'Eternals' Kills off a Few Big Characters — Is Ikaris One of Them? (SPOILERS)

Marvel's 'Eternals' is officially in theaters, and fans who've seen it are shocked over a few major characters' deaths. Is Ikaris one of them?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 5 2021, Published 2:11 p.m. ET

Did Richard Madden's character Ikaris die in 'Eternals'?
Source: Marvel Studios

Spoiler alert: This article contains major spoilers for Eternals.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is officially expanding with the release of its latest feature film, Eternals. The story follows a race of immortal superhuman beings, known as the Eternals, who possess godlike powers and have secretly lived on Earth for centuries.

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The story is one of betrayal, with plenty of twists and turns in its plot. While trailers acquainted fans with the general gist of Eternals, the MCU kept extra quiet about character motives and the main storyline, including the Emergence. What the heck is that?

The Celestials in Marvel's 'Eternals'
Source: Marvel Studios
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What is the Emergence?

While most of us speculated that the Emergence would be the return of the Deviants due to Thanos' destruction, it turns out it's an ancient tradition that involves the Eternals and their arrival on Earth.

Each planet has a Celestial growing in its core, and the Emergence occurs when a planet's population is large enough for the Celestial to emerge. Unfortunately, the Celestial destroys the planet in the process, meaning the Eternals must exterminate humanity.

We explain the Emergence because it ties into the biggest twist of the film: The betrayal of Ikaris. The other Eternals were against the Emergence, but Ikaris knew about it for thousands of years and wanted it to happen. He's loyal to Arishem the Judge... what can we say.

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Richard Madden as Ikaris in 'Eternals'
Source: Marvel Studios

Ikaris does all he can to make sure the Emergence happens, going as far as leading Ajak and Gilgamesh to their deaths and nearly killing the others to allow Tiamut to emerge from Earth's core.

With their strongest ally against them, do the Eternals kill Ikaris and stop the Emergence?

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Did Ikaris die in 'Eternals'?

Ikaris does die in Eternals, but not in the way you'd expect. Rather than his team turning against him, Ikaris turns on himself.

Driven mad by his guilt, Ikaris apologizes to Sersi for what he's done. Like Sprite's myth about Ikaris flying too close to the sun, he does just that. Ikaris, unable to face his family, flies directly into the sun.

Ikaris fighting off a deviant in 'Eternals;
Source: Marvel Studios
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Ikaris's death directly comes from the comics, with a few tweaks here and there (like him being a villain). When the Eternals learn of their dark purpose on Earth, they are all enraged. Ikaris goes off the grid and dies by suicide.

However, he's later reborn, so can we expect the same to occur with Richard Madden's live-action portrayal? Is Ikaris going to come back?

It's possible we could see more of Ikaris in future MCU projects.

Even though the film does establish that Eternals can die, it doesn't mean they're gone forever (sorry, we really love Richard Madden and want more of him in the MCU).

As we said, the comics found ways to bring them back, so we can only hope that the MCU will follow in those footsteps and provide Eternals superfans (like us) with more content of our favorite superhero family.

Eternals is now in theaters.

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