WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
A new fan theory suggests how Odin acquired a fake Infinity Gauntlet in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how Thanos got his hands on the real thing before the events of Avengers: Infinity War.
Odin's vault in the Thor films is seen as an Easter egg collections of powerful Marvel artifacts. Appearing in 2011's Thor and 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, the Infinity Gauntlet was seen safely locked away beneath Asgard. However, as Cate Blanchett's Hela walks into the vault to claim Surtur's crown in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, she dismisses the glove and tosses it aside, declaring "fake." A tragic theory now connects Hela's banishment to why Odin keeps an Infinity Gauntlet in his vault.
Redditor DraftDraw is behind the well-thought-out theory that seems to cover all the bases. Starting with Odin learning about the Infinity Stones from his father, DraftDraw expands the events that were hinted at during Ragnarok and Odin's rise to power with Hela by his side. After finding the Space Stone, Odin is then said to have traveled to Nidavellir and commissioned the dwarves to create a model Infinity Gauntlet with fake stones to try on for size.
It's here that Infinity War's Soul Stone sacrifice comes into play, as Odin realized he couldn't sacrifice his own daughter, like Thanos would eventually do. "At about this time he discovered the whereabouts of the Soul Stone and what was required of him to get it: He'd have to sacrifice that which he loved the most, which was Hela," writes DraftDraw. "He found he couldn't do it and in that moment Odin stopped being a conqueror and started being a king."
The theory then catches up with the events pre-Ragnarok, and how Odin came to be at odds with Hela: "Hela didn't understand this change of heart; she knew what the Infinity Stones were because Odin specifically told her that's why they were conquering all the realms, and Hela believed in that power more than anything else. So she and Odin fought; Odin won and that's when he imprisoned her in Hell. Odin put the fake Gauntlet in his treasure room as a reminder of both what he'd done and what he'd lost, and swore that he would protect all that he had conquered."
DraftDraw's theory concludes with Thanos traveling to Nidavellir and using the dwarves' knowledge of the faux Gauntlet to create the real thing. Some fans were left confused about how the Avengers: Age of Ultron post-credits scene saw Thanos take the real Gauntlet and say, "Fine. .. I'll do it myself" when Infinity War explained that Eitri had forged it for the Mad Titan.
According to this latest fan theory, Odin hid the Space Stone on Earth, knew that the Dark Elves had the Reality Stone, thanks to his father, left the Soul Stone haunting him on Vormir, and may or may not have known where the rest were located. Either way, he gave up his quest for power and became the surly father of Loki and Thor.
Odin's transition from warmonger to protector of the Nine Realms was never really explained in Ragnarok, but DraftDraw neatly ties up all the various plot threads in a compelling theory. Whether or not this will ever be confirmed in the MCU remains to be seen, however, it adds another layer to Odin and his possession of an Infinity Gauntlet for those who want to believe it.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston, and Josh Brolin.