Spoilers ahead for Eternals. Not every hero in Eternals is, well, an Eternal. Kit Harington plays Dane Whitman, a love interest of Sersi’s and — as revealed in a post-credits scene — a man with an interesting, super-powered backstory of his own.
Fans of the Marvel Comics will recognize Whitman as Black Knight, a character who dates all the way back to 1967, before Thanos, the Guardians of the Galaxy, or even the Eternals had been introduced. With so much history, there’s naturally plenty of paths that Dane could explore in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Fortunately, Harington seems up to the task. “I had read up on who he could be, or might be,” the actor told Total Film of his Marvel character. “So there’s the possibility for a longer trajectory. And hopefully, I think this is the tip of the iceberg for my character. I hope. But I just don’t know, you know? I’m as in the dark as anyone else.”
Fans may have to wait awhile to see more of Dane Whitman onscreen, but there’s plenty to learn about his history in the comics in the meantime. Below, what to know about Black Knight, Harington’s MCU character.
Who Exactly Is Dane Whitman, aka Black Knight?
Dane Whitman is a bit of an antihero. Before Whitman took on the mantle of the Black Knight, it was a post passed down through generations, since the Arthurian Age. Dane’s uncle, Nathan, was the previous Black Knight, and was a major villain in his day — so much so that Iron Man had to off him. When Nathan asked Dane to succeed him, he begged his nephew to use the Black Knight’s powers for good instead.
What Are Black Knight’s Powers?
Dane tries to do good, he really does. But the thing is, the Black Knight’s signature weapon, the Ebony Blade, is cursed. Per Marvel, the longer Dane uses it, the “more violent, more bloodthirsty” he becomes — as Screen Rant aptly puts it, it’s sort of “the anti-Mjölnir,” and a “worthy” character like Thor can’t even wield it.
Despite his curse, Dane does prove to be an important part of the Avengers. He joins them in their fight against Kang the Conqueror (who’s just getting started in the MCU), and develops a connection with Sersi, who is also an Avenger in the comics.
What Might Black Knight Do In The MCU?
In addition to his Kang connection, there’s another way Dane might play a role in the ever-unfolding MCU. The character has ties to Stephen Strange, who’s set to appear in both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In the comics, Doctor Strange actually removes the Ebony Blade curse, allowing Dane to fight with the Avengers without any pesky bloodthirst. As Comic Book reported in 2016, an Ebony Blade prop was actually made for the first Doctor Strange film — but propmaster Barry Gibbs said it “was taken out of the script” as the film progressed.
Of course, Marvel’s movies and TV shows don’t always follow the comics to a tee — so the jury’s still out on what will happen to Dane in the MCU.