You clicked on an article about a post-credit scene, so proceed at your own risk knowing it will be spoiled.
It’s not just about the post-credit scene. Yes, that post-credit scene, which sees Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman interact with an evil, talking sword before being snapped out of a trance by Mahershala Ali’s Blade, is one of Marvel Studios’ best in recent memory, but it’s not just about that scene. Harrington’s role as Dane Whitman in Eternals turned out to be a lot smaller than most people had originally imagined but it perfectly set up the character for a terrifying future and put Harrington on a path to one of the MCU’s faces over the next decade.
By the time Eternals‘ lengthy runtime expires, Harrington’s Whitman is surrounded in enough mystery to make him one of the more interesting characters to explore down the roads. All the hints are there: his estranged uncle, his “complicated” family history and, of course, the very, very dense post-credit scene all of which leaves a lot to unpack, especially for those unfamiliar with the character’s journey through the pages of Marvel Comics.
While Harrington kindly pretends he doesn’t know what’s next for the character, it’s hard to imagine Kevin Feige and the Parliament do not and Eternals gives fans a pretty clear idea of what to expect in the eventual Black Knight project.
The Funky Uncle
While Facetiming with Dane from the Amazon, Sersi implores him to reach out to his uncle and put whatever it is behind them that’s left their relationship strained. That uncle is Nathan Garrett, a British geneticist and inventor and the ancestor of one of the Knights of the Roundtable, Sir Percy of Scandia. As an ancestor to Sir Percy (the Black Knight of Arthurian legend), Garrett inherited the ancestral Garrett Castle which held within it the Ebony Blade, a magical weapon that carries with it a terrible curse. Garrett was found unworthy of the blade, but found plenty of ways to use his natural gifts to become a villain, even joining the Masters of Evil at one point. Before he died, Garrett, in an effort to make good on his potential and make amends for a life of crime, reached out to his nephew and bequeathed him Garrett Castle and all the remained inside, including his brilliant research and the cursed Ebony Blade.
The Complicated Family Legacy
As mentioned above, Whitman’s uncle is descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia which means so is Whitman. So Whitman is one of a long line of people who have had the cursed Ebony Blade, forged by Merlin himself and gifted to them as a birthright. Percy handed the blade to his nephew, Sir Raston (who was killed by Immortus) and from there it found its way through several owners throughout time, including members of the Knights Templar, before finding its way to Garrett Castle. As complicated as that family legacy may seem, it might be even further complicated in the MCU should they choose to pull a particular thread about some potential familial connections to King Arthur himself. What’s worse is that, as it turns out, it might not be the Ebony Blade that’s truly cursed, but the family itself as it was recently revealed during the King in Black event that the sword simply works with its wielder to reveal an unhealthy set of behaviors common in the line: blood lust, psychosis and extreme violence.
What’s In the Box???
And as you may have guessed, that’s the Ebony Blade in the post credit scene…and Marvel Studios knocked it out of the park. There’s no telling what origin the sword will have in the MCU, but they did their best to let us know it’s a terrifying artifact. As Dane opened the box, which was adorned with the same family crest seen on the ring Sersi gave him in the beginning of the film. the cursed sword began to call to Dane who then reads aloud (and not in modern English) the words “Death is my reward.” If that wasn’t creepy enough, as Dane reaches towards the blade, its surface reacts to what you have to believe is his DNA and behaves similarly to iron filings drawn towards a magnet. What plans Whitman has for the sword or vice versa will have to wait, however, as Blade interrupted their union. Choosing Blade as the interloper here is incredibly interesting as the time the two have shared together in the comics is minimal, but it does seem to indicate that the supernatural aspect of the sword will be something of interest later on.
Whitman’s Black Knight has been an Avenger. He’s been a part of Excalibur. He’s been a member of MI-13. He’s traveled throughout time. He’s fought Skrulls. He’s found himself on Weirdworld. With Harrington on board in the role, it’s reasonable to assume that not only will we see a Black Knight solo project in the not too distant future, but we’ll also likely see a lot of the young hero in other projects over the next decade or so. He’s a character with a rich enough comic book past to connect more of the MCU’s unexplored history (and could especially help unlock the enormous and greatly unexplored potential of the magic, myth and legends of Britain) while also helping shape its future. For Harrington, it’s not just another guy with a sword. Harrington has said on multiple occasions over the past several weeks that he’s drawn to the darker side of this character. Let’s hope Marvel Studios minimizes the changes and maximizes the potential of a character with an already fascinating and established story.