Marvel’s What If…? implies that there is another way to obtain the Soul Stone. The Infinity Stones are considered the McGuffins of the Infinity Saga, and when the overall narrative wound up in Avengers: Endgame, there seems to be an expectation that the gems will no longer feature in MCU’s future storytelling. Nevertheless, this is not the case in this instance, as some of the Infinity Stones remain part of Phase 4’s narrative.
At this moment, the Sacred Timeline doesn’t contain any Infinity Stones. The ones Thanos utilized were basically destroyed by the Mad Titan so that nobody can reverse the annihilation. Meanwhile, those acquired via the time theft in Endgame would have to be repatriated to their original origins so as to not produce new timelines. With that said, the stones still play a vital part in Marvel Studios’ present plans.
To begin, WandaVision explained how the Mind Stone functioned in connection to Wanda Maximoff’s abilities. Meanwhile, it’s already been revealed that Doctor Strange will re-gain the Time Stone in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and that he will continue to hold it in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Ultron, who was able to snag Vision’s body in Endgame, now wields the six crystals for the very first time since that event. As far, it’s unclear whether “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?” had any bearing on what occurred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The animated series, on the other hand, merely imagines what the Infinity Saga would be like if one particular aspect were to be altered, thus it’s fair to presume the gem-related laws remain the same.
Overall, Ultron’s acquisition of the crystals is puzzling, but how he obtained the Soul Stone is even more so. Since it is the most elusive, the yellow rock was revealed last in the Sacred Timeline. Red Skull revealed this in Avengers: Infinity War, and it can only be obtained by making a sacrifice. Black Widow sacrificed her life so that Hawkeye may return the time heist with Gamora. The issue that now arises is: to whom did Ultron make the ultimate sacrifice?
Keep in mind that in the primary MCU timeline, Ultron can’t possibly have a romantic partner since he’s a robot. It is true that Vision did fall in love. However, it’s important to remember that the synthezoid, unlike his evil counterpart, was always on the side of humanity. Moreover, Vision required emotional development, which he achieved by spending time with the Avengers, especially Wanda.
There are alternative methods to get the gem now that Ultron doesn’t have anybody to give up in order to get it, according to Marvel Studios. Even when Hawkeye furiously questioned the regulations in Endgame, Red Skull never said anything about the possible alternate of collecting the Soul Stone. There’s simply no other way Ultron got his hands on the Soul Stone now that we’ve seen what occurred in the most recent What If…? episode.
Upcoming episodes of the animated show from Marvel Studios may be able to address these unanswered issues. This episode’s What If…? storyline is likely to continue in light of the cliffhanger conclusion. This is particularly true because of the show’s promotional materials. The content hints at a possible appearance of the Multiverse Guardians to help fight the robot. They’ll be able to explain how Ultron got his hands on all of the Infinity Stones. Most importantly, how did so along with the Soul Stone, once they get there.