When Marvel announced Eternals, mythical superheroes that lived on Earth for millennia, MCU fans immediately started the obvious questions. Where were the Eternals during the events in Infinity War and Endgame? Why didn’t they help the Avengers? And has Thanos killed any of the 10 Eternals with his Snap? Marvel answered some of these questions during the trailers, explaining that the Eternals had a clear mission on Earth that forbade them to intervene in more mundane stuff, like a Mad Titan wiping out half of life in the universe. The movie provided more answers about that mission. The film also told us whether any of the Eternals were blipped away in Infinity War, but it did it in a way that might not have been obvious. Before we explain, you should know that massive spoilers follow below.
Marvel couldn’t spoil the secret before the premiere
Talking to CinemaBlend during the press tour, Eternals director Chloé Zhao had to answer the blip question. Here’s how she answered:
Well, I can’t say this out loud, but if you think about… if you think about what the Celestials told them. If you think about what the Celestials told them about themselves, technically they can’t get blipped.
Those who saw the movie have understood that reference. But anyone reading Eternals coverage would be left to wonder.
We already told you that Eternals changes everything in the MCU going forward. The Celestials are an existential threat, but there might be a way to counter them. On the other hand, the Celestials are responsible for life in the universe, the closest thing we get to a version of God. Without them, there’s no light in the universe and, therefore, no life.
The Celestials need energy from intelligent beings to grow inside a planet. Eternals act as the defenders of that planet, but they’re only tasked with ensuring the intelligent lifeforms can survive and evolve.
The real reason the Eternals didn’t die in Infinity War
When Sersi (Gemma Chan) meets Arishem (David Kaye) for the first time, he reveals to her the Eternals’ job description. Arishem shows her that their origin is the World Forge and that he created them. It’s there that Sersi realizes that “everything dies except us because we were never alive.” And that’s the real reason why none of the Eternals would have died when Thanos snapped the Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity War. Similarly, Eternals on other planets would have survived the blip.
The Celestial explains that she has no recollection of her previous lives before the Earth mission because he wipes and resets their memories after each emergence.
Arishem also tells her that the Deviants were his first creation, but they started feeding on the intelligent life on planets instead of defending it against predators. A design flaw allowed the Deviants to evolve, contrary to the initial design. The Celestial makes a point of telling Sersi that he built and programmed the Eternals to be synthetic beings, incapable of evolution.
In Infinity War, Thanos only kills living beings that consume resources. The Eternals do not count towards that quota. That is somewhat strange, given that the Eternals certainly consume food and water to sustain themselves. But the Infinity Stones do not regard them as living beings.
The Arishem-Sersi exchange is important for another reason. It tells the audience that the Eternals are indeed immortal. Even if they die, Arishem can spawn more copies. He can use some of their older memories as the basis of their new life or create new memories. As a result, all the Eternals who died in the movie can always return to life.