‘Eternals’ Ending Explained: Judgment Day Approaches

Float on

Marvel Studios

“Eternals” have indeed assembled. Marvel Studios’ latest superhero team the Eternals — immortal creatures from a far-away planet (played with varying degrees of glamour and sophistication by very big movie stars like Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, and Kumail Nanjiani) — have arrived on Disney+. And if you have a question about where they ended up – and why – we’re here to clear things up for you.

Major spoilers for “Eternals” follow.

Story So Far

“Eternals” concerns the story of a group of super-powered, ageless beings who have been sent to Earth to protect humanity from a group of gooey monsters known as Deviants. The story begins 7,000 years ago, with the Eternals saving primitive man from the threat. As the movie progresses, we get flashbacks to them not only saving people but also inspiring and teaching them – to learn, to think for themselves, to dream and desire and create. Throughout history, Eternals and man have been linked, and as the years go on, the two become closer to one another. For the Eternals, what were initially mere orders to protect have instead become genuine concern. They care for mankind.

So, when the Deviants return in modern times, the Eternals spring into action. Long since scattered to the four winds, they look to regroup and suppress this evil. Along the way they realize that the Deviants aren’t as much of a threat as the otherworldly god, named Arishem, who sent them to earth in the first place. (If the Eternals are Charlie’s Angels, then Arishem is Charlie.) It turns out that Arishem has sent them to protect mankind because it benefits him and his race of Celestials – and that a new Celestial will be born soon on Earth. The only downside is that the entire planet will be destroyed when the new god emerges. Some of the Eternals just want to follow Arishem’s orders, while others take a stand and fight against them, stopping the new Celestial from being born and saving all of humanity. Of course, interfering in a cosmic plan does have consequences.

Dad Is Angry

At the end of the movie, Druig (Barry Keoghan), Makkari (Lauren Ridloff), and Thena (Angelina Jolie) board their ship the Domo to search the galaxy for more Eternals. The rest of the surviving Eternals remain on earth, reentering society and attempting to return to the lives they left behind when the global threat was uncovered. But, as they are, say, walking with a loved one in a posh English park, three of them – Seri (Gemma Chan), Kingo (Kumail Nanjiani), and Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) – are zapped into space. They are floating, in the middle of a vast sea of stars, in front of Arishem.

Arishem tells them that he is pretty upset that they foiled his plan and allowed for the people of Earth to survive, at the cost of a new Celestial’s life. He says that he will scan their memories (memories are a whole thing in “Eternals”) and if he finds that they are worthy of living, then they will continue to live. But he says that he will return to cast his final judgment and, really, that is pretty scary. This sequence has the kind of cosmic majesty that the movie had teased previously but with a new level of intensity and ominousness. Yes, space is awe-inspiring, But it is also terrifying. And this sequence makes sure that “Eternals” (until its two credits sequences) ends on a unsettling, singularly powerful note.

Where Are They Now?

Here’s the really interesting part of this whole final moment – when we cut back to certain characters during the trademark Marvel Studios end-credits sequences, we don’t see any of the characters appearing before the very mad Celestial. Instead, we see the crew of the Domo and, later, Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman, who is Sersi’s human boyfriend. Where the rest of the Eternals are remains a huge question – are they still in space, waiting for judgement? Did they break free and are elsewhere? Did Arishem move them to some place where they can finally face his wrath?

It’s one thing for the movie to end on a cliffhanger and another entirely for it to literally be dangling in zero G. But this is how things are left. And this is how they will be until we meet back up with the “Eternals” in a sequel or some other team-up film. In other words: their fate remains a mystery.