Eternals Ending Explained: What Happens To The Eternals, And How It Sets Up The Future
Spoilers from the Marvel movie ahead...
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Eternals. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
Because of the ever-expanding nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the endings of origin stories always earn an extra amount of attention. Every new project, as distinct and unique as they may be, serves as a puzzle piece that fits into the grander canon, and, for obvious reasons, it’s at the end of each story when things typically start to really click into place. There’s almost always a guarantee that the central characters are going to return, and the conclusions regularly drop hints as to where things are going next. The latest example of this is Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, which wraps its central narrative with a big cliffhanger.
There is quite a lot to glean from the Eternals ending and what it means for the potential future of the main characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but before we dig into the nitty-gritty details, let’s start with a quick recap of exactly what happens in the final minutes of the blockbuster.
What Happens In Eternals’ Ending
As Eternals moves into its third act, the titular group is fractured in a major way. Their number has been reduced by two, as both Ajak (Salma Hayek) and Gilgamesh (Don Lee) are killed, and revelations about their true nature have rocked their world perspectives. Ikaris (Richard Madden), who was responsible for killing Ajak, is committed to the plans dictated by Arishem – allowing the Earth to be destroyed so that a new Celestial can be born – and Sprite (Lia McHugh) joins him because of her years of unrequited love. This leaves Sersi (Gemma Chan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Druig (Barry Keoghan), and Thena (Angelina Jolie) to unite and save the planet.
Ikaris and Sprite use their abilities to fend off their fellow Eternals as long as they can, and the evolved Deviant Kro (Bill Skarsgard) attempts its own attack – but the resistant effort is no match for the rebels. Phastos’ awesome invention, the Uni-Mind, allows the strength of the whole team to enhance the abilities of one of their own, namely Sersi, and while a Celestial is able to start emerging from the planet’s core, the heroine is able to stop it by using her gift to alter elements with her touch. The birthing god is turned to stone, and Earth’s destruction is prevented.
Unable to live with what he has done, Ikaris makes the decision to follow the path of his mythological counterpart – but everyone else finds themselves looking at a future filled with endless possibilities knowing that they are no longer merely slaves to Arishem. With the remaining power provided from the Uni-Mind, Sersi is able to make Sprite a human, which means that she will no longer be a child forever. Thena, Druig and Makkari, meanwhile make the decision to leave Earth and head into the cosmos to potentially find others like themselves.
Returning to London, Sersi reunites with her boyfriend, Dane Whitman (Kit Harrington), who is wowed by the story, and affirms his love for her while they walk together in a park. As he is just about to reveal some surprising details about his family history that he learned while reuniting with his estranged uncle, Arishem appears in the sky and makes an announcement that presumably everyone on Earth can hear – declaring that Sersi, Kingo, and Phastos are to be taken and face judgement for their actions ceasing the birth of a new Celestial. As Sersi floats into the sky against her will, Dane can do nothing but look on helplessly.
That’s a pretty big bomb to drop at the end of a 157 minute adventure, but let’s dig into what it means for all of the main characters who are still in play in Eternals’ ending.
What Happens To All Of The Eternals At The End Of The Movie
For the sake of simplicity, let’s break this all down by characters and groups of characters (as there are some interesting shared fates at the end of Eternals.
By the end of Eternals, Ikaris is revealed to be what could be referred to as a “true believer.” He is fully aware of what his purpose is, and what it means for mankind, but he believes in the word of his god a.k.a. Arishem and is dedicated to doing anything that will suit his deity’s will. When things very much don’t go his way at the end of the film, he is not left with unlimited potential like his teammates; instead he views his reason for being as lost. It’s because of this that he decides to take off into the heavens and commit suicide by flying into the sun.
Not to be too cute about it, but Sprite has some spite in Eternals. As mentioned, she is in love with Ikaris, but her feelings are not reciprocated because Ikaris is in love with Sersi. It’s not just that, though, as Sprite has also long resented that she has spent 7,000 years appearing as a child – unable to experience the world like her teammates. When Sersi changes her nature at the end of the movie, it means that she will finally be able to have a full, real life among humankind. At the same time, though, she still retains seven centuries-worth of knowledge and experience.
Thena, Makkari, and Druig
When the credits start to roll in Eternals, it weirdly appears as though Thena, Makkari, and Druig are in the clear. After all, they are away from Earth looking for others of their own kind when Arishem comes a-knocking about a literal judgement day. If you stick around for the extra end credit sequences, however, you know that they wind up getting their own call to action. You can find a full breakdown of what happens in our Eternals End Credits Scene explainer.
Sersi, Kingo, and Phastos
It should go without saying that Sersi, Kingo, and Phastos look to be in serious trouble at the very end of Eternals. They ostensibly went against their own programming in making the decision to save humanity instead of creating a new Celestial, and there are consequences to be faced for that rebellion. What will they involve? Well, that’s where we are left to only speculate. The trio is going to have to plead their case and convince god-like beings that they were right to save Earth – and that may not be the easiest sell. Be it in an Eternals 2, a cross-over movie, or a Disney+ series, it will be exciting to see the plotline play out some time in the future.
Eternals is now playing in theaters everywhere, and to learn about all of the other big Marvel Cinematic Universe titles set to hit the big screen in the years ahead, be sure to check out our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide.
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By Nick Venable