To say that Marvel Studios has been playing the long game in regards to setting up the events of upcoming installments in their franchises would be an understatement, as next year's Avengers: Infinity War will incorporate elements hinted at over the course of over a dozen films. After having debuted in the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even actor Tom Hiddleston is aware of how many clues have appeared in the years since Thor.
"It's interesting, in the time since I have played the part, that the value and importance of the Infinity Stones has grown within the Marvel universe in a way I didn't know when I first made that film," Hiddleston explained. "It's been really interesting, like, while I've been off doing other things, um, whether it's Crimson Peak, or The Night Manager, they talk about Loki's Scepter."
The first Infinity Stone appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger, in the form of the "Tesseract." This object allowed Red Skull to tap into a powerful energy to create weapons of mass destruction. In Marvel's The Avengers, Loki was granted a scepter that he used to control the minds of others, most notably, taking control of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) early on in the film.
Since then, we've seen the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Reality Stone (in the form of the "Aether") in Thor: The Dark World, and the Time Stone in Doctor Strange.
Of the prominence that the Stones have earned over the course of the films, Hiddleston claims, "It makes me feel included. It's been really interesting to see the development of all these Infinity Stones and I don't think Loki was ever in on that plan."
The plan he refers to involves Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtaining all of these Stones to create an all-powerful gauntlet with which he could rule the universe in Avengers: Infinity War.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters on November 3.