‘Eternals’ Easter Eggs That Every Marvel Fan Needs to Catch Up On
With Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) unfolding with Black Widow, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and now, Eternals, devoted MCU fans are keeping their eyes peeled for any and all easter eggs. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, the term “easter eggs” in this context refers to hidden images, characters, or messages in a film that are not immediately apparent. Viewers need to find them, much like they might hunt for eggs during Easter. And with the first three Phases of the MCU containing plenty of easter eggs that provided clues to its Avengers: Endgame finale, MCU fans have been combing Phase Four’s first three movies for such clues.
What is ‘Eternals’ about?
If you haven’t yet seen Eternals, you should check it out without delay. The film centers on a group of beings known as Eternals who were sent to Earth thousands of years ago to protect the planet from another race known as the Deviants. The Eternals believe they were sent from their home planet to Earth by Arishem the Judge, a member of a race of powerful beings known as the Celestials, whom the Eternals worship as gods.
After believing they have killed all of the Deviants on Earth, the Eternals scatter, awaiting orders to return home. However, those orders never come. Thousands of years later, in the present day, the Eternals find themselves under attack from surviving Deviants and reunite for safety. Throughout the film, they learn that their purpose on Earth is not as benign as they believed. In fact, their original mission included the eventual destruction of Earth. And so they must choose whether to fulfill it or save the planet.
Discerning viewers can find several easter eggs that point toward future heroes, villains, and movie plot points as the movie unfolds. Some of these easter eggs may be hard to spot if you don’t have a comprehensive knowledge of Marvel comics and have not seen the film multiple times. So here are several Easter eggs you may have seen and some you may have missed, as well as what they mean for the future of the MCU.
Phase 4 has new heroes
In the first post-credits scene, viewers are treated to two new characters, Pip the Troll (Patton Oswald) and Starfox (Harry Styles – yes, that Harry Styles). Pip the Troll is known in the comics for his connection to both the Infinity Stones and a character confirmed to be debuting in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Adam Warlock. Meanwhile, Starfox is, as is announced in the film, the brother of Thanos. He is also a rakish superhero who becomes an Avenger.
If you are familiar with the Avengers comic books, you’ll certainly have recognized the name Dane Whitman. Played by Kit Harington, Dane Whitman is Sersi’s on-screen boyfriend. In the comics, he also becomes the superhero known as the Black Knight. While we don’t see his transformation into the hero in the film, Eternals‘ second post-credit scene does show him taking the first steps towards claiming the mantle.
In that scene, he slowly unveils the weapon that grants the Black Knight his powers: the Ebony Blade. In the comics, the Blade is cursed and seduces its users into killing. The more blood is drawn from the sword, the stronger the Black Knight becomes. It’s almost vampiric in nature, which makes the next reveal fitting. Off-screen, a voice asks Dane if he’s ready for the sword. Director Chloe Zhao has confirmed that the voice belongs to none other than Blade, a half-vampire hero. This is not the Wesley Snipes version but rather a rebooted version played by Mahershala Ali.
Connections with the MCU and the comics
Eternals also features several connections to the MCU and the comics. You may have missed it, but when the Eternals reunite with Gilgamesh and Thena, Kingo mentions that he used to hang out with Thor in antiquity. However, as Thor has since become an Avenger, Kingo can’t get his calls returned. While this might seem hyperbole from the vainest of the Eternals, it would make sense that Thor had encountered the Eternals before now, given their presence on Earth for roughly seven thousand years.
The film also draws from several different comic iterations of the group. As per Vulture, one Avengers storyline sees the Eternals commit mass suicide when they learn of their true purpose. This mirrors Ikaris’ eventual fate and the soul-shaking despair most of the Eternals feel when they learn of their true mission. Another storyline in the Eternals comic book saw Sprite (a teenage boy in the comics) use his powers to make himself mortal, at the cost of his teammates’ memories and powers. Doing so nearly causes the world’s end, and Sprite is killed by another Eternal, Zuras. His betrayal is mirrored in the film version’s decision to side with Ikaris against her yellow Eternals.
And while there is relatively little interaction between Kro and the Eternals, Thena and Kro do share an extended action sequence, during which Kro attempts to persuade Thena of his point of view. Thena instead kills him. However, in the comics, Thena and Kro were lovers, with Thena even leaving the Eternals to live with him amongst the Deviants.
Finally, there’s Tiamut, the Celestial whose birth the Eternals stop to spare Earth. In the comics, Tiamut was a Celestial who chose to resist Arishem’s efforts to destroy the planet. He was buried underground and became known as the Dreaming Celestial. While in the film it appears that Tiamut is turned to marble, it’s unclear whether he is dead or merely frozen, unconscious, and “dreaming.” If Tiamut is still alive, his status may well be something the Eternals must reckon with in future films. And as, in the Eternals, comics various people have tried to harness the power of the Dreaming Celestial, it would not be surprising if any of the Eternals, or perhaps, any new villains, might try to do the same.