Marvel’s Eternals came with a set of novel revelations in the MCU. From the introduction of the alien races of Eternals and Deviants, to concepts of Celestials and the Emergence, to the debut of Star fox, little brother of Thanos, into the MCU. Not only that, the second post-credits scene from Eternals saw Kit Harington’s Dane Whitman in his office at the Natural History Museum. Whitman looked reluctant as he stared at the box in front of him.
But when he does open it, Dane is met with a creepy incoherent whispering sound. It appears as if the blade within the box is inviting him to touch it. However, before Dane reaches out to touch the blade, Blade, played by Mahershala Ali off-screen, warns him about the unrealized threats that come with the instrument. He says, “Sure you’re ready for that, Mr. Whitman?”
According to fans, there are a lot of reasons Blade stops Dane Whitman from touching the sword. Popularly known as the Ebony Blade, the sword has a large significance in the original comics.
Dane took care of the weapon in his appearances as the Black Knight, as he rode his infamous flying horse. But in Marvel Comics, the Ebony Blade carries a frightening curse. Which is why the half-vampiric vigilante stops Whitman from laying his hands on a fate he cannot turn back from.
In the original comics, the Ebony Blade is considered one of the most powerful weapons on Earth. The blade was forged by a wizard named Merlin. Its icy-thin edge allowed it to cut through practically anything effortlessly. However, its sharpness came with a horrific curse. The Ebony Blade would gradually poison the morals of the person who wields it. Thus turning him into someone who feeds on violence and death.
As it stands, the curse was primarily caused by the first Black Knight, Percival of Scandia. It was his endless thirst for blood that ended up corrupting the sword. And as the weapon held the curse, so did anyone who wielded it after him. Ever since then, the curse on the sword has been retconned to be always present. Eventually, all the masters of the Ebony Blade fall into the trap of corruption and violence.
The recent issue of the tie-in comic titled “King in Black: Black Knight,” disclosed that the Ebony Blade could “only be wielded to its mightiest potential… by those impure of heart”. In fact, this theory goes somewhat against using Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Stating how the weapon is one that can only ever be used by someone who does not deserve it.
Which is why, when Blade asked Dane Whitman, “Sure you’re ready?” it is evident that he was not patronizing him. Because if not for Blade’s warning, Whitman would have picked up the blade. And then, it is unimaginable what he would have unleashed.
When Dane Whitman opens the box containing the Ebony Blade, he hears a series of terrifying whispers. It is pretty clear that the blade is cursed. With that said, the thing that strikes viewers the most about the post-credits scene is the visual effect used to portray the sword right when Whitman’s hand is close to touch it.
Whatever the blade is made of seems to beckon Whitman’s touch. Almost as if the blade is waiting for the hand to get closer. And when it does, the blade would affix itself. Considering this, it is possible to assume that one of the properties of the Ebony Blade is to feed on the wielder’s vices. This would allow the blade to enhance its own power as well as that of its master. Thus acting as a symbiotic weapon, like in the comics.
Although, in the comics, if the person wielding the blade does not possess the kind of will and power required, they tend to give up on themselves. And ultimately get absorbed by the blade’s lust for blood. And end up partaking in a maniacal spree of death and destruction and violence. It remains to be seen whether, or not the Marvel Cinematic Universe will follow the same arc for the Ebony Blade as the comics. Will the Ebony Blade carry a curse that is eventually conquered by the pure-hearted? Or will it be wielded only by someone overwhelmed by their own impurities?
It is necessary to point out that the box containing the blade had an inscription on the inside that said, “Death is my reward”. This could mean a lot of things regarding comics. Firstly, the last holder of the Ebony Blade took death as the prize received upon wielding the cursed weapon. Secondly, the previous master embraced the blade’s curse of causing death upon their enemies.
Either way, it is certain that the Ebony Blade controls the person wielding it. But the question is, how will it affect Dane Whitman?
The Ebony Blade certainly bewitched Dane Whitman. His hand drew itself towards it as he was very close to touching the dark artifact. But Blade’s concerned warning came just at the right time. It could be possible that the vampire hunter will inform Dane about the Ebony Blade’s dangerous potential. And make him aware of how to helm the ancestral weapon’s true powers.
Fans will have a chance to see how things play out after this encounter when Blade is released in theaters. For now, that tentative future lies sometime in 2023.