When I first learned the Marvel Cinematic Universe would include the Black Knight in Eternals, I can’t say I was enthused. I only knew Black Knight from a handful of Marvel Comics in my past, and what little I knew, I wasn’t a huge fan. We already get so much Arthurian legend pushed at us in Hollywood as it is. Do we really need more of it in the MCU?
The decision to include Dane Whitman baffled me, even if he’s played by Kit Harington, so I jumped into Marvel Unlimited and decided to learn more. I emerged an educated man who is willing to admit he was wrong, and that Whitman is plenty cool enough to spotlight in the MCU. Here are some things newcomers to the character can appreciate, and maybe you'll be encouraged to take their own journey into the hero’s exploits after reading this and seeing Eternals.
The Black Knight’s Ebony Blade Is Basically A Cursed Version Of Thor’s Mjolnir
The Ebony Blade is a sword of immense power, but there’s a reason Dane Whitman’s uncle Nathan Garrett came into Marvel Comics as a villain. More recent runs of Black Knight reveal the blade to be cursed, and one that corrupts its user slowly over time. The blade draws on the negative emotions of its user and is only effective the more angry and upset the current Black Knight is. The Ebony Blade relies on this power so greatly that when Thor once tried to wield the blade, he physically couldn’t lift it.
Dane Whitman’s Ebony Blade is like the anti-Mjolnir, in that it's fueled by hatred, rage and negative emotions. It also has some of the same abilities Mjolnir has, like shooting magical energy and being summoned telekinetically. As an added bonus, Whitman and any other descendant of King Arthur cannot die, provided they’re wielding the blade at the time of death. Unfortunately, the trade-off for immortality is more sadness and misery, which does play a factor in why past Black Knights have died despite this handy feature.
Dane Whitman Is Good At Science
Listen, I know it may seem strange to say, “Arthurian legend is uncool, but science is awesome,” but there is something legitimately cool about Dane Whitman’s grasp of science. Whitman is particularly skilled in genetic engineering, which means he’s capable of cloning some pretty amazing stuff. This includes having a humanoid goat butler, as well as some otherworldly-looking horses. Of course, cloning is still super hard, which could be why members of the Avengers often quietly talk about how Black Knight’s horses appear to be struggling or in pain.
Outside of cloning questionable things, Dane Whitman is also a mechanical engineering whiz. He’d be a handy asset for the current Avengers lineup in the MCU, especially since they’re down the incredible mind of one former Iron Man, also known as Tony Stark. Whitman may not have the funds to bankroll some of the most expensive technology known to man, but he has the smarts provided there’s someone there to bankroll him.
Dane Whitman’s Misery Is What Makes Him Entertaining
Edgy characters that can’t be happy on even the best of days can be hard to watch. Being upset and refusing to see the joy in life can come off as cringe, and truth be told, some stories with Black Knight featuring those elements can occasionally come off that way. With that being said, more current iterations of The Black Knight play on the fact that Dane Whitman hates being miserable and is in constant war with himself on trying to improve his life while still being a useful hero to the Avengers and other superhero teams.
Dane Whitman’s curse that will eventually drive him closer to evil is what makes him so entertaining, because like tortured heroes like Batman, he’s fighting a losing battle. Every success is a hollow victory, and sometimes even saving the day comes at a cost that’s hard to bear. I guess it would be nice if his life was easy, but the fact that his character is doomed to misery does help make him more dynamic than I would’ve assumed he was at first impression.
Dane Whitman Can Talk To A Ghost
No, that wasn’t a ghost Dane Whitman spoke to at the end of Marvel’s Eternals, and we’ll get into that a little bit later. For now, I can say that Whitman is no stranger to hearing a disembodied voice, as he’s haunted by the ghost of the original Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandial. Percy was a cousin of King Arthur, known by the king and associates as a coward. In reality, Percy worked as Merlin’s agent, playing the fool in order to avoid the suspicion that he was the all-powerful and excessively violent Black Knight.
As one would think, Percy’s day-to-day life wasn’t all that fun. He also was kind of duped into the whole curse of the Ebony Blade thanks to Merlin not being all that upstanding of an individual. Now Percy's dead and offers advice to Dane Whitman whenever he’s asked, but also sometimes when he’s not asked. Unfortunately, Percy's not too much happier than Whitman, which has to be a crappy consolation that not even death can undo the effects of the curse.
Black Knight Works With Blade
There are some characters in the Marvel universe who are so cool they make other Marvel heroes cool by association. Wolverine’s been carrying the X-Men for years, and you can bet your ass Black Knight gets more than a few cool points tallied on his resume for his association with Blade. Mahershela Ali’s incoming MCU character is heard speaking to Whitman in a brief scene in Eternals, which is cool by itself. It’s even cooler if we look into the two’s history in Marvel Comics, as they both worked for MI-13.
Spies are cool, that’s just an objective fact. Another thing that’s cool, however, is vampirism, and there’s apparently a tie between Blade, Dane Whitman’s Black Knight and the Ebony Blade that looks as though it will be explored in the MCU. I can only begin to guess what that means exactly, but I can already tell you I’m loving the fact I don’t know where Marvel is going with it just about as much as everything.
Kit Harington will eventually return to the MCU as Dane Whitman/Black Knight, but until that happens, we’re left to speculate on what to expect from him and any adventures he may have. Until then, learn what the MCU is sending to the big screen with our upcoming Marvel movies guide, and catch up on past MCU movies over on Disney+.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.