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Who Is Tiamut From Eternals?

The Mad Titan Thanos is small potatoes now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dabbling in cosmic beings. He may have collected six Infinity Stones to kill half of all life in the universe, but that's got nothing on the Celestials who actually created suns, planets, and life itself. These beings are more powerful than any being we've seen in the MCU thus far. Marvel's "Eternals" introduces these massive beings to the audience as the creators of our ten immortal protagonists.

At first, the problem in "Eternals" seems to be an Eternals vs. Deviants grudge match, but something's not quite right. Sersi (Gemma Chan) soon learns that the Celestials sent the Eternals to Earth not just to take out the Deviants but to help prepare the planet for the Emergence — a hatching, of sorts, for a new Celestial. Reckoning with the true purpose of their existence, the Eternals fight each other over whether or not they should let the Emergence happen. The conundrum? It will kill all life on Earth but also give birth to a Celestial who has the power to create new life elsewhere. The Celestials, it turns out, are a bit like parasitoid wasps; they implant their seed within a planet, feed off of it, and then destroy the host.

In the midst of all this action and moral quandary, a lot of strange new names are thrown around, including Tiamut. So, who is this Tiamut that the Eternals are so worried about?

Tiamut holds Earth's fate in his hand

The Marvel character Tiamut is the baby Celestial, embedded deep within the Earth and hoping to emerge. He uses energy from the planet's enormous population of intelligent life — humans — and then begins tearing his way out of the planet near a volcano. However, only his head and hand emerge before Sersi transmutes him into stone, forever freezing him in place like a wanderer unlucky enough to come upon Medusa. And that's that, as far as the MCU goes.

However, in Neil Gaiman's "Eternals Vol. 3," Tiamut is also known as the Dreaming Celestial (via Marvel), one of the most powerful of all Celestials. Long ago, he had a conflict with Arishem and the other Celestials. So, they imprisoned him under a mountain range on Earth. Then, in the comics' modern times, the Deviants decide to wake him up, worrying the Eternals, who are concerned this will destroy Earth. Heck, even Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds (aka a much larger and much more powerful purple guy than Thanos), is afraid when Tiamut begins to awaken.

Unlike the movie, though, Tiamut emerges right next to San Francisco. He communicates with Makkari, and the Eternals learn that something called the Horde is coming to kill everyone on Earth. Much like Arishem in the movie, he decides he will judge whether or not humanity can continue living. As the story continues in "Eternals Vol. 4," he grows to care for humans and wants them to live. So, he's not such a bad guy, after all.