Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder makes a big impact on the MCU in a lot of ways. On top of seeing Jane Foster transform into the Mighty Thor, it introduces a host of new gods into the franchise, as led by Russell Crowe’s Zeus, thanks to a visit to Omnipotence City. However, none of these deities can lay a finger on the much more powerful being the film also debuts in a surprise twist.
Spoilers to follow!
The being in question is the cosmic entity known as Eternity. As the movie unfolds, Thor and his friends discover that Gorr the God Butcher has a bigger plan than simply going around offing gods where he finds them. He wants to use the Bifrost to open a bridge to the center of the universe where dwells Eternity, who will grant a reality-altering wish to whoever finds him.
While the whole wish thing is an original concept for the screen, Eternity is a major character in the comics lore. In fact, they stand as one of the most powerful entities in the Marvel universe. But are they the number one most powerful character we’ve met in the MCU to date? Let’s take a look…
Who is Eternity?
You can read our full primer on Eternity here, but let’s recap the basics about them. Eternity is, as their name suggests, the personification of time. The twin sibling of Infinity and a sibling to Oblivion and Death, Eternity is one of the ultimate beings of the universe and is essentially omnipotent, being able to manipulate time, space, matter, energy, magic or reality however they see fit.
In the comics, he tends only to manifest when reality is on the brink of collapse or is facing some other kind of catastrophic event. However, that limitation doesn’t seem to apply to the MCU version who is always around, just simply hidden out of sight at the center of the universe. What’s more, their wish-granting habits arguably make them like a living embodiment of the powers of the Infinity Stones.
Speaking of the Infinity Stones, cave paintings on the planet Morag — as glimpsed in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Endgame — establish that Eternity, Infinity, Oblivion, and Death are the original creators of the gems, which just goes to show how powerful they are. They make even the Celestials look like Ant-Man (sorry, Scott, that was mean).
Is Eternity the MCU’s most powerful character?
But, and here’s the kicker, is Eternity really the most powerful character introduced into the MCU so far? Well, you could certainly argue that they’re the most powerful being who’s had a substantial role in a Marvel movie or TV show. However, if we’re including brief cameos that establish a character exists in this franchise, then unfortunately Eternity loses out on the top spot.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, when Strange and America Chavez are hopping through realities, we briefly glimpse the gigantic three-faced head of the Living Tribunal. Though we’ve yet to see what they can really do in the MCU, their comic book history tells us that they’re the most powerful being alive in this reality — or any other in the Marvel multiverse, to be exact.
While Eternity and his siblings are omnipotent in their own reality, they are but one version of many existing across the multiverse, just as anyone else is. The Living Tribunal, however, is a singular entity who directly does the bidding of The One Above All (basically God) and is known to pass judgement on any and all beings who step out of line. He’s even been known to punish Eternity, thereby definitely proving who goes where in the pecking order.
To sum up, although he’s extremely close, Eternity isn’t quite the most powerful being in the MCU. That said, now he’s a part of the franchise, we’d be excited to see more of him. Maybe that’s to come in that Secret Wars movie everyone is so convinced is on the horizon.