Thor: Ragnarok just had a massive opening weekend at the box office, setting the stage for another massive Marvel Studios hit. If you saw it, you probably noticed a lot of amusing little details in the film, but one in particular actually altered what we thought we knew about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who's been steering the ship since Iron Man, has explained why that had to happen.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
So, obviously we all know that the next big Marvel crossover film is Avengers: Infinity War, which will unite all of the MCU's heroes in a massive battle against Thanos. Thanos, as previous films established, is trying to gather all of the Infinity Stones so he can weild power over all the cosmos. In post-credits teaser from Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see him slipping on the Infinity Gauntlet, without any of the Stones attached, and vowing to go out and get the Stones himself. If you're well-versed in the MCU, though, you know that there's an apparent problem with that:
The Infinity Gauntlet is in the vaults in Odin's palace on Asgard. Isn't it?
Well, not exactly. The Gauntlet was shown in the first Thor film, just sitting in the background during one sequence, but in Thor: Ragnarok Hela visits the same vault and simply knocks the Gauntlet over, declaring it a "fake." This had to happen because the Gauntlet can't be in two places at once in the MCU, and those clearly can't be the real Infinity Stones because we've seen almost all of them out in the universe at this point. According to Feige, the Gauntlet was thrown into Thor as an Easter egg back when the main goal of the MCU was just putting the first Avengers film together, but when it became clear that Infinity War could actually be possible, a retcon had to take place. So, the Gauntlet was declared a fake as part of the subplot in Ragnarok of Odin's own personal retconning of Asgard's violent history. As Feige explained to Slashfilm:
"So Odin has a history of doing what he wants to do to maintain power. And going back, I mean, now it’s probably five years ago we started again just in our internal creative group saying, 'Well, it’s fake.' Because if the Asgardians knew that there was something that had that kind of power, that could theoretically wipe out Asgard and whatever else with a, in the comics, a literal snap of the fingers. They might question Odin’s ability to protect them.
"So Odin put a fake and he goes, it’s fine, I got it. Look, it’s fine, it’s in our vault, don’t worry about it. And it’s not until Hela goes down there. It was fun being back in that vault, by the way, for the first time since Thor 1. It was just the opportunity to call it a fake. So for people like yourself, and like all of us at Marvel Studios who were paying attention, that answers that question. And for people who have no idea that an out-of-focus Infinity Gauntlet appeared in the back of Thor 1, it just showcases her knowledge and her sort of disgust with the way Odin had handled things on her way to the true power that is below the surface."
So, now it's official Marvel Cinematic Universe canon: The Infinity Gauntlet in Asgard's vaults is a glorified replica. The real one is on Thanos' hand as we head toward Infinity War.