SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Eternals. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
After the year-long break that was 2020, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is back in full swing, and Phase 4 is off to a fast start. In the last few months we’ve seen the release of three new blockbusters, including Cate Shortland’s Black Widow, Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, and now Chloé Zhao’s Eternals – and while they all add new flavors to the ever-growing franchise, one thing that they all have in common is that they deliver their own double doses of end credits scenes.
Having dug into the special codas in Black Widow and Shang-Chi after their respective releases, it’s now time to examine Eternals’ end credits scenes – both of which set up some pretty huge things in the future of the MCU. Before we dig into their significance, let’s quickly recap exactly what it is that happens…
What Happens In Eternals’ End Credit Scenes
Following what could be described as the standard that has been established in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going back to Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Eternals begins its end credits action with a sequence that plays out following the final title sequence that showcases the primary stars and filmmakers behind the blockbuster. We are brought out deep into the cosmos where the Domo is flying through space, with Thena (Angelina Jolie), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) on board.
A disturbance is perceived by the heroes – specifically one caused by Arishem’s arrival on Earth to take Sersi (Gemma Chan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) for judgement – and Thena calls for the group to reverse course. That specific urgency is quickly diminished, however, as the trio realizes that their ship is experiencing its own dose of weird. Lights begin to flash, and a disembodied voice begins to speak.
It turns out that this voice belongs to none other than Pip The Troll (Patton Oswalt), who speechifies and heralds the arrival of another Eternal who the diminutive alien identifies as Starfox and the brother of Thanos: Eros (Harry Styles). As Thena, Makkari and Druig react in confusion – particularly struck by the line about the guy’s sibling – Eros swaggers in and immediately comments on Thena’s legendary beauty. Getting down to business, the mysterious new acquaintance announces that the Eternals on Earth are in big trouble, but that he knows how to find them. It’s at this point that he reveals that he is in possession of one of the special orbs that allows for communication with the Celestials, and the credits continue.
Again as per usual, the second Eternals end credits sequence begins immediately after the scroll has ended. It returns the action of the film to Earth, and centers on Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington), who is shown to be dealing with a pretty massive choice. He may have just witnessed his girlfriend being sucked into the sky by a god-like being, but he is also extremely preoccupied by major revelations that he’s discovered about his family history.
Presumably at home, Dane is transfixed by a long box that he is clearly beyond nervous to open. Telling himself that he “can do this,” he unlatches the case and finds exactly what he expects inside: the mythical Ebony Blade, and a Latin inscription that translates as “Death Is My Reward.” The sword practically seems alive as he shakily reaches to touch it – which is an action that he seems regretful to do, as he says aloud, “I’m sorry, I have to try.”
Just as he is about to grab the legendary weapon, however, an unfamiliar voice from off-camera loudly says, “You sure you’re ready for that, Mr. Whitman?” Before Dane can respond verbally or physically, the movie cuts to black and the studio title cards.
Given that these two end credits sequences lead to very different future branches of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the cast of characters in Eternals, let’s dig into them individually and speculate what they respectively mean for the future of the franchise.
What The Arrival Of Eros Means For The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Deviating (no pun intended) from the source material, the main narrative in Eternals introduces some massive revelations about the origins of the titular group. Rather than being real, organic beings from a world known as Olympia, they are in actuality specific creations of the Celestials designed to foster life on a planet until the core of the world is ready to give birth to a new Celestial. This information totally changes the perspectives of all the main characters and how they view their existence – which makes the introduction of Eros pretty damn fascinating.
During the virtual press day for Eternals, I asked Chloé Zhao about the arrival of Starfox in the end credits, and she noted that she was the one who pitched the idea (including the casting of Harry Styles) to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. She also confirmed that he is an Eternal just like Sersi, Thena, Kingo, and the rest of them, though he obviously has a whole different origin story that can be explored in a future project. Said Zhao,
You can watch Chloé Zhao discuss the Eros end credits scene in the clip from my interview below:
In the wake of Eternals and the introduction of Harry Styles as Eros, Marvel fans will be quick to remind everyone not in the know that Thanos in the pages of Marvel Comics is a Deviant – a more highly evolved version of the monstrous villains featured in the new Marvel blockbuster. Should this be made officially canon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will add whole new shades to the character’s backstory, especially enhancing the sequence in Avengers: Infinity War when the giant purple alien talks about his history growing up on Titan.
Between the events of the main film and the major revelations in the mid-credits scene, Eternals’ ending seems to set up the story for a potential Eternals 2 – but that’s a project that has not yet gotten the official green light from Marvel Studios just yet. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming days, weeks, and months with the movie and follow what develops.
Dane Whitman Is About To Go On One Crazy Journey As The Black Knight
Prior to the Eternals post-credits scene, there are three direct hints about the Marvel Cinematic Universe future for Dane Whitman. One comes when there is confusion between Excalibur and the Ebony Blade when Thena is picking up a sword on the Domo; a second is when Sersi suggests that Dane patch up his relationship with his estranged uncle; and the third is at the very end when the young teacher prepares to tell his girlfriend about his bizarre family history.
It all points in one specific direction: Dane Whitman is going to become the hero known as The Black Knight.
Admittedly this isn’t all that shocking. When Kit Harrington was first announced as being a part of the Eternals cast, it was revealed that he would be playing Dane Whitman, and comic book fans immediately identified the character by his more famous moniker. What we didn’t know is exactly how much time the film would dedicate to setting up his backstory – and ultimately what we get is a sizable tease.
The Black Knight first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics in December 1967, introduced by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in The Avengers #47. Rather than being a single character in the canon, Black Knight is a title that has been held by Dane Whitman’s ancestors going back to the reign of King Arthur.
Prior to Dane becoming the armor-clad hero, his uncle Nathan Garrett is bestowed the name, though he winds up desecrating it and shaming the legacy by becoming a supervillain. Prior to his death, Garrett confesses to his nephew what he has done and begs that he take up the Black Knight mantle and restore its honor.
This is very clearly set up as the perfect start for a classic “hero’s quest” (which is very much the point), but there is a catch that comes with the gig. The Ebony Blade is a powerful weapon, but it is also cursed: as its wielder uses it to draw the blood of enemies, it slowly drives them to madness.
We can’t be precisely sure at this juncture just how closely the Marvel Cinematic Universe will stick to this comic book history for the character, but what we learn in Eternals suggests that the continuity will stay faithful to the source material. The hints about Dane’s shady uncle could easily be broadened to reveal a particular history of supervillain-y, and the Ebony Blade is very clearly dangerous, as recognized by the warning delivered before Dane can pick it up.
So how will the legend of the Black Knight in the MCU continue? That’s another major question mark, and one made more complicated by the fact that the franchise is now operating in multiple mediums. It wouldn’t be shocking in the slightest to learn that the Kit Harrington character will soon be getting his very own blockbuster, adding “medieval adventure” as another new genre explored by the canon on the big screen. Simultaneously, it could end up being that Eternals is setting the hero up to get his own limited or on-going series on Disney+.
As of right now, we definitely have more questions than answers… but that’s pretty typical when it comes to Marvel post-credits scenes.
To revisit the action at the very end of Eternals, fans can now see the film exclusively in theaters. To learn about everything that is coming up in the next few years from the MCU, check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies and Upcoming Marvel TV guides.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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