Running just over two minutes, the Eternals teaser focuses on its diverse ensemble cast, going out of its way to highlight stars Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Salma Hayek. But one noteworthy Eternals cast member is — save for one quick moment — absent from the teaser.
We are, of course, talking about Game of Thrones star Kit Harington.
A Man Among Immortals — Eternals follows a group of immortal warriors who first arrived on Earth thousands of years ago. The film promises to span centuries and depict important moments throughout the Eternals’ time on Earth, but it won’t just focus on its titular heroes.
There’s also Dane Whitman.
Played by Harington, Dane is set to be one of the few prominent human characters in Eternals. Marvel Comics readers know him better as Black Knight, an expert swordsman who wields a magical weapon known as the Ebony Blade. This heroic character has been an Avenger in the past and also worked with Euroforce, MI13, and other superhero groups.
In the comics, Dane also had a romantic relationship with Sersi, an Eternals member played by Gemma Chan in the upcoming film. That might explain why the only shot of Harington in the trailer finds him standing next to Chan; many believe he’ll occupy one corner of a love triangle that develops throughout the film between Dane, Sersi, and Ikaris (Richard Madden).
However, very little is known about Harington’s role in Eternals, including whether fans will get to see him suit up as Black Knight. Fortunately, the first Eternals trailer hints that the film could be just the first chapter in a larger, ongoing saga for Dane Whitman.
Black Knight’s Future in the MCU — Right now, all signs point toward Harington’s role in Eternals being fairly limited. The film has a massive amount of characters to juggle within its titular team of immortals, so it’s difficult to imagine Dane carrying equal narrative weight as a major player in Eternals.
However, the film could still give fans Black Knight’s origin story. That’d be in keeping with early rumors surrounding Eternals, which suggest that Dane won’t be seen with the Black Knight’s iconic Ebony Blade until the very end of its runtime. This wouldn’t be the first time that Marvel has used one of its films as a launchpad for an important supporting character.
Dane could do plenty more in the MCU after Eternals, from showing up in a future Avengers film to factoring into one of the MCU’s many rumored team-up projects (like Midnight Sons). If both Dane and Sersi make it out of Eternals alive, it’s also possible they could reunite in a direct sequel. The possibilities are endless, at least for now.
The Inverse Analysis — Marvel Studios has been unusually cagey about teasing where the Eternals will go next following the release of their first big-screen outing later this year. Given how powerful the characters are, it’s difficult to predict whether Marvel will incorporate them immediately into the wider MCU – in which case their arrival would send shockwaves through the rest of the MCU’s Phase 3.
But no matter what the future holds for the Eternals, it seems safe to say that Dane Whitman will be sticking around the MCU for some time. It’s unlikely Marvel would cast an actor as well-established as Harington in a small, one-off supporting role – and it’s additionally unlikely they’d do so little with a character this important to the comics. Bigger things are almost certainly in store for Black Knight.
Eternals will be released in theaters on November 5, 2021.