‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ Recap and Ending Explained: Brotherly Love Prevails

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ has just been released, and it has already given some fans a true treat to what a DC live-action movie should be. The fun and fast-paced approach of the film allowed it to become an enjoyable ride. Of course, a lot of things happened in the movie, and there were those who were more interested in the action and comedy instead of the actual things that were happening.

As the DCEU’s final move, ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ was a great and fitting conclusion to what was a short-lived run for this live-action movie universe. So, with that said, let’s look at what happened in ‘The Lost Kingdom’ and how the movie ended.

Aquaman’s everyday life

The opening scenes of the movie focused more on what has been going on in Arthur Curry’s life as a superhero/king/husband/father. In the four years that went by since the events of the first movie, Arthur has focused on his role as the protector of the seas and as king of Atlantis. However, he also ended up marrying Mera and becoming a father to Arthur Jr.

aquaman king

Arthur and Mera live on the surface in the Curry lighthouse but have to go to Atlantis from time to time to fulfill their duties as monarchs of an entire kingdom. The problem that Arthur had as king was the fact the council of clans was almost always against his decisions, making life as the leader of Atlantis quite troublesome for him.

Nevertheless, he loves the fact that he is a father despite how boring being a king can be. There were also moments wherein he and his father discussed how important family was, especially when it comes to Arthur’s relationship with his brother Orm, whom we know was the villain of the first movie and was now a prisoner forced to repent for his crimes.

Black Manta’s goals

Meanwhile, while Arthur was living the life of a father and a king, his other rival was elsewhere, plotting his demise. David Kane, otherwise known as Black Manta, was scouring the Antarctic for Atlantean technology in order to fix the power suit and kill Aquaman, just like how he promised to his father years ago.

Dr. Shin, a scientist working for Kane, was traveling through Antarctica until the ice under him broke and led him to an underground cavern, where a monster attacked and killed his companion. Manta and the rest of the group arrived to investigate the cavern that Shin found, only for them to realize that they had found an ancient civilization that was similar to Atlantis but had been abandoned and was far darker.

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After encountering and surviving the same monster that killed Shin’s companion, Kane saw a broken black trident that was seemingly calling to him. He touched the trident and put the two pieces together, as the trident gave him a vision that would govern the next phase of his life. The entity he saw in his vision promised him the power to kill Aquaman and destroy Atlantis in exchange for freeing him, and that was why Black Manta was now intent on finding a way to fulfill his end of the bargain with this entity.

Atlantean politics

Five months after Black Manta found the trident, the scene shifts to Arthur as Mera tells him that the council has called a meeting. In the meeting, the council discussed a plague that had been killing Atlanteans due to the rising pollution levels in the surface world. This very same pollution was damaging the waters and causing Atlanteans to go sick.

Arthur proposes to the council that they should reveal themselves to the surface world so that they can work together with the humans to fix the damage caused by their activities on the surface. However, the council disagreed with the matter, forcing Arthur to rethink whether or not he was truly fit to be king.

Back at home, Arthur and Thomas talk about the problems of being a king and how he thought that he had failed his mentor, Vulko, who told him that he needed to be the bridge between the surface and the seas. But Thomas told his son that even deciding not to give up is heroic on its own.

Meanwhile, Manta and his crew were approaching Atlantis in an ancient submarine that was built by the very same civilization they found in Antarctica. Dr. Shin notes that their goal was to infiltrate Atlantis and steal all of their orichalcum, which was the very same substance that was powering the weapons and tech that Manta and his crew found.

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When Atlantis finds out that there has been an infiltration, Atlanna and Mera spring into action to attack Manta and his crew. The villains escaped as Black Manta severely injured Mera with the beams from his helmet, causing Arthur to go after the villain. However, the sonic cannon wielded by Manta’s crew was far too powerful for any Atlantean to withstand.

Brothers reunite

The failures of Arthur and the rest of the Atlanteans forced the council to decide whether or not the throne should be stripped of executive powers. Before the council could decide on the matter, Arthur met up with King Nereus and Atlanna to discuss what they needed to do and what Manta and his people stole. That was when orichalcum was revealed to be the cause of what was happening on the surface, as burning this substance causes immense amounts of greenhouse gasses responsible for heating the Earth’s atmosphere and causing the people of the seas to suffer.

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Thinking that they need help to find out where Kane is, Arthur decides to break Orm out from the Fishermen. While Nereus and Atlanna were initially unsure of this decision, they decided to help him out. Nereus gave Aquaman a stealth suit, whereas Atlanna gave her son a cephalopod named Topo, who was responsible for communicating between Arthur and Atlantis. Before Arthur can set out on his mission, Atlanna tells him that he should tell Orm that she loves him.

Orm, who had been weakened by the Fishermen by torturing him and limiting his water, wondered why his brother was willing to break him out of prison after the things that happened between them years ago. Nevertheless, he still decided to go with Arthur and was able to regain his strength after rehydrating himself. The two set off on a quest to find where Kane was hiding, and the only reason why Orm decided to go with Arthur was the fact that he thought that his brother was doing a bad job at leading Atlantis.

orm

The two went to a place called the Sunken Citadel, which was a pirate haven run by King Fish. Orm kept this a secret from Arthur because he knew that his brother wouldn’t go along with the plan as pirates hated Aquaman. Nevertheless, after some aggressive negotiations with King Fish, Arthur found out that Manta was hiding in a place called the Devil’s Deep, which was a dormant volcano somewhere in the South Pacific.

Meanwhile, Manta was over at the Devil’s Deep, talking to the voice within the trident. The orichalcum, as it turned out, was being burned in an orichalcum refinery that was releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The very same gasses were turning the wildlife on the island into monsters.

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Dr. Shin, who saw what the trident had been doing to Manta, decides to touch the relic to see what and who this entity on the other side was. What he saw ultimately allowed him to realize that he needed to try to find a way to stop Kane and his plans. Still, out of fear for his life, Shin decided to obey Manta, knowing that the villain would kill him if he ever tried to back out.

While they were on their way to Manta’s base, Orm found out from Arthur that he never wanted the throne at all and that all he wanted was to stop his brother from going to war against the surface world. The only reason why Arthur had to take the throne from Orm was to maintain peace, and that was when Orm realized that his brother wasn’t exactly a rival that he had to beat.

The two were able to infiltrate the base, where they saw Shin, who explained to them that the black trident was the one causing Manta to go crazy. But before he can explain more, Stingray and the rest of the crew arrive to cause problems for the brothers. The two were able to prevail against the villains, only for Black Manta to arrive and surprise Orm with his newfound powers.

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However, while Arthur is fighting Manta, Orm grabs the black trident and sees the very same vision that Kane saw but ends up getting injured by Manta’s attack. Luckily for the brothers, Topo was able to communicate to Atlantis what they found in the Devil’s Deep. Nereus and Mera arrive to help the brothers and destroy the base in the process. However, Manta and his crew were able to escape.

The truth about the Lost Kingdom

After the destruction of the base in Devil’s Deep, Orm tells Arthur and the others what he saw in the vision when he touched the black trident. He discovered the truth behind the Lost Kingdom and the story behind its leader, Kordax. The Lost Kingdom, known as Necrus, was a kingdom that was powered by orichalcum, which was causing irreparable damage to the surface.

Atlan decided to take matters into his own hands by confronting Kordax, his brother, to tell him to stop using orichalcum. But Kordax thought that his brother was only jealous of him, and that was why he created the black trident and used its power to turn himself and his people into monsters. The event caused a war between Atlantis and Necrus, only for Atlan to succeed in defeating his monstrous brother.

Atlan sealed Kordax and Necrus using a spell powered by his own blood. That was when Arthur and the others realized that Manta was going after Arthur Jr. because he was the most vulnerable out of all of Atlan’s descendants. Kane succeeds in kidnapping the child and wounding Thomas Curry. However, knowing that kidnapping a child was already the lowest of the low, Shin decided to transmit their coordinates so that Atlantis would be able to know where they were.

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Before Arthur and Orm go out for the final encounter and to save Arthur Jr. from Kane, Atlanna tells her sons that they should trust and protect one another, as it is clear that she believes that there could be something special out of this partnership between the brothers.

Orm’s redemption, Atlantis’ future

Manta approached Necrus, which was the very same civilization he discovered under the ice of Antarctica. The increased heat in the planet’s atmosphere was already more than enough to break a huge chunk of the ice that sealed Necrus. As such, Kane now had an army of monsters that were released when the ice melted.

Luckily for the Atlanteans, Aquaman found a way to destroy Kane’s submarine and the sonic cannon by asking whales and other marine animals to use their sonar abilities to disrupt the sonic frequency of the cannon. The destruction of the submarine killed all of Kane’s other allies, as only he and Shin remained.

As Kane was about to release Kordax using Arthur Jr.’s blood, Shin betrayed him by substituting the baby for a bomb. However, Kane was able to stop Kane from escaping with the baby. Before Manta could kill the child, Arthur arrived just in time. 

Black Manta was able to get the upper hand in his fight with Aquaman, but Mera’s intervention shifted the tide of the battle. Mera took her son and tried to escape before Kane threw the black trident at her. But Orm caught the trident before it could reach Mera.

aquaman vs manta

Kordax decided to move from Kane to Orm so that he could now possess the Atlantean prince. The powerless Kane couldn’t do anything now that Kordax has decided to use Orm to his advantage. He used the conflict between Orm and Arthur in the past to convince the prince to release him.

Orm was able to release Kordax using Arthur’s blood as the villain was ready to wreak havoc. However, Arthur grabbed the trident and shared his thoughts with his brother, all while Kordax was still trying to convince the brothers to fight one another. Arthur convinced his brother that they only had each other and that they needed to work together to defeat this great evil.

Touched by his brother’s words and gestures, Orm decided to let go of the trident. Arthur threw the black trident right at Kordax, who caught it before it could kill him. However, Orm gave his brother the Trident of Atlan, which Aquaman used to destroy both the black Trident and Kordax, thus ending the reign of the evil king right after he was released.

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Kordax’s death caused the Lost Kingdom to crumble as Manta was about to fall to his death. Aquaman offers his help, but Kane refuses because he would rather die than accept help from the man he dedicated his entire life to killing.

The Atlanteans were able to escape the destruction of Necrus. Instead of forcing Orm to go back to prison, Arthur agrees with the other monarchs of the seas that Orm “died” in the final battle against Kordax, essentially allowing the Atlantean prince to have his freedom. Orm realized that his brother was a good king and that it was now up to him to become a true leader so that Atlantis would follow.

Following the defeat of Kordax, Arthur decided to finally reveal Atlantis to the surface world so that they could all find a way to coexist and help one another reverse the effects of the orichalcum on the planet’s atmosphere. The movie ends with Arthur telling the people of the planet that he was both the sons of Atlantis and of the surface and that he was now going to find a way to make sure that both the seas and the surface would coexist with one another.

This concludes the final film in the DCEU banner as we are now set to see the DC live-action movie universe transition into James Gunn’s DCU. Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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