Warning: major spoilers follow for Avengers: Endgame.
We've waited almost a year to the day for Avengers: Endgame, the conclusion to the harrowing events of Infinity War where Thanos wipes out half the universe using the Infinity Stones. In the opener of Endgame, we learn that although Thanos continues to wear the glove that carries the stones, he destroys the gems so they can't be used by anyone else . . . like the Avengers, who are desperate to bring back the loved ones they lost.
Thanos is quickly executed for this duplicitous crime, but it takes our heroes five years to come up with an elaborate time-bending plan to retrieve the gems from the past so they can reinvent the present. Iron Man leads the charge using Stark Industries' technology to craft his own version of the Infinity Gauntlet in which to place a new set of gems and undo that deadly snap. The fact that the Infinity Stones work without the original glove and remain stable using Iron Man's Mark 42 armor is a revelation for how the stones work and what they can do. So, let's review what we already know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Infinity Gauntlet and theorize how the device works.
What Is the Infinity Gauntlet?
The gauntlet itself is simply a glove or similar tool designed to harness the power of the Infinity Stones. With all six gems in place, the wearer of the gauntlet has the power to do whatever they want — read minds, steal souls, bend time, alter reality, manipulate energy, or travel through space (teleportation). When assembled properly, this device has the power to alter existence in any way the wearer sees fit. All the user has to do is focus on the goal they want to accomplish.
Thanos has his gauntlet built on Nidavellir by demanding the Dwarves forge him a glove capable of harnessing the power of the Infinity Stones. So, King Eitri — remember that character played by Peter Dinklage in Infinity War — complies with the demand, hoping to spare his people from Thanos's wrath. However, his efforts are in vain. For as we see when Thor arrives on Nidavellir to have a new weapon forged (Stormbreaker), the brave dwarf is his race's sole survivor.
What Does Endgame Teach Us About the Gauntlet?
We learn in Endgame that unlike Thor's hammer, anyone who can get his or her hands on the glove is worthy to wear and use the Infinity Stones — Thanos hints as much in the opener when he destroys them to avoid reuse. Not only that, the end of the film shows Hulk, Thanos, and Iron Man wearing the glove within minutes of each other. So the gauntlet can be used in rapid succession multiple times, by multiple people.
However, using the gauntlet has consequences. In fact, all of the aforementioned wearers suffer major burns and a depletion of physical strength in the moments following use of the Infinity Stones. The big question here is, "Why?"
A partial explanation arises in the third act, Thor begs to wield the device and reasons he is most worthy of the honour because his ability to harness thunder makes him the only candidate who can handle the glove's power. Bruce Banner soon dismantles this argument citing the science behind it all — the Infinity Gauntlet carries a powerful radiation that contains mostly gamma rays, thus making Hulk the best candidate for the magical snap. But in reality, anyone (even mere mortals) can use the stones if they're willing to pay the price.
What Else Can the Gauntlet Do?
In a moment during the film's finale, Thanos wrestles the gauntlet away from the Avengers and taunts them with the idea of destroying our wretched universe in order to create several more desirable universes in its place. This statement is not only terrifying, but speaks to one of the many abilities of the Infinity Gauntlet, as seen in the comics. Powered by the six Infinity Stones, the comic book gauntlet can do the following: manifest beings from the wearer's soul, allow the wearer to be in two places at once, push realities apart, transform matter, transform the wearer's life force so he exists above the universal plane, protect itself from destruction, and trap souls in a plane of its own reality (as theorized by many in the wake of Infinity War).
While we could debate whether all seven of these things apply to the gauntlet as seen in the MCU, we're simply terrified to know that it may be possible.