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In Thor 2, Jane Foster absorbs Aether but is not destroyed immediately. In the post credit scene we find that Aether is an infinity stone. In Guardians of the Galaxy, collector explains that only the strongest of the beings can manage it and we see two instances of people getting instantly incinerated upon absorbing/touching the infinity stones. So, what's so special about Jane Foster?

I imagine one explanation could be that it's a different infinity stone and that different infinity stones have different affects on normal people. But I wonder if there's more to it that I missed somewhere?

Note: I also know that it was eventually going to kill her over a few days/weeks by some kind of poisoning, but that's very different than absorbing this infinitely big power/energy and being destroyed because of the inability of human body to contain it (as per the expectations set by the collector).

  • The collector was talking about the power gem, which is raw power. The other gems work differently. – cde Sep 15 '16 at 12:31
  • @cde But the Tesseract (likely) destroyed Red Skull – Metro Boomin Nov 21 '17 at 18:48
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    @MetroBoomin Or not. – JAB Apr 30 '18 at 20:22
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The Aether appears as a dark, red, viscous liquid, unlike the other encountered Infinity Stone containment units that appear solid.

The Aether is a container for the Reality Stone. This would be similar to both the Mind Stone in Loki's staff and the Space Stone in the Tesseract. Both in containers but still allowing the user to wield them.

The Aether is shown to be parasitic in the Marvel cinematic universe. At one point when Jane Foster is in Asgard, a lady says "The infection... it's defending her." In response, Thor says, "No, it's defending itself". The Aether latches on to a host and then uses its power to defend that host from harm. It's that simple. It does NOT immediately destroy the carrier, unlike the other infinity stones, because of this. Having said that, over time it would likely cause mortals to deteriorate due to its incredible power.

This information was taken from a similar question from:

scifi.stackexchange There's more if you want to read up on it.

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Based on the way the other Infinity Stones work, it's likely that the Aether is not "an infinity stone" itself, but rather, it's the container for an infinity stone. Note that the Tesseract cube, the Power orb, and Loki's staff all contained Infinity Stones inside them, but normal mortals could hold the containers safely, and sometimes even channel the power of stone inside.

This means that it's likely the Aether was formed to hold a Stone, by dissolving it into a gas-like substance that mortal creatures could handle. This would imply that there's a way to force the Aether to coalesce back into a solid object. This would need to happen eventually, if Thanos is going to slot the stone into the socket on the Infinity Gauntlet.

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