Dane Whitman has been a regular in Marvel for decades. The history behind his Superhero moniker is a complex one that has led to him becoming one of the best-loved characters in the Marvel Universe. Kit Harrington’s version of the character was partially introduced in Eternals. Though we didn’t see him wielding the armour of his ancestors as the Black Knight, we did get a hint at the cursed sword, the Ebony Blade. The post-credits scene garnered some questions, and many are curious to know who the character actually is and why his sword is so important.
Dane Whitman started as a regular human. As an academic and a scholar, Whitman earned his master’s degree in physics and familiarised himself with genetic and mechanical engineering. After the passing of his uncle, Nathan Garrett, he was gifted a castle and soon learned that his uncle had been the former unsavoury Black Knight.
Deciding to use the sword of good, Dane used his academic knowledge and skills with weaponry to prove himself an indispensable member of the Avengers. He has wielded many weapons besides the Ebondy Blade, including the Power Lance, which was enhanced several times and could fire many different projectiles, the Photon Sword, the Sword of Light, the Shield of Night and an array of powerful horses.
He is one of the most skilled fighters in the Marvel universe, having held his own against some of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. In addition, he often customises his weaponry to give himself a better chance in fights, making him a formidable opponent.
The ancient weapon was originally forged from the Starstone meteorite by Merlin and Whitman’s ancestor, Sir Percy, as the dark counterpart to Excalibur. It could cut through any object, deflect any magic and make its wielder unkillable.
Unfortunately, the powerful weapon also carries a terrible curse, which Merlin lied about. The Black Knight would slowly corrupt the wielder, causing an intense aggression. The weapon could only be wielded by the impure of heart and drew on their negative emotions until they eventually became berserkers.
All who have wielded the sword have become evil, no matter how noble they started. One wielder was so corrupted by his own darkness that he became the Bloodwraith. Dane’s bond with the sword also turned him into stone once, but that portion of the curse was eventually broken, and he was brought back.
Harrington didn’t have a significant role in Eternals, having only featured for a few minutes to act as Sersei’s link to the human world and add a bit of drama to the mostly flat film. However, the post-credit scene showed fans that we’d be seeing much more of the character, and the next time we see him, it’ll probably be with his iconic sword.
Fans suspect that he’ll make his next appearance beside Mahershala Ali’s Eric Brooks in Blade.