Thanos is the most famous and loved supervillain who stole all the infinity stones to do a bad deed (well it was mostly good if you think about it). The supervillain did his homework and tapped into his perpetual power to hunt down the stones. But, wait. What took him so long to find the infinity stones location?
Avengers Infinity War and Endgame were all about Thanos hunting down the location of the six infinity stones/ gems. If we turn back time and go to 2012’s Avengers, Thanos already had the mind stone. Now he had to find the rest, that is, reality, space, power, time and soul stone.
But if he really wanted to cut down some population so badly, what took Thanos so long to find all the six stones?
Been busy with other evil plans maybe? Well, the easiest (and most logical) answer would be that MCU was too busy focusing on other characters. They simply did not have a script. But that is not the most acceptable reason. Everything happens for a reason and at the right time. Let’s take a look at the Titan’s reasons that shaped his destiny.
But first things first.
Where were the other infinity gems when Thanos had the Mind Stone?
When Thanos has one of the infinity stones, the others were scattered around the universe. And Thanos knew it well that the purpose he meant to seek required the power of all six infinity stones/ gems. So where were the rest?
- The SPACE STONE (which was in the Tesseract) was vulnerably hidden on Earth.
- The POWER STONE was in the possession of Morag.
- The TIME STONE was being protected by The Ancient One.
- No one knew the whereabouts of the SOUL STONE.
- The REALITY STONE was still hidden in Aether. And Odin’s father had locked away it away at an undisclosed location.
Thanos wanted to avoid catching the eye of some of the most powerful beings in the (Marvel) universe.
And for that purpose, Thanos used his brains in complete sync of his powers
Avengers all the way
Thanos was aware of the age-old quote ‘Unity is strength’. He knew that fighting the Avengers was not going to be a cakewalk.
Also, Thanos did not do all the searching himself. He sends out Loki to hunt down one of the six Infinity Stones. The Space Stone was presumably in a vulnerable state on Earth (in the Tesseract). For this purpose, Thanos gives Loki the only stone that he has: The Mind Stone inside the Sceptre.
The Space Stone
But alas, Loki fails in the 2012 movie, Avengers. Not only that, the Tesseract is shifted and kept in Asgard under the guard of Odin Allfather.
The Mind Stone
And the Mind Stone? It went to HYDRA where scientists harnessed its power. After the fall of HYDRA, Avengers retrieve the mind stone and ultimately it lands on Vision. Phfff, such a long journey for a stone to travel!
Thanos only comes for the Mind Stone once Avengers are divided in the 2016 movie. Because Thanos knows it is not possible to fight the Avengers as a united team.
But that is not the only reason. If he were to really go all in and fight Avengers, this would alert the extremely powerful celestial beings and holders of other stones. So, to avoid catching their eye and run his plan silently, Thanos takes his time in setting out in the location of this infinity stone. A pretty diplomatic move, isn’t it?
So Thanos goes and gets his stone back in Avengers: Infinity Wars
What next? Reality Stone. This infinity stone was an easy grab from ‘The Collector’. So, Thanos left it for another day until he got his hands on the others.
Ronan the Accuser: He got the Power!
Thanos puts the charge of retrieving the power infinity stone from its location on Ronan the Accuser. But sadly for Thanos, he turned out to be power-hungry. Thus he could have posed a threat and wasted Thanos’ time in his pretty planned out endeavour. But he was killed at the end of 2014 movie, Guardians of the Galaxy.
With this, the Power stone became easily accessible in Nova Corps guard. But Thanos lets it stay there because there are more powerful beings he has to fight off cleverly.
The Ancient One and the Time Stone
Thanos’ big (pretty big) block in the road to finding the location of all the infinity stones/ gems is The Ancient One. Until 2016, The Ancient One has the Time Stone. Being an extremely powerful sorcerer, she is a serious threat to Thanos and he knows it. So, only with her gone does Thanos have a chance of setting foot on Earth.
As ‘Avengers Infinity War’s kick starts in 2018, Thanos does not spare a moment in putting his hands on this infinity stone that is now with Doctor Strange.
Ego and all the six Infinity Stones
Another powerful contender than Thanos feared and was vary of. In fact, Ego was a Celestial thus had unlimited power that made him theoretically immortal. If he ever got a hint that Thanos is collecting the infinity stones/ gems and trying to decode their location, Ego would never let him achieve it.
But before he could ever be a hindrance to the Mad Titan, the Guardians of the Galaxy killed him. Thanos never had to fight his most powerful contenders. He, instead, waited them out.
Odin and the Space Stone
Odin Allfather is another example of someone Thanos could never have won against. Ever. With the Space Stone hidden in Asgard, Thanos’ plans of getting all the infinity stones lay futile.
And there was simply no probability that Thanos could ever get past Odin. His only option was to jolt down a very strong plan (which was impossible) or wait it out. And yes, he got lucky in 2018. With Odin (and Ego) gone, Thanos had no reason left to wait. (Nor did MCU).
With all the powerful opposers out of the Mad Titans’ way, both, Thanos and MCU, set out in the location of the infinity stones.
So, Thanos took such a long time in finding all the infinity gems because there was no way that he would have fought Avengers, The Ancient One, Ego, and Odin and won. He only makes his move after eons of waiting when all the stones lie vulnerable.