the Time Stone without returning it, for instance, results in Doctor Strange not having it when Dormammu is summoned, which means Dormammu wins and the Earth is destroyed.
Okay, but leaving the Ancient One's exact wording aside, its pretty clear that the Stones being present is important.
So there should be major consequences to them no longer existing in the main timeline.
Personally, though, I tend to see them as being more primal cosmic forces, something intrinsic to the universe, though I acknowledge that that's personal interpretation, not something I can definitively prove as correct.