Spoiler Warning for Avengers: Infinity War below
As soon as the credits (and post-credits) rolled on Avengers: Infinity War, the first question was: Are half of our heroes (and the universe) actually dead? Which was quickly followed by: How will they be brought back? Because we know that we haven’t said goodbye to all of the New Avengers who were dusted, and possibly to some of those who weren’t. But it’s someone who exists in that latter group, who wasn’t a victim of Thanos’ Snap, who could also be the key to it all.
The stone that gets the most time devoted to it in Infinity War is the Soul Stone. It also has some of the more arcane powers among the cosmic gems. It’s significant that Thanos had to give up the one person he loved, Gamora, to obtain it — but did Gamora really die? That post-Snap scene of a young Gamora with Thanos is an important one. According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Infinity War director Joe Russo (who co-directed with his brother Anthony Russo) spoke to kids at Iowa City’s City High over opening weekend (he’s a University of Iowa alumnus) and revealed that the scene takes place within the Soul Stone:
“Yeah, it’s implied [that] it’s the Soul Stone. It’s all orange around, then he’s inside the Soul Stone with the amount of power that it took to snap his fingers – he has this out of body experience with Thanos. When he goes inside the Soul Stone he has this kind of conversation with the younger version of his Gamora.”
As we’ve written about in the past, the Soul Stone creates a pocket dimension that houses all of the souls that it has taken, which means that our heroes (and half the universe) are not dead, they’re just elsewhere. When asked specifically if Gamora is alive within the Soul Stone, Russo confirmed,
“She in fact is, yes. It was an attempt on our part – because we don’t like two dimensional roles or three dimensional villains every villain is a hero in their own story and as insane and psychotic and brutal and violent as Thanos is he’s a more complex villain if you go on a journey with him emotionally. He does care for things and it is complicated for him to execute his plan and it cost him something. He said at the end that it cost him everything and that it was the only thing he loved which was Gamora which is why we put him back with her at the end. I just want to reiterate with the audience that he does feel true emotion even though he is a monster.”
So this could play out a couple of different ways. The OG Avengers could get the gauntlet and restore everyone to their respective planets, maybe with the help of the Time Stone, who knows. Or … if the MCU wanted to be really bold, it could split off into a second reality, one where the New Avengers exist in a different dimension from the old MCU. We don’t have a sense yet of what this new reality looks like though — why would Gamora appear specifically as a child? — so there are still plenty of questions and theorizing to come. But for now, this is a key confirmation about where things could go in Avengers 4 — as well as a hint at what part Gamora might be able to play in Thanos’ eventual defeat.