'Aquaman' Spoilers, Ending Explained: Let's Talk About That Big Twist

Aquaman boasts 2 full hours of non-stop action and excitement — plus about 20 minutes of unnecessary origin story for the King of Atlantis. While there’s never really any doubt that Jason Momoa will emerge on top (he kinda has to, right?), the movie does manage to include one huge twist that will have audiences gasping and hollering. Here’s what you need to know about the big twist near the end of Aquaman.

Warning: No lifeguard on duty. Aquaman spoilers ahead.

Ok, so the big MacGuffin that sends Aquaman and Mera (Amber heard) on their globe trotting adventure in the movie is a magic trident previously owned by Atlan, the greatest king in Atlantis history. This quest sends our heroes to the Sahara and Sicily before they eventually set out to sea again to find the trident’s final location.

The Trench in 'Aquaman'

Warner Bros.

It’s at this point that Aquama gets kind of freaky because it turns out that to get to the trident you have to go through The Trench, an army of mutated Atlanteans who became monstrous cannibals long ago. The Trench was first introduced in 2011’s Aquaman #1 and in the movie, we learn that modern-day Atlantis uses them as a death penalty of sorts for law-breaking citizens — including Aquaman’s mother (Nicole Kidman).

Here's what The Trench look like in the Aquaman comics.

DC Comics

Anyway, Aquaman and Mera have to swim through an army of humanoid fish monsters to get to the trident Then they have to travel through some sort of vortex that transports them to the center of the earth where they meet… Aquaman’s mom!

Nicole Kidman with baby Aquaman

Warner Bros.

So yeah, it turns out she’s been alive this whole time but trapped under the ocean (or wherever this is). The only way out is through a giant sea monster (voiced by Julie Andrews!). Thankfully, now that Aquaman’s arrived he makes quick work of the monster, heads back to Atlantis, and defeats his evil brother.

The rest of the movie plays out pretty straightforward, but its Nicole Kidman’s big return that will shock and delight you. And if you wondering what the heck was going on with those sea monsters that tried to eat her (and Aquaman and Mera), well, now you know.

Aquaman is in theaters now.

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