Explaining the ending of Netflix’s ‘Damsel’
(Credit: Netflix)

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Explaining the ending of Netflix's ‘Damsel’

We are decidedly living in a world where cinematic damsels aren’t waiting for knights in shining armour anymore. Netflix’s latest fantasy adventure film with its very own feminist 101 twist, Damsel, is one such film filled with empowering revelations. 

Damsel premiered on Netflix on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2024. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and written by Dan Mazeau, the film stars Millie Bobby Brown as Princess Elodie, a character who defies the traditional damsel in distress trope. She is joined by a stellar cast, including Ray Winstone, Nick Robinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Angela Bassett, and Robin Wright.

Damsel revolves around Elodie, who, after accepting a marriage proposal from Prince Henry from the fictional kingdom of Aurea, discovers that she’s been deceived. The marriage is a ploy by the royal family to repay a debt to an ancient and furious dragon. 

As the story unfolds, Elodie must navigate this betrayal and rely on her own inner strength to survive and reclaim her future. Not only does Damsel see Brown play a young woman capable of wielding the sword, but one who is wise enough to see allies where her enemies would want her to see fear. By a couple of simple gendered and action film trope reversals, Damsel manages to become a film that can go wonders on young, impressionable minds, with gender no bar.

What happens at the end of Damsel?

The climax of Damsel sees Elodie emerging victorious against all odds. Despite being betrayed and thrown into a dangerous situation by those she trusted, Elodie refuses to succumb to despair. Instead, she forms an unlikely alliance with the creature threatening her existence—the mighty dragon. Elodie’s father, Lord Bayford, arrives with a few men to rescue her when they realise that she is in danger. He perishes when the dragon attacks the men, but Elodie manages to escape amid the chaos.

When faced with the opportunity to slay the dragon, Elodie shows compassion and mercy instead. As it turns out, the very first king of Aurea had butchered three of the dragon’s daughters. So the Aureans were to sacrifice their princesses in return to satiate the dragon’s wrath, but instead, they would sacrifice unwitting young brides who would marry into their royal family.

By revealing the truth about the royal family’s deception, Elodie convinces the dragon to join forces with her against their common enemy.

In a dramatic turn of events, Elodie interrupts Prince Henry’s third wedding, exposing the treachery of Queen Isabelle and her accomplices. With the dragon by her side, Elodie ensures that justice is served, holding the royals accountable for their crimes. The dragon unleashes her fury upon the castle, exacting retribution for the wrongs committed against her, her offspring, and the countless young women sacrificed. The dragon is seen flying beside their ship, presumably to their home.

You can watch Damsel on Netflix and watch the trailer here: