A deleted scene for Eternals explains one of the film's greatest mysteries about the Deviants. Chloe Zhao's Eternals revealed the ancient history of the MCU, introducing a group of cosmically-powered beings who had protected Earth for five thousand years. The Eternals believed they had been sent to defend humanity against the threat of the Deviants, predators who sought to consume all life. However, the movie's final cut ultimately failed to explain one key mystery about this ongoing conflict.
The war between the Eternals and the Deviants had inspired countless myths of gods and monsters, while many legends of great heroes who fought alongside the gods were presumably ordinary human beings who were caught up in the conflict. And yet, for all the Eternals seem to have left their fingerprints on the world's mythology, their fights with the Deviants don't appear to have left many physical traces. This is particularly odd given you'd expect archaeologists to have stumbled upon evidence of the monstrous Deviants - at the very least there should have been fragments of shattered skeletons. Fortunately, one Eternals deleted scene explains the oddity.
"Small Talk" is the longest Eternals deleted scene, a fun character moment in which Sprite taunts Dane Whitman in the Museum of Natural History. Sprite is in a nostalgic mood, and she happily tells Dane all about her past, confident he won't believe a word of it and will assume it's just a child's fertile imagination. According to Sprite, one of the skeletons on display at the Museum of Natural History - which Dane believes is a smilodon, better known as a saber-toothed tiger - is actually a Deviant. It seems there's abundant evidence of Deviants in the fossil record, humans just haven't identified it correctly.
This may seem like a rather convenient explanation, but it actually makes sense. The Deviants take on the properties of creatures they kill, meaning they'd naturally evolve into something which, on a skeletal level, at least, resembled Earth's natural terrestrial wildlife. Visually they'd be different, as the glamour Sprite casts over the Deviant's skeleton before Dane enters illustrates. But the skin would rot, leaving only bones behind for humans to find. Little wonder there's no evidence of Deviants in Earth's fossil record.
It's interesting to note that, in the real world, the smilodon went extinct roughly 10,000 years ago, long before the Eternals arrived on Earth. Presumably, they lasted a little longer in the MCU, perhaps in localized environments. In the comics there's a secret place in Antarctica called the Savage Land where they've survived, and it's possible the Deviants visited the Savage Land, taking on predatory forms based on the creatures they killed there. If so, some of the Deviants defeated in the past of Eternals could have been especially fierce.
More: Marvel's Eternals Powers Explained: What Each Team Member Can Do
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