Eternals is not long away, and so Marvel fans have begun trying to piece together how the main characters factor into all of the events of the cinematic universe to date. Given how expansive the universe is so far, fitting in cosmic all-knowing beings is going to be tricky.
After the first trailer was released, fans began to vocalize the question on everyone’s mind: if the Eternals are as powerful and prescient as the trailer (and comics history) makes them out to be, why wouldn’t they have interfered in things like slavery, the holocaust, and—in a more Marvel-centric vein—Thanos literally wiping half of life out of existence.
It is a good point, especially when the trailer specifically mentioned that the Eternals would help and encourage the human species along, given their affinity for them. But a theory about the upcoming film will easily fill that Snap-sized plot hole.
The entire theory is predicated on the Chloe Zhao-directed movie talking inspiration from another award-winning creative: Neil Gaiman. Besides penning famous works like American Gods, Good Omens, and Sandman, Gaiman also wrote a comics line for the Eternals.
In his run, the Eternals all had their memories wiped thanks to one of their own, an Eternal named Sprite. Despite being millions of years old, Sprite was stuck in the body of an eleven-year-old, never able to age nor gain the respect of his peers.
However, he was able to use his powers of illusion, amplifying them by using a sleeping celestial to turn himself into a human, allowing himself to age. This also wiped the memories of his fellow Eternals, also giving them a taste of human life.
The Eternals only begin to remember who they are when Ikaris (played by Richard Madden) starts having memory flashbacks and seeks out his fellow Eternals to get them to remember who they truly are. If Zhao adapts this storyline for the film, it could go a long way to explaining why none of the Eternals got involved in the aforementioned atrocities.
The movie version of Sprite is played by Lia McHugh and is said to be in the body of a 12-year-old child (McHugh is in fact 14). Whether or not the movie version adopts the entire storyline from Gaiman’s comic or just the parts of it necessary to explain why Thanos was able to run around willy-nilly remains to be seen.
Little is known about the plot of the film; the synopsis reads: After an unexpected tragedy following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the Eternals –an immortal alien race created by the Celestials who have secretly lived on Earth for over 7,000 years – reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.
If rumors are to be believed, the ‘unexpected tragedy’ could be the death of Ajak (Salma Hayek), the leader of the Eternals who previously helped with the advancement of human civilization and has healing powers. A leaked set of character descriptions also added the ability to communicate with Celestials, a power that comes straight from Gaiman’s comic.
It’s a plausible and easily adaptable storyline that would go a long way to explain what the Eternals were up to while the Avengers were flying around destroying cities and Thanos was enacting a 50/50 lottery on all life in the universe. After all, if they enjoyed helping the humans, surely they would have wanted to stop bad things happening to them, too.
Eternals is released on November 5.
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