THOR: THE DARK WORLD Mid-Credit Scene Dissected

Thor2LogoThor: The Dark World has been seen by preview audiences on Tuesday and has been open to the general public since last night. Many other news outlets have already spoiled film’s the mid-credits scene already, but we decided to give you a fair chance to see the film first before we delved into deconstructing that scene. However, there might be many of you out there that have yet to see the film. So be forewarned, anything past the “spoiler alert” sign will contain, well, spoilers. If you haven’t seen the film, I’d recommend stopping here, bookmarking this page, and coming back after you’ve seen the film.

Okay, here we go.

spolieralertThe MacGuffin of Thor: The Dark World is a superpowered force called the Aether. The evil bad guy Malekith wishes to use the Aether to destroy the universe and turn it into a dark energy universe where he will be all-powerful. Naturally, he fails, and the Aether ends up in the hands of the Asgardians.

The mid-credits scene consists of Sif and Volstagg meeting with the Collector to give him the Aether. When he asks why he was given such a gift, the Asgardians say that they already have the Tesseract in their armory and keeping two “Infinity Stones” in the same place is a bad idea. After Sif and Volstagg leave, the Collector whispers to himself “One down, five to go.”


9zhguThe “Infinity Stones” and “One down, five to go” calls to mind in many comic book fans the Infinity Gems, six immensely powerful oval gems, each of a different color and each with a different power. They are:

  • The Time Gem: An orange gem that allows its user control over time, including time travel, aging and de-aging people and objects, and knowledge of events that happen in the past, present and future.
  • The Space Gem: A purple gem that allows it wearer to travel into any space, anywhere, including alternate realities, from universe to universe, or to be in two places at the same time.
  • The Soul Gem: A green gem that allows its owner the power to collect souls, which will reside inside the gem itself.
  • The Reality Gem: A yellow gem that gives its user the power to warp reality to his wishes.
  • The Power Gem: A red gem that provides unearthly amounts of power to any object, and can duplicate any form of power or energy in the universe.
  • The Mind Gem: A blue gem that gives the user great mental powers.

1993178-82895_253_infinity_gauntlet_superThe gems have been part of Marvel comic book continuity for over forty years and have been owned by a wide variety of characters. However, their most famous wielder might be Thanos, who collected all six and mounted them all in a golden glove called the Infinity Gauntlet. It was the culmination of  Thanos’ quest for power and his courtship of Marvel’s personification of Death. As a gift to Death, an Infinity Gauntlet-wearing Thanos killed half the living organisms in the universe just by thinking it. That’s how powerful the six gems are together.

How does this apply to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Does it apply to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at all? Well, let’s take a look.

I think there has to be a connection, or, at the very least, Marvel wants you to think there is. Why call them the Infinity Stones and say that there are six of them if not? But it’s not easy to draw a straight line comparison between the film world’s Infinity Stones and the comic world’s Infinity Gems.

Tesseract_7The Tesseract, which many comic fans thought was an analogue with another powerful talisman from the comics, the Cosmic Cube, appears to have the same power as the Power Gem.  It is portrayed as an inexhaustible source of energy in the films. The Aether has elements of time control to it (Malekith wanted to use it to return the universe to the dark era before the big bang), so maybe that could be the Time Gem? But both “Stones” also have elements of the Space Gem to them (The Tesseract opened a wormhole for the Chituari forces and the Aether accidentally caused Jane Foster to travel through the Nine Realms).

More should be come clear in August when Guardians of the Galaxy debuts. That film’s plot revolves around another superpowered MacGuffin, which now appears to be the third Infinity Stone. Once we see what powers that particular MacGuffin has, we’ll be able to see if the Infinity Stones correspond with the Infinity Gems at all, or are just six really powerful items.

Also further explained then will be the true motives of the Collector. Will he be like his comic book incarnation and be gathering these items to use against a powerful foe (say, Thanos), or is he gathering them for a powerful being (say, Thanos) so they can be used by him?

m68qAnother question is when will we see the remaining three Infinity Stones. Conventional wisdom says that Thanos will be the villain in Avengers 3, and that all Infinity Stones should make their appearance before then. Assuming that Disney keeps to the “two Marvel films a year” schedule and Guardians of the Galaxy introduces a third stone and Marvel keeps with an Avengers film every three years, this means the remaining three will have to be introduced before May of 2018.

Judging on the announced films, we can assume that GotG will introduce a stone, but it seems unlikely that Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Ant-Man will introduce another stone. Both films seem to take on a more down-to-Earth approach to super heroics (although, it must be said, that the Tesseract made its first appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger, so we can’t completely rule out that a stone will be revealed in these films). It seems likely that a big weapon will be needed to fight Ultron in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so we might see another Infinity Stone there.

After that, the remaining stones will have to show up in the four as yet unnamed Marvel films of 2016 and 2017. Since more “cosmic” or “sci-fi” elements lend themselves to the Infinity Stones, could this mean that the oft-talked about, never confirmed Doctor Strange and the never-talked about, yet still in development Inhumans be a lock for Phase III? An Infinity Stone could be part of Strange’s collection of mystical artifacts and a Stone could be the thing that gives the Inhuman’s Terrigen Mists their superpower giving abilities? Or maybe the planned Black Panther film will have a mystic/sci-fi bent, as many of the character’s comic book stories had. The Infinity Stone as King Solomon’s Frogs, anyone?

About William Gatevackes 1966 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken, and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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Michael Klein
November 8, 2013 5:25 pm

Um ok so I don’t read any of the comic but enjoy these movies but this is starting to get very very confusing with all the different movies trying to keep in line and tie things together. I’m not saying they are going to lose money or anything but can start to tire all the non hardcore fans out.

William Gatevackes
November 8, 2013 5:29 pm

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November 8, 2013 5:38 pm

THOR: THE DARK WORLD Mid-Credit Scene Dissected

Josephine Szczepanski Campbell
November 8, 2013 6:59 pm

Josephine Szczepanski Campbell liked this on Facebook.

Shane Brennan
November 8, 2013 6:59 pm

Shane Brennan liked this on Facebook.

Zachary Smith
November 8, 2013 7:28 pm

I think its a “strike while the iron is hot” mentality, its either do this, or god forbid make something new

Michael Klein
November 8, 2013 8:09 pm

I don’t think it’s so much that I just think that unless you are a hardcore fan of the entire series you are going to start having your head spin. Between the Avengers, Agents of Shield, all the individual heroes movies, and now the superhero series that will appear Netflix, it’s a lot to take in. To the fans this is definitely not a bad thing but as years go by (2018?? Really??) They may see a drop off because of how confusing the Marvel universe is. The only reason I know about the infinity gauntlet is because of the… Read more »

Richard Zeszotarski
November 8, 2013 8:46 pm

Didn’t one or two of the other Elders of the Universe (of which the Colector is one) have infinity stones?

William Gatevackes
November 8, 2013 8:59 pm

As I recall, pretty much all off them did–Runner, Collector, Gardener, Champion of the Universe, Grandmaster, etc

Richard Zeszotarski
November 8, 2013 9:06 pm

i definitely remember Contemplator having one.

William Gatevackes
November 8, 2013 9:13 pm

That’s six.

Richard Zeszotarski
November 8, 2013 9:14 pm

Well, Adam Warlock has the Soul Gem, but he may have gotten it from the Gardener.

Michael Klein
November 8, 2013 9:46 pm

See this is what I’m kinda talking about. I have no idea what you guys are talking about right now.

Richard Zeszotarski
November 8, 2013 9:48 pm

I’m sure it will be explained one way or another, Mike. To quote Ham Salad in Hardware Wars: “Take it easy, kid, it’s only a movie.”

William Gatevackes
November 8, 2013 9:51 pm

Yeah, and odds are less than 2% of what Rich and I have been talking about will be making it into the films.

Michael Klein
November 8, 2013 9:52 pm

Well no I understand that but I at least have some knowledge but to a regular viewer they’d be lost.

Michael Klein
November 8, 2013 9:54 pm

That’s possible but like Rich said though they’ll make mention of it somewhere