The Tragedy of Sprite: The MCU’s Most Unique Creation to Date
Garnering a mixed reception by fans and critics alike, Eternals is a film quite unlike anything the MCU attempted in its decade-long run, bringing together ten vastly different characters. And one of the most intriguing and unique Eternals in the film is Sprite (Lia McHugh).
Eternals is ambitious in its scale, narrative, and visual style and gives viewers an adventure that feels very different from what Marvel has come to be known for.
Academy Award-winning director Chloé Zhao approaches the story in a way that makes it feel inherently vast, spanning centuries of human history: from the post-blip modern world to the Celestial being who originated life in the MCU.
The immortal Eternals serve as the story’s main focus; the varying personalities and perspectives create an intriguing course for the viewer.
Ikaris, Ajak, Serisi, and the others are all so different. It brings forth a narrative that almost requires multiple viewings; yet, no character is as exciting or devastating as the smallest Eternal, Sprite.
Sprite is gifted with an ability to create illusions and the same ageless near immortality that define the other Eternals.
Whereas the other Eternals appear as grown adults, capable of blending in with the ever-present flow of time, Sprite appears as a child.
Sprite’s tragedy is her inability to truly fit into the modern world explored in the film. She is defined by her desperate desire to grow and embrace life as an adult human. Sprite is cursed to exist forever among what is unattainable to her, adult humans.
But the manifestation of this tragedy is so clearly seen in Sprite’s role as a storyteller, bringing tales fables to the world that bring to life the legacies of the various characters throughout human history.
Thena became the Goddess of War, Ikaris, a winged man, doomed in his ambition, and Sersi, the goddess who could transform human beings into animals, but who was Sprite herself?
Kingo mentions that if Sprite crafts some of the greatest stories in human history, then Sprite is Peter Pan.
The young boy is an ageless occupant of Neverland, who finds children to bring back to the island to remain there with him, joined in that agelessness.
Sprite is the metaphor for Peter Pan. A character alone in her agelessness, attempting to fulfill her mission and destroy the planet, no longer bound by age in the way humans are.
The tragedy of Sprite is her loneliness, and the cure is Sersi’s power to make her human. Although no longer an Eternal, she is broken free from her timeless prison.
For centuries she lived unable to fit in; that tragic character culminated in a character defined by her pain and utterly unique for the MCU.