What "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"'s Ending Means For the Franchise's Future
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," the long-awaited sequel to 2018's record-breaking blockbuster, delivers as many twists and turns as viewers can expect from a Marvel flick. The film takes place one year after King T'Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) dies from a fatal illness, leaving Wakanda vulnerable to poachers determined to get their hands on its most-prized possession: vibranium.
Not only does Wakanda face a threat from the US government, but it also finds a new enemy in the Talokanil people (from the underwater kingdom of Talokan) and their leader, Namor aka Ku'ku'lkán (Tenoch Huerta) — the Feathered Serpent God. Early in the movie, Namor sneaks into Wakanda to offer Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) a proposition to protect their nations. He asks her to locate a scientist — later known to be Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) — who's created a vibranium detector device. Considering Talokan and Wakanda heavily rely on the rare metal, outside forces using the device threatens the security of both nations, and so Namor plans to kill Riri before that can happen.
However, a rescue mission to save Riri, led by Shuri (Letitia Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira), from Namor and his soldiers goes awry, which leads to Riri and Shuri being held captive in Talokan. While Queen Ramonda enlists Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) — a former spy — to retrieve Shuri, Namor tries to woo the latter into making Wakanda an ally to Talokan, in case a world war ever erupted. Shuri refuses because she wants to keep the peace all around. She's then rescued by Nakia but at the expense of two Talokanil guards who get killed, initiating a war with Namor and his people that leads to the shocking death of Queen Ramonda.
Wakanda and Talokan find themselves at odds at the film's climax, setting off a chain of events that lead to an epic conclusion and possible continuation of the "Black Panther" franchise. So let's break them all down.
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" Ending, Explained
After mourning the loss of her mother, Shuri steps up as Wakanda's leader and the next Black Panther now that her entire family is gone. The nation was unprepared for Namor's first attack, which killed Queen Ramonda, so Shuri employs Wakandan soldiers to defeat Namor and his powerful army at sea. There, she kidnaps Namor with her aircraft and tries to dry out his water capabilities. But when Namor pierces the aircraft with his spear and it explodes, the two end up on an island where they fight to the death.
In the heat of the moment, Shuri gets stabbed, and Namor limps toward the ocean thinking she's defeated. But Shuri musters up the strength to corner Namor, forcing him to surrender. She spares his life because she doesn't wish to be a killer, which Namor respects. The two leaders, now allies, take an aircraft back to where the Wakandans and Talokanil soldiers are fighting so they can call off the war, retreating to their respective homelands.
After calling a truce with Talokan, Wakanda begins anew. However, it may not be the end of the nation's war problems. When Namor's cousin, Namora (Mabel Cadena), questions his decision to kneel down to the Wakandans, he assures her it's all part of a bigger plan. Since Talokan is Wakanda's only ally, Namor believes they'll need to rely on the underwater nation should the surface world proceed with more threats in the future.
Meanwhile, back in Wakanda, Shuri is set to appear in a battle ceremony to fight for the throne, but M'Baku (Winston Duke) informs a gathered crowd that he'll be taking her place instead, seemingly teasing that he'll become the nation's new king. Turns out, Shuri has ventured to Haiti to visit Nakia and mourn her brother's death. The film concludes with Shuri throwing her clothes from T'Challa's funeral into a fire pit, but, of course, that's not where the story truly ends.
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" End Credits Scene, Explained
The end credits scene shows Shuri still on the beach in Haiti, where she's joined by Nakia and a young boy named Toussaint. It's at that moment Nakia finally explains why she didn't attend T'Challa's funeral. The two decided before his death that it was best for Toussaint not to be there to explain who he is: T'Challa's one and only son.
Yes, a few years before T'Challa died, he had a son with Nakia, who's been in hiding to escape the pressures of taking the throne at an early age. Toussaint also reveals his true name to Shuri: Prince T'Challa. The assumption is that Marvel's "Black Panther" story will continue with T'Challa's heir, who may just become king one day and the next royal family member to step into the Black Panther suit.