Throughout Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga, the Infinity Stones served as MacGuffins for many MCU films, such as the Time Stone in Doctor Strange, the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Space Stone - or Tesseract - in The Avengers. Not only were all of the stones integral to Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, but they also created more than one new timeline within the MCU.
Even though the Infinity Saga concluded with Spider-Man: Far From Home, the effects of the Stones - and the actions of the Avengers - are still playing out in Phase 4 of the MCU, particularly in regard to the Multiverse.
To keep track of the various timelines and how they began, the Infinity Stones now serve as guideposts for the interconnected chronology of the MCU; and now, one of Marvel's social media accounts has shared a new resource to help with the confusion.
Marvel Posts the Official Timeline of the Soul Stone
"These Infinity Stones each control an essential aspect of existence. Space, Reality, Power, Soul, Mind...and Time."
The official Instagram account for Marvel in the United Kingdom has posted a timeline of the Soul Stone's journey within the MCU. Check out the following slides:
This timeline begins with the creation of the Soul Stone and the other Infinity Stones, just as Wong explained in Avengers: Infinity War. From there, the image shows the Soul Stone being housed on Vormir, followed by the Red Skull becoming its keeper due to his actions in Captain America: The First Avenger.
Following the point where Gamora discovers the location of the stone, things get a little messy.
While Natasha Romanoff sacrifices herself in 2014 amid the Avengers: Endgame time heist, in an alternate timeline, Captain America returns the stone.
The timeline then shows the point where Thanos sacrifices Gamora, obtains the Soul Stone, and then snaps away half of all life. Still, it's important to remember that, even though this happened in 2018, it technically occurred before the events of Endgame and Nat's sacrificial death.
This trajectory comes to an end when Thanos uses the stones to destroy the stones at the beginning of Endgame.
However, the timeline which began when Nat sacrificed herself continues, leading up to the Hulk using the stones to reverse Thanos' snap in 2023. Also, Cap's timeline where he returns the stones is present as well.
Finally, after the Hulk's snap, the Soul Stone is used once more by Tony Stark in Endgame to destroy Thanos and his army, all before it's given to Captain America to be returned to 2014.
Meanwhile, in a separate timeline? Reality? Universe? The visual shows an alternate version of the Infinity Stones being used as TVA paperweights from Loki on Disney+.
The full timeline can be seen below:
The Soul Stone's Lasting Impact on the MCU
"In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love. A soul... for a soul."
This isn't the first time Marvel has shared an official timeline for one of its Infinity Stones. In the past, Marvel's UK account has also posted an official timeline of the Power Stone, which made its MCU debut in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
What sets the Soul Stone apart from the Power Stone and the other Infinity Stones is that it wasn't shown on-screen until Avengers: Infinity War, where it became integral to the film's story in that it cost Gamora her life and emotionally devastated Thanos.
In fact, after Thanos' snap, he was briefly sent into the red-tinted Soulworld where he admitted to young Gamora that his mission had cost him everything.
Since this particular stone was the cause of Gamora's death, it's likely to be revisited in some form or fashion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, where Star-Lord will likely be searching for Gamora from 2014.
Also, it's possible that all of the other Infinity Stones may be revisited as well. Not only did What If...? rely on the stones for its pivotal episodes, but they could play some sort of role again in live-action, particularly in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Season 2 of Loki on Disney+.