How the 'Eternals' Post-Credit Scenes Set Up the Future of the MCU

Eternals is in theaters now, and despite the bad reviews there is plenty there for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to enjoy. If they want to see all of the film, they better enjoy waiting, because there is a post-credit scene after those long, long... well, credits.

In fact, the film offers two extra scenes after the main movie has ended, one in the mid-credits and one at the end. The first of these serves to introduce a new character with a link to a former major villain, while the other hints at a new arc for a character we have already met.

The final post-credit scene also seems to bring back a beloved MCU character, giving us our first glimpse of what the Avengers is going to look like going forward from Endgame.

And yes, the rumors are true: one of those credit scenes does feature a certain member of One Direction.

Eternals mid-credit scene explained

WARNING: The following contains major Eternals spoilers

At the end of the Marvel movie, the Eternals that survive have broken up into three groups. Thena (played by Angelina Jolie), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), and Druig (Barry Keoghan) are heading into space to defend other planets. Sersi (Gemma Chan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Phastos (Bryan Tyree Henry) stay on Earth as immortal Eternals, while Spite (Lia McHugh) decides to become human.

Sersi, Kingo and Phastos may instantly rue their choice, because the three of them are taken prisoner by Arishem, who wants to punish them for foiling their plans.

The mid-credits scene, however, takes us into space, where Thena, Makkari and Druig sense something is wrong with their fellow Eternals.

Luckily, two characters teleport onto their ship to help. The first someone is Pip the Troll (voiced by Patton Oswalt), acting as a sort of intergalactic wingman for Eros, played by "Watermelon Sugar" hitmaker Harry Styles, who tells them, "your friends are in a lot of trouble... and we know where to find them." He then reveals a cosmic energy ball, of the sort the Eternals use to communicate with the Celestials.

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Harry Styles in concert. The singer appears in the mid-credits scene of "Eternals." Getty

In the world of mythology, Eros is the mischievous god of love, something that many of Styles' fans basically think he already is. In Marvel lore, however, the character is the brother of Thanos (Josh Brolin), and is known for his power of controlling other people's emotions.

It remains to be seen how closely this Eros (who is also known as Starfox) will follow the original comic book source. The Marvel Fandom page describes him as something of a "fun-loving carefree womanizer," who was renamed from Eron to Eros essentially because of his horniness.

This is unlikely to make it into the thoroughly PG-13 world of Marvel, however. Also likely to go unmentioned is the fact that Eros' most steady relationship was with a sex worker with the thoroughly Bond girl name of Heater Delight (the 1970s were a very different time for comic books).

What does seem certain, however, is this is a direct sequel set up for Eternals 2, with the space Eternals fighting an intergalactic battle to save their friends from one of the Celestials. As Eros is somewhat of a trickster, however, there is a big question mark over whether he is set to be a hero or a villain as the MCU moves on.

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Kit Harington and Gemma Chan in "Eternals." Harington's character is key to the post-credit scene. Marvel

Eternals post-credit scene explained

Though he gets more screen-time than, say, Zendaya in Dune, many viewers may have been surprised just how little Kit Harrington was in Eternals as Sersi's boyfriend Dane Whitman. However, it seems that was just a taste of what is to come.

Before getting captured, Sersi hinted to Dane to reach out to an estranged uncle who is holding a family secret.

In the post-credit scene, we find out exactly what that secret is. Dane opens a box containing a black sword, pulsating with a sort of inner darkness. The sword is so black, in fact, that you could almost call it...Ebony. If you felt so bold, you may even call it the Ebony Blade.

Yes, as in the Ebony Blade mentioned earlier in the film, the sword compared to which Excalibur is a mere letter-opener. A sword that protects its wielder from death, but which also contains a curse that makes its holder increasingly bloodthirsty—unless, of course, they are pure of heart.

This sword has been wielded by various heroes and villains over the years (allowing comic writers to explore various areas from the Medieval to the present day), but Whitman is destined to become the Black Knight—not to be confused with the Moon Knight (that's Oscar Isaac), or indeed the Dark Knight (that's Ben Affleck and Robert Pattinson and Michael Keaton all at once right now, but we do not need to go into why here).

In the comics, he becomes the Black Knight after being visited by the ghost of one of his ancestors, but it seems like his guide in the MCU will be more corporeal. At the end of the post-credit scene, we hear a voice ask: "Sure you're ready for that, Mr. Whitman?"

Who this voice belongs to we do not learn, so it could be a ghostly Sir Percy. But the general fan consensus seems to be that it is Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson). With the Avengers all-but-disbanded, this could mean he is looking to form a new group of supers—and a guy who has a sword that makes him immortal would hit into that.

What exactly this means for the future of the MCU is not certain, due to the sheer number of proverbial irons Marvel has in the content fire. They could be setting up a Black Knight movie, teasing Harrington's appearance in a supporting role in another movie, or setting up his own Disney+ TV show. Fury, meanwhile, is set to have his own Secret Invasion series, which Harrington could be a part of should Marvel want him to fight in the battle against the Skrulls.

Meanwhile, the MCU rolls on, with Hawkeye coming to Disney+ later this month, and Spider-Man: No Way Home coming in December. Only time will tell if these stories have room for a magical black sword or not.