If you went into the teaser trailer for Marvel’s Eternals with relatively little foreknowledge, then you may have been surprised by the Jon Snow of it all—and, by that, I mean the fact that Kit Harington appears in this movie, alongside his Game of Thrones co-star Richard Madden (who plays Ikaris).
Harrington will play the Black Knight, aka Dane Whitman. As we explained back in 2019, in the comics, Marvel’s Black Knight character is a wielder of the mystical Ebony Blade, a sword made from a meteor and blessed by Merlin that protects its user from harm (and can drive its wielder to bloodthirsty madness—gotta read that fine print). The Dane Whitman iteration of the character is the third Marvel character to use the Black Knight moniker, and first appeared in 1967’s The Avengers #47. In the comics, Whitman is a descendant of the original Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia (a knight of Camelot), and a nephew to the supervillain Black Knight, aka Nathan Garrett. Dane inherits the Ebony Blade from Garrett, who is slain by Iron Man, and attempts to use it to restore honor to the Black Knight’s name, eventually becoming part of the Avengers.
The Eternals are a hidden race of godlike beings. In the comics, they are tied into world mythology and the creation of mankind and human civilization—and, based on the teaser trailer we just got, this will be the case for their MCU iterations as well. According to the official synopsis for the film, the Eternals have secretly lived on Earth for over 7,000 years, but an “unexpected tragedy” following the events of Avengers: Endgame (apparently, that whole Snap thing was just a minor snag?) causes them to reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
While the comics’ Black Knight isn’t closely associated with the Eternals (honestly, he hasn’t made much of a mark on Marvel Comics history in general), the character does have some history with the group of Celestials—in particular, with Sersi, who is played by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Gemma Chan in the upcoming film. In the comics, Sersi and Dane are part of the Avengers at the same time, and are romantically linked. It… doesn’t go well. A villain named Proctor shows up and drives Sersi to create a mental life bond, known as gann josin to the Eternals, with Dane. Meanwhile, Dane has started to develop feelings for his other Avengers teammate, Inhuman Crystal, which makes things awkward. To add insult to injury, it turns out Proctor, the villain who caused Sersi mental distress in the first place, is actually an alternate universe version of Dane Whitman possessed by the Ebony Blade. And that, folks, is why you only create a mental link with committed partners and not casual romantic interests.
It’s unclear if Marvel’s Eternals is going to use any of that comics backstory for the film (presumably, director and co-scriptwriter Chloe Zhao has more sense than to do a straight-forward adaptation of this toxic love triangle), but a leaked set photo that can be found around the Interwebz suggest there will be a romantic connection between Sersi and Dane, and we do see them together in the teaser trailer. THR has reported that “one aspect to the story involves the love story between Ikaris, a man fueled by cosmic energy, and Sersi, who relishes moving amongst humans,” so things might be about to get awkward between Robb Stark and Jon Snow.
It’s worth mentioning that Dane Whitman has a comics connection with Doctor Strange. The two work together on multiple occasions, and are considered friends. If Harington’s Black Knight makes it out of Marvel’s Eternals alive, then perhaps we could see the MCU exploring that connection. Marvel’s Eternals is scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, Nov. 5. You can read more about the history of the Black Knight character here.
How would you like to see the Black Knight used in Marvel’s Eternals? Let us know in the comments below.