Kit Harington's 'Eternals' Character Explained: Dane Whitman Becomes Classic Marvel Hero

Marvel's Eternals introduces a host of new superheroes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Eternals are celestial beings who were sent to Earth to watch over the planet, protecting and nurturing humanity.

But it isn't just these characters—and the A-listers who play them—who are of interest. Eternals features one other person who could become a major player in the MCU: Dane Whitman, played by Kit Harington.

The character may seem ordinary but he is anything but. In the Marvel comics, Whitman is the hero Black Knight.

Here, Newsweek explains everything you need to know about the character.

Who Is Dane Whitman, Aka Black Knight?

In Eternals Harington's Whitman doesn't get to suit up and fight alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and Salma Hayek. However, the post-credits scene hints at his future in the franchise.

In the Marvel comics, Whitman is an important figure who has been a member of the Avengers and other teams such as the Defenders, Heroes for Hire, Ultraforce and MI: 13.

Whitman's moniker stems from his position as a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia—the first Black Knight, who lived during the reign of King Arthur.

Whitman became the Black Knight when his uncle Nathan Garrett, then going by the name Black Knight II, committed a number of crimes and was mortally wounded. Before dying, he begged his nephew to restore their family's good name.

Determined to do just that, Whitman took the weapons his uncle had used for his nefarious deeds and used them for good.

One of the weapons he wields is a sword named the Ebony Blade, which was forged by Merlin. It also happens to be carrying a blood curse.

As well as the Ebony Blade, Whitman also wielded King Arthur's sword Excalibur at one point in the comics.

Unlike many of his superhero counterparts, Whitman doesn't have superhuman abilities. He instead relies on his skills with a sword while fighting as Black Knight.

Whitman and Sersi (played by Gemma Chan in the film) engage in a romantic relationship in the comics and, through their bond, he gains enhanced strength, speed and durability for a short period of time.

In the comics Whitman also rides on a winged horse that is named Aragorn. It is currently unclear if the creature will make an appearance in the MCU or not.

Marvel's Eternals is out on Disney+ now.

UPDATE 01.12.22 2.45 a.m. EST: This article was updated to include the film's Disney+ release date.

Eternals
Kit Harington as Dane Whitman and Gemma Chan as Sersi in "Eternals." Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.