Throughout this, we’re breaking down the ending of Cursed on Netflix.
Obviously there will be Heavy Spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to see the series yet and don’t want anything ruined then I recommend that you turn off now.
Cursed Season 1 Breakdown
Ok so Cursed is based on the book of the same name by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller who even makes a cameo at one point (Episode 3). The story was only released in October last year and It’s been a lightning-fast turn around on the series.
You can tell that Netflix is confident due to their casting of Katherine Langford in the role and she really makes it her own.
Langford gained famed with 13 Reasons why and this new vehicle for her is a brilliant watch.
She plays Nimue a Fay Witch that is revealed to be the daughter of Merlin.
The storyline as a whole is a sort of remix of the tales of old and it sees Nimue teaming up with Arthur himself as they try and escort Excalibur to her dad.
Merlin has lost his magic and is no longer as powerful as he used to be and the show takes many diversions from the legends that we’ve come to see play out time and time again.
In this Excalibur is sort of its own entity and I got a lot of flashes of The Lord Of The Rings with it pretty much being an extremely powerful weapon that had the ability to corrupt or empower depending on who wielded it. It’s elements like this that stop it from being just a Maguffin and at least it gains a bit of purpose, Cos hey, who doesn’t love seeing people getting cut in half?
There’s some fun little subplots such as Nimue disguising herself as a nun and meeting Morgana the enchantress I’d Arthurian Legend (episode 3) who also just happens to be his sister. Merlin travels to a giant cave to see Lord Rugen (episode 4), he does a Horse Warp in like Red Dead Redemption, Sister Iris travels the land trying to kill Nimue and she and Arthur discover a Fey resistance group.
The Red Paladins And The Weeping Monk
Of course, every show needs a villain and in cursed it comes in the form of The Weeping Monk and The Red Paladins.
The Weeping monk kinda…kinda looks like what you would draw on your face as a teenager and think was cool…I just…I’m sorry I can’t.
Anyways Alongside Father Carden, The monk leaks The Red Paladins through the countryside hunting witches. They believe they are on important crusades that will save the world.
Nimue is of course one and within the first forty-five minutes of the show, they’ve burned her home to the ground, crucified some of her people and killed her mother.
I kinda took them as being similar to the bad guys from World War Two hunting for Jewish people and they cross-like symbols in a circle as their iconography with of course the color red being very prominent. I dunno if that’s me reaching but I saw a lot of similarities and I think that the creative team was trying to show us that we’re alike even if there are certain figureheads that say we aren’t.
On the other side of the coin, providing hurdles for Merlin is King Uther and The Queen Mother. Uther is actually not the true heir to the throne and he was merely planted there by the Mother after she gave birth to a stillborn child. She murdered Uther’s real mother and covered up the crime but Merlin is aware of what’s gone on and this of course leaves a position for Arthur to take up the throne later down the line.
Now as with most remixes, the show changes up a lot of the familiar faces in interesting and exciting new ways.
Nimue comes face time face with her father at the halfway point of the season and a wealth of things are revealed. It’s here that she learns of her lineage and that Excalibur was actually pulled from Merlin himself which is what ended up costing him his magic. He fell in love with Lenor but she was promised to another and eventually ended up driving him away because of the sword.
Merlin actually ransacked Rome and slaughtered the people there which eventually led to the creation of the vengeful Red Paladins and thus he’s been trying to keep away from the sword in order to stop the temptation it brings.
The Big Battle
The two end up becoming divided and the ending of the season heads to all-out war with the Red Paladins fighting the Fey whilst Merlin tries to usurp Uther. Nimue becomes the fey Queen aka Slay Queen but her days are soon numbered when she’s marked for death. This kinda plays into the ending and we are told that nothing can stop it from happening.
Merlin wishes to destroy the sword but he realizes that his daughter’s fate is now tied to it and makes a deal with the forces of Cumber, a Viking King, to hand it over in exchange for her.
The Green Knight also goes head to head with the Weeping Monk. The Monk gets the other hand and take him captive but during the face off he discovers that the Monk is actually a Fey.
The Green Knight could reveal his secret but doesn’t due to the mantra of the fey which is that they are all equals.
The Big Character Reveals
The Weeping Monk goes on to be revealed as Lancelot and it arguably comes as one of the biggest reveals in the entire season. He slowly starts to realize that his place isn’t with the Red Paladins and arguably goes on the biggest arc in the entire season, slowly changing from villain to hero.
In addition to this we discover that the young character Squirrel who tries to rescue The Knight is really Percival and that the Red Spear are headed by Guinevere.
They are all of course connected to Arthur as members of the knights of the round table and his wife respectively.
Cursed Season 1 Ending
In the final two episodes, Uther poisons the Queen Mother as a way to get revenge for the mother that she murdered but in doing so he also proves in some ways that he is the perfect heir to her. It’s a really chilling scene that shows he actually did become her son because only her true son would ever murder their own mother and it really hammers home the entire quest for power that is a theme of the show.
Everyone seems to be willing to take power even at the cost of their own souls and we slowly watch as the quest for the throne and sword corrupts all.
Nimue is given the option to either hand herself over to Cumber or Uther and even her own people start to distrust her. Morgana makes a deal with the ghost of her dead lover in order to pass the sword to the widow and add to that little Iris coming for her and you really start to second guess exactly which fate Nimue will end up with. Cumber and the Paladins join forces and it leads to a finale in which the walls close in on the main character.
Upon discovering that Merlin knows of the truth about Uther’s past, he locks the wizard up and Nimue’s people are seemingly saved. She hands herself over to Uther but doesn’t take the sword with her and the Fey are attacked on the shore by Cumbers forces as they try and make their escape.
This leads to a huge battle and it definitely feels like the high point in the series. The Weeping Monk rescues Squirrel and fights for his life against his own kind. Elsewhere Nimue finds the body of the Green Knight and is then captured by Father Carden. This is when Death arrives and she is revealed to be Morgana. Now it’s actually a bit difficult to tell what went on exactly due to it becoming animated but Morgana killed death and thus someone needed to take deaths place so she was forced into the position.
Death passes Excalibur to Nimue who then uses it to behead Carden and thus they are free of him.
Now due to her new abilities Morgana can sense that Merlin is at death’s door and she goes to him along with Nimue.
It’s at this moment that Iris finally gets her wish and she shows up to kill Nimue, firing an arrow into her over a waterfall. You know what, like as much as I didn’t like Iris initially, I was kinda pleased to see her get this little moment you know. No shade to Nimue but yeah, you go Iris.
Merline picks up the sword and thus regains his power and Iris fless as the Paladins arrive to attack him, however due to his new abilities he easily takes them out.
What happens to Iris will shock you. Merlin grapples with the power that has returned to him, he grabs Morgana and the two teleport away.
Iris is taken into the church and she is given a mask, likely going forward as a big villain for the second season.
Cursed Season 1 Ending Explained
Now Nimue seemingly dies however mixed in with the ascension of Iris we actually get a scene in which we see Nimue in a lake. This was actually shown at the opening of the season to tease what was coming ahead and though it seems like the character drowns, there’s actually a lot that we can take from this.
Now firstly we need to look into Arthurian legend itself and see who Nimue really was.
Nimue has taken up many names and monikers but the one that you may know her for best is The Lady Of The Lake. According to legend she gave Excalibur to Arthur and took it back upon his death, reaching up into the air as the sword was cast back into the body of water. She also helped to raise Lancelot after the death of his father and though I don’t think that this will be completely carried over I do think that the seasons going forward will play with it in some way.
Lancelot has of course just lost Father Carden, his surrogate dad and I do think that she will help to guide Lancelot through embracing his Fay abilities.
The fact that Nimue has also dropped into water does make it seem like she will be gaining new powers and an ability to be at one with it, thus giving her the title of The Lady Of The Lake.
I don’t believe that she is dead as Morgana had of course taken the position of the character and she would have been able to sense whether Nimue was about to pass or not. As she did not she is likely still alive and kicking and though you may think the other premonitions utter by the preceding death character did warn of this coming in, I believe that Morgana stopped this when she saved her life. So yeah, I can’t see them killing off their main character before the second season but hey Game of Thrones did it so why not.
Cursed Season 1 Review
Well thought I’ve seen some people complaining about it kinda forcing diversity and stuff and making female empowerment take center stage. I personally don’t feel like it was too forced and at least to me Nimue is definitely more of a flawed character rather than a Mary Sue who just so happens to be good at everything.
I mean she literally gets blindsided by a kid at the end of the show and throughout whenever she doesn’t have Excalibur her backs against the wall a lot of the time.
It’s nice to actually see Miller portraying women that aren’t ladies of the night for once and I appreciated the characterizations, atmosphere and darkness to the show from the start.
This has some pretty high production values and some nice plays on the original legend that keep things feeling fresh and not as derivative as they should for something that’s probably been adapted a thousand times.
I feel there were some flaws and that this probably could’ve sat at 8 hours and still covered pretty much all of the same ground but for a new property with a first season that is trying to reinvent the wheel I did enjoy it.
Overall I’m excited to see what happens next time and it gets an…
Ok so that’s our breakdown of Cursed, obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Cursed so comment below and let me know.