Thanos is easily the most popular supervillain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. In Infinity War, Thanos collects all six Infinity Stones to “snap” half of all life in the universe from existence. However, the movie starts when Thanos already has the Purple (Power) Stone. The question is, how did he get it?
After the Guardians of the Galaxy defeated Ronan and took the Power Stone away from him, they handed it to the Nova Corps on Xandar to keep it safe. Unfortunately, Thanos decimated Xandar off-screen before the beginning of Infinity War, taking the Power Stone in the process.
If you want to learn more about the Mad Titan’s quest for the Infinity Stones and why we haven’t seen the Power Stone being obtained on screen, you’re in the right place.
Which Stone Does Thanos Get First?
As I mentioned, Thanos eventually gets all the Infinity Stones in the Avengers: Infinity War movie. The first one is the Power Stone, but we don’t see him obtain it on screen. The first Stone that the Mad Titan gets in the movie is the Space (Blue) Stone.
The Tesseract, aka the Cosmic Cube, aka the Space Stone, was last seen in a vault in Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok. As Surtur brought Ragnarok upon Asgard, destroying it with Hela, Loki took the Tesseract from the vault and brought it to an escape ship.
Soon after, Thanos and his army intercepted the Asgardian ship with Loki, Thor, and the Hulk onboard. He does easy work out of all of them, taking the Tesseract from them before detonating the ship and killing everyone who was still on board.
Having both the Power Stone and the Space Stone made him the only being in the universe wielding two Stones at once. After learning that the Collector had the Reality (Red) Stone last seen, it was extremely easy for him to get it.
Although we haven’t seen him do it on-screen, we see Gamora, Drax, Star-Lord, and Mantis attack him there, but he tricks them and plays with their perception of reality, already having the third stone taken from the Collector.
The encounter with Gamora and the rest of the team was exactly what Thanos wanted, though, as she knew the location of the Soul (Orange) Stone. As it turns out, it was on Vormir, so Thanos instructs his step-daughter to take him there.
Upon their arrival, they learn from the Red Skull that one must lose what he truly loves to obtain the Soul Stone. Thanos then sacrifices Gamora and gets the fourth Stone in his Gauntlet.
Next, he heads back to his native planet, Titan, which is now in ruins after overpopulation drained their resources. He battles the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, eventually getting the Time (Green) Stone from Doctor Strange after they nearly took away the entire Gauntlet from him.
Finally, in the Battle of Wakanda at the finish of Infinity War, all MCU superheroes join forces to battle Thanos and his colossal cosmic army to defend Vision. They try to separate him from the Mind (Yellow) Stone in his forehead but can’t make it on time.
That’s when Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, does the unthinkable, killing the love of her life for the greater good and destroying the Mind Stone while it’s still in Vision’s head.
Thanos wants none of that nonsense and uses the Time Stone to turn back the clock, resurrect Vision, and rip the Mind Stone out of him, and brutally kill him once again in front of Wanda. It eventually caused her mental breakdown and the creation of a pocket universe depicted in the WandaVision TV Series.
That ultimately completes the Infinity Gauntlet with all six Stones, and we’ve seen the Mad Titan take all of them on-screen, except the one he uses the most – the Power Stone. As mentioned earlier, he obtained it off-screen and already had it at the beginning of the movie, but how exactly did he get it?
How Did Thanos Already Have the Purple Stone?
The last time we’ve seen the Power Stone appear in the MCU was long before Avengers: Infinity War, yet all of a sudden, Thanos has it on his Gauntlet right from the start of the movie.
After the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, where they defeated Thanos’ subordinate Ronan (who betrayed the Mad Titan and took the Power Stone himself), the Guardians gave the Stone to the Nova Corps. They took it to their planet, Xandar, where it was kept very safe until, well, it wasn’t.
We learn later in the movie from Thor that Thanos had already decimated Xandar and took the Power Stone before the events of the movie ever took place. It happens before he destroys the Asgardian ship and takes the Tesseract, so we only hear about it off-screen.
Why Did Thanos Obtain the Power Stone Off-Screen?
It would be awesome to see him take the Power Stone on-screen – the Stone that takes his plan into motion and that he uses the most. However, the writers and directors of the movie, the Russo brothers, explained why they chose not to show it in the movie.
Anthony and Joe Russo had done a Q&A with some fans at a high school in Iowa, and they answered precisely why the Power Stone wasn’t featured in the movie like the rest of the Stones.
As it turned out, there was simply just one too many Stones to incorporate Thanos obtaining each of them in the movie. The fans already knew where the Power Stone was and how it got there, so they didn’t have to create a whole story around it. It was the easiest Stone to obtain off-screen:
“(…) we thought it’d be one too many. There are so many stones he has to collect, and you get into a trap, and we thought — we knew where it was in [Guardians of the Galaxy], so it was easy to deal with it off-screen.”