Now that we have the first proper look at Eternals, we find ourselves swimming in a pool of questions. Well, let’s address the elephant in the room – where were they all this while? The trailer tells us about the first time the Eternals came to Earth, and how they nurtured mankind. But I am here to discuss one simple thing and that is why Eternals did not help the Avengers all these years of facing multiple threats?
Why Eternals Did Not Help The Avengers Against Thanos
Before dwelling on the answer, let’s see where all the Eternals remained absent. Well, first of all, both the World Wars. Now considering the MCU, Eternals were not present anywhere, until now. They were dormant against threats such as Ultron, Kaecilius, Red Skull, Loki, Malekith, Chituari Army, and many more. The Eternals were absent during round 1 in Avengers: Infinity War, and seemingly chose not to chase down Thanos during the intervening years. But then again, they went missing during the Avengers: Endgame rematch. Moreover, their existence comes more into scrutiny because according to the comics, Thanos is an Eternal himself!
The Eternals first got together to fight the Deviants in 575 B.C.In the Marvel comics, the Eternals are actually forbidden from interfering by the Celestials, their creators. It’s entirely possible that the same is true in the MCU. So no matter how much they wanted to interfere and save the day, they could not. Moreover, in the comics, Sprite is responsible for wiping out the Eternals. While being an illusionist, the same angel can be easily incorporated within the MCU as well. In addition to this, Salma Hayek Ajak’s voiceover explains why Eternals did not help the Avengers.
Ajak’s Voiceover Explains Their Absence & New Threat
Ajak, in her voiceover, explains that the Eternals have “watched and guided” humanity for more than 7000 years. Let’s bring the comic origins into the light. The comics tell us about the power of various Eternals and how they possibly could have affected today. Phastos could have blessed people with technological advancements. Ajak has healing capabilities hence dealing with recoveries and many more. She also states “we have never interfered… until now.” This line confirms the Eternals’ policy of non-interference. But now, the threat is too big for anyone on Earth to contain, except themselves.
Ajak’s voiceover reveals a certain pride in humanity’s accomplishments. It could be that the Eternals clearly want humans to thrive on their own, while they guide them along the right path. This explains why the Eternals allowed tragedies such as World War II to take place, despite being powerful enough to stop them. Hence, it possibly clear they cannot interfere in events until too necessary. Plus, the Eternals are scattered and reaching the entire world. Moreover, the Eternals trailer doesn’t confirm what Ajak’s “…until now” refers to but surely connects to the Thanos incident one way or another. The trailer hints at the team dismantling while the sun settles. The Eternals are spread across the Earth.
What The Eternals Could Have Differently
While the Eternals guided and helped humanity progress, they still should have been more active. One factor that will always tarnish their legacy in the MCU is their absence against their own kind – Thanos (according to the comics). Eternals would really have to focus on this element if they want the Eternals to have a standing in the MCU. Speaking factually, they’re the strongest there in Marvel. Ajak’s explanation alone can’t justify the Eternals’ non-action against Thanos. There’s a big difference between letting Earth makes its own mistakes, and watching half the universe be wiped out when just one Eternal could’ve saved the day.
Thoughtfully, I believe the MCU is ready to step up their game after Thanos. They need a threat that can surpass his scarring. It’s clear that Eternals is set after Avengers: Endgame because Sprite namedrops Iron Man and Captain America. Moreover, they are well aware of who the Avengers are, and the conversation hinted that there might be some sort of coalition between the two. However, the trailer does not reveal the plot. So at the moment, we can allow ourselves to run our imagination wild.
Check out the official trailer for Eternals below:
The Eternals trailer features Salma Hayek as Ajak, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Gemma Chan as Sersi, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Barry Keoghan as Druig, and Kit Harrington as Dane Whitman.