In the second post-credits scene of Eternals, audiences saw Kit Harington's Dane Whitman hesitating to open a box in his office at the Natural History Museum. Upon opening the box, Dane was bombarded by eerie indistinct whispering—the blade within beckoning his touch. But, before Dane could touch it, Blade, played by Mahershala Ali just off-screen, warned him about its potential dangers: "Sure you're ready for that, Mr. Whitman?"
Fans have theorized why Blade would stop Whitman from touching the sword, known as the Ebony Blade in the comics. Whitman used this weapon while acting as the Black Knight, typically on a flying horse. However, the Ebony Blade holds a terrible curse in the comics, which could be why the half-vampiric vigilante might have just saved Whitman from a terrible fate.
History of the Ebony Blade
In the comics, the Ebony Blade is one of the most powerful weapons on Earth. Forged by the wizard Merlin, the blade could cut through virtually anything with ease, but it also came with a terrible curse. Whoever wielded the Ebony Blade would be slowly corrupted by it and cause them to lust after violence and death.
It was believed to be caused by the first Black Knight, Percival of Scandia, and his bloodlust tainting the sword, cursing it, and whoever wielded it after him. Over the years, this has been retconned to where the sword has always been cursed—corrupting all its masters.
Recently, in the tie-in comic "King in Black: Black Knight," it was revealed that the Ebony Blade could "only be wielded to its mightiest potential...by those impure of heart." This even serves as something of a reversal of Thor's hammer, Mijonor, as a weapon that only the unworthy could lift.
So, when Blade asked Dane, "Sure you're ready?" he wasn't condescending him. If Whitman had touched the blade, who knows what would have happened?
Blade Spotting the Danger
Considering the creepy voices that Whitman heard just after opening the box containing the blade, it's safe to assume that it's pretty obviously cursed. However, what does stand out most in the scene is the visual effect applied to the sword itself when Whitman nearly put his hand on it.
Whatever material coats the blade followed Whitman's impending touch, as if ready to latch onto him the second he made contact. It's likely that, just like the comics, the Ebony Blade acts as a symbiotic weapon that feeds on the welder's impurities, amplifying the strength of both itself and the one holding it.
However, in the comics, those without the will and control could get lost in themselves, becoming consumed by its bloodlust and going on a berserker rampage bringing about untold destruction and death. So, it depends then on how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will adapt the Ebony Blade from the comics. Will it simply be a curse that only the pure-hearted can overcome or that it can only be used by those deemed tainted?
The box did have the inscription "Death is my reward" inside, which could mean plenty pertaining to the comics. The last holder of the Ebony Blade might have considered death to be a reward after using the corrupting weapon. Another is that the owner welcomed how the blade granted them the ability to deal untold death upon their enemies.
Whatever the case, the Ebony Blade clearly affects the person holding it, but how would it affect Whitman?
Dane Whitman certainly seemed to be entranced by it as he prepared to pick up the dark artifact before he was interrupted by Blade's friendly warning. Perhaps the vampire hunter will help educate Dane about the true nature of his ancestral weapon and how to control its power.
Fans might see a continuation or result of this exciting meeting when Blade is released in theaters, likely in 2023.