Marvel's Eternals: Who Is the Black Knight?

At D23 Expo 2019, Marvel Studios confirmed that Game of Thrones star Kit Harington will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Harington will play Dane Whitman, aka the Black Knight in the upcoming Eternals movie. Black Knight isn't the most popular Marvel character but is a former member of the Avengers and the Defenders. Here's what you should know about him.

Writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema created Dane Whitman. The character first appeared in The Avengers #47 in 1967 and is the third Marvel character to go by the name Black Knight. Whitman is a descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight from medieval times (in the Marvel Universe). Whitman's uncle, Nathan Garrett, was a supervillain and a member of the Masters of Evil.

Dane inherited the mystically-cursed Ebony Blade from his uncle. The wizard Merlin forged the Ebony Blade from a substance called Starstone that he discovered at the site of a meteor crash on Earth. He then enchanted the blade, turning it into a powerful arcane artifact. The Ebony Blade is indestructible (as far as anyone can tell), can cut through barriers both physical and mystical, and can absorb or deflect energy. It also forms a bond with its owner. The Ebony Blade cannot harm its master and its master can teleport to its location. It's power allowed Dane to travel through time to inhabit the bodies of previous owners.

The bloodshed Sir Percival inflicted with the Ebony Blade cursed the weapon. The curse affects different owners in different ways, reflecting its use. If it spills too much blood, it will begin craving blood and compel its owner to violence. The Ebony Blade also seems to have some will of its own, at times compelling its owner to take certain actions or travel to certain places.

Upon receiving the Ebony Blade, Dane sought to use it to restore honor to his family by making up for the acts of his uncle. He sought the Avengers who at first mistook him for Nathan Garrett. After clearing up the confusion, the Avengers used Dane to infiltrate the Masters of Evil. His dangerous work as a mole in the supervillain organization proved his value to the Avengers. They offered him provisional membership in their ranks. He later went on to join the Defenders, Excalibur, and MI:13.

Dane's relationship with the Eternals stems from his relationship with Sersi. Later in his superhero career, Black Knight rejoined the Avengers. Sersi was also a member of the team at the same time and the two began a romantic relationship. A villain called Proctor altered Sersi, destabilizing her powers. Ikaris, another Eternal, tried to stabilize Sersi by bonding her to Dane using a process called gann josin. The bonding bred resentment in Dane, which grew as his romantic interests drifted elsewhere.

Proctor returns and reveals he is the Dane Whitman from another reality. After his Sersi rejected him, he began traveling the multiverse to kill all versions of the Eternal. Sersi slays Proctor with his version of the Ebony Blade but damages her mind in the process. She's forced to leave the main Marvel Universe to find a way to restore her sanity. Dane, feeling responsible for what happened, accompanied her. Dane and Sersi traveled the multiverse and through time and later returned home, going their separate ways.

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