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Eternal’s post-credit scene and Kit Harington’s Black Knight blade, explained

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a bunch of Eternals take center stage Eternal, but the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is hiding another superhero in the wings. That’s why they ended up making up post-credit scenes.

As Marvel Studios first cast of. revealed Eternal, the studio let everyone know that Kit Harington would play Dane Whitman, the alter ego of the superhero known as the Black Knight: a less able descendant of an Arthurian knight who comes into possession of his ancestors’ cursed sword. How this character might come into play and what is Harington in Eternal 2, a Black Knight spin-off film, or other parts of the MCU come into focus not long after the credits roll. Let’s break it down.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Eternals.]

Who is Dane Whitman?

Haringtons Whitman doesn’t have most of the screen time in Eternalwhen the Nice Human Museum dated Guy the millennia old Sersi. In fact, they spend most of the film separately while she flies around the world to put the Eternals team back together while it stays in England.

Even so, Sersi encourages him to reach out to his estranged uncle when she realizes the world may end, and in the final scenes of the film, Dane implies that he recently discovered an old family secret. Eternal doesn’t go all the way to superhero status with Dane, but the movie’s post-credits scene directly suggests that Dane will later be revealed as the Black Knight.

What does the Eternals post-credits scene mean?

An earlier scene in the film gives the slightest clue as to where the post-credits scene leads. When the Eternals return to their buried spaceship and begin pawing through the trophies and souvenirs of millennia, Thena (Angelina Jolie) takes a sword and is asked if it is the Ebony Blade. No, she says, it’s just Excalibur. Just.

The Ebony Blade itself appears in the post-credits scene. After Dane begins telling Sersi about his complicated family legacy, she is kidnapped by the big red robot Arishem. In the post-credits scene, Dane is excited when he steels himself to open a long, ornate wooden box. When he finally decides to open it, there is a rustling of roaring air and whispering voices. He reads the Latin words engraved in the box: “Mors mihi lucrum”, which means “Death is my reward”. Inside the box is a long, black sword, the blade of which twists and turns in a kind of living darkness that draws towards his outstretched hand like iron filings attracted by a magnet. “I’m sorry, I have to try,” he says, reaching for it.

But before he can touch it, an off-screen voice asks, “Are you ready for this, Mr. Whitman?” And the screen goes black.

Who is the Black Knight?

Long before Dane Whitman took the helm of the Black Knight, the title was first held by Sir Percy of Scandia, a beloved member of King Arthur’s court. Stan Lee and artist Joe Maneely created Percy in 1955, when Marvel Comics was still known as Atlas Comics and superhero comics were in their post-war crisis, which adventure books like made possible The black knight # 1 to make your way to the kiosk.

Lee and Maneely’s Sir Percy was a self-deprecating magician, humorist, and favorite of King Arthur who expressed his appreciation by gifting Percy the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword that Merlin had created from the starstone meteorite. At least that’s how the legend goes.

As with any good medieval story, the true creator of the sword and how it draws its power is a matter of intrigue and investigation, and as a medieval knight, Percy wasn’t exactly ready to compete with the modern day superheroes who drove Marvel Comics to popularity Decade later.

The second Black Knight and the first to enter the superhero era was actually a super villain. Nathan Garrett was created by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers and was a scientist, criminal, and modern descendant of Sir Percy. Garrett was so upset when his evil deeds made him unworthy of wielding Percy’s magical sword that he made his own technically improved medieval weapons (including a genetically modified winged horse for riding) and used them primarily to fight Iron Man.

The third Black Knight is Garret’s nephew, Dane Whitman, the character who appears in Eternal. He took over the inheritance of the Black Knight after being haunted by the ghost of Sir Percy and successfully defeating the protective curse that guards the Ebony Blade. He is a normal person without any powers who comes into possession of a sword from the Arthurian era … and becomes a superhero. How can he not fatally beat up bad guys when all his shit is a bladed weapon? Lots of carefully thought-out combat situations.

What is the ebony blade?

“Mommy's wake.  Sersi's last kiss.  Scars behind my knees.  Ashima in the snow.  Dad and his belt ... the water, ”says Dane Whitman / The Black Knight as his sword blazes with red fire and shoots smoke and dust at some monster enemies in Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade # 1 (2021).

Dane fuels the Ebony Blade with the dark thoughts it finds so delicious.
Image: Si Spurrier, Sergio Dávila / Marvel Comics

The ebony blade is an incredibly powerful sword that protects the wearer from death and turns almost any enemy into minced meat. When Excalibur (what Eternal References in the same breath) is the Straight-A student of the Enchanted Swords family, the Ebony Blade is the brooding, emo cousin who sits alone at family gatherings.

Because this mighty sword has a nasty little secret: a curse! The more blood it sheds, the more bloodthirsty its bearer becomes. Only those with a pure heart can use the sword. Or at least that was the story for many years.

Dane suffers from being passed on to various writers who don’t seem to know exactly what to do with him, and that has led him to play many different roles. The Black Knight was a member of the Defenders, Ultraforce, and even MI-13. He’s risen to become the leader of the Avengers, a pseudo-ambassador to the United Nations, and yes, even a friend of Sersi the Eternal.

He doesn’t feel well defined because he’s not what should work for Marvel Studios. He’s never had a successful standalone series, except maybe this year Black Knight: The Curse of the Ebony Blade, a comic that revealed that the legend of the ebony blade is less heroic than Sir Percy originally suggested.

With Curse of the Ebony Blade, writer Si Spurrier, and artist Sergio Dávila borrowed from the darker elements of Dane Whitman’s psyche and its association with a sword fueled by negative emotions. The series also featured Jackie, the daughter Whitman never knew he had, who took on the Black Knight’s cloak by his side. While Curse of the Ebony Blade was a limited edition series, there is still hope that the Black Knight will cement his role in the Marvel Universe – especially now that he’s got a foothold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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