Though Marvel’s newest movie, “Eternals,” dabbles in the lives of each of the ten immortal Eternals on Earth, Sersi (Gemma Chan) and Ikaris (“Game of Thrones” star Richard Madden) are the central pair. After being together for about 7,000 years, the pair mysteriously broke up about a century before the events of “Eternals.”
In a dramatic reveal, we learn that Ikaris didn’t want to keep lying to Sersi about the Emergence as it drew near, so he up and left her. Sersi, with no knowledge of this, moved on and fell in love with the human Dane Whitman (“Game of Thrones” star Kit Harington), who suspiciously looks like he could be Ikaris’ brother.
In any case, the audience is left wondering if Sersi and Ikaris will get back together until Ikaris lives up to his name and literally flies into the sun. After that, Sersi and Dane are all set to begin their secret-free life together, but Dane’s big family secret goes unsaid because Sersi is suddenly kidnapped by the Celestial Arishem.
Read this: Eternals: Where did Ikaris go?
At the end of the credits, we pick back up with Dane, who’s standing in a nicely furnished old office, anxiously staring at an oblong box. Despite his nerves, he opens it to reveal a sword covered in worn bandages and a phrase etched on the inside of the lid.
He reads it — “death is my reward” — and reaches for the blade, which magically reacts to him. Then a mysterious voice speaks to Dane, indicating there’s trouble (and possibly a team-up!) in his future. It’s a huge tease, so here’s what’s going on.
Dane Whitman has a weighty family legacy with a cursed sword
Most likely, Dane Whitman was about to tell Sersi that his family has passed on the Ebony Blade and mantle of the Black Knight for centuries, dating back to his ancestor Sir Percy, a knight allied with King Arthur of Camelot. In the comics, fans know Dane as the modern Black Knight, a superhero and member of the Avengers who wields the cursed but nigh unstoppable Ebony Blade that was created from a meteorite by Merlin.
From that end-credits scene, it looks like Kit Harington is once again taking the Black as he brought out the sword in what is probably an effort to save Sersi.
It’s not just Dane’s name that gives away his hidden identity, either. Indeed, there is another clue earlier in “Eternals,” when Sersi mentions Dane’s fraught relationship with his uncle. This uncle is most likely the character Nathan Garrett, who in the comics uses the Black Knight name as his supervillain alter ego before Dane wields the sword.
However, the Ebony Blade’s curse is that while it grants immeasurable power, it eventually makes its user succumb to rage and monstrous actions (hence Dane’s hesitance over touching it in the end credits scene). This is probably what the ominous phrase “death is my reward” is referring to, which is also a Latin phrase — “mors mihi lucrum” — found in the Bible and elsewhere.
Finally, there’s the mysterious voice that calls to Dane from somewhere off-screen, or perhaps somewhere not even in the room. According to “Eternals” director Chloé Zhao, it’s the voice of Mahershala Ali, the “Green Book” star who’s going to be Blade in the upcoming Marvel film. Altogether, the scene teases that we’re about to get a lot more Kit Harington in the MCU as the Black Knight enters the fray.