Eternals is full of Easter eggs and historical references, some of which may hint at the influence of the hero on the Black Knight's Ebony Blade.
Warning: The following content contains spoilers for Eternals and is currently in theaters.
Eternals is full of real events and legends seamlessly integrated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Many scenes boast about one or two Easter eggs, but once the remaining eternal races return to their ship near the third act of the movie, there will be too many references to calculate. In this particular scene, Thena is found fighting with swords, and a Sprite has mistaken Ebony Blade. Although Thena revealed that it was actually Excalibur, Ebony Blade occupies a prominent position in Eternals' second post-loan scene.
The two swords are connected with only one degree of separation. Excalibur is the famous weapon of the legendary King Arthur, and the Ebony Blade was built by Merlin, a wizard trusted by the king. All this in turn is linked to Dane Whitman, a long-term fixture of Marvel comics, launched with Eternals. He is called the Black Knight by many, and Eternals seems to be the hero's MCU debut. Whitman's introduction in "The Eternal Race" may feel casual at first, but considering all the Arthurian legends woven in the movie, the Black Knight may not only be related to Camelot, but also to the Eternal Race.
Related: MCU producer says Kit Harington may never really become the black knight of the MCU
The first generation of the Black Knight, Sir Percival of Scandia, first appeared in comics in 1955. As a member of King Arthur's court, he was selected by Merlin to protect King Arthur from various assassination attempts by Arthur's illegitimate son Mordred. In most iterations of the comics, Merlin personally selected Sir Percy as his champion and created the Ebony Blade for him. Although the sword was ultimately cursed, Sir Percy's blood continued to use the weapon (usually for less glorious purposes) before it fell into the hands of his descendant Dane.
Although the origin of the black knight in the comics is rather boring, Eternals seems to have introduced a new clue. On Domo, Sprite reminded Thena of King Arthur's love for her. It's a reference to wink and miss it, but it reveals that Thena-and maybe all the eternal races-spent some time in Camelot. There are even some theories that Thena is the lady in the lake, the woman who presented Excalibur to Arthur in the myth. Given that she now possesses this weapon, it makes sense that the sword might be returned to her after King Arthur's death.
There are more artifacts on Domo that connect Eternals with the legend of King Arthur. The infamous emerald slab that Makkari spent some time searching for was the inspiration for European alchemy. It introduced the phrase "as above, as follows" to modern mystics, but the same phrase also influenced Marvel's mysticism. It is directly connected to another world, which is a parallel dimension, where the resurrected King Arthur currently lives. The Holy Grail also appeared, an artifact that was also guarded by the goddess in the lake.
Related: Eternals, a forgotten organization may associate Dane Whitman with [SPOILER]
Eternals also connects Sersi with the Middle Ages, not just through her romantic connection with Dane Whitman. In the early days of the movie, Celsi gave Dane a gift in the form of a ring—a ring with the emblem of the Black Knight. When asked, Sersi claimed to have found it on eBay, but it is more likely that she has owned it for centuries. Confirming that Selsey’s connection with the Arthurian era may point to past cooperation with Merlin. Since she is arguably the eternal with the most mysterious power-even with the same name as the Greek sorcerer Circe-she might even help the King Arthur wizard create this sword.
Although the influence of the Eternal Clan in the Arthurian era is much more subtle in the comics, the countless Arthurian references in the Eternal Clan laid the foundation for more complicated things. The movie connects the three characters with medieval legends, and even suggests that the eternal race helped create the black knight’s ebony blade, or affected the magic required to do so. The origin of Black Knight's MCU may be kept secret for some time. But given the breadcrumbs everywhere in Eternals, it's clear that they will play an important role in the hero's story.
In order to witness the unfolding of the legend, Eternals is currently in theaters.
Continue reading: How Marvel's Eternals set up a dark and powerful "anti-Thor" for the MCU
Lyvie Scott is a CBR writer who is obsessed with culture. She likes everything about Star Wars and Marvel, although her work usually focuses on the differences in female faces of color in science fiction, action movies, and fantasy novels. When she doesn't analyze the movies she has liked since she was a child, you can usually see her on Twitter talking about her fascination with celebrities.