Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
When news broke in August 2019 that Kit Harington would be joining the cast of Eternals, readers of Marvel comics knew exactly who he was playing. There’s one character in the comics named “Dane Whitman,” and he has a pretty big secret identity. Despite this, the official line from Marvel Studios was that Harington was just playing a normal guy, the average London bloke that Sersi (Gemma Chan) is dating when the movie begins. Eternals’ second post-credits scene reveals that, yes, exactly what everybody thought was going to happen with Dane does indeed happen.
It’s not the first time that Harington has had to keep an obvious secret. The fifth season of Game of Thrones ended with his character, Jon Snow, getting stabbed to death. Nobody — not one person — really thought Jon would stay dead, and yet Harington spent a whole year insisting that he was really off the show. (Spoiler alert: Jon Snow came back to life in the second episode of Season 6.) So, what’s Harington’s advice for lying about things that everybody knows are true?
“Just don’t feel bad about it, y’know?” Harington tells SYFY WIRE with a little chuckle during Eternals’ press junket. “Just stick to your lie and don’t feel bad about it. You don’t have to tell anyone anything.”
**Spoiler Alert: The rest of this article will actually spoil Eternals and reveal who Harington is playing, in case you didn’t already know.**
At the end of Eternals, Dane attempts to reveal his little family secret, but he’s interrupted when Arishem appears in the sky and summons Sersi and Earth’s other Eternals away. In the second post-credits scene, we cut back to Dane, now inside his office at the Natural History Museum. He opens up a box to reveal a cool-looking sword that has a menacing aura. As he prepares to touch the blade, it reacts to his presence. But he’s stopped when a voice — Mahershala Ali's Blade (!) — asks if he’s sure he’s ready for that.
Dane Whitman is the Black Knight, just as he is in the comics.
In the comics, Dane Whitman is a descendant of a version of the Black Knight inspired by Arthurian legend. Created by Stan Lee and Joe Maneely in the ‘50s, the first Black Knight was named Sir Percy, and the enchanted sword was forged from a meteorite known as the Ebony Blade. The sword was powerful, but the more blood it shed, the closer it drove its wielder to madness.
Sir Percy fell victim to its curse, but the blade was passed down in the family through the centuries, ending up in the hands of a man named Nathan Garrett, who acted as a supervillain under the Black Knight name. Dane, who first appeared in a 1967 issue of The Avengers, is Nathan’s nephew, and he gets handed the sword when his uncle wants a shot at redemption. Dane’s Black Knight has been a member of the Avengers and had close associations with the Eternals throughout the years, including one storyline where he has Sersi’s consciousness fused with his own in an attempt to save her from the Mahd Wy'ry madness that Angelina Jolie suffers from in the MCU movie.
Harington says he knew there was more to Dane than just being a chill, nice guy from the start.
“I joined this with the idea that there was something beyond just being the human in this movie,” he says, adding that he was initially hesitant to take another role that would swap Longclaw for just another blade.
“I guess the thing that gave me pause was that he had a sword, because I’ve done that a lot,” Harington explains. “But what turned it for me was his relationship with that sword. I think the best superheroes to play are the ones where their superpower is also the thing that’s damaging them. This thing that’s causing them pain. For him, it’s very clear this sword is a curse. I find that very fascinating.”
Clearly, MCU audiences haven’t seen the last of Harington or the Black Knight. Where he’ll next appear is a mystery, though. Will it be in an Eternals sequel, or does he have a future on Earth with the Avengers? There’s a comics precedent for both.
Or maybe he is headed to a Disney+ series? If Harington knows what’s next for his character, he’s doing a good job lying about it.
“I genuinely don’t know what to tell you. As much as I know is as much as you know, which is that Dane is the Black Knight, and where that goes from here, I don’t know,” he says. “The voice we hear at the end over his shoulder is quite an interesting voice to hear, because that might tell us where he goes. But I don’t know. I don’t know if he has a future with the Eternals or if he’s got a future in some other part of the universe. I’m completely in the dark.”
Eternals is now in theaters.