Where The Heck Were The Eternals When Thanos Came Around? The Director Explains

Marvel Cinematic Universe's Eternals lineup

Marvel fans, rejoice! Eternals is almost here! Marvel’s Phase 4 has been pretty much nonstop content so far, with new and established MCU heroes popping up pretty consistently since the start of the year. The Eternals may be new on the big screen for the current franchise, but they are in no way young heroes. In fact, the powerful and totally badass Earth protectors have been around for thousands of years - so where the heck were they when literally half the planet (and universe) were snapped out of existence? Eternals director Chloé Zhao has now explained why the beings didn’t step in to lend a hand against Thanos.

Eternals and Nomadland director Chloé Zhao recently spoke with Total Film for Eternals’ cover issue and gave the low down on why there were no Eternals involved in the lead-up to The Blip, considering the fact that they are supposed to be protectors of Earth, and Earth was very much affected by Thanos’ ambitious and devastating shenanigans. In her interview, Zhao said there are rules that the Eternals are bound by, and they were unable to get involved due to the situation not falling under the stipulations needed for their involvement. Here’s what the director specifically said:

[The audience] will understand why. Not only why, but how complicated not interfering made them feel. We explore that. You’ll see that in the film. The Eternals were instructed not to interfere with any human conflict unless Deviants are involved. There’s a reason why that’s the case. And that was the instruction from the prime Celestial Arishem.

Like a lot of multiverse realities where time travel, magic, and god-like beings exist, it sounds like there are some pretty heavy rules that go along with intervention in affairs - we saw a different set of rules touched on in the Marvel series Loki. According to Chloé Zhao, we’ll get a rundown on the particular rules the Eternals have to follow.

While we may have to wait until Eternals hits theaters to find out the exact reasoning behind the lack of Eternal beings in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, it already makes a lot of sense. Seeing as he is tied to them, Thanos would have probably known that the Eternals were unable to interject based on his course of action - and it would have been a whole heck of a lot harder for him to have pulled off erasing half of all life throughout the universe if he had to worry about both the Eternals and the Avengers.

After a long wait, Eternals is set to release exclusively to theaters this November 5. Like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals will be granted a 45 day window where it won’t be available on Disney+, but we'll let you know when it becomes available on the Mouse House's streaming platform.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.