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Eternals ending explained: Who dies in the epic Marvel film?

**Spoilers within** Marvel's Eternals arrives on Disney Plus, but how does the epic film end?
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**Spoilers within** Marvel's Eternals arrives on Disney Plus, but how does the epic film end?

The cast of Eternals

This competition is now closed

By Lewis Knight

Published: Tuesday, 11th January 2022 at 8:00 pm

The wait is finally over.

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One of the most recent films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ambitious film Eternals finally comes to Disney Plus on Wednesday 12th January 2022 after its cinema release in November 2021.

The film comes from Academy Award-winning Nomadland director Chloe Zhao and adapts a classic comic run from writer-artist Jack Kirby.

Eternals stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie and more. Read about the full Eternals cast here.

The cinematic outing follows a group of immortal superpowered individuals who have protected the human race from the monstrous creatures known as Deviants for years.

However, the film sees the Eternals discover some earth-shattering revelations about their true purpose.

In our recent Big RT interview with Chloe Zhao, the director explained: “The story is triggered when half the Earth’s population is brought back in Avengers: Endgame.

“The return of half of the planet is a big ecological event and there are consequences.”

The events build up to an explosive conclusion that also will leave viewers with a number of questions.

Thankfully, RadioTimes.com has assembled all you need to know about Eternals’ ending and what the mythology means.

**Spoiler warning for Marvel’s Eternals**

Eternals ending explained Who are the Eternals?
Eternals
(L-R): Gilgamesh (Don Lee), Thena (Angelina Jolie), Ikaris (Richard Madden), Ajak (Salma Hayek), Sersi (Gemma Chan), and Sprite (Lia McHugh) in Marvel’s Eternals (Credit: Marvel Studios)

The Eternals are artificially-created superpowered humanoids who are sent by the Celestials to apparently protect human beings from the monstrous creatures known as Deviants.

A group of ten Eternals arrive on Earth in 5000 BC in their spaceship the Domo and display their superpowers by battling their foes.

However, the Celestial known as Arishem reveals to Sersi that the Eternals’ true purpose is to prepare populated worlds for the “Emergence” – when the planting of a seed eventually evolves into a new Celestial.

Once their task is done – which comes at the price of mass extinction on the populated plants – the Eternals have their minds wiped and move onto the next planet for a new cycle.

After the return of half of the planet’s population in The Blip caused by Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, Earth has reached the necessary population size for the Emergence.

They are immortal, do note age and have an array of superpowered abilities.

The Eternals who appear on Earth in the film are as follows, with their powers displayed beside them.

  • Ajak (Salma Hayek) – The ability to heal wounds and to communicate with the Celestials.
  • Sersi (Gemma Chan) – The ability to manipulate and transform matter and later has the ability to communicate with the Celestials.
  • Ikaris (Richard Madden) – The abilities to shoot cosmic beams from his eyes, flight and super-strength.
  • Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani) – The ability to shoot cosmic energy from his hands.
  • Sprite (Lia McHugh) – The ability to project life-like illusions.
  • Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) – The ability of super-intelligence and a gifted inventor.
  • Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) – The ability of super-speed.
  • Druig (Barry Keoghan) – The ability to manipulate the minds of others.
  • Gilgamesh (Don Lee) – The ability of super-strength and the strongest Eternal.
  • Thena (Angelina Jolie) – The ability to create weapons out of cosmic energy and a powerful warrior.

An additional Eternal from the planet Titan is introduced in the end credits scene of the film, more on this below.

Who are the Deviants?
The Deviant leader Kro (voiced by Bill Skarsgard) in Marvel's Eternals
The Deviant leader Kro (voiced by Bill Skarsgard) in Marvel’s Eternals
Marvel Studios

The Deviants were the creatures initially sent by their creators – the Celestials – to annihilate apex predators on the populated planets to protect intelligent life that was to be used for the process they call the “Emergence”.

However, when the Deviants began to involve into predators themselves and attacked the native populations themselves, promoting the Celestials to create the Eternals to take on the Deviants.

It takes hundreds of years for most of the Deviants to be culled by the Eternals on Earth but the Deviant known as Kro (voiced by Bill Skarsgard) evolved further after consuming Ajak.

Kro begins absorbing the powers of the Eternals that he kills and leads the Deviants against the Eternals.

Who are the Celestials?
Arishem in Eternals
The Celestial leader Arishem in Marvel’s Eternals
Marvel Studios

The Celestials are the enormous god-like beings who have existed since the beginning of the universe and possess enormous power.

They are the creators of both the Eternals and the Deviants and their goal on populated planets is to plant seeds within them and cultivate them with the help of intelligent life on Earth until a new Celestial emerges.

The master of the Eternals in the film is the Celestial known as Arishem (voiced by David Kaye) who appears as the leader of the group of Celestials shown in the film. The group seeks to bring balance to the universe.

Other Celestials from Marvel Comics that are seen in the film are Nezarr, Jemiah and Hargen.

Finally, the Celestial that attempts to emerge from Earth in the film but is prevented by the Eternals is the Celestial known as Tiamut. 

Who dies in Marvel’s Eternals?
Salma Hayek in Eternals
Salma Hayek as Ajak in Eternals (Credit: Marvel Studios)
Marvel

The first character to be killed in Eternals is the group’s leader, Ajak, who appears to have been killed by the Deviants but whose death was orchestrated by Ikaris who wanted to end her plans to stop the Emergence.

Ikaris fed Ajak to the Deviants six days before the central events of the film and then planted her corpse back in her ranch home to be found by the Eternals later.

Another major character who is killed is Gilgamesh, dying at the hands of the evolved Deviant leader Kro who attacks the heroes in the Amazon rainforest.

The monstrous Kro is later killed himself by a vengeful Thena during the climactic clash on an island in the Indian Ocean.

Finally, after his betrayal of his fellow Eternals to serve the Celestials and the reveal that he had murdered Ajak himself, Ikaris was overcome with guilt and flew into the sun to his death.

Does Ikaris die in Eternals?
Richard Madden in Marvel's Eternals
Richard Madden as Ikaris in Marvel’s Eternals (Credit: Marvel Studios)
Marvel

Despite some uncertainty over the character’s fate, it has been confirmed that Ikaris did indeed perish.

“It began as an exile that I think, throughout the course of the filmmaking, really became something that needed to be definitive,” screenwriter Kaz Firpo told CBR.com.

“It really is a moment of saying, ‘It’s sacrifice.’ It’s sort of saying, ‘I can’t serve the Eternals. If I can’t serve the Celestials, and I can’t be with my family, then I choose this third option,’ which — for him — really is oblivion. So yeah, he dead.”

RIP, Ikaris.

What happens to Sprite?
Lia McHugh in Marvel's Eternals
Lia McHugh as Sprite in Marvel’s Eternals (Credit: Marvel Studios)
Marvel

Sprite chooses to betray the majority of the Eternals by siding with her unrequited love Ikaris following the revelation that he murdered Ajak to help bring about the Emergence and remained loyal to Arishem.

Eventually, Sprite clashes with and battles her former best friend Sersi who she has always been jealous of but later joins Ikaris in combining the powers of all surviving Eternals with the Uni-Mind to stop the Emergence.

After Ikaris’ death, Sprite asks Sersi to use the last of the combined energy in the Uni-Mind to turn Sprite into a human so she is no longer perenially a child.

Sersi grants her request and Sprite is made human.

We last see Sprite as she attends school and appears to be pursuing a normal human life.

What happens to Thena, Makkari and Druig?
Eternals
(L-R): Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) and Druig (Barry Keoghan) are among those who travel on the Domo. (Credit: Marvel Studios)

The Eternals on Earth split into two groups at the end of the film.

Thena, Makkari and Druig decide to leave Earth in the ship the Domo to find other Eternals other planets and perhaps prevent further disasters from occurring.

The group appear to become aware of what happens to their fellow Eternals back on Earth after their departure going by the end credits scene.

What happens to Sersi, Kingo and Phastos?
Eternals
(L-R): Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) and Sersi (Gemma Chan) find a romantic moment interrupted. (Credit: Marvel Studios)

After the other three Eternals depart for space, Sersi, Kingo and Phastos return to their lives on Earth.

Kingo plans to return to his life as a Bollywood star with valet Karun (Harish Patel), while Phastos returns to his life with his husband Ben (Haaz Sleiman) and their son Jack (Esai Daniel Cross).

Sersi goes back to her life as a museum curator and is seen out on a walk with boyfriend Dane Whitman (Kit Harington) when he professes his love for her.

Dane also begins to tell her something about his own family history when Sersi vanishes by being pulled into space by Arishem, along with Kingo and Phastos.

Arishem reveals his displeasure at the Eternals’ betrayal and states he will return to judge whether humanity should survive after he has assessed the memories of the Eternals.

The Celestial is seen disappearing into a singularity and takes Sersi, Kingo and Phastos with him.

The final shot is of Dane looking anguished at what has happened to Sersi.

Are there end credits scenes to the film?
Harry Styles as Eros
Harry Styles as Eros (Credit: Marvel Studios)
Marvel

There is both a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene for Eternals.

The first scene sees the three Eternals on the Domo speculating what has happened to the friends on Earth when they are greeted by the arrival of two visitors: Pip the Troll (voiced by Patton Oswalt) and an Eternal from Titan named Eros (Harry Styles), the brother of Thanos.

For more on who Eros is, read our explainer piece here.

The second end credits scene shows Dane opening a casket containing an ancient blade which he hopes will help him find Sersi.

As Dane goes to touch the blade, an off-screen voice asks him if he is ready.

For more on the scene featuring the voice and the Ebony Blade, see our explainer piece here.

What was the Eternals’ alternate ending?

Director Chloe Zhao has revealed that the film originally had a much bleaker ending planned.

Instead of the two cliffhangers for the two groups of Eternals, instead, they would have all faced a bleak future.

Speaking to Empire, the director revealed: “It used to end with everybody back on the ship, minds erased and just going on to another planet, like The Twilight Zone.

“I remember when it goes to black, everyone was like, “I don’t know what to do.” And also, it’s the MCU, and you want to be excited for what’s next.”

It seems the audience reaction dictated the changes to the ending, while Harry Styles received a much more impactful introduction as Eros/Starfox instead of being introduced as a new Eternal with the mind-wiped crew on the Domo at the end of the film as was originally planned.

Will there be an Eternals sequel?

A sequel film to Eternals has yet to be confirmed.

However, comments have already been made about the Eternals’ future in the MCU.

Read all we know about a potential Eternals 2 here.

Additionally, there have been comments about a potential prequel Disney Plus series about Kingo.

Eternals is available on Disney Plus from Wednesday 12th January 2022. You can also watch most of the MCU movies now on Disney Plus – sign up now for £7.99 per month or £79.90 for a full year.

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This edition of The Big RT Interview originally appeared in the Radio Times magazine. For the biggest interviews and the best TV listings subscribe to Radio Times now and never miss a copy. 
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