The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to unfold in Phase 3, leading up to the big MCU crossover event that is Avengers: Infinity War. However, as Infinity War approaches, Marvel fans have been taking count of the MCU Infinity Stones and their current locations. Out of the six stones, five have been revealed and confirmed (Mind, Reality, Power, Space, and Time), with just one big mystery remaining: the location of the Soul Stone.
Fans have been pitching theories about where the Soul Stone could show up (or maybe already has show up) in the MCU; the latest one gaining steam is that Asgard's dutiful watchman Heimdall (Idris Elba) is the holder of the Soul Stone - but that theory is not without it's problems. We have another possible theory that's worth discussing: Could the Soul Stone be in the possession of Thor: Ragnarok villain, Hela (Cate Blanchett)?
Who Is Hela?
In Marvel Comics, Hela is a variation on the Norse goddess Hel. Her father was a version of Loki that existed before Ragnarok (the apocalypse for Norse gods) killed him off, and the Loki we know and love to hate replaced him. Hela's notable power is her status as Goddess of the Dead and rule over the realms of the dead, including Niffleheim (hell), Hel (purgatory) and Valhalla (heaven for warriors).
In Ragnarok, Cate Blanchett's Hela is expected to bring armies of the dead to Asgard's gates, looking to claim the souls of The Asgardians (particularly Thor).
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Hela's ability to raise the dead or her dominion over the realms of the dead would be an easy way to introduce the Soul Stone, as the basis of her power over the souls of the fallen. It would also be a good explanation of why the Soul Stone has remained off the MCU game board this long, and the use of so many other Infinity Stones in recent years (combine with Loki's usurping of Odin's throne at the end of Thor: The Dark World) could explain why she ventures out of her realms to attack Asgard.
Hela vs. Heimdall
The theory that Heimdall is secretly holding the Soul Stone comes from the idea that is eyes are a similar color to the stone, and his power to see all the souls of the nine realms is derived from it. While that theory has some problems (namely, the Asgardians giving away the Reality Stone to the Collector because they only wanted to keep one stone, The Tesseract), it's not an impossible reveal that Heimdall kept his possession of a stone a secret from all Asgardians (except Odin).
If Heimdall does have the Soul Stone, the Hela theory doesn't just disappear, either: Hela could battle (and likely kill) Heimdall to take possession of the stone during Thor: Ragnarok.
That scenario makes the most sense, as Thor's vision during Avengers: Age of Ultron features a blind Heimdall telling Thor "We are all dead!" before leading into the revelation of the Infinity Stones that are now in play. That vision suggests Heimdall has a potentially violent death ahead of him - one that may have his eyes as the prize. Since it's been made clear that MCU Hela will be a match for Thor's power, killing Heimdall is certainly within her capabilities.
The final piece to the puzzle is (as always) Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. At the end of Age of Ultron we find out that Thanos is set to take a much more active role in pursuing the Infinity Stones. Doctor Strange and The Vision are under direct threat (as holders of the Time and Mind stones, respectively), but if Hela held the Soul Stone, she would likely face any kind of threat from Thanos; quite the opposite, in fact.
In Marvel Comics, Thanos has an obsession with Death, who is personified as a mysterious woman in hooded robes. Thanos competes for Death's affection like a wooing lover, as death and destruction are forces The Mad Titan equates with beauty.
There's been hint that Cate Blanchett's Hela could be the MCU stand-in for Death; if that's the case, and she also possesses the Soul Stone, then Thanos may at the very least discover a powerful ally - one who would trade him the Soul Stone in exchange for her dominion's boarders to extend across the entire universe, once Thanos has eliminated all life. It makes the most sense if Marvel wants Infinity War to stick close to comic book canon - and would give an actress like Blanchett the sort of major arc she deserves in the MCU.
That's our theory and speculation about Hela's connection to the Soul Stone - what do you think? Does she have it? Does Heimdall have it? Is Adam Warlock somewhere chilling with it? Let us know in the comments or @ComicBookNOW!
LINKS: Does Heimdall have the Soul Stone? / Vision and Doctor Strange are in Danger / 10 Costumes we may see in Infinity War / Every MCU Movie Ranked / Thor: Ragnarok's Planet Hulk Character Cameo / Chris Hemsworth's Thor 3 New Costume
Doctor Strange is now in theaters; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.