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Small Details You Missed In The Eternals Teaser Trailer

The very first "Eternals" teaser trailer has finally arrived, and there's plenty for fans to unpack.

On May 24, 2021, months ahead of the film's scheduled November 2021 release, Marvel gave fans their first real look at Chloé Zhao's ambitious new film, centered on a group of immortal humanoid cosmic beings known as the Eternals. Many of the Eternals actually cosplay as extraordinarily good-looking human beings down on Earth, but when their natural enemies the Deviants threaten the human planet, the Eternals must act quickly to protect Earth.

A recently minted Academy Award winner for Best Director for "Nomadland" — the second woman to ever win Best Director and the first woman of color to do so — Zhao assembled a heavyweight cast to portray this otherworldly group. Hollywood legend Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen in a big way as Thena, an Eternal warrior who wields powerful cosmic energy. Then there's Richard Madden's Ikaris, a massively strong Eternal who can shoot cosmic energy out of his eyes, and his lover Sersi — played by Gemma Chan — an empathetic Eternal. Kumail Nanjiani underwent a serious physical transformation to play Kingo, an Eternal who earns fame on Earth as a Bollywood star. Meanwhile, Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos is a brilliant inventor and will be the first openly gay superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Salma Hayek also appears in the film as Ajak, the Eternals' spiritual leader, as do Barry Keoghan as the emotionally distant Druig, Lia McHugh as the childlike-yet-powerful Sprite, Lauren Ridkoff as Makkari (who can manipulate sound and is the MCU's first deaf superhero), Don Lee as the insanely strong Gilgamesh, and Madden's fellow "Game of Thrones" co-star Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, a human with a powerful destiny. 

From quick, revealing shots to comic book lore, here are the small details you missed in the "Eternals" teaser trailer.

A fitting song used in the Eternals teaser trailer

While eager MCU fans haven't gotten a full plot synopsis of "Eternals" yet, Marvel has given some basic insight on what the film is about. The Eternals are a race of immortal cosmic humanoids created by the alien Celestials who have secretly been living on Earth for centuries. But when an "unexpected tragedy" befalls Earth, the Eternals are pushed out of hiding, and must band together to defeat the Deviants, "mankind's most ancient enemy" (via Marvel.com).

The song featured in the teaser trailer, 1962's "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis, gives us some further insight into the calamity the Eternals will be facing. "The End of the World" encapsulates the devastation felt after a breakup, with Davis crooning, "Why does the sun go on shining? / Why does the sea rush to shore? / Don't they know it's the end of the world? / 'Cause you don't love me anymore." Unfortunately, it seems the "end of the world" in the "Eternals" will be a bit more literal. As suggested by Marvel's brief synopsis, the arrival of the Deviants indicates a potential world-ending event that only the Eternals can stop. But what exactly is the Deviants' plan? We'll have to wait to find out.

The aircraft arrival

Near the beginning of the "Eternals" teaser trailer, a strange rectangular aircraft spontaneously materializes in front of a group of humans living on the shore near an ocean. While it may be just a covert aircraft, its design and function scream "spaceship." The Eternals, who are soon revealed to be inside the ship, admire the planet, with Sersi talking about it to Ikaris as if she's bringing him to Earth — or this time period of Earth — for the first time.

While a spaceship descending upon a group of unsuspecting humans is standard affair for the MCU at this point, its appearance and the behavior of its crew draw many questions about the Eternals' place within the established Marvel canon. After all, in the comics, the Eternals are native to Earth, having been created by the Celestials during their proto-humanity experiments that also yielded the Deviants. They do have colonies elsewhere, though.

Another likely option is that this ship is a time machine of some kind. According to the Marvel wiki on Fandom, the Eternals have traveled backward in time to the age of primitive man before. The Eternal Phastos, played in the movie by Brian Tyree Henry, even lent some of their advanced technology to the tribal humans — an action that's possibly alluded to in the teaser trailer when Salma Hayek's Ajak says in voiceover, "We have watched and guided. We have helped them progress, and seen them accomplish wonders."

Regardless of the craft's true nature, however, it is sure to be a critical piece of the Eternals' backstory.

The symbolism of the dagger-passing

From the 56-second mark to the 58-second mark in the teaser trailer for "Eternals" — as Ajak says, "We have helped them progress" — there's a shot of an Eternal's hand cupping a dagger — and a human's hand nervously reaching out to take it. It's a close-up shot of the hands with no faces in the frame, set on a dramatic cliff overlooking the sea.

The dagger has obvious symbolic meaning. The shot and Ajak's voiceover express the idea that the Eternals gave humans technology to help them evolve. But, after watching this moment in the teaser, fans may be asking, "Should I know about this dagger? Is this dagger important in the comics? Does it have a name?" The answer, as far as we can tell, is that the dagger itself isn't particularly significant on its own. The important part is that it's imparting knowledge from the Eternals to humans. Perhaps the dagger taught humans how to use more advanced weapons. Maybe the passing of this dagger helped humans progress from the Stone Age into the Bronze Age.

The moment is actually reminiscent of the beginning of "2001: A Space Odyssey," when the sudden appearance of a mysterious monolith inspires apes to start using tools — specifically, bones as weapons. It's a similar idea of alien intervention inciting human evolution.

Makkari's artifact room

When Makkari is reading her book at the 1:07 mark in the teaser trailer, she's surrounded by all sorts of ancient artifacts. One of these is a gold statue that reads "SPQR," which historians will recognize as the abbreviation for "Senātus Populusque Rōmānus," or "the Senate and People of Rome." SPQR represents the government of the Roman Republic, which is dated from 509 BC to 27 BC. As we know from the film's teaser trailer, the Eternals have been around for quite some time, with Sersi noting that they have never interfered with the people of Earth — until the threat of the Deviants arrives, of course.

While they might not have been interfering, the Eternals definitely have been looming in the background, gathering artifacts from different civilizations and time periods. Other objects inside the artifact room include a chimera statue, a statue of a gold Sphynx cat, and a medieval knight's armor (more on that later). Makkari is also surrounded by hundreds of other books and mysterious objects, some of which include old paintings. In the comics, Makkari has many adventures in human history and even taught the Egyptians how to write. Based on what we see of her in the "Eternals" teaser trailer, it looks like she might have taken tokens from different civilizations in the past where she was present.

It may also be worth noting that the artifact room at 1:07 in the teaser looks like the same room shown at the 38-second mark, suggesting that the Eternals have some sort of designated base on Earth where they've remained for centuries without moving.

Moon Knight's (possible) looming presence

In the "Eternals" teaser trailer, there appears to be a nod to Moon Knight, a character getting his own Disney+ series in 2022. Oscar Isaac will play the titular villain-turned-hero in the show, but everything revolving around the project has been kept under wraps. At the 1:07 mark in the "Eternals" teaser trailer, while Makkari (Lauren Ridloff) is speed-reading through a book, a very Moon Knight-looking uniform is hanging from the ceiling in the top right corner of the frame. (There's also a full suit of knight armor right next to the chair Makkari is lounging in.) Moon Knight has had many uniforms throughout his tenure in the Marvel comics, but this particular look features an ankh, a totem/weapon designed by a time-displaced Clint Barton that Moon Knight wields in "Moon Knight Vol. 2" #1.

The room Makkari is in while reading her book appears to be some sort of artifact storage area, as the items that surround her are from different civilizations throughout time. This particular Moon Knight uniform could be from when he time-traveled to 2940 BC to help rescue the Avengers in "West Coast Avengers Vol. 2" #23. At this point in history, Sumerians began working with metals, which could tie into Hawkeye's creation of the ankh.

Moon Knight, aka Marc Spector, doesn't have a clear connection to the Eternals in the pages of Marvel Comics, and the appearance of his uniform in the upcoming movie could just be a nod to the character, suggesting that immortals are aware of his presence on Earth.

The romance between two Eternals

The "Eternals" teaser trailer briefly but effectively sets up the romance between two of the Eternals, Sersi and Ikaris.

The pair are the first members of the Eternals shown in the footage, as Sersi is seen commenting on Earth's beauty to Ikaris shortly after the group's ship arrives on the planet. From there, the "Eternals" teaser trailer features several moments between Ikaris and Sersi, including a small montage at around the 1:23 mark that sees the two characters embracing across three different time periods. Marvel's Kevin Feige has previously said (via Variety) that Chan's Sersi is the closest thing that "Eternals" has to a lead character, so her relationship with Ikaris will likely play a major role in the film's plot.

In the comics, although Sersi and Ikaris are both members of the Eternals, they've never actually been romantically involved. However, Sersi has had a romantic relationship with Dane Whitman, aka Black Knight, in the comics; Kit Harington is playing him in "Eternals." It's also worth noting that Chan previously told Vanity Fair Italy (via ComicBook.com) that Sersi would be involved in "two love stories" in the film, so it's very likely "Eternals" will see a love triangle take form between Sersi, Ikaris, and Dane. How exactly Dane's presumed romance with Sersi will affect the dynamic between her, Ikaris, and the rest of the Eternals remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if Ikaris and Sersi's romance ends up being a key source of drama and conflict in "Eternals."

What's the gold thread linking the characters?

The "Eternals" teaser trailer offers interesting hints about the titular group's powers — particularly the golden, intricately patterned energy threads seen in multiple spots. They're most prominently on display in a shot that shows Sersi, Druig, and Makkari levitating a few feet above a beach while the golden energy connects the trio. This might be a manifestation of one of the Eternals' main powers: the ability to wield cosmic energy. Judging by Druig's elevated hands and the fact that the gold strands seem to emanate from him, it seems that whatever's happening here, he's the guy taking the lead in connecting himself to Sersi and Makkari (and the other Eternals that could be on the beach at that moment). Since Druig's comic-book counterpart has considerable telepathic powers at his disposal, there might be some mind-linking going on. It remains to be seen just why this is happening, though.

Incidentally, the fact that the Eternals can wield cosmic energy might be a sign of the impending arrival of the Fantastic Four. Marvel's iconic quartet will join the MCU at some point after "Eternals", and since they're famously powered by cosmic radiation, it wouldn't be entirely unlikely that the Eternals' visually impressive energy ends up having something to do with the Fantastic Four's transformation from humans to super-beings.

Are those the Deviants?

The villains of "Eternals" are the Deviants, the mortal enemies of the Eternals, but it's currently unknown who's playing them or what they'll look like. Marvel hasn't revealed that information, and the teaser trailer doesn't give fans much more to go on. However, there's a brief glimpse of something that could be a Deviant, plus a hint at the kind of powers the Deviants have.

At the 1:28 mark of the teaser trailer, Kingo is seen in battle. He slides under what looks like some kind of CGI horse-creature and stabs it in the leg, which glows gold. The footage then quickly cuts to a group of villagers who all have blank, glowing eyes. They lift their guns in unison, suggesting that they're being mind-controlled.

The scene is too quick to show anything really meaty, but there could be a Deviant — or several Deviants — in it. The villagers could be Deviants in disguise, or might be humans whom the Deviants have possessed. A Deviant could also be riding the horse-creature, or may have taken the form of the horse-creature itself, since Kro, the leader of the Deviants, is a shapeshifter. In fact, the dark, tendon-y look of the creature bears a resemblance to the only images of "Eternals'" take on Kro that have come out, which were on some product images for t-shirts at Kohl's (via the Direct).

There's also the possibility that the villagers are being mind-controlled by the Eternal Druig, who has that power, and are fighting against the Deviants in this scene. Contrarily, Druig might be using the villagers to battle Kingo himself given that in the Marvel comics, Druig turns against the other Eternals.

What's up with the erupting volcano?

At the 1:30 mark of the "Eternals" teaser trailer, there's a volcano erupting over the backdrop of the blue sky. While it's not exactly clear what the context is for the exploding volcano, within the Marvel Comics canon, there have actually been "Eternals" storylines that prominently feature volcanoes.

In flashbacks in 2012's "Hulk Vol. 2" #49, Ikakris, played in the film by "Game of Thrones" alum Richard Madden, fights Red Hulk on an erupting volcano. And way back in 1960's "Tales of Suspense Vol. 1" #7, the super-fast Eternal Makkari, played by Lauren Ridloff in the film, is taking a vacation when the Molten Man-Thing emerges from an erupting volcano.

Additionally, parts of the "Eternals" movie were shot on the Canary Islands — a group of islands that belong to Spain, but sit closer to Africa than Europe. It's a fitting spot for a filming location, as the islands are home to Mount Teide, a volcano that ranks as the third-largest in the world from its base (via Atlas Obscura). Lia McHugh, who plays Sprite in "Eternals," previously told ComicBook.com that her experience filming the movie was "completely insane," and that on the Canary Islands, she got to shoot on "cliffs and on volcanoes."

For the time being, though, here's no way to know for sure what the erupting volcano means. It could mark a significant event in the film's plot, or simply be further proof of the Deviants' destruction and devastation of Earth.

Dane Whitman is in for one wild ride

With all the majestic world-building and cool costumes in the "Eternals" teaser trailer, it's easy to forget that the movie also features at least one prominent human character. In fact, the trailer nearly forgets him, too, seeing as we only get a brief glimpse of Dane Whitman, played by Kit Harington. He stands beside Gemma Chan's Sersi, looking a little bit scruffy and wearing decidedly normal, everyday clothes. Immediately after the one and only closeup of the character, there's a shot of a group of people looking worriedly as something very strange is going on in the sky.

Of course, it's almost certain that you'll see plenty more of Dane in the movie. As previously mentioned, in the comics, Dane has a history with Sersi that will potentially translate to the big screen. More importantly, Marvel Comics fans know that Dane ultimately becomes a sword-wielding superhero called Black Knight, and common sense dictates that you don't cast a major "Game of Thrones" alum to play a sword-wielding character unless he's meant to be a pretty big part of the movie. Having a human along for the ride — even if he's a superhero — further underscores how important it is for the Eternals to save mankind from the Deviants, and how significant their interference is.

The fact that we see Dane in civilian gear and looking at the unfolding events with a stunned expression on his face makes it seem as though he's being set up as a viewpoint character who finds out about the Eternals' world as the audience does, before eventually becoming a hero in his own right. You could almost say that at the beginning of "Eternals," Harington's character ... knows nothing.

Pay attention when Sprite's singing karaoke

At the 1:31 mark of the "Eternals" teaser trailer, viewers can see Sprite on what appears to be an airplane, belting her heart out as she sings karaoke. Behind her is a bar with various drinks on the counter, plus with a noticeable "K" on the door. For the truly eagle-eyed viewers, an old-fashioned Captain America shield can be seen hanging on the wall next to the door and behind the bar.

It's not exactly clear, but the song Sprite is singing sounds like the track from the teaser trailer, "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis. Sprite appears to mouth "the world" as the song can faintly be heard in the background. Marvel has a history of lying to fans with its trailers, so take this with a grain of salt.

This brief moment also suggests that the plane the heroes are riding on belongs to Kingo, played by Kumail Nanjiani, the Eternals member whose secret identity is as a Bollywood celebrity. Having a "K" on the door could signify that this is his plane, which fits perfectly with the character as he's not exactly great at keeping things on the DL. In an interview with Deadline's "New Hollywood" podcast, Nanjiani said his character doesn't like to be out of the limelight. "By this point, we've been on Earth for a long time," he shared. "And my character, for instance, is like, 'Okay, we're supposed to keep a low profile. No one should know.' So I become a Bollywood movie star — that's my secret identity. We're supposed to keep quiet, and I've become the biggest Bollywood movie star."

As for the Captain America shield, we can only imagine that Kingo is a fan of the Star-Spangled Avenger.

Could this seven-issue Neil Gaiman series be the basis of Eternals' plot?

The Eternals were always going to be a tough nut to crack, cinematically speaking. They're compelling enough characters once you dig in, but on the surface, they make the weirdest Inhumans look like the normal X-Men and the weirdest X-Men look like the cast of "Friends."

That's part of why Joe Quesada tasked Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr. with breathing new, more relatable life into the characters back in the mid-2000s. According to CBR, the project came about after Gaiman's success with "1602," and aimed to "take a Marvel property that wasn't active and turn it into something that we can utilize for a long time."

The result was "Eternals," a seven-part miniseries that reworked the mythology of Jack Kirby's race of immortals, wiping enough of their memories to warrant reintroductions and warm, welcoming exposition. As with lots of rebooted comics from the last few years, the story took the pre-built foundations of the universe and constructed a more screen-ready version of events for new readers — and, optimistically, studio executives — to latch onto.

From what we've seen in this first teaser trailer, "Eternals" the movie seems to have "Eternals" the miniseries in its DNA. The biggest hint comes from the ominous shots of Sprite, who spends the comic series on a reality-warping rage bender after millenia spent trapped in the body of a child finally catch up with the little hellraiser. Sprite's crusade to reshape existence, and particularly her tendency to play hide-and-seek with people's memories, would go a long way towards explaining why nobody in the MCU has noticed the Eternals until now.

That Avengers joke at the end

As the trailer closes out, at the 1:50 mark, the Eternals sit around a table enjoying a meal. Sprite asks who will lead the Avengers now that Captain America (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) are long gone. After a brief silence, Madden's Ikaris suggests that perhaps he could lead the Avengers, which makes his fellow Eternals laugh hysterically.

In the original "Eternals" comics, Ikaris does serve as the Prime Eternal — the leader of the Earth Eternals — and though he fights alongside the Avengers sometimes, he doesn't serve as the group's leader like Tony or Cap do. However, a different character involved with the Eternals did lead the Avengers: Harington's Dane Whitman.

Knowing this, perhaps Ikaris' comment is meant as a sort of meta joke to remind viewers of Madden and Harington's time on "Game of Thrones," in which Madden's Robb Stark spends some time as the King in the North before he's killed during the infamous Red Wedding. Harington's character, the alleged Stark bastard Jon Snow, later earns his late brother's title of King in the North as well — but Robb doesn't ever learn that Jon is actually the heir to the Iron Throne, the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, and could have held a much higher position than King in the North.

Whether or not Ikaris or Dane will eventually team up with or even lead the Avengers in any future MCU films is anyone's guess at this point. If nothing else, this comment seems to be a fun little Easter egg for "Thrones" fans missing the relationship between Robb and Jon. Either way, Ikaris and Dane will both be able to show off their leadership skills in "Eternals" when the film hits theaters on November 5.