Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ending explained: How it sets up Black Panther 3
Black Panther 2 has multiple endings, and no, I’m not talking about post-credits or deleted scenes. At two hours and 41 minutes, Wakanda Forever is a long movie with a lot of plotlines to juggle. So by the end of the story, there are a lot of characters in need of closure.
Keeping track of all of those plot threads can be difficult even for the most ardent Marvel fans, but we’re here to help with a guide to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s multiple endings and what they mean for Black Panther 3 or other future Marvel projects.
In case it wasn’t obvious, major spoilers ahead for Black Panther 2.
Shuri’s ending in Black Panther 2
Wakanda Forever is Shuri's (Letitia Wright) story first and foremost. So it’s no surprise that she ultimately becomes the new Black Panther after successfully creating a synthetic version of the Heart-Shaped Herb. But after defeating Namor and saving her people, Shuri skips her own coronation ceremony.
Instead, she visits Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) in Haiti to burn the ceremonial dress she wore for her brother’s funeral at the start of the movie. (Wakandan tradition requires mourners to burn the clothes they wear to a funeral, we learn.)
It’s unclear exactly where Shuri stands at the end of Black Panther 2, but until we’re told otherwise, it’s safe to assume she’s still the new Black Panther. We assume she’ll show up again in either an upcoming Avengers movie, Black Panther 3, or perhaps Thunderbolts, which is increasingly looking like a Wakanda-focused story (more on that in a bit).
Nakia’s ending in Black Panther 2
In Wakanda Forever’s post-credits scene, we finally learn why Nakia left Wakanda and moved to Haiti: she had a son with T’Challah. It was agreed that the boy, also named T’Challah, should grow up away from the throne. It seems T’Challah Sr. may have met his child at some point between the Blip and his passing. Queen Ramonda (Angela Basset) met him too.
T’Challah Jr. is still just a child, but there’s a chance he could show up again as an adult through some time-travel shenanigans, especially once Kang the Conqueror (an infamous time traveler) makes his presence known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As for Nakia, it’s unclear when or if she’ll return to the MCU, though if we do get a Black Panther 3 we assume she’ll play a role.
M’Baku’s ending in Black Panther 2
M’Baku (Winston Duke) plays a major role in Wakanda Forever as both the leader of the Jabari tribe and as the movie’s moral compass. He provides sage advice to Shuri several times, especially when she’s consumed by vengeance.
However, M’Baku’s ending is slightly ambiguous in Black Panther 2. After Shuri skips out on her coronation, M’Baku shows up in her place to say she won’t be coming. In a callback to 2018’s Black Panther, e then announces plans to challenge her claim to the throne, though it’s unclear if he’s joking or serious. Either way, the camera cuts to another scene too quickly to resolve his story.
We have a feeling M’Baku will show up again in the MCU, if only because Winston Duke is simply too great in the role not to merit another performance. That could mean Black Panther 3, but there are plenty of other opportunities for a crossover on the horizon...
Everett Ross and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine’s ending in Black Panther 2
C.I.A. agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) returns in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and this time he’s joined by his new boss. If you’ve seen Falcon and the Winter Soldier or Black Widow, you’ll probably recognize Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia-Louis Dreyfus) as an ethically dubious new character who seems to be assembling a team of her own.
At the end of Black Panther 2, Val busts Everett for working against American interests and has him arrested. Thankfully, he’s rescued soon afterward by the Wakandans. It’s unclear where he’ll show up next, though one obvious guess has everything to do with his new, former co-worker.
We know that Valentina Allegra de Fontaine will play a major role in Thunderbolts, an upcoming Marvel crossover movie in which various villains (and anti-heroes) from the MCU join forces to allegedly do some good. After Black Panther 2, it seems Val could be interested in going after Wakanda and its vibranium resources. Could the Thunderbolts be a part of that mission? And if they are, will Everett Ross try to stand in their way?
Queen Ramonda’s ending in Black Panther 2
In one of the movie’s darkest moments, Ramonda (Angela Basset) is murdered by Namor during his daring attack on Wakanda. This scene seems pretty definitive, though it’s always possible the former queen could show up again in an ancestral plane moment or an episode of What If...?
Namor’s ending in Black Panther 2
After losing in a one-on-one fight with Shuri, Namor yields and his army retreats back to their underwater city of Talokan. However, in a final scene, he tells one of his soldiers that he doesn’t see it as a loss. Namor believes that Wakanda now owes Talokan a debt, and when he makes good on his plan to attack the surface world, he believes the Black Panther and her people will support him.
It’s unclear when Namor will return next. The character often interacts with the Fantastic Four in the comics, so that movie could mark his next MCU appearance. He’s also a Mutant, so he could tie into whatever Marvel has planned for the X-Men. And he notably plays a role in the 2015 Secret Wars comic book event, which is getting the big-screen treatment in 2026. Suffice it to say, we haven’t seen the last of Namor.
Riri Williams’ (Ironheart) ending in Black Panther 2
Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) officially joins the MCU in Wakanda Forever as the apparent successor to Iron Man’s mantle. When we meet her, she’s an MIT undergrad who built an Iron Man suit of her own in a local garage (she also designed the only device on Earth capable of locating vibranium, which is why everyone from the C.I.A. to Namor is after her).
At the end of Black Panther 2, Riri leaves Wakanda and heads back to school. However, we already know where we’ll see her next. Dominique Thorne is getting a spinoff of her own in Ironheart, coming to Disney+ in Fall 2023.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is streaming now on Disney+.