‘Nimona’ Ending Explained: Who Is the Real Murderer of the Queen?

Nimona Ending

Welcome to the Ending Explained for Nimona, a new animated film releasing on Netflix this weekend. Nick Bruno and Troy Quane directed the movie, and it is based on the original graphic novel of the same name by ND Stevenson. The film stars Chlöe Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, Eugene Lee Yang, and Frances Conroy. The film could be considered the last remaining project of Blue Sky Studios, the creators of the Ice Age franchise, which closed its doors after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox took place. Not wanting more animation studios, as they already had Disney Animation and Pixar under their wing, Disney ended up dismantling the studio and putting it to rest.

The film received pushback from Disney executives, who saw the LGBTQ themes of the film as too predominant, giving them pause to keep the project going. In the end, Annapurna Pictures decided to give the project a chance and acquired the rights to produce the film, with Netflix acquiring the rights for global distribution.

DNEG Animation produces the animation. This studio has worked doing visual effects for more than two decades. They have recently been given a chance to do their own feature films, including Nimona and Ron’s Gone Wrong, with future projects like Garfield and That Christmas on the horizon.


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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Nimona. Read at your own risk.

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Why Is Ballister On The Run?

The film begins with a backstory of the world. We learn that a champion named Gloreth managed to defeat a terrible monster. This victory impacted the kingdom’s culture so that Knights were now seen as the biggest and most important members of their society, only below the Queen herself.

The medieval setting for this backstory then changes to a thousand years in the future. We see that the world has changed into a more modern society, where technology is, in some ways, even more advanced than what we have in real life. However, some things remain the same. Knights are heroes, and monsters are evil. The city is also walled to keep monsters on the outside.

Here, we meet one of our main characters, Ballister. We also get a complete backstory of Ballister, and while it is done quickly, it is also done very efficiently. We learn that the Queen decided to change things a bit and chose Ballister to become part of the Knight’s Academy.

The thing is that Ballister doesn’t come from a noble family. He is not supposed to be there. The Queen’s decision is met with much pushback, but she doesn’t backtrack on it. The years pass, and Ballister graduates as the best knight of his class. The graduation ceremony will come, and Ballister is quite nervous.

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The movie reveals its hand at this moment. We learn that Ballister is in a relationship with another knight named Ambrosius.

The movie doesn’t call attention to the relationship, and none of the characters pull attention to it negatively. However, from here on out, the movie can be watched as a standard adventure film, which it is. Or it can also be seen as a big allegory for the LGBTQ experience in current times. Ballister reflects the idea that while gay people have managed to become more widely accepted after working so much for it, they still generate doubts in the more conventional sectors of society.

People like Ballister, but they doubt if he should be a Knight. Ballister grabs his sword at the ceremony, but the sword delivers a fatal blow to the Queen, killing her. Ambrosius cuts Ballister’s arm as a reflex, and Ballister escapes.

The duality between Ballister and Ambrosius could be seen as the difference between the gay people who are odd and call attention to them or are even blamed for the bad things that happen to others and the ones that remain in the shadow of their oppressors and live their lives without taking risks. The movie doesn’t blame any of the sides but points out that there is something like this happening in real life.

Who Is Nimona?

The movie then introduced its other main character, the titular Nimona. Nimona takes the form of a young teenage girl, and she sees the reports on the news labeling Ballister as a villain. We know this is untrue as the audience, but Nimona seems to think this person is perfect for her. Nimona manages to track Ballister and offers him the chance to be his sidekick.

Every villain needs a sidekick. Ballister refuses, and he is captured by the knights not long after. Nimona helps Ballister escape, and she reveals that she can take the form of basically any other living being, fictional or not. Nimona transforms into a rhinoceros, a whale, and even a gorilla.

At this point, it is very clear that while Ballister is the stand-in for gay people who are being persecuted, Nimona stands for transgender people. People who cannot even consider coming to light must remain in the shadows, keep their shifting nature a secret, or risk being labeled monsters.

Nimona is a lonely character and sees the already chastised Ballisters as a soul mate. They can be together, a be friends. Nimona doesn’t want to be alone. Ballister begins to accept Nimona’s nature. Yes, she can take different forms, but in the end, she is still just Nimona. Together, they plan to extract a confession from the Knights Academy’s director, the movie’s true villain.

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However, the director turns the people against Nimona again, revealing her nature as a shape-shifter to the world and the original monster that their matriarch, Gloreth, tried to eradicate a thousand years ago. Even Ballister becomes angry after learning the secret. After everything they have gone through, Ballister still has his growing experience as the main way to judge the world around him.

He begins to draw his sword at Nimona but stops. This is enough to break their relationship. They both escape and go on their separate ways. We see Nimona’s backstory and how she and Gloreth were friends before Gloreth was told that she was supposed to fear Nimona.

This last bit references how hate is thought of and doesn’t come as something natural to humans. Nimona falls into despair and becomes a dark, monstrous figure who stomps the city. At this point, Nimona is so lost that she thinks ending her life is the best way to end her suffering.

A nod to the many transgender people who take their own lives every year for the same reasons. However, Ballister stops her and accepts her once more. This saves her, and as the director tries to launch one last attack, Nimona launches her last attack to save her friend.


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Ultimately, Ballister and Nimona are crowned heroes of the city. They have shown people that being different doesn’t mean bad and that everyone should be proud of their own differences. Ballister goes back to the hideaway, and we learn that Nimona is still alive.