The Black Knight is about to have his day.
While the new trailer for Marvel’s The Eternals emphasizes the ancient race of powerful beings, it will also showcase one human character in Dane Whitman, played by Game of Thrones star Kit Harington.
This is a fantastic showcase for a long-standing Marvel hero who’s never quite gotten his due.
Who is the Black Knight?
The original Black Knight was Nathan Garrett, a villain in an armored costume and even a flying horse who would clash with Iron Man.
One battle (shown in Avengers vol 1 #47) ended with Garrett mortally wounded in a fall. He sought out his nephew, inventor Dane Whitman, for help. Repenting on his deathbed, Garrett’s dying wish was for Dane to redeem the family legacy.
Dane modified the armor and was able to give his horse, Aragorn, wings to fly. At first, mistaken for his uncle, Dane proved himself with the Defenders. He then gained the legendary Ebony Blade as a weapon.
One adventure had Dane’s body turned to stone by the Enchantress. His spirit was whisked to the 12the century to inhabit the body of an ancestor and fight in the Crusades.
Dane eventually returned to the present where he would join the Avengers. He discovered the Blade was cursed as every time it drew blood, it drove Dane mad. The curse briefly overtook Dane, but he drove it off. He then took to using an energy sword as a weapon.
Dane would soon be in a relationship with Sersi of the Eternals when they were Avengers together. But Sersi would be driven mad herself and her connection to Dane bound him to her.
This was driven by Procter, a powerful enemy who turned out to be an alternate reality version of Dane. After killing Procter, Sersi and Dane headed to another world to both mend their minds.
The Knight’s Crusades
Dane and Sersi’s adventures would bring them to the Ultraverse before Dane returned to the main Marvel Universe, his relationship with Sersi broken.
Dane would clash with Sean Dolan, a “squire” affected by the Ebony Blade to become the murderous Bloodwraith. A turn was the revelation Sersi tried to “help” Dane by turning his heart to stone to keep him from connecting to others.
Dane would bounce around superteams such as Heroes for Hire and MI-13 and become ruler of New Avalon while fighting his sword’s curse.
A recent turn in the “King in Black” storyline had Dane discovering that the Ebony Blade didn’t drive him mad but merely brought out his already existing violent tendencies. He now wrestles with handling this dark blade and his own heroics.
While possessing no superhuman abilities, the Knight is a top-notch fighter trained by the best of the Round Table, and his experience in battle makes him a tactician on par with Captain America.
Dane in the movies
The trailers haven’t showcased much about Dane (not even showing his sword), and his biggest moment is suggesting he could lead the Avengers with the rest of the Eternals laughing.
It’s likely the studio doesn’t want to confuse the audience into thinking human Dane is an Eternal as well. It’s also possible he only gains his sword during his adventures with the group.
The casting of Harington indicates the character will take up the sword as it’s hard to believe Marvel would cast the former Jon Snow and not let him get any blade action.
While his presence may be low now, it’s probable the Knight rises to the occasion and proves his heroism to impress even these Eternal warriors.
The Eternals premieres in theaters November 5.