Marvel's Eternals Writer Clarifies Richard Madden's Confusing Ending

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Eternals ending Ikaris

While many might still have their thoughts on Spider-Man: No Way Home, let's not forget the cosmic epic that Marvel Studios graced the world with only a few weeks ago: Eternals.

Sure, it wasn't quite a hit—critics were split, but at least audiences seemed to enjoy it. The project introduced the Eternals to the MCU, a race of immortal beings who were sent to Earth to watch over humankind as they developed.

The movie saw big-name actors such as Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, and Kumail Nianijani join the ranks of the Marvel world. Another big name that played a key role in the proceedings was Richard Madden's Ikaris.

As one of the more prominent characters in the film, audiences were likely surprised by his actions at the end of the story: he quite literally flew into the sun, living up to his namesake.

But did he really die?

Did Ikaris Die at the End of Eternals?

Ikaris Eternals

In an interview with Comic Book ResourcesEternals screenwriter Kaz Firpo confirmed the fate of Richard Madden's Ikaris.

Firpo reveals that he did in fact kill himself by flying into the sun. The writer explains that "he can't bear to face his family after what he's done" after Eternals' final battle scene:

"What is the melting point of an Eternal? How long does it take to literally melt an Eternal robot?... For what it's worth... yeah, it was always that. He can't bear to face his family after what he's done, which he realizes."

He goes on to say that he feels that "Ikarus [doesn't] even [think] he's wrong," and how the action is a product of an immense amount of guilt:

"I don't think that Ikarus even thinks that he's wrong. I think that he just has so much regret. He's very sorry. I think he's sorry for the way he lived his whole life on this planet, and that's a lot of burden to carry," he explained. "So really, that act is basically saying, 'I made a mistake, but I can't face my family, and I can't go on living.'"

Firpo reveals that at one point in the filmmaking process, "it began as exile," but then they realized that it "needed to be definitive:"

"It began as an exile that I think, throughout the course of the filmmaking, really became something that needed to be definitive," he added. "It really is a moment of saying, 'It's sacrifice.' It's sort of saying, 'I can't serve the Eternals. If I can't serve the Celestials, and I can't be with my family, then I choose this third option,' which -- for him -- really is oblivion. So yeah, he dead."

So, Ikaris is Really Gone?

So there it is - Ikaris is really dead. But is there more to that?

After all, as the film makes sure to tell the audience, these people are synthetic beings. This means that they could theoretically come back from the dead by simply being re-created by Arishem.

In the comics, Eternals are basically rebooted when they "die". They wake up in a machine, ready to get up and face their next mission. It's likely that this concept is what influenced the writer's direction with the team being directly created by the Celestials in the MCU.

But what about Ikaris' memory? That's where the true question lies. If the world does see Ikaris return, will this basically be an entirely new character, or could this new Ikaris end up retaining the memories his former self once had?

Eternals is playing in theaters worldwide.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.