H is for Hela

This post about Agents of SHIELD and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is utterly unimportant. But if you want to know what I think about about a spoiler, and of course you do, read on!

Below: all of the spoilers.

So the prevailing theory, last I checked, was that the stone in Heimdall’s armor is the Soul Gem: the last Infinity Stone required to complete the Infinity Gauntlet! It might not necessarily be where the theory below proposes, but it might still corroborate this leak about the plots of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Thor: Ragnorok. This would be cool, and it would explain some things. The previews for Thor: Ragnarok suggest that this is possible, particularly the part where Hela destroys Mjolnir. Like, how in the hell do you even do that?! Oh, with an Infinity Stone.

However, I have a couple reasons to doubt that it’s necessarily Heimdall who’s responsible for holding on to the Soul Gem. One reason is that there was already an Infinity Stone under lock & key in Asgard–the Tesseract. And on top of that, the Mind Gem was in Loki’s scepter. As to how it got there, I don’t know, but we do know from the end of Thor: The Dark World that they’re not too keen on keeping these close together. They left the Aether with the Collector because they thought that would work out…

…but anyway, here’s a possibility: in the video above, they spell out the locations of the Infinity Stones, and the Soul Gem is “H.” It could be Heimdall. But it could also be Hela.

Hela’s the villain in Thor: Ragnarok, and rumor has it she’ll be playing a role like Death in the comics version of the Infinity Gauntlet story. At any rate, I don’t think this movie is the last we’ll see from her. I think she’ll definitely play a part in future Infinity War business. Now, “H is for Hela” is not a sufficient basis for proposing that she holds the Soul Gem, and even if it were, it wouldn’t mean that it’s located somewhere other than where we’ve been led to expect. What makes me think it might not be with Heimdall is that I can imagine an alternative location that fits the bill.

Hell.

I think the Darkhold might be the Soul Gem. And it might be in hell– the dimension where Ghost Rider took it in Agents of SHIELD. Here’s why I think this theory is plausible (or at least not implausible) and fun!

We know the Darkhold is powerful, and dangerous, and sought after. Sounds like an Infinity Stone to me. It was buried for centuries, under what circumstances we don’t know… but I’ll come back to that.

We also have some sense of what the Darkhold does, or rather, what it enables people to do. It reads the mind of the person “reading” it, it makes itself readable to them, and allows them to figure out the secrets of the universe. It’s interesting that it allows people to figure out the particular secrets of the universe in which they’re most interested. For Eli, it allowed him to transmute energy from one dimension into another, so that it appeared he was creating matter. All the while, he was “stealing” energy from somewhere else.

For Aida, reading the Darkhold enabled her to advance her artificial intelligence to its highest possible extent, which lent itself to achieving the objective of building that dimensional gateway to where Coulson & co had shifted. That gateway also opened onto where Ghost Rider had to drag Eli off, to get him out of this dimension.

So, where is that dimension, anyway? Why is that where Ghost Rider went, and how is it that he came back from there with the mission of taking the Darkhold with him?

See, part of why I think the Darkhold is more than it seems is that it leads its user to a different objective–something they’re not supposed to do, something beyond what should be possible on this plane of existence. For Aida, once she could do the whole dimensional gateway thing, the same skills allowed her to create a brain out of light.

That didn’t end well. But! The Darkhold eventually allowed her to construct an organic body for herself, too. With free will and everything–life. She incorporated all kinds of Inhuman powers into her organic body, but it wasn’t exactly clear why she couldn’t be killed…

…except by the hellfire of Ghost Rider. It certainly seemed fortuitous that he showed up to take the Darkhold to wherever he’d been?

Yeah, about that. When Robbie takes the Darkhold with him, he says he learned to do new things since he’d been away. And when he leaves, he creates a portal in very much the same way we saw sorcerers learning to do in Dr. Strange, using a sling ring, over at Kamar-Taj!

The Eye of Agamotto is at Kamar-Taj, and they know it’s the Time Gem. I can imagine they also probably know that the Darkhold exists. The current Sorcerer Supreme probably doesn’t know about it, because the Ancient One and old dude probably didn’t want it used. They may have had something to do with it going missing, particularly if they know it’s an Infinity Stone.

Now, if I’m right, or at least not wrong, it could be that Hela really wants the Darkhold back in hell, or wherever, because she knows it’s an Infinity Stone and she wants to use it. Whatever her plans are for it, it might play a role in her destruction of Mjolnir (and apparently the rest of Asgard, at least in part). Or it might enable her to do some things about hell that she can’t currently do, things that are beyond the scope of whatever she does in Thor: Ragnarok. My guess is that at least one thing it allows her to do is leave.

Now, finally, if the Darkhold did turn out to be the Soul Gem, and Ghost Rider took it to hell because Hela wanted to get hold of it, then there’s a messy connection between Agents of SHIELD and Thor: Ragnarok going on that I don’t think the TV show let on. Moreover, there’s an underlying connection between those properties and Dr. Strange that must lead into Infinity War. My only other question is whether these issues will play out in the Inhumans or in Black Panther in any way. If I wanted to hide an Infinity Stone, I’d put it in Wakanda. Attilan would be an OK second choice.

A further connection: if we haven’t seen them again by that point, maybe Daniel Drumm, Mordo, the Darkhold, or both, show up in Black Panther. We know Mordo wants to get rid of sorcerers.