For Marvel fans, 2021 has been a year for the books. Beginning with WandaVision in January and now ending with Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel Studios has released five Disney+ series, four theatrical films, and a whole roster of characters from Black Widow's Yelena Belova to Loki's Mobius to Eternals' Eros played by Harry Styles.
In fact, of all the new faces introduced to the MCU in Marvel's Eternals, Styles' Eros arguably raised the most questions since, in the comics, he's the brother of Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Since Eternals is set to stream on Disney+ on January 12, 2022, fans are sure to revisit Eros and Thanos' familial connection and what Marvel has in store; but according to Eternals director Chloe Zhao, Eros has already influenced the greater MCU.
Chloe Zhao Explains How Eros Influenced Thanos
When asked by Empire about Eros' post-credits reveal and why he looks nothing like Thanos' large, purple persona, Chloe Zhao admitted that "at some point he was going to be one of the Eternals on that ship" and how he's "another Ajak:"
"I can tell you why! Long story short, with that depressing ending, at some point he was going to be one of the Eternals on that ship. And that didn't quite work out. But I had been wanting to bring Eros into the MCU. So I kept mentioning it to Kevin [Feige] at every chance I had in the hallway, because I love the idea of Eros being another Eternal, another Ajak."
In Eternals, Ajak - played by Salma Hayek - was the leader of the group who communicated the Celestial Arishem. However, she was killed by Richard Madden's Ikaris due to her intent to stop the emergence of Tiamut, a new Celestial.
In the comics, Eros - who's also known as Starfox - isn't as noble but rather a womanizer with the ability to make people fall in love with him.
Zhao went on to explain Eros' background stating that he "was stationed on Titan," just like how the Eternals' characters were stationed on Earth, and that Titan was "a host planet at some point" similar to how Earth was a host for Tiamut:
"He's an Eternal, and he was stationed on Titan – 10 of them were, just like the 10 Eternals on Earth, assuming Titan is also a host planet at some point. Now, if you think about that, what influence could Eros have had on the inhabitants of Titan, the way Ajak has influenced people on Earth? And how that has affected Thanos? If you go to the comics, there's some quite beautiful, heartbreaking influence Eros has had on Thanos."
Marvel fans have already seen Thanos' and Eros' semi-destroyed homeworld of Titan in Avengers: Infinity War. It's where Tony Stark, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man fought the Mad Titan, and it's also where Tony watched them turn into dust following The Snap.
Following Eternals' theatrical debut, fans began speculating about whether Thanos was aware of the Celestials' purpose considering Titan's state and just what Eros knew.
Apparently, Zhao has asked herself similar questions and confessed that the possibilities "gets my imagination going:"
"And how much does Thanos know? I love him as a character. It makes my imagination go crazy thinking, 'Why does Thanos think this way? Why is he worried about overpopulation and destroying his planet?' Think about the emergence – does Eros know about it? Maybe if he's an advisor, the way Ajak advised kings and queens on Earth? It gets my imagination going."
Thanos Was Right?
Clearly, the MCU isn't quite done with the Mad Titan.
Thanos was a formidable adversary before he obtained the Infinity Stones; after he acquired them, he was practically unstoppable. But in reality, what made him all the more dangerous - and one of the best MCU villains to date - was the fact he believed he was right in pursuing his mission to eliminate half of all life.
However, if Thanos was driven to snap away half of existence to prevent another emergence and save lives, that changes things. After all, he did tell Tony Stark that he wasn't the only one "cursed with knowledge."
While fans don't know when or where Harry Styles' Eros (aka Starfox) will appear next, these new lingering questions about Thanos, and Eros' influence on his brother, are sure to be addressed down the line.
It's also likely that Titan will be revisited in the future as well. In fact, the planet may be what connects Eternals to the greater MCU and its Phase 4 dive into the Multiverse since it was featured in the background of Miss Minutes' TVA video in Loki.
In the meantime, much like Chloe Zhao, Eros' role in the MCU and how he connects to Thanos is more than enough to keep fans' imaginations going in the meantime.
Eternals is set to release on Disney+ on January 12, 2022.