Gilgamesh of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

“Eternals,” the latest Marvel film, is about a group of ancient aliens that have been secretly living on Earth for thousands of years. Don Lee plays a character named “Gilgamesh” in the film Eternals. When I viewed the trailer, the first thing that came to mind was “Is there a Sumerian character in a Marvel film? “. This article discussed the connection between Marvel’s Gilgamesh and Sumerian Gilgamesh. 

Sumerian’s Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh was a semi-mythical ruler of ancient Uruk city, best known as the protagonist and hero of the Great Sumerian poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh (2150-1400 BC). Sin-leqi-unninni, a priest, is the author of this epic poem. According to some historians, Gilgamesh was a real king who ruled the ancient Sumerian city Uruk between 2700 and 2500 BC. According to some, this poem is a myth based on the stories of the Sumerian gods.

The Epic tale of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is a demigod. According to the legend, Ninsun, the goddess, was his mother, and Lugalbanda, the half-god king of Uruk, was his father. Gilgamesh was a powerful and attractive young man. He had no fear of anyone and was unafraid to do anything he pleased.

Because of this, the people of Uruk were distressed, and they prayed to the gods to make their young prince a wise and kind king. As a result, Enkidu, a beast-like man who served as Gilgamesh’s companion and guide, was created by the gods who listened to it. Despite his wild appearance, Enkidu possessed many good traits, including kindness and loyalty, which Gilgamesh lacked.

Enkidu and Gilgamesh, who were in conflict at the time, became great friends. The two buddies agreed to go on an exciting adventure one day. They kill Humbaba, the cedar forest’s devil, on the journey. As a result, they gain the attention of the goddess Inanna, who seeks to seduce Gilgamesh. He, on the other hand, rejects her. Inanna is enraged by this and sends her brother-in-law, the bull of heaven, to destroy Gilgamesh on Earth. Enkidu rushes to his friend’s rescue and kills the cow. However, he has insulted the gods and is doomed to death as a result.

With Enkidu’s death, Gilgamesh falls into deep grief, and through the death of his friend, he sets out to find meaning in life and finally find some way to defeat death. In it, his goal is to find the mysterious character Utnapishtim and gain eternal life. Gilgamesh goes across mountains and immense oceans on his long journey, eventually meeting Utnapishtim. Gilgamesh was given two chances at immortality by Utnapishtim, both of which he failed. Unable to win immortality, Gilgamesh returns home and writes his story after he gets there. Through his struggle to find meaning in life, Gilgamesh becomes the first epic hero in world literature.

Gilgamesh of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The character Gilgamesh was created by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer. And the character first appeared in 1977’s Eternals #13. Similar to the other Eternals, Gilgamesh is an immortal ancient being. He was sent to the earth by the Celestials to defeat deviants.

Gilgamesh possesses incredible super-strength and other related abilities such as superhuman speed, stamina, durability, cosmic energy manipulation. Hence, he is regarded as the most powerful eternal on earth. 

According to the comics, Gilgamesh became the king of Uruk around 3000 BC, who had somehow forgotten his own true identity. And in the movie trailer, there is footage showing Gilgamesh taking down a Deviant outside the ramparts of a city, probably Babylon.

Even the main plot of Eternals is set in the 21st century, the film will certainly explore the eternals’ past. Therefore, we have to wait to find whether there is there a Sumerian character in the movie Eternals?

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