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We know that the infinity stones are very powerful gems. But in the movie Avengers: Infinity War, after gathering all the infinity stones, Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of all living creatures with the help of the infinity gauntlet. Is these stones' only power together just to wipe out beings from existence or was it a specialty only belonging to the snap, like gesture based?

Or do the stones behave according to the will of the one who holds them? Like Thanos wants to wipe out 50%, so the stones helps him to achieve that? If somebody else wants to bring the "dead" back, then could he just snap it again and boom! everyone is back. Do they work like that or something else?

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We don't actually know but my understanding is that with them all...the wielder (assuming he has the strength) can do anything.

Wong/Strange explain..

The Big Bang sent six elemental crystals...hurtling across the virgin universe.

These Infinity Stones each control an essential aspect of existence.

Even then, you need the Gauntlet..Eitri says...

I made what he wanted. A device capable of harnessing the power of the stones.

So provided you have all the Stones and a device capable of harnessing their power you can do literally anything/

Thanos only had one goal and having obtained all the Stones he followed through.

  • That the stones control an aspect of existence doesn't really answer how Thanos controls the stones (to make his snap). I think the initial point is correct (being able to do anything) but the rest of the answer seems to add an unrelated aspect that doesn't follow suit. For example, Thanos did not use any time-based powers (the snap occurred in present time) but he needed the Time stone anyway. The snap is not really composed of the 6 aspects of the stones. – Flater Jan 7 at 14:13
  • One could argue that the Reality stone would have been enough. With it, Thanos was able to turn Drax and Mantis into pieces of matter, which is functionally similar to "ashing"' people like the snap did. Most likely, the six stones were needed as a power source more than actually needing all of their individual effects. It's not quite clear how soul/mind/space/time factor into the snap's effect. – Flater Jan 7 at 14:18
  • Clearly the Reality Stone can't do the snap by itself as Thanos doesn't. In fact we see the effects of the Reality Stone on Drax & Mantix cancel out when Thanos leaves Knowhere. Permanent effects seem to require all the stones. – Paulie_D Jan 7 at 15:02
  • Permanence doesn't really seem to be an issue (Loki and Thor could used the Tesseract for travel, Strange and Thanos used the time stone for rewinds that weren't "undone" afterwards), but I do agree that the strength/radius of the effect likely required all the stones. – Flater Jan 7 at 15:06
  • @Flater This answer settles all the discussions why all stones are needed. As for how the snap worked, my opinion is that the snap itself is just symbolic so that everyone knows what happened and that the stones can "read" Thanos mind (mind-stone) to know what he wants to do – XtremeBaumer Jan 7 at 15:57

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