Now playing in theatres, Marvel’s “Eternals” is generating a lot of discussion about a variety of subjects, from the movie’s critical reception to its revolutionary disclosures about the past of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what they represent for the future. The main characters of the movie are the titular Olympians, a group of immortal(-ish) humanoid aliens with a variety of superpowers, including superspeed, mind control, and the capacity to project cosmic energy. The Celestials, who created the Eternals, are far more powerful than they are.
The Celestials are ancient cosmic beings with god-like abilities that have been since (almost) the beginning of time. They not only assisted in the creation of other universes but also the broader multiverse in Marvel’s comic books. One of their number is Tiamut the Communicator, also known as the Dreaming Celestial, who is an important character in the “Eternals” tale.
So, for your convenience, here is a brief, spoiler-free introduction to Tiamut before you go see the movie.
What Is Tiamut’s Origin Story?
Tiamut originally appeared in 1977’s “Eternals” #18 and is one of the most potent Celestials, even causing Galactus, the cosmic planet-destroying entity, to fear him (who has yet to appear in the MCU). Tiamut claims that the other Celestials banded together against him when he attacked Arishem the Judge, one of the select few Celestials who have the authority to decide whether a planet’s dominant civilisation should live or perish, for refusing to carry out his command to start harvesting Earth. Tiamut’s physical form was then imprisoned below the planet beneath the Diablo Mountain range in California after they tore his spirit from his body and placed it in a vessel known as The Vial.
The chamber where Tiamut’s body was kept was damaged by the notorious San Francisco earthquake of 1906—the largest earthquake to ever be recorded in the city. This required the Eternals to make repairs and keep Tiamut imprisoned. Before Tiamut was ultimately reawakened with assistance from the Deviants, the evil opposites of the Eternals, there were more close calls over the years that followed. However, the Celestial decided he would decide whether people should live or die for himself rather than quickly killing Earth as he had originally intended.
What To Expect From Tiamut In Eternals
“Eternals” remixes some of Marvel’s complex comic book mythology while remaining true to other aspects, as is customary for an MCU film. In the movie, Arishem is the Celestial who created the Eternals and sent them to Earth in the year 5,000 BC to exterminate the Deviants, parasitic creatures that invade planets and wipe out their apex predators in order to acquire their most advantageous traits and exterminate other forms of self-aware life. The Eternals disagree over whether they should continue to avoid interfering in human affairs as directed or help humanity advance after completing their purpose (or so they think) in the year 1500. As a result, they part ways.
However, everything abruptly changes in the present when the Deviants reappear, causing the Eternals to band together in the face of a much greater threat that (as you have no doubt deduced) involves Tiamut. But you’ll have to read Chlo Zhao’s millennia-spanning, contentious, and more than a little ambitious superhero epic for yourself to find out what happens next.