While the Marvel Cinematic Universe was given the climatic mega-movie event fans have been clamoring for with this summer's Avengers: Endgame, this is not the end of the MCU. Far from it, in fact. It'll still go strong for the indefinite future, and one of the most hotly anticipated titles in the newly-announced Phase 4 is The Eternals, set to be released on November 6, 2020. Not much is known about how these characters will be introduced into the franchise, as details about the movie are obviously limited at this time. But we do know that Angelina Jolie will play Thena. Based on what we can glean from the comics origins, we might have a pretty good idea of what we can expect from the Academy Award-winning actress' big Marvel debut.
There's no guarantee that [this new movie](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheEternals(film) will closely follow the comics, naturally. The Marvel movies have gone back-and-forth with their reverence (or lack thereof) to the source material over the years, particularly with some of their most recent titles. But we can at least get a general idea of where The Eternals (which is in the early stages of filming) and Thena might be headed in next year's major movie event based on what comic book lovers gleaned from the pages, and we'll give you a better understanding of Angelina Jolie's soon-to-be important new character for the MCU.
Thena Lives Under Great Expectations From The Gods
Originally named Azura, Thena is a second generation Eternal and the eldest daughter of Cybele and Zuras, the leader of Eternals of Earth. She has lived for over 4,000 years, but compared to her Eternal contemporaries, Azura is considered a young woman. In her earlier days, Azura served as the principal advisor for her father when he met with Zeus and his daughter, Athena. Zeus wanted to find a way to make the presence of the Olympian Gods known to the ancient Greeks at the rise of their civilization. He needed some help getting the word out there.
In this meeting, Zeus noticed a striking similarity between himself and Zuras, Azura and Athena. It was shortly thereafter that Zeus felt it was necessary for an alliance to be made between the Olympian Gods and the Eternals. Specifically, Zeus found it imperative for Zuras and Azura to go to Earth and act as representatives for the Greek gods. In doing so, Zeus gave Azura her current name of Athena, which would solidify the sealing of the pact made between them. It was also done to show that Azura (now Thena) was Athena's personal representative on Earth. But this has caused a bit of confusion with the short-sighted humans throughout the years. Humans think Eternals are actually the Greek Gods, which causes huge headaches.
Thena Holds Great Powers
Thanks to her connections to the Gods, Thena holds an assortment of wonders superpowers. Those include, but are certainly not limited to, agility, energy manipulation, flight, healing, gravity control, heat vision, immortality (as her name would suggest, naturally), invulnerability, illusion casting, super speed, teleport, telepathy and super strength. Indeed, it definitely helps to have friends in high places, and that's certainly the case with Thena.
It's hard to know how many of those powers will be transported into The Eternals. It wouldn't be surprising if they tone down some of her capabilities for the sake of making a compelling and nuanced protagonist — one who fits in the vein of the past established characters, despite her extraordinary skills. But it's clear that the writers and director have an incredible arsenal through which they can allow Thena and the Eternals to excel mightily here.
Thena Is Not Immune To One Human Trait: Love
While Thena has lived through thousands of years and a vast swath of generations, she does relate to humans in one particular way: she isn't immune to falling in love. Indeed, in a romance that swept throughout the decades, Thena found a strong connection to Kro, warlord of the Deviants. At first, they didn't get along, but there was an undeniable passion between them. Over time, it was quite apparent that sparks were flying out between them.
However, there was a point when things ended badly, and Thena thought her relationship with Kro was truly finished. This is understandable, since they were not together for a millennium. But sure enough, Kro proved to be surprising long lived, certainly for a Deviant, and there was a reconnection between them around World War II. Eventually, Thena and Kro made love, and Thena was pregnant with their two children. In order to keep the affair private, Thena kidnapped (!) an infertile woman and placed the babies inside her womb (!!) in order for the babies to be born as humans. There were more than a few other hostilities and difficulties to be found — the way any relationship between an eternal and near-eternal being would be fraught with drama.
Throughout the years, Thena and Kro tried to keep a watchful eye on their young children, although there were many difficulties to be found in what is essentially the superpower/God-like version of helicopter parents. Specifically, their lives were endangered by Maelstrom, but they were kept safe by the Fantastic Four. After this crisis, along with another incident when they were imperiled by Ghaur, Thena took on custody responsibilities. She searched for a sanctuary where her children could stay out of harm's way, and she decided to become a member of the Heroes for Hire team, where she would battle threats like Master and Exodus. But the group eventually disbanded, and Thena needed to come up with a different resolution.
This is only the beginning of the stories in Thena's journey with The Eternals, and it's hard to know how far the origin story will travel into their well-documented trials and tribulations. There is a lot to glean from this story, and we just touched the surface. With all that said, it'll certainly be interesting to see what Angelina Jolie and director Chloe Zhao accomplish with this new blockbuster. What would you like to see from The Eternals? Let us know in the comments.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.