Why Was Red Skull Transported To Vormir?

The Red Skull got teleported to Vormir to be the guardian after he held the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger. Why did it teleport him there? Why did he have to become the guardian? Why could he not just escape Vormir once he got there? 

Red Skull, a former Nazi protege named Johann Schmidt, was a perilous and tenacious enemy of Captain America and one of the most deadly villains Cap had ever faced. 

Towards the end of The First Avenger, during his final confrontation with Captain America, Captain threw his shield at Red Skull with great strength. It knocked him back and the Tesseract Cradle got damaged. In the fright of the moment, Red Skull held the Tesseract, which reactivated itself. While Red Skull cried in agony and fury as he saw the flesh in his hands burning away, the Tesseract opened up a portal into the cosmos and transported Red Skull away. Why did this happen?

Why Did the Tesseract Teleport the Red Skull to Vormir?

While it is never explicitly stated, Red Skull was transported to Vormir because of his abuse of the Space Stone and was punished to be the guardian of the Soul Stone. He was being punished for tapping into the power of the Tesseract to fuel HYDRA’s equipment for self-interest. When Thanos and Gamora arrived at Vormir during their crusade to balance the universe, Red Skull himself explained to them why he was sent to Vormir instead of being able to wield the Soul Stone. The Space Stone cast him out and forced him to be the Guardian.

A lifetime ago, I, too, sought the stones. I even held one in my hand. But it cast me out, banished me here. Guiding others to a treasure I cannot possess.

The infinity stones have certain sentience and have their own views on the uses that they are put to. Schmidt overstepped the mark, so the Tesseract sent him on a one-way trip to Vormir to become the guardian and guide to the Soul Stone. It was a fitting punishment that put him within an arm’s reach of an Infinity Stone he desperately craved while being incapable of claiming it. 

Yet another theory claims that the Red Skull was not capable enough of wielding the Tesseract, so it cast him out because of his inability to wield it. From what we have seen in the MCU, one’s ability to wield a stone was normally dependent on physical attributes. So a puny human (or humanoid) could not wield a stone but a mad super big Titan Thanos could. The Collector stated-

These stones, it seems, can only be brandished by beings of extraordinary strength …. Once, for a moment, a group was able to share the energy amongst themselves, but even they were quickly destroyed by it.

So Red Skull, not having that super-strength deemed him, in a way, unworthy, and he was cast out.

Red Skull was interesting as the stone keeper because he served as an example of what could happen to someone pursuing the Infinity Stones out of a lust for power. He serviced an immortal warning to all beings not to seek such power besides for a righteous purpose.

Consider me a guide. To you, and to all who seek the Soul Stone…….If only it were that easy. What you seek lies in front of you… as does what you fear.

Why Was Red Skull Sent To Vormir Particularly?

I think the most likely reason it chose to send Red Skull to Vormir instead of anywhere else is because of the special place the Soul Stone held. It was not just hard to find, it required more than just one being able to wield it to be able to possess it -one needed to sacrifice someone they loved at the monument on Vormir to be able to get the stone. It needed instructions, and perhaps there was no better way to do so than with a Stonekeeper. Here is an excerpt of the conversation between Thanos and Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War.

Thanos: What’s this?

Red Skull: The price. The soul holds a special place among the Infinity Stones. You might say it has 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.

Why Were The Other Characters Who Touched The Tesseract Not Teleported To Vormir?

Other characters in the MCU have held the Tesseract/Space Stone with their bare hands and not been sent to Vormir like Red Skull. Why was this?

  1. They had not abused the Space Stone before touching it. Many of them died. When we saw Thanos hold it that was the first time he had come into contact with it.
  2. The Soul Stone already had its Stonekeeper. It is possible that the abuse plus the Soul Stone not having a keeper combined is what led Red Skull to be teleported there. When we saw other characters touch it, Red Skull was already the Stonekeeper and so there was not a need for another.

Who Was The Keeper Of The Soul Stone Before Red Skull?

Given that it was only in 1945 that the Red Skull was transported to Vormir via the Space Stone, who was the keeper of the Soul Stone before him? 

No information is given about the Soul Stone before we see it, therefore we do not know precisely. There are two possibilities: 

  1. No one was the guardian beforehand
  2. There was someone who got replaced by Red Skull.

The Soul Stone did not need a guardian per se, it was just helpful to give the information about it out. While it required a sacrifice, it did not necessarily need someone on Vormir telling others this. It is possible that when the Space Stone casts Red Skull out he was the first to ever be cast out and made guardian for the Soul Stone. Red Skull states in Avengers: Infinity War-

A lifetime ago, I, too, sought the stones. I even held one in my hand. But it cast me out, banished me here. Guiding others to a treasure I cannot possess.

However, he could have also replaced someone. It did not seem likely though. Red Skull is now a spirit-like creature who does not seem to age. What would have happened to the previous that they needed replacing? Maybe there was a time limit on it. We do not know for sure. There is just no information as to if there even was a guardian before Red Skull.

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