Marvel’s Eternals will finally hit theaters on November 5, 2021 and will be the most obscure addition to the MCU since the Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel dropped the first full trailer for Eternals last month, revealing a slew of new characters to MCU fans without much explanation. That’s where we come in. Here’s a brief breakdown of who the Eternals actually are, as well as information on each of the characters confirmed to be appearing in the movie.
It’s likely that the movie will change some of their origins, however. That’s fairly common in the MCU as characters need to get wedged into existing storylines, and with a sprawling cast, some compromises may need to be made in Eternals.
The Eternals are a group of cosmic beings tasked with protecting the human race from the Deviants. Since Thanos is part-Deviant, seems as if they’ve not been doing a great job of that so far. There are more than 30 Eternals in total, but odds are we won’t be introduced to all of them during the first movie. It is also unclear why they have been absent for centuries, including that time when Thanos wiped out half of all known life in the universe.
All Eternals are blessed with some amazing powers including super strength and the ability to heal themselves, and they also have some unique powers as individuals which we will cover in more detail below. Suffice to say, it’s pretty tough to kill an Eternal, so given the chance, you’re going to want them on your side.
Ikaris is played by Richard Madden of Game of Thrones fame and is one of the group’s leaders. He’s also the one who suggests he should lead the Avengers now that Iron Man and Captain America are out of the picture. The rest of the Eternals laugh at this notion, which might not be all that bright an idea. Ikaris is effectively Superman. He can fly, has super strength, and can shoot laser beams from his eyes. So yeah, you don’t want to get on his bad side.
Ajak, played by Salma Hayek, is another of the Eternals’ leaders and plays an incredibly important role within the group. Ajak has the ability to communicate with the Celestials, the group responsible for creating Eternals, Deviants, and humans. The MCU has already played host to a Celestial, Peter Quill’s dad Ego, played by Kurt Rusell. Ajak has healing powers and has had their gender flipped for the movie since this Eternal is male in the comics.
Gemma Chan will have the rare honour of returning to the MCU in Eternals to play a completely different character. Chan previously played Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel and will return to star as the Eternal Sersi. Sersi has been romantically tied to Ikaris for centuries, as is demonstrated in the trailer. She lives among humans and works as a museum curator in New York, and is one of the Eternals who becomes an Avengers in the comics.
While Eternals has something of an all-star cast, Angelina Jolie is the biggest get. Jolie will be playing Thena, a warrior who has the ability to conjure weapons from nothing but energy. Thena is the daughter of Zuras, another Eternal who isn’t slated to be a part of the MCU but could still show up, even in the Eternals’ very first movie later this year. Thena has a close relationship with Gilgamesh, who you can find out more about below.
Gilgamesh, played by Don Lee, is another warrior and like many of the Eternals, his presence has inspired many of humankind’s myths and beliefs. Gilgamesh was banished by Thena’s father in the comics for spending too much time with humans. However, in the movie, he and Thena appear to be very close and could even split away from the rest of the group over a dispute. He’s another Eternal who eventually becomes an Avenger.
Kingo will be played by Kumail Nanjiani and may well be the Eternal who has been altered the most in terms of the transition from comics to the big screen. While Kingo becomes a star among humans in both worlds, the trailer appears to show the Eternal thriving on the Bollywood scene. In the comics, he becomes so adept with a sword, his fame is found in the world of Japanese action movies.
Phastos will be played by Brian Tyree Henry and was added to Marvel’s comic book multiverse a lot later than most of the other Eternals. Known for his technical prowess, Phastos has guided humankind when it comes to invention and innovation for centuries. His introduction later this year will also be a major milestone as he gets set to become the MCU’s first openly gay hero – Valkyrie has been confirmed as bisexual by Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi, but it is yet to be confirmed on screen.
You may have noticed a child make a couple of appearances in the Eternals trailer and wondered who they were. That’s Sprite, played by Lia McHugh. Sprite may look young, but they are actually thousands of years old and merely trapped in the body of a child. Sprite is a master illusionist and often plays tricks on his fellow Eternals.
Another character whose gender has been flipped between the comics and the movies is Makkari. Played by Lauren Ridloff, Makkari is effectively the MCU’s answer to The Flash. Just like Quicksilver. Look, there’s only so many powers you can have, okay? The Eternal has super speed and scouts out locations for the rest of the group ahead of time. Her inclusion also marks another first for the franchise. Makkari will be the first deaf hero to grace the MCU.
Druig, played by Barry Keoghan, is expected to be one of the movie’s primary antagonists. While Druig is also an Eternal, he has broken off from the group due to different beliefs. He also has the ability to control people with his mind, which is rarely a power that is used for good when it comes to the superhero world. He is Ikaris’ cousin though, which could cause some additional friction.
Dane Whitman aka The Black Knight
Last but not least, Dane Whitman, played by Kit Harrington. As his pretty mundane name implies when compared to the rest of the cast, Whitman is not an Eternal. He’s a human who doesn’t even have any powers but does assume the role of The Black Knight, who is also an Avenger. In the comics, Whitman is romantically tied to Sersi. If that plot point is employed in the MCU, it could lead to problems between him and his former Stark brother Robb, sorry, Ikaris.
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