Based on the bestselling novel by Frank Miller, Cursed is Netflix's latest fantasy epic. It's the perfect thing to watch if you already binged through Warrior Nun and can barely wait for The Witcher Season 2.
Cursed reimagines the legendary story of King Arthur and Excalibur as a prequel focused on a powerful witch named Nimue (Katherine Langford). Tasked with bringing the Sword of Power to Merlin, Nimue joins forces with Arthur and Morgana to halt the rise of the Red Paladins (Christian monks who hunt and kill all magical peoples and non-humans, as well as King Uther’s power over the kingdom).
Chock-full of twists and turns, Cursed’s Season 1 finale ends on a major cliffhanger that uproots the story entirely and sets a new course for several characters. So what does the final twist mean? And how does it set up Cursed Season 2? Here's everything you need to know.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Netflix’s Cursed.
What happened at the end of Cursed Season 1?
Nimue has yet to gain control over the Sword of Power by the Season 1 finale, which leads her to take more violent action when in possession of the weapon. But, it doesn’t keep her from fighting for the Fey and leveraging her newfound status as their queen.
Meanwhile, King Uther and the Red Paladins, led by Father Carden, are still trying to negotiate with Nimue to give up the Sword of Power. Nimue makes a deal to do so in exchange for the safety of the Fey. To no one’s surprise, Uther and Father Carden betray Nimue, launching an attack on the Fey people just as they are attempting to flee by boat. Arthur fights back, coming face to face with the Red Spear, who’s revealed as Guinevere. It’s a memorable meet-cute.
Elsewhere, the Paladins capture, torture, and kill Gawain, the Green Knight, to further deter the Fey and Nimue, his childhood friend. Nimue, devastated by the loss of Gawain, manifests her powers, and it isn’t long before fresh grass begins to grow around Gawain’s lifeless body. He doesn’t wake up, but we can presume that he’s back from the dead.
In perhaps the biggest twist, the Weeping Monk, one of the most powerful Paladins who's skilled with tracking the Fey by scent, is revealed to be none other than Lancelot. Yes, the very same one who goes on to become one of King Arthur’s most loyal knights (before falling in love with his wife). He reveals his identity to Squirrel, who’s actually young Percival (also a future knight), at the very end of the Season 1 finale in a gasp-worthy moment.
Merlin, whose magical powers were dwindling, regains his abilities after wielding the Sword of Power in a fantastic moment — he’s been avoiding it knowing what the sword can do to people. Lightning emanates from the mythical weapon as soon as he grabs it and the first thing he does is behead Father Carden.
Does Nimue die at the end of Cursed Season 1?
It certainly seems that way. Nimue and Morgana, who’s been transformed into the Widow and able to sense who will die, find and attempt to rescue Merlin. However, Iris, a former nun and Red Paladin ally, catches up with them and shoots the Fey queen with her arrows. Nimue falls over the side of the bridge and into the water below in a direct reference to Cursed's beginning, which featured Nimue already floating in the lake.
Of course, Nimue is the show’s main character so it’s doubtful that she’s actually dead. There’s also the fact that she can seemingly heal people and has yet to explore the full breadth of her power. That said, in Arthurian legend, she is best known as the Lady of the Lake, so if she returns in Cursed Season 2 it may be in a very different form.
It’s possible the Hidden, mysterious spirits who chose Nimue to lead the Fey, will somehow rescue her — or Nimue will do it herself. Merlin should at least try and fish his own daughter out of the lake, but he’s been a pretty uninspiring father thus far. Whatever happens, Cursed has provided all the setup and character backstory to carry on with this Arthurian retelling.
Cursed Season 1 is currently available to stream on Netflix.