In one of the key action scenes in “Eternals,” the team is ambushed by Deviants while visiting a remote village in the Amazon rainforest to try and recruit Druig (Barry Keoghan) to their cause. Sersi (Gemma Chan), pinned in a pool of water by a particularly vicious deviant, uses her powers of transmogrification to turn the beast into a tree, drawing astonished looks from the other Eternals. It’s the most impressive display of their abilities that we see in the film outside of the decisive battle, as the Eternals combine into a Uni-Spirit and Sersi turns the rising celestial Tiamut into marble. At the beginning of the film we see her transforming a double decker bus into a tangle of rose petals and at other times wood and flint into different metals.
Fans were puzzled by the scene, which appeared to show a level of power that was inconsistent with Sersi’s usual abilities. On Reddit, u/aus_sidney asked, “Did the movie ever explain how Sersei could suddenly have enough power to turn a deviant into a tree and that this is the solution to creation?” Is this power something that is already within their abilities and is it just that I needed the right ‘situation/exercise/adrenaline’ to channel and execute it?
In response, some commentators suggested that the film telegraphed the notion that Sersi had not fully utilized her powers. Redditor u/pagingdrsolus mentioned the moment in “Eternals” when Sersi joked about once turning a rock into thin air, arguing that this scene “sheds light on how Sersei’s powers may be in flux and difficult to quantify or.” to measure reliably. Her comment concludes: “There is potential room for further powers to be explored and developed”.