The Infinity Stones are a major part of Avengers: Infinity War. While Thanos and his plan to collect all six and use them to wipe out half of the life in the universe is the focus of much of the film's story, it's the stones that the central part of the villain's plan.
But, what if Thanos himself isn't really the villain and the Infinity Stones are -- specifically the Mind Stone? That's the theory of one Infinity War fan over on Reddit. User "zaneman777" recently posted that it's not Thanos who is the Marvel Cinematic Universe's big bad, it's actually the Mind Stone across nearly all of the franchise's films in one shape or another. You can check out the full theory below.
The general idea of the theory is that the Mind Stone is the real mastermind (yes, pun intended) behind the plan to kill half of the universe and that it is manipulating every person who possesses it as well as influencing those around it. Admittedly, it's an interesting thought and there are some compelling points the theory makes, specifically with how Thor is troubled by Loki's behavior in Avengers. Vision is really the only character that doesn't appear to have a negative impact from the Mind Stone, though others in the thread suggested that Vision was somehow exempted from the corruption as he had been created by Ultron specifically for evil purpose and that by using the Mind Stone, that evil was reversed.
It's an interesting theory, and while it feels a little bit like a stretch, it's just the latest in a long line of thoughts with fans trying to sort out who or what the real bad guy of Infinity War really is. Since the film's release, fans have been debating who or what is the real "evil" of Infinity War and while most seem to acknowledge that Thanos is the big bad, there are those who have suggested that Star-Lord/Peter Quill or Thor are the real villains thanks to their inability to stop Thanos, there are even those who are willing to say that Thanos, from a certain perspective, is a hero and therefore not the villain -- including Kevin Smith. Smith recently explained on an episode of his Fatman on Batman (now Fatman Beyond) podcast that there is a case for Thanos as a hero as he only wiped out half of the universe instead of all of it when he snapped his fingers.
"Controversial choice, Thanos. From a certain perspective he's a hero," Smith said. "He could have literally wiped out everybody with one snap. I call that mercy."
No matter who -- or what -- the "real" villain of Infinity War is, half of the universe is still gone, and the heroes will have a huge task ahead of them when Avengers 4 hits theaters next year.
What do you think? Could the Mind Stone be the real villain? Let us know in the comments below.
Avengers 4 is currently set to arrive in theaters on May 3, 2019.