Warning: this story contains spoilers for Marvel's Eternals. In a scene ending Eternals, loyal soldier Ikaris (Richard Madden) flies too close to the sun — and into it. When the humankind-loving Sersi (Gemma Chan) regroups the Eternals, immortal heroes on a mission to teach and encourage mankind's growth and advancement over centuries, it's to prevent the Emergence: the planet-destroying birth of the Celestial Tiamut. But because Ikaris's loyalties lie with the Celestials and Arishem the Judge, the creator of the Eternals, he kills their spiritual leader Ajak (Salma Hayek) and battles ex-lover Sersi and friends. Defeated and guilt-ridden, Ikaris commits suicide when he flies straight into the Sun.
In an interview with CBR, Eternals co-writer Kaz Firpo confirms the all-powerful Ikaris sends himself to his death.
"What is the melting point of an Eternal? How long does it take to literally melt an Eternal robot?" Firpo said. "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."
Though he fails his mission to sacrifice the planet so that Tiamut can be born, Ikaris tells Ajak: "Never have I doubted my purpose to serve the Celestials."
Ever the loyal solider, "I don't think that Ikarus even thinks that he's wrong," Firpo said. "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. 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.'"
On Ikaris's suicide, Firpo explained, "It began as an exile that I think, throughout the course of the filmmaking, really became something that needed to be definitive. 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."
He added: "So yeah, he dead."
Eternals director Chloe Zhao interpreted Ikaris as Marvel's mythological Superman, a larger-than-life superhero whose mission outweighs his love for humanity.0comments
"That's why I was drawn to him. I don't see him as a superhero I've seen before," Game of Thrones alum and Marvel Cinematic Universe newcomer Madden previously told Total Film. "I see him as a man first, and quite a complicated character, before a superhero. You know, superheroes have laser eyes. Superheroes can fly. So, there's lots of parallels. But as a character, I've not seen anyone like him before."
Marvel's Eternals is now playing in theaters and streaming on Disney+ in 2022.