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Cursed Season 1 Ending, Explained

July 17, 2020
6 min read

If you love a lot of magic and fantasy, then Netflix’s ‘Cursed’ is the show you must watch. It follows the story of a young girl who has the responsibility of saving her people thrust on her. Slowly and steadily, she not only takes over all the duties but also rises above them to earn the respect and loyalty of everyone around her. By the end, her story takes a very unexpected turn, leaving us with multiple cliffhangers that have us dumbfounded. If you haven’t seen the show yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD

Plot Summary

Nimue is a Fey with extraordinary powers, but she also faces ostracisation from her own people because of this. She wants to get rid of these powers, but they become all the more important for her survival when her village is burnt down by the army of Red Paladins sent by the Church. Her mother is also killed in this carnage. In her dying breaths, she gives a mysterious sword to Nimue and tells her to take it to Merlin, an equally mysterious sorcerer.

The Ending

‘Cursed’ begins with Nimue, but over the ten episodes of its first season, it brings in a bunch of other characters into the fray, all of whom become immensely important in the bigger picture. Their arcs take substantial turns, and the ones that we thought we disliked we grow to like, and the ones that we thought were friends, turn out to be enemies. In the final episode, all of these things culminate into a war for survival where revelations and betrayals abound, along with some fresh twists that pave the way for the second season.

After thinking a lot about the safety of her people, Nimue decides to surrender to the demands of King Uther. In exchange for herself and the sword, she demands ships to take her people to the other side of the sea, where they can create a new world for themselves without the fear of persecution by the Church. Having killed his mother and the deal with the Church broken, Uther finds it in his best interest to not go astray with the plan and fulfills her demands. In the meantime, the Red Paladin makes an alliance with Cumber, who wants the throne of Uther for himself.

Previously, Merlin had made a pact with Cumber where he gave him the proof that would further his legitimacy to the throne in exchange for Nimue’s safety. But after he realizes that the king does not intend to follow through with his plan, he runs to his daughter to let her know of the danger. On the way, he is attacked by the assassin sent by Rugen. He manages to kill his attacker but is fatally wounded in the process. With him gone, Cumber finds himself at liberty to make a pact with the Church and demands the sword in exchange for delivering Nimue to them.

While the Fey, led by Arthur, board ships sent by Uther, Cumber’s army attacks them, killing a lot of them on the beach. The reprieve comes in the form of the Red Spear, Cumber’s sworn enemies. By the end of the battle, an alliance is forged by Arthur between the Fey and the Red Spear.

Meanwhile, Nimue arrives at Uther’s camp to give herself over to him but leaves the sword with Morgana. She demands the release of Gawain and Squirrel, and Uther promises to think about it. However, when Gawain is released, he is too wounded to make it out alive. Nimue tries to use her magic to fix him but it does not work as intended. She is taken by the Red Paladin who attack Uther’s army but is saved just in time by Morgana, who now wields the power of the Widow. Together, they find Merlin and make their way out of the battle.

On the way, they are attacked by Iris, who shoots Nimue with two arrows, due to which the Fey Queen falls down the waterfall, apparently to her death. This angers Merlin, who wields the sword again, getting back his magic, and exploding his anger on Iris and the Paladins. After he’s killed them, he disappears with the sword and Morgana.

While all this happens, the Weeping Monk goes through an identity crisis of his own. It is revealed that he is one of the Fey but was brought up in accordance with the faith of the Church. Conflict arises between him and the Paladins when he finds out that they are going to torture Squirrel. This is explicitly against the Monk’s code of not hurting children, and he betrays the Paladins to save Squirrel. In the end, both of them run away together, and the Monk reveals that his real name is Lancelot.

What The Ending Means for ‘Cursed’: Is Nimue Dead or Alive?

With so much happening in the final episode, the show leaves a lot of cliffhangers to be followed up in the next season. The most important question is if Nimue is still alive. Though she looks fatally wounded in the end, we have it on good authority that she is not dead. The final scene also happens to be the first scene of the show, where Nimue had started to narrate the story. Considering this detail, it is fair to say that the Fey Queen will return. Her magic has saved her in the worst of situations, and this is where it will once again act to save her life.

Another interesting twist comes with the return of Merlin’s power. Though it was expected, considering how repressed he had been throughout the season, the finale creates a spectacle out of his true powers and shows us exactly why he is so famous and revered. Now that he wields the power of the sword, things do not look good for the Church at all.

The show also sets the stage for Arthur to get some central limelight and wear the robe of a leader. He has already won the battle against Cumber’s army and has forged an important and strong alliance with the Red Spear. Knights have also started to show up for his roundtable, especially with the Monk turning out of the key-figure, Lancelot. Also, we haven’t given up on the Green Knight. He might have looked like he was dying, but we never got to see him after Nimue’s magic had started to work. Considering that Gawain is also an important part of the Roundtable, we believe he is still alive.

While Nimue’s people get stronger, in the end, they also have a ruthless villain cut out for the next season. Apart from the Red Paladins, the show also gave us Iris, a young woman who is ready to do whatever it takes to join the ranks of the elite soldiers of the Church. After killing Nimue (or so they think), she joins the most elite group of them all, surpassing even the Red Paladin. How her arc progresses in the next season is also something to look forward to.

Read More: Where is Cursed Filmed?

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