Ikaris’s alleged death in the end of Eternals raised a lot of questions in my mind and I’m sure that they occurred in yours too.
Let’s take it from the top. When the Eternals learnt of their true purpose and the intention of their creators aka the Celestials, many of them chose differently. It is a pretty old story: one half of our heroes want to protect the Earth and love humanity and the others want to destroy it.
Ikaris was on the bad side. He chose the cause of the Celestials even if it meant destroying his relationship with Sersi whom he had loved for the last 5000 years. But unfortunately (and fortunately for us humans), Ikaris failed.
So, our hero was depressed because he lost both sides: Sersi as well as the cause of the Celestials which he swore to serve. And he decided to end his life in the most mythologically accurate way possible.
Ikaris died at the end of Eternals by flying into the sun. Even with all his celestial powers, Ikaris was unable to power through Sun’s immense heat. It’s likely that Richard Madden’s Ikaris won’t be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s present storyline.
Did Ikaris really die at the end of Eternals?
Yes. In all probability, Ikaris is dead as of now. In fact, co-screenwriter Kaz Fipro confirmed that Ikaris was always supposed to die and he is very much dead. Fipro told CBR, “I don’t want to prove you wrong if you were on the side saying that he didn’t die, but yeah, it was always that.”
According to Fipro, Ikaris’s guilt is what pushed him towards his death. “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. So yeah, he dead” he said.
Though Ikaris is the strongest Eternal and a fearsome warrior with superpowers, he probably chose to fly towards the sun because he knew the energy of the sun would overpower his own.
Ikaris decided to commit suicide because he had lost everything according to him. He was devastated because he could neither successfully serve the cause of the Celestials, nor could he reunite with his love Sersi after all that has happened.
So Ikaris probably decided to fly into the sun knowing that this was his only sure shot wild card into death and there’s no escape from this method. Besides, he might be a superhero but the sun is literally the most powerful part of the universe.
Now you can definitely argue that if Superman could survive the power of the sun, why not Ikaris? But I think in the case of Superman, his power is fuelled by the Sun itself but the source of power for Ikaris is cosmic energy.
Why did Ikaris go to the sun?
First of all, there may be a thousand ways to escape death and Marvel has come up with a thousand more with dead heroes coming back with a bang. It is at a point that as an MCU fan, you really can never take a death seriously.
I mean, they’re going to come back anyway. So Ikaris probably was given such a death because coming back alive even after flying into the sun is a bit much. You can come back from Thanos’s snap or from being in another timeline, but it is hard to escape the sun.
Apart from that, the writers were trying to draw a parallel of Ikaris in Eternals with Icarus from Greek mythology. The story is more of a cautionary tale to not be over ambitious and to listen to the learner counsel.
As per Greek mythology, Icarus and his father Daedalus were imprisoned by the King after they built him one of the greatest pieces of architecture of all time. The king wanted them killed so that they can never imitate a similarly great piece of work.
So, to escape, Daedalus made himself and his son wings using wax to stick feathers together. They flew off from the prison, but despite being warned several times by Daedalus to not fly too close to the sun, Icarus flew too high.
The sunlight obviously ended up melting the wax in Icarus’s wings and he fell into the sea and died. Moral of the story: ALWAYS fly at night.
Jokes apart, MCU’s Ikaris has a very much direct parallel with the Greek legend of Icarus. Ikaris too proved to be overambitious. The only difference is that, while Icarus from the legend did not want to die, Ikaris wanted to and intentionally flew close to the sun.
Will Ikaris return in the MCU?
Since Kaz Fipro himself has somewhat confirmed that Ikaris is dead and this was always the plan, I don’t see him returning anytime soon. At least not in an Eternals sequel.
But with various timelines coming in and variants being a thing, we can never say sure what is happening in the MCU universe. There is still a chance of a spin-off show or some sort of variant of Ikaris making a whopping comeback.
There are 10,000 different timelines with 10,000 variants, so there will always be something to satisfy the fans. Though if you ask me, coming back after flying into the sun (like literally) is a bit too much.
MCU needs to learn big time how to let a character die. I mean, just die and not think of 50 different ways to bring them back in one timeline or other. Sometimes, people just die. Get over it, MCU.
Eternals is a 2021 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics of the same name. It is the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Chloé Zhao, who wrote the screenplay with Patrick Burleigh, Ryan Firpo, and Kaz Firpo.
It stars an ensemble cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Harish Patel, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.
In the film, the Eternals, an immortal alien race, emerge from hiding after thousands of years to protect Earth from their ancient counterparts, the Deviants.