In Avengers: Endgame, Hawkeye retrieves the soul stone, holding it in his hand (seemingly without difficulty). However, in previous movies, e.g., Guardians of the Galaxy volumes 1 and 2, it's an important plot point that Quill was only able to handle the power stone because of his heritage (i.e., he's a part lowercase-g god, not pure human).

Question: How is Hawkeye able to handle the soul stone?

I have two ideas, but I don't know if either of these are accurate:

  1. Simply because he was wearing a glove (if I remember correctly). Although that seems like pittance compared to an infinity stone.

  2. The soul stone has effectively "chosen" him because of the sacrifice of Black Widow. Another human in the same setting would be destroyed. The infinity stones have minds of their own.

Another possibility is that it's only the power stone that destroys humans on contact, but I don't think that's accurate, as it doesn't match Ego's explanation in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2.


2 Answers 2


When Thanos went to Vormir to get the soul stone he came across the Red Skull and this was the conversation they had:

Red Skull: "Soul holds a special place among the Infinity Stones. You might say, it is a certain wisdom."

Thanos: "Tell me what it needs."

Red Skull: "To ensure that whoever possesses it understands its power, the stone demands a sacrifice."

Thanos: "Of what?"

Red Skull: "In order to take the stone, you must lose that which you love. A soul for a soul."

Unlike the other stones, you can't "find and take" the soul stone, you have to give something/someone you love in order to get it.

Thanos gave his favourite daughter (Gamora) and Hawk Eye "gave" Black Widow.

NOTE: technically, Black Widow "gave" herself, Barton wanted to kill himself and have Black Widow take the stone back but she fought him and wound up saving him / killing herself.

  • 3
    Well, technically technically, the stone doesn't require you to GIVE something, it requires you to LOSE that which you love. Although why his entire family didn't already count, idk.
    – DariM
    Apr 29, 2019 at 4:50
  • 2
    His family didn't count because they have to lose it specifically in order to gain the stone, without any possibility of reversing the trade. Not to mention the fact that in the time that they had travelled back to Barton's family was alive and well.
    – Josh
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:35
  • isn't that because at the time of the sacrifice, his family no longer existed in his timeline? They only came back after all the stones were retrieved.
    – GrahamB
    May 31, 2019 at 11:44

Not all the stones are the same, I guess the Power Stone has the destructive power to those handling it, but the Time Stone doesn't appear to have the same effect either.

  • The Ancient One and Dr.Strange never held the time stone in its raw form. It was floating between their fingers when they gave up their stone. Although Hulk must have carried the time stone physically.
    – Kolappan N
    May 20, 2019 at 9:28

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