Endgame may have served as an end to a seemingly never-ending saga, but Marvel Studios are just as active as before, if not more. This year´s San Diego Comic-Con saw Kevin Feige return to the stage to announce the future of the MCU. One of the projects revealed for Phase 4 was The Eternals, complete with a confirmed release date and the introduction of the entire main cast. The most noteworthy addition to the Marvel family was that of Angelina Jolie, who will be portraying Thena on the big screen in 2021.
That begs the question: who exactly is Thena? And what is so important about this character that managed to convince Ms. Jolie to finally become a non-tomb raiding superhero? Before we all sit down in the movie theater to meet this new group of characters, here are 10 things about Angelina Jolie's Thena that every fan should know.
10 Her Name Was Originally Azura
The Eternals will introduce a character known as Thena. However, the name Thena was only introduced later in her life. When Zuras and Cybele had a child, they named it Azura. Although she was named after her father, it was Zuras himself who made the decision to change it by royal decree to one rooted in ancient mythology, something that is ever-present in the Marvel universe.
She became Thena after Zeus' daughter Athena. The purpose of this sudden name replacement was to seal a peace treaty between the Eternals and the Olympians. As a consequence of this, people began to confuse the Eternal with Athena. It was even revealed that the city of Athens was actually built, not for the Greek goddess, but for Thena herself.
9 Who Are The Eternals
Thena is an Eternal. But who are the Eternals? Homo immortalis (as they are scientifically named) is a race of extremely powerful individuals, genetically engineered by the god-like Celestials over one million years ago. They started out by conducting a series of tests on primitive human beings. The first attempt was far from perfect, and a new race of genetically mutated subjects was born. These were dubbed "Deviants".
The Mad Titan himself, Thanos, is officially an Eternal. However, he was born with this same genetic mutation and so has lived a Deviant. The Celestials' second attempt at creating a new species was extremely successful, thus creating the near-immortal Eternals, who were then free to roam among the humans of Earth.
8 She Had Her Mind Wiped
Sprite is an Eternal who, for some reason, retained the physical appearance of a toddler over the course of several millenniums. He also happens to be a master of illusion and is known for being a trickster, similarly to the more well-known Loki. One crucial comic book storyline revolved around Sprite and his mischevious ways.
Sick of everyone treating him as a child based solely on his appearance, he concocted a plan which saw him warp reality, wiping the memories of several fellow Eternals. Thena was one of the victims of this mind-wipe. She woke up married to a regular human being, with a normal human son, and working as a researcher at Stark Industries. She later regains her powers and her memory, but still refuses to leave her son behind.
7 Love And Children
Thena has a long history with one Kro, a Deviant she encountered about 2500 years ago. They stumbled upon one another in the jungles of Babylon, where he was supposed to slay her, seeing as both Eternals and Deviants are and always have been mortal enemies. He had every opportunity to do as such, but he ended up sparing her life. From that point on, they become very close.
As time went by, they became more and more inseparable, until they finally decided to take a step further into their relationship, straight into parenthood. Thena placed her two twin children in the womb of a human woman, Mrs. Ritter, who was unable to have children herself. Thus, Deborah and Donald Ritter were born as human/Eternal/Deviant hybrids.
6 Powers And Abilities
The name Eternal sounds rather grandiose. There is a reason for that, as the ancient race is as powerful as they sound. Thena is an Eternal, therefore she possesses their incredible powers. This includes superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, and reflexes. She is also practically immortal, with a body immune to any kind of aging or disease. Besides all this, Thena also has many powerful abilities that make her look like some kind of Doctor Strange/Superman/Professor X hybrid. For example, she can fly at high speeds, read minds, and teleport.
Her more offensive skills include cosmic energy manipulation (producing heat and light from seemingly nothing but her hands), concussive blasts (again, from her outstretched hands), and telekinesis. In addition to all this, Thena possesses an advanced regenerative healing factor. In other words, her molecules are constantly acting towards healing essentially every injury she has had, or ever will have.
5 Thena And Kro
As has been said throughout this article, Eternals and Deviants don't get along. Unfortunately, this led to an unsatisfying end to Thena and Kro's relationship. They ended up parting ways, even though they still both felt love for one another. They met again decades later in present time. Sometime towards the end of the 20th Century, Kro led an attack against New York City to force the humans to attack the Celestials, whom Kro had failed to defeat by himself.
He succeeded in capturing a few of the Eternals guarding the city, including Ikaris and Sersi, but was then confronted by his own former lover, Thena. This was enough to force him to call a truce. No matter the circumstance, their love never withered. On other occasions, it was Thena who was overcome with the need to save Kro from both imprisonment and death, even though it went against Eternal law.
4 She Has Been Queen
After the death of Zuras, the Eternal ruler and father of Thena, the Deviants led an assault on Olympia, home of the Eternals. Thankfully the alien race received help from James Rhodes, who was acting as Iron Man at the time, and freed the heroes while assisting in the capture of many Deviants who will in Olympia. Shortly after, most of the Eternals left Earth.
Thena was one of the few who remained behind and, as daughter of the deceased king, was made Prime Eternal, the new ruler of her people. Her rule didn't last very long though, as she offered the title to Ikaris after she defied him and prevented him from killing one of their greatest foes, the Deviant Kro (as was previously mentioned).
3 Super Family Tree
Thena's bloodline automatically makes her a big deal among her people. Firstly, she is the only child of Zuras, ruler of the Eternals. Zuras has a brother A'Lars, making him her uncle. A'Lars is a vastly intelligent, powerful wise mentor to all. However, what really makes him special is his descendant. Eagle-eyed Infinity War viewers will remember that when Gamora and Thanos visit Vormir, Red Skull introduces the Mad Titan as "son of A'Lars".
This makes Thena and Thanos first cousins. To top off this extremely interesting family tree, Thena's grandfather is Kronos, the first ruler of the Eternals and the strongest one to ever exist. So strong in fact, that after being victim of a cosmic explosion, his body was destroyed, but his mind became one with the universe and with time. seeing as he is described as being "one with the universe and with time".
2 Eternal Tragedy
In Marvel's comic universe, the Eternals are currently in a very bad spot. There came a day when, without warning, Earth was confronted by the sudden arrival of the Dark Celestials. This is a group of Celestials who had been infected by a deadly species know as the Horde. It wasn't their arrival that threatened the Eternals though, but rather a new piece of information they obtained regarding their true purpose.
The Dark Celestials revealed that they had come to Earth to harvest mankind, who held the only cure for the Horde infection. The Eternals, who had always seen themselves as protectors of Earth, were shocked to learn that they had been created, not to protect humans, but to cultivate them for the Celestials to harvest Earth in the future. This left them utterly and completely broken and the Eternals proceeded to either kill themselves or each other in a mad frenzy. Thena, unfortunately, was one of the victims.
1 The Marvel-ous Miss Jolie
There is no doubt that Angelina Jolie is one of Marvel Studios' biggest signings ever. That's not to say that the current MCU roster is inferior. But most actors were either, (like Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans), shaped by the MCU, or are simply not as well known as Jolie. Benedict Cumberbatch, Brie Larson, and even Mahershela Ali may all be incredible Oscar-worthy actors but these names are still unknown for those disconnected from cinema.
On the other hand, it's hard to find someone who hasn't heard the name "Angelina Jolie". Her performance as Thena will be her first non-tomb-raiding superhero role, and the first time she joins a big live-action movie franchise. Marvel Studios have rarely failed in achieving the perfect actor-character combination, so all that's left to do is wait until Angelina Jolie and the rest of the amazing cast of The Eternals make their way into movie theatres everywhere.