There was no shortage of surprises throughout the entirety of Avengers: Infinity War. From the death of Loki within the first 10 minutes of the film to the snap that wiped out half of the universe, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and the Russo Brothers packed in more shocking moments than any of us were previously prepared for. Marvel Studios and company were correct in their quest to keep as much of the film a secret as possible.
One of the biggest surprises in the film came during Thanos and Gamora’s trip to Vormir in search of the Soul Stone. The moment that Red Skull presented himself as the guardian of the Soul Stone you could hear a noticeable shock wash across the cinema. For all we knew, Red Skull had died during Captain America: The First Avenger when he tried to hold the Tesseract. Instead, as we learned on Vormir, he was transported by the Space Stone to Vormir and forced to watch over the most mysterious of the six Infinity Stones. In the film he said the following:
“A lifetime ago, I too sought the Stones. I even held one in my hand. But it cast me out, banished me here, guiding others to a treasure I can not possess.”
With Red Skull back in the picture but in a different capacity, many fans wondered how he came to have this wealth of knowledge of the Stones. It turns out, the answer was in front of us the entire time. Back in The First Avenger, Red Skull was able to locate the Tesseract in an old church building in Tonsberg, Norway. Now that Marvel Studios has released it’s first Visual Dictionary, we now know that Red Skull also took “an earthly version of the Book of Yggdrasil” from the Tesseract’s guardians. The book tells the story of the Nine Realms and the history of Odin’s family.
You’ll remember, those of you that saw Thor: The Dark World, that Odin himself pulled out a copy of the book in order to teach Jane Foster about what he called the “relics,” and now we know that the knowledge of the cosmos contained in that book is the source of Red Skull’s knowledge. Guarding the Soul Stone certainly helps as well, but he had to start somewhere.
It seems they really did think of everything!