Marvel Studios’ Eternals ended on a massive cliffhanger that left fans speculating about the fate of multiple characters. Directed by Academy award-winning director Chloé Zhao, Eternals is the third film in MCU’s Phase 4.
It is also the most ambitious MCU movie so far. The movie focuses on ten superbeings created by Celestials, who are known as Eternals. Ikaris (Richard Madden) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) have taken the leading roles in the movie.
The movie first shows us how the Eternals arrived on Earth over 7000 years ago. Then the story builds towards that fantastic cliffhanger ending. The core story of the movie is about the team regrouping in the current day of the MCU once they come to know of the Deviants.
Now, Deviants are predators made by Celestials, and they are still on the planet. The Deviants’ return coincides with the time when the group became aware of The Emergence. This is an apocalyptic-level event. The film tells us that this catastrophic event is part of the overall plan of Celestials.
Viewers also come to know that a new Celestial has been slowly growing inside the Earth for several millennia. It is just waiting for the Earth’s population to become big enough to be a power source for itself. Now, most of the Eternals don’t know about this new Celestial since Ajak (Salma Hayek) kept their actual mission a secret from them all.
But there was one exception- Ikaris. After this, Ikaris, Sersi, and Sprite (Lia McHugh) go all over the world to bring the Eternals together for the first time in about 2000 years. Note, that is when they get to know about their actual purpose.
After that, Ikaris murders Ajak, and a lot more happens. All this drama allows Marvel to push the Eternals towards an unexpected ending. The team gets divided, but Sersi pleads with them to help her stop the catastrophic Emergence from happening so that humanity can be saved.
However, Ikaris is still ready for Earth to get destroyed. He says that it means that the Celestials will make other new planets with billions of lives on them in hundreds of civilizations.
Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) completely sits these events out, and so this leaves Thena (Angelina Jolie), Sersi, Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), and Druig (Barry Keoghan). Gilgamesh (Don Lee) had already died before.
So it’s now up to the 5 of them to stop The Emergence while avoiding Sprite and Ikaris as well. Ultimately, the ending shows that Sersi and her team have been successful in saving humanity. But this has resulted in some big MCU teases and cliffhangers. So let us address all of them:
One of the significant cliffhangers is regarding Ikaris’ death. Or what appears to be his death. But is Ikaris gone? Once the Eternal realizes that he can’t kill Sersi to stop her from preventing Tiamut’s Emergence, he goes to space and heads towards the Sun.
Now, we don’t see his actual death since the camera cuts away from it. So his fate is left ambiguous. The Eternals believe that Ikaris is dead since Kingo says that what happened to him was a shame. However, the audience isn’t told how they came to know about it as a fact. The other Eternals couldn’t sense Ajak’s death.
So by that logic, they shouldn’t be able to sense Ikaris’ as well. However, we need to consider that Sersi is now the Prime Eternal. As a result, she might have a stronger connection to Ikaris and that’s how she knew that he was really dead. By now, we have all made the connection that Ikaris flying into the Sun is a reference to Icarus’ story from Greek mythology.
The Eternals explained that this was just a story that Sprite invented. However, for the audience, this reference makes sense. Regarding Ikaris’ fate, Zhao and Marvel have deliberately left this unclear. After all, doing this will give them greater flexibility with the character in the long run. So he could be dead, and we might never hear from him again. Or maybe the Eternal was indeed able to survive anyhow.
Maybe the Eternals who are strong enough to survive the heat of the Sun, or Arishem interfered and took Ikaris before he died. This is just speculation. We have to wait for more MCU movies and shows to know if that’s the case. However, right now, it’s better to believe that Ikaris is indeed dead.
The team divides after they decide to go after Arishem’s plan and save humans. The last few minutes show Thena, Druig, and Makkari leaving Earth on the Domo spaceship. Their mission? To find the other Eternals. They want to search the galaxy for more beings like them, let them know about the true purpose of the Eternals and what the Celestials are planning.
In the post-credits scene, we see that it takes the trio a few weeks before they meet anyone new. As for the rest, they stay on Earth. Sersi returns to London, and Kingo agrees to help raise Sprite. Also, Phastos and his family arrive at Ajak’s ranch. But Kingo, Sersi, and Phastos are then kidnapped by Arishem.
Sprite isn’t taken since she isn’t an Eternal any longer. This means that she will be left with Kingo’s people and will have to grow up on her own. On the other hand, Gilgamesh and Ajak are both dead. And as far as we know, Ikaris might very well be.
Once Arishem shows up in the ending, he reveals that he is taking Kingo, Sersi, and Phastos with him. They are likely heading to the World Forge. This is the cosmic location founded by Arishem where the Eternals and new planets were created.
It is also the place where Arishem stores the memories of all the Eternals from their previous missions. He decides to take the three Eternals and examine their memories. He gets angry when he finds out that they didn’t follow his orders, and in fact, stopped Tiamut’s Emergence.
As a result, he wants to know why they did that and whether that was the correct decision. He tells them that he will now study all of their memories from their time on the planet. This will help him understand if they made the right decision in letting humans live. If Arishem disagrees with their decision, he will come back to Earth and judge it. So maybe we will get to see that in Eternals 2?
The post-credits scenes of the movie gave fans a lot of clues about the future of the MCU. The very last scene confirmed that Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) does indeed have a very bright future ahead in the shared universe.
In the movie itself, he has a minimal role. But the post-credits scene shows Dane getting the Ebony Blade after watching Sersi vanish mysteriously. In a conversation with Sersi, Dane had previously said that his family was complicated.
Just when he was about to tell Sersi and explain it all to her, she disappeared. Now, Dane might use the Ebony Blade to try and rescue Sersi. But he (and the audience) probably didn’t expect to hear Blade’s (Mahershala Ali) voice asking him if he’s ready to pick up the saber and become Black Knight?
After all, he will have to live with that title. The sword in itself has the message, “Death is his reward,” which directly links to the bloody history of the sword. Now, this sword is unique. That’s because it can cut anything. But it slowly corrupts the user over time. This has happened to multiple Black Knights over the centuries. Now, what happens to Harrington’s version remains to be seen.
Now, even though we have many questions about Kit Harington’s future in the MCU, it’s clear that he is part of the franchise’s plans. However, we don’t know when he will be showing up next. But there’s another thing that many people aren’t paying attention to.
This post-credits scene of Eternals features the first tease of Mahershala Ali’s Blade. So this might mean that Dane will show up next in Blade. But don’t take our word as gospel. Overall, we don’t know whether he will be showing up in Blade or not. But Marvel doesn’t set up teases like this without the intention of paying them off.
So if he shows up in a Blade movie, it might be scheduled for a 2023-2024 release. However, it’s possible that the next time he shows up as Black Knight, it’s in a spin-off Disney+ show or maybe in Eternals 2.
The mid-credits scene of Eternals included a very significant new MCU introduction. Harry Styles showed up as Eros aka., Starfox, Thanos’ brother. His debut comes right when Thena, Makkari, Druig are on their cosmic journey on the Domo.
Makkari is confused because they haven’t heard from the other Eternals for several weeks now. Then Makkari and Thena hear a strange noise on the ship. A portal opens up, and in comes Pip the Troll (voiced by Patton Oswalt) stumbling out.
Pip immediately introduces his powerful partner by his titles and uses his teleportation powers to bring Eros/Starfox aboard the ship. Eros then explains that he knows where they can find the other Eternals and wants to help the three.
Now, Harry Styles’ MCU debut as Eros, the brother of Thanos, was leaked immediately after the Eternals premiere. But even then, he is a massively unexpected character to join the franchise at this stage.
Starfox first showed up in comics in 1972, and he is entirely different from Thanos. For one, Starfox is a highly charismatic Eternal who has a unique power- he can bring pleasure to any person. He spent his younger days traveling to various planets for love and fun. Eros even helped the Avengers fight his brother. But their team-up didn’t stop there.
He even joined the team, and that’s where he got his moniker of Starfox. Since Starfox has come so late into the MCU, so he won’t get the chance to fight Thanos. Or maybe he will, who knows? After all, bringing Starfox into the MCU and then not having him and Thanos meet will be a missed opportunity. But one thing is clear- he will undoubtedly play an essential role in the franchise going on.
In the last moment of Eternals’ end credits scene, Marvel confirmed that the Eternals would return. But when this happens hasn’t been confirmed yet. Several properties could be the answer to when they will next show up.
Eternals 2 hasn’t been announced yet. Some have even questioned its necessity. However, the movie’s ending makes it very clear that a sequel is indeed needed to continue the story and payoff the storylines setup.
Now, we might not see the Eternals till Avengers 5 since that is the next big team-up movie that might deal with Arishem’s return to Earth. Now, if Eternals 2 doesn’t happen, then Marvel might decide to make several spin-offs featuring the surviving Eternals. One might be centered around Eros and the Eternals on the Domo, whereas another could be based on the ones Arishem took.
The ending ties together the overall themes of the movie about humanity. Even though the Celestials artificially make the Eternals beings, many fight with their own human emotions.
They have very conflicting feelings about the overall trajectory and purpose of humanity. Druig wanted to use his powers to stop humans from hurting each other. On the other hand, Phastos gave up on humanity for a long time. But ultimately, he did find the good in them again. Meanwhile, Sersi has always seen the very best in them.
Again, it is Ikaris who tries to distance himself from them and their inevitable destruction. Overall, they had varying levels of faith in humanity and its goodness. They have also debated what the Eternals should do with their powers. Should they interfere/ help with human history? Or leave them to their fate?. This is the actual conflict that divided the group.
In the end, even though Ikaris was the one who tried to keep his distance from humanity, but ultimately, he failed. He showed that his emotions for the other Eternals in his team, especially Sersi, were genuine. This showed that he didn’t hate humans as much as he claimed.
Humans aren’t perfect, but the Eternals learned that they had flaws and could learn from their losses. So humanity had the right to do the same. It is only after realizing that the team could come together again and help give humanity a fighting chance.
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