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Warning: The following article contains spoilers from Damsel.



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Summary

  • Damsel
    ‘s ending subverts fairy tale tropes, leaving Elodie’s story open-ended for the potential of anything to happen next, per writer Dan Mazeau.
  • Elodie’s journey from fear to strength highlights her hero arc as she breaks the cycle and changes her story with the dragon.
  • The relationship between Elodie and the dragon evolves beyond their roles, leaving room for a potential partnership in a sequel.


Damsel writer Dan Mazeau explains the ending of the new Netflix movie starring Millie Bobby Brown. Princess Elodie (Brown) marries a prince in a far-off kingdom to help the impoverished people in her own kingdom. While this marriage has the potential to be a fairy tale happy ending, it takes a dark turn as her marriage is part of a larger deception in which she is sacrificed to a dragon (voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo), and must fight to survive the beast as it hunts her in its mountain lair.

While speaking with TheWrap, Mazeau explains the narrative decisions behind where Elodie’s story ends, and why not all questions about her and the dragon are answered by the end of the movie. His rationale ties into the way in which Damsel‘s ending and the entire movie subvert well-known fairy tale tropes, and the deeper meaning beyond making such subversions. Read Mazeau’s comments below:


The story of their lives has not been written yet as they’re flying away. [We wanted] to leave you with this idea that we’ve been through our inverted version of the fairy tale. It’s our inverted version of happily ever after. As opposed to the idea that nothing’s going to happen, the idea is anything could happen.

Elodie wants to travel the world, the dragon has been effectively locked in this emotional prison for hundreds and hundreds of years. It ends with, as opposed to the confines of the cave, as open as it could possibly be.

It’s about taking these traditional knight-in-shining-armor stories and exploring them from a different perspective, and part of that is not just saving yourself but also becoming the savior for somebody else. We wanted Elodie to go through the entire arc of a hero, starting from somebody scared to becoming somebody strong.

The idea is that when she lost her children, that was it. She was effectively going to be alone forever until she died. And so, in trying to repay the pain for that, she has caused the deaths of a lot of young women down there in the dark. She’s telling [Elodie] that this is going to keep happening and happening and happening as punishment and there’s nothing you can do about it.

It’s finally Elodie that breaks the cycle by recognizing that she isn’t actually alone down there, that she’s been aided by all the other women that came before and, in fact, owes a responsibility to them to stop this and change the story.

The concept of her triumphing over the dragon, and then in some ways of harnessing the dragon’s power and leaving the cave with that power, was baked into the story from the beginning. There was an earlier version where the dragon did not survive the story. We felt, in sort of exploring and developing the story, that we all really became attached to the character of the dragon. It felt like, in some ways, they were both victims of this situation, and so it felt right for both of them to come out changed, both of them to survive.

They have a new relationship. I don’t think they’re necessarily partners in any way, shape or form, but they’re no longer dragon and damsel. It’s an open question what their relationship is going to be. They’ve surpassed what their relationship was, this antagonistic situation that they were both thrust into, essentially. And now, for the first time, Elodie is free in a way that she never has been before, and the dragon is free in a way that it never has been before. They both have an opportunity to chart their own course.



Will The Story Of Elodie & The Dragon Continue In Damsel 2?

Damsel Dragon Ending

While Elodie and the dragon do ultimately team up and get their revenge against Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright) and the royalty who betrayed them, this vengeance is not the end of their story. They have helped each other and are now free to explore the world and have experiences they never thought would be possible. Damsel 2 could explore this relationship between Elodie and the dragon and a potential partnership, perhaps helping other kingdoms that have been corrupted like Aurea was by Queen Isabelle and her ancestors.


With a current 59% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, Damsel has not won over most critics, but has a more favorable audience score, currently at 76%. More important than Damsel‘s poor reviews are the viewership numbers that it will yield, particularly during its first weeks available on Netflix. The streamer has greenlit and made sequels for movies with far worse critical scores than the one Damsel currently holds, including Red Notice, Murder Mystery, and Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire.

Movie

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Score

Damsel

59%

Red Notice

37%

Murder Mystery

44%

Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire

21%


Red Notice, Murder Mystery, and Rebel Moon: Part One all performed exceptionally well in terms of viewership on Netflix, and if Damsel also performs well, Damsel 2 will likely be greenlit. Brown’s star power should bring a significant boost to Damsel‘s viewership, especially for Netflix subscribers eager to see Brown again as the wait for Stranger Things season 5 continues. With a compelling question of what’s next for Elodie and the dragon after their newfound liberation, and as long as the viewership is there, there is potential for a Damsel sequel.

Damsel is now available to stream on Netflix.

Source: The Wrap

Damsel Netflix Movie Poster

Damsel

A dutiful damsel agrees to marry a handsome prince, only to find the royal family has recruited her as a sacrifice to repay an ancient debt. Thrown into a cave with a fire-breathing dragon, she must rely on her wits and will to survive

Director
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Release Date
March 8, 2024

Writers
Dan Mazeau



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