WARNING: Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War below.
Calling out plotholes is a risky business these days, mostly because a lot of the alleged holes aren’t really qualified for the title. This particular aspect of the Thor films and their relation to Avengers: Infinity War might not be a plothole at the end of the day. It might not be something that needs fixing in the story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much like aspects from the early films that aren’t around at this point — Edward Norton’s take on The Hulk for example.
That doesn’t mean fans aren’t going to have some fun with what is happening on the screen, and fun is all it is at the end of the day. Sometimes fans expanding ideas hinted in the films can be interesting, and it doesn’t hurt that this one makes a lot of sense when it comes to the Infinity Stones and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spoilers ahead!
As many will remember, the first look at The Infinity Gauntlet came way back during the first Thor film. As the Frost Giants invade the trophy room to take the Casket of Ancient Winters, they are greeted by The Destroyer and run by the glove as they try to escape, as seen above. This was a nice Easter egg in Thor, and it came before the introduction of Thanos at the end of Avengers, sort of planting the seed for Infinity War way, way back.
But as we learned in Thor: Ragnarok, the glove in the Asgardian trophy room is a fake. Hela says as much and seems to have a lot of knowledge about how it got there. That’s where the Reddit theory from user DraftDraw hops in, explaining that Odin is to blame for giving Thanos the plans to create the Infinity Gauntlet and revealing a possible reason he kept a fake around:
Years and years ago, Odin learned about the Infinity Stones through his father, Bor, who was responsible for taking the Reality Stone from the Dark Elves. After his death and Odin’s subsequent rise to power, he (with Hela at his side) began conquering all the realms in order to locate and claim the Stones. Odin found the Space Stone first and this allowed Odin and his armies to travel between realms and conquer them very quickly. During this, he commissioned Nidavellir to create a device which would allow him to control all the Stones at will: the Infinity Gauntlet. They created the mold for it and made one casting as a test fit for Odin, complete with fake Stones to give Odin an idea of the grandeur of the finished Gauntlet.
However, 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. He found he couldn’t do it and in that moment Odin stopped being a conquerer and started being a king. 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. Thus he became Odin Allfather, Protector of the Nine Realms. Nidavellir de-commissioned the Gauntlet mold and Odin hid the Space Stone on Midgard. Odin almost definitely knew where the Reality Stone was because Odin’s father had it at one time. If this theory is true then he definitely knew where the Soul Stone was, he might have known where the Power Stone was, he probably didn’t know the Time Stone was also already on Midgard (otherwise he likely wouldn’t have risked two Infinity Stones in the same place), and he almost definitely didn’t know where the Mind Stone was.
There are a lot of specifics at play there, including the idea that Odin knew where all of the Infinity Stones were in the universe before their introduction into the film series. But it does fit pretty well considering how close the Asgardians have been to the stones throughout all the films and Thanos’ knowledge of Nidavellir in Infinity War. It seemed like Rocket thought it was the thing of legend when Thor met with The Guardians at the start of the film, so some insider knowledge featuring Thanos, Odin, and some other significant figures could be expected.
Does it fit or is it a stretch?