Can't help thinking about the major differences between the three Eternals couples and how, in a way, they're all both parallels and foils for each other.
Sersi and Ikaris are the main couple of the film but the fact that they don't work together is also plain. I mean everyone points out their lack of chemistry but I can't help but feel like that was the point.
They're a classic case of "love isn't enough". They love each other. Practically flaunt their relationship in everyone's faces when they're together because they're that wrapped up in each other and don't care about anyone else. But it's not enough. At their core, Sersi and Ikaris are very different people and motivated by very different things. Eventually those things get in the way and they have to let each other go. They simply don't share enough common ground in terms of ideals to make things work which is why ultimately they break up. Sersi isn't even all that sad about the separation and we know it's been a while so obviously that's the reason but even so, there's an acceptance in her even when she meets Ikaris again. It's an acceptance that things are over and that they're better off that way too.
Sersi loves the humans. Is practically one of them, that's how much she loves living among them and being with them. They fascinate her and she respects them undlessly. Ikaris couldn't care less. He sees them as lesser or expendable. He can tolerate being around them for Sersi but it's not enough for him to change his views on them. He loves her so he does this thing for her except it's not something as simple as sharing a hobby. To Sersi these humans are important. To Ikaris they are not. There is a fundamental divide between ideals here that love simply cannot bridge. They have love. But they do not have understanding. Sersi is unable to understand Ikaris loyalty to Arishem. Ikaris is unable to understand Sersi's love of the humans. And even without understanding, they do not have respect for each others choices, not because they don't want to, but because their choices are on such opposite sides of the spectrum that reaching a middle ground is impossible.
At the end they reach a point where they respect each other but the love they have has changed. They cannot walk the same path and so they turn away from each other and go to walk their own.
Then we have Druig and Makkari.
In a way they're closest to Sersi and Ikaris. Druig is a lot like Ikaris in how stubborn he is and how strongly he stands his ground. But he's a lot like Sersi too in how much he loves the humans and values them for their humanity. Makkari is also Sersi. She loves the humans too. But she loves what they create more and like Ikaris she cannot understand them in why they destroy what they create. But Makkari not understanding the humans doesn't lessen her compassion for them. And Druig not trusting the humans to their own devices doesn't lessen his respect for them as a whole.
In their case, love is enough. Because they have common values. They can weather a separation that comes from a disagreement on this fundamental ideal because they share enough of their other ideals to make it work. Makkari doesn't believe the humans should be controlled. Druig agrees to an extent. It's why he doesn't take over the whole world as he tells Sersi. But he needs his peace of mind and to do that he does control some of them. Makkari respects that is his decision even if she doesn't agree with it.
Everyone says they're best friends to lovers which is true. They are. They know each other inside out. They know each other's highs and lows and support them through it (the "Stay strong" scene). Their relationship is still new in a way or hasn't even really begun which is why they're still playful and childish with each other. They're youthful in their love because it's what they both are. Playful and mischievous. Both like teasing and tricking and playing around. Their personalities mesh in that way as well. They have their differences, but they accept those about each other. They don't just have love. They have understanding and respect for each others choices as well. That's why they work, unlike Sersi and Ikaris. They're able to reach a middle ground even with their disagreement. They have taken the time to grow in themselves apart form each other and come back together when they are ready to grow together. They respect themselves and each other enough to understand that they needed that time apart and once they have come into themselves enough, they are ready to prioritize their relationship together. If they had not done that they would have crashed and burned.
And finally we have Gilgamesh and Thena.
These two can be juxtaposed really nicely with Sersi and Ikaris because unlike those two who are married in name, Gil and Thena are married in action. The whole "In sickness and in health" vow is reminiscent of their relationship because Gilgamesh spends his entire time on Earth after their mission caring for Thena. He says he would "do it again, on every planet." meaning he does not regret it and even if it is difficult (because caring for an ill person is always difficult) he thinks it is worth it. That their relationship is worth it.
Thena and Gilgamesh are two people who love each other, understand each other inside and out and are on the exact same page. She's a warrior goddess and he's a warrior god. Their specializations/powers are matching. They are in perfect harmony even in battle and afterwards they help dust each other off and walk away from the wreckage.
Gilgamesh holding his hand out for Thena after they finish fighting off the deviant in the beginning of the film is very gentlemanly behavior which kind of parallels with Ikaris' propriety in approaching too, further drawing out both the similarities and differences between them.
Gil and Thena are the actual married couple. They have spent every high and low together. They are not just best friendsike Druig and Makkari but they are more because they have grown together and with each other and accommodated each other's growth. We don't see it but it's woven into that relationship. They are strong alone but together they are unstoppable. Their every move is coordinated because they have known each other so long they are so finely in tune with each other and so even if they aren't married in name, we can see they are married in actions.
The Eternals are split into Thinkers and Fighters and its important to note the dichotomy of these in the couples too.
Sersi and Ikaris are a Thinker and Fighter.
Druig and Makkari are a Thinker and Fighter.
Thena and Gilgamesh are Fighter and Fighter.
Drukkari and Ikersi are the same in this regard. They're not exactly on the same page with each other however, as mentioned earlier, Drukkari have an acceptance of each other's choices that Ikersi do not have. This fundament difference in how they go about their relationships is what makes them last. Gilgathena tho, are the exact same category. They're both Fighters, representative of them being on the exact same page completely.
All three couples have their differences from each other but all three also draw remarkable similarities as well which contrast each other enough to act as foils.
Which is why, it's easy to see that Sersi and Ikaris are the couple who tried but couldn't make it work, Druig and Makkari are the couple who know how to settle their differences enough to make it work and Thena and Gilgamesh are the couple who have already withstood the test of time to enforce the strength of their relationship.
I just think it's beautiful that, whether intentional or not, for all the different types of love discussed in Eternals already, there's this clear contrast in all types of romantic love depicted too.
The wizened love that depicts constancy and a long age spent together.
The playful intense love that depicts youth and freshness but something you build to last.
And the worn and weary love that was once bright but now weathered to a good friendship and deep respect but can be nothing more.
Anyway that's just something I had in mind so I wrote up this little think piece. Wouldkbe to hear other opinions on this as well.
Why didn't you? pt. 4
Angst with a teeny bit of happiness, really small tho
Summary: You're heartbroken back to your family home who are consoling you.
TW: Red Room, sadness, human trafficking
Your hair dripped in little strings over your face.
The rain poored from the sky, but you didn't knew if it was tears on your cheeks or the rain.
Staring at the wooden door for ages, you slowly lifted your hand and knocked on the door.
One minute and thirty seconds.
Why won't the door open?
Is she ignoring you?
Is everyone ignoring you?
No, that can't be.
The door swung open.
"Y/N?" She lowered her pistol.
"Mama," you whispered. Voice barely noticeable among the sturdy rain.
"What are you doing here, мой сладкий?" (my sweet), she pulled you into a soft embrace.
Your face scrunched up in pain and a hurted whimper escaped your lips. You didn't respond, only hugging her tighter. Cheek smashed against her wollen sweater.
"C'mon, c'mon get inside or else you're going to be sick."
Reluctantly you let go, you stepped into the hallway and kicked of your gear. Melina draped the coat on the heater in the livingroom.
"From who is that?" a deep accented voice said, papa.
You opened the door and sheepish you stood in the livingroom.
"Hi papa," you looked to the ground, not wanting that dad saw you like this.
"Y/N!" His voice was surprised and he stood up out of his chair. You wanted him to give a hug but Alexei ushered you to change upstairs.
Yelena's face turned into confusion then into happiness and then into worry, but she stayed silent.
In your comfy wear, you sat in the livingroom with a warm cup of tea and some cake.
"Eat! Eat!" Mama said, noticing the lack of hunger. Other than that, it stayed quiet. Only the sound of burning wood could you hear.
"So," Yelena said folding her hands. "What even happend? You're coming here al snotty with a sad face, what's wrong?"
You gripped your teacup and you closed your eyes, not wanting to cry.
"They-they told me I was a monster," your voice cracked. "I thought- I thought," you put your hand in your hair tugging slightly at it. "I though they were responsible for Natalia's death."
Eyes wide open, muscles tensed.
"They were ofcourse not responsible," you shushed quickly.
They are, admit it to yourself.
"They ignored the Snap, but that's whole another story," you waved away.
The muscles visibly relaxed and a quiet hum from Melina reached your ears. You took a deap breath and explained your side of the story.
"What! They did what?" Yelena stood abruptly out of the sofa. "ублюдки!" (motherfuckers!). Her eyebrows furrowed in anger, "they can't- they can't just assume you did it for fun! They are so dumb for not asking for clarification, о Боже." (oh my god.) She sighed the last part in irritation.
Melina's face was clear from any emotions, while Alexei was the completly opposite.
He was seething.
How could they hurt his precious daugther?
"If they ever show their faces here, they will be lucky if they escaped with broken bones," she deadpanned.
Alexei and Yelena agreed.
Bed time fell and you laid in bed, the door creaked slightly open showing papa.
"You're still awake?" he whispered.
He can't see that.
"Yeah," you mumbled.
The relationship with your father was complicated, betrayal still fresh in your heart. He betrayed you and you still felt guilty to walk away from him. Not literally tho, but mentally. The mattress dipped and he avoided your look.
"You know I will always protect you right?"
A lump formed in your throat and you pulled your bed cover over you. With a muffled voice you said: "Then why did you sell us?"
He looked at the heap of duvet that was you.
"It was for you own good."
You stayed silent, a few tears leaking.
Guilt washed over Alexei and he mumbled a quiet: "Wait that came out wrong."
"I shouldn't have done that."
Other than the irregular breathing underneath the duvet, it was still.
"I am," he turned away his gaze and rubbed his face. "I am sorry."
You cried and gripped the cover with dear life.
Alexei pulled the cover of your face and he gave you a hug. You pushed him away but he wouldn't budge. Deeb sobs came out of your mouth while you hitted him on the back. Desperation hits you, the longing of a family.
You rested your head in his shoulder, the spot where your cried was completely wet. You felt a few tear spots on your shirt too.
The two of you said nothing to eachother, the unsaid words were said. Alexei stayed until you were calm and tucked you in, singing a Russian lullaby.
"In the declining years.
More tenderly we love.
Shine a farewell light,
That light of the last love.
Shadow of the evening dawn.
Embraced half the sky.
Just there, in the west.
Keep your honor, keep your honor.
Look, friend, the great strength.
Was growing up ahead, look.
Look, friend, the great strength awakens
Fidelity in the heart.
Help me measure the strengths.
Strength, grief or your voice.
Slow down, slow down.
Slow down the evening day.
Stay longer, charm.
Let the blood get thinner in the veins,
But not in the heart get thinner.
My tenderness for you.
Oh, you, charm,
The last love."
"From who knew you this song?" You stared at him.
"My mother sang this to me when I was around your age in Ohio, do you think you can sleep now?"
"I will try, thanks papa."
"спи сладко, Y/N." (sweet dreams)
"спи сладко, papa." (sweet dreams)
Your relationship still fragile like fine china.
This time after making sure he couldn't hear you, you cried again. This time from exhaustion, happiness and pain and you fell in a deep sleep.
Comments are appreciated!
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