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How Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ got their mythic names

It is easy to make a comparability between trendy comedian guide superheroes and the legendary heroes of eons previous. Superheroes and legends alike signify the perfect of humanity. Their tales are supposed to current the traits and values that the perfect of us ought to exemplify. Chloé Zhao’s Eternals draws that comparison even nearer by adapting a troupe of Marvel characters who’re each heroes and legends.

Every Everlasting is a reference to some a part of mythology or folklore, with the in-universe assumption being that they really had been or — a minimum of impressed — the myths we all know by title right now. A few of them are well-known members of the Greek and Roman pantheon. However a number of of Marvel’s Eternals have names which are a lot deeper cuts from humanity’s lengthy historical past of epic tales about super-powered heroes…

Gilgamesh

Also, he bakes.

Additionally, he bakes.
Credit score: Sophie Mutevelian

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded story uncovered from the historical past of human civilization, which form of makes its eponymous protagonist the world’s first superhero. It tells the story of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian warrior-king who had unimaginable power. The gods despatched him a problem within the type of Enkidu, an uncivilized man whom Gilgamesh fought. Then, the pair went on to have additional adventures. In Eternals, Sprite brings up Enkidu when she’s telling the story of Gilgamesh at a Sumerian celebration. So, it is attainable that Eternals’ Gilgamesh had a “actual” Enkidu someplace in Marvel historical past.

Thena

Thena is fourth from the left, in the white suit. Blonde hair. Yep, her.

Thena is fourth from the left, within the white go well with. Blonde hair. Yep, her.
Credit score: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Thena’s title is derived from the Greek goddess of conflict, Athena. Although in Eternals, Thena insists it is the opposite method round. Athena was recognized for her knowledge, her patronage of the town of Athens (which was named for her), and — after all — her ability within the methods of conflict. Lots of the Greek gods had been recognized to have tempers. However Athena was famously wrathful when crossed, which is perhaps an inspiration to Thena’s risky Mahd Wy’ry.

Phastos

You were always worthy of love, Phastos.

You had been all the time worthy of affection, Phastos.
Credit score: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Phastos is a reference to Hephaestus, the Greek god of the forge and innovation. Hephaestus will get the quick finish of the stick in Greek fantasy since he is typically depicted as ugly and unlovable. Eternals’ Phastos subverts the trope by trying nice as hell and being the one Everlasting in a profitable and pleased marriage. Hephaestus taught humanity methods to work with steel and was given credit score behind mortal innovations. So, his MCU energy of designing and manipulating wondrous machines is spot on.

Ikaris

The original "it's a bird, it's a plane!"

The unique “it is a fowl, it is a aircraft!”
Credit score: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The Icarus of Greek fantasy was not a god. He was the son of Daedalus, an ideal inventor who was trapped within the service of King Minos of Crete. Daedalus needed to flee with Icarus. So, he used his technological genius to craft two pairs of working wings from feathers and wax. Daedalus warned Icarus to not fly too near the solar, lest the wax that held the wings collectively soften within the warmth. Naturally, the very first thing Icarus did when he got his wings was fly straight on the solar and fall to his dying when the wax melted. Good dad, dumb child.

Druig

Drook would have been a much worse name.

Drook would have been a a lot worse title.
Credit score: Sophie Mutevelian

Druig has no clear counterpart for a selected mythic entity. Nonetheless, the Folklore Society of Great Britain lists “druig” as a cognate phrase for dragon, together with drac, dreag, drook, and some different foolish names. That itemizing refers to a druig as “related to fireplace and water, with wealth…with the dying of highly effective males and never with the dying of girls.” So…a misandrist dragon. This origin makes extra sense within the comics, the place Druig is named the “Lord of Flames and Nightmares,” regardless that he doesn’t particularly have fireplace powers.

Makkari

*whispers* zoom zoom

*whispers* zoom zoom
Credit score: Sophie Mutevelian

Makkari’s title comes from Mercury, the Roman god of messengers and vacationers. (If they’d taken her title from the Greek model of the identical god, it could be some type of “Hermes”). Mercury was famously fleet-footed and concerned with the acquisition of riches, which makes Makkari’s speedster powers and packrat-like assortment of treasure proper on the cash for her namesake. Proper on the cash. Get it?

Sersi

Now with 100% fewer sun god eye lasers.

Now with 100% fewer solar god eye lasers.
Credit score: Sophie Mutevelian

Circe was a minor Greek goddess and witch who, like Eternals’ Sersi, may rework issues into different issues. Daughter of the solar god Helios, she crossed paths with many well-known figures from Greek fantasy, together with Jason, Medea, Odysseus, King Minos, and Scylla. In The Odyssey, she demonstrates her transformative powers by turning Odysseus’ males into pigs. That’s till the god Hermes tells him methods to drive her to remodel them again.

Ajak

Achilles who?

Achilles who?
Credit score: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The Ajax of Greek fantasy was not a god, however a prince who was the second biggest fighter within the Trojan Battle. (Achilles, after all, was the best). He was stated to be taller and bigger than different males, and although many fighters in The Iliad get a shoutout for killing a number of folks, Ajax is just described as a defensive warrior. That is perhaps the basis of Ajak’s therapeutic energy, which helps her immortal household whereas they go on the offensive towards the Deviants.

Kingo

Sorry, what was your name again?

Sorry, what was your title once more?
Credit score: Sophie Mutevelian

Like Druig, Kingo’s mythic origins are one other thriller. There was a minor Babylonian god known as Kingu, however he did not have any explicit powers and died fairly fast. Perhaps there is a meta-joke in there as to why Kingo is so insecure in comparison with his epic compatriots.

Sprite

The name's Bell. Tinker Bell.

The title’s Bell. Tinker Bell.
Credit score: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Sprite is just not a selected goddess in any folklore. The title is a reference to fairies, pixies, or another people creature recognized for being small and mischievous. Sprite’s powers of phantasm are according to the tough powers some fairies have in tales, which they use to misguide and idiot people into traps for their personal amusement. So yeah, it is just about Sprite.

Eros

Eros seems as a welcome shock in Eternals’ post-credit scene. Within the MCU he’s Thanos’ method hotter and fewer purple brother. In fantasy, Eros was the Greek god of affection. His mom was Aphrodite, the goddess of magnificence, and Eros was well-known for making folks’s lives troublesome. He’d shoot them together with his arrows of infatuation, thus making them fall for precisely the unsuitable individual…or bull.

Eternals is now in theaters.

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