Since the after-credits scene in 2011’s Thor, the Infinity Stones have ominously been looming in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and played key roles in a few of the movies during Phases One and Two. Each Stone is powerful enough on its own, but when all six are brought together inside one of the Infinity Gauntlets, it will make an individual practically invincible, a goal which Thanos is trying to achieve. As of this writing, there are two Infinity Stones left to be officially introduced: the Soul Stone and the Time Stone. Marvel hasn’t said when we’ll see these remaining Stones in Phase Three, but going off a new comment from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, it’s possible that we could see the Time Stone in Doctor Strange next year.
While chatting about the abilities Stephen Strange will have in his solo movie next year, Feige mentioned the amulet known as the Eye of Agamotto, and its many powers include manipulating probabilities, or as another way to put it, "screw around with time." Although Doctor Strange will see the first demonstrations of magic in the MCU, it still hasn’t been clarified whether the forces that Strange will harness are truly unexplainable phenomena or tied into some kind of cosmic force. If it’s the former, then it’s likely the Eye will just be your "average" mystical artifact, but if it’s the latter, then what are the chances the Eye is really just the Time Stone in disguise?
In the comics, the Infinity Gem allows its user "total control over the past, present and future." This includes seeing into the past, slowing down the flow of time and, of course, traveling through time. You can see there’s a lot of overlap between that and the MCU’s Eye of Agamotto. Now, if you looked at that photo of Benedict Cumberbatch in costume as the Sorcerer Supreme several days ago, you noticed the Eye was around his neck, and in the center is a green jewel. One of the still unidentified Infinity Stones is colored green. Suspicious, no? Remember, Loki’s scepter in The Avengers wasn’t originally advertised as an Infinity Stone, but three years later, it was officially revealed that the Mind Stone was encased within the crystal. This could be the same case for the Time Stone.
Now, if the Eye really is the Time Stone, it stands to reason Doctor Strange can’t access its full power. If he could, then he wouldn’t need most of the other magical abilities he uses against the forces of evil. This either means the Eye itself, i.e. the outer shell, limits what the user can do with it, or Strange simply doesn’t understand enough about it to realize what it’s truly capable of doing. As the story continues, perhaps Strange will learn its true origins, though given what’s coming in 2018, he won’t be its owner for much longer. All this being said, let’s hope that the Time Stone is the only cosmic force that Strange puts to good use, and that his other artifacts and abilities will be inherently "magical." We get it, the Infinity Stones are massively powerful, but they’re not the only sources of power in this universe.
Including the Time Stone in Doctor Strange would also be one of the obvious ways to tie the movie to the rest of the MCU. At this point, it hasn’t been announced whether there will any direct connective threads to the other MCU movies, and the only reference to Strange before his movie was that name drop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Guardians of the Galaxy was another Marvel movie that was largely separated from the rest of the MCU, but the Power Stone, a.k.a. The Orb, provided that key connective thread. The Time Stone could fulfill that same function for Doctor Strange.
It’s more likely than not that when Avengers: Infinity War Part I begins, all of the Infinity Stones will have been featured, allowing Thanos to finally gain that near-unlimited power he’s been craving for years. Of all the movies coming out in Phase Three, it makes the most sense to introduce the Time Stone in Doctor Strange given how fantastical and "trippy" this movie is said to be. Look, either way we’ll be seeing Stephen Strange pull some weird time tricks in his movie as he fight Mads Mikkelsen’s unnamed character and other adversaries, but it’s like they say on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: it’s all connected. There’s less than two years to go until the Infinity War begins, and the MCU needs to put those last two Stones into play. Doctor Strange seems like a good fit for the Time Stone, and so far, there’s a good chunk of evidence pointing to its inclusion.
We’ll find out whether Doctor Strange will give audiences another Infinity Stone when the movie hits theaters on November 4, 2016, but for now, let us know in the comments whether you think the Eye of Agamotto is really the Time Stone or if they’ll keep it a purely mystical object.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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