Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is in the incredibly odd position of being the last film in the old DC franchise before James Gunn starts a new one in a few years. In a sense it wanders because it is not built to end anything. It’s just a new Aquaman movie. But thanks to all the franchise hype, it’s hard to look at it that way.
But anyway we will provide it in the best possible way.
Warning: The rest of this article will contain detailed descriptions of the ending of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
The plot of the film involves Black Manta still seeking revenge for his father’s death and searching for and finding an ancient Atlantean trident that gives him the power to fight Aquaman. But the trio comes at a price: he must free the ancient monster king who owns it from an icy prison.
The final step in the process, after the glacier had melted, was to break the magical lock with the dead blood of King Atlan, Aquaman’s ancient ancestor and imprisoned soul brother. There are three people alive who carry that blood: Aquaman himself, his brother Orem, and Aquaman’s baby boy.
So Manta steals Aquababy and is about to kill the baby when Aquaman steps in at the last second to knock the blade out of Manta’s hand. This suits Manta just fine, as he wants to kill Aquaman anyway. And so the final fight begins.
Midway through the battle, Manta holds on with his magical powers and nearly kills Mera by throwing the Black Trident at him, but Orem catches it in a very dramatic fashion. However, this is the second time Orem touches the trident and is unable to resist the ancient power – Orem is eventually possessed by this evil spirit king, who releases Manta and leaves him incapacitated.
So, once again Orem and Aquaman have to fight, and Orem manages to free the Ghost King by punching Aquaman hard enough that he spills blood on the lock. But Aquaman is able to defeat him in a clever way by borrowing a trick from James Gunn. He throws his trident through Another one basically copies Deadshot’s little bullet trick from the end of The Suicide Squad. Although that’s a little silly since we’re talking about metal triplets, “stupid” is pretty much par for the course for an Aquaman movie, so we’ll let it go.
Without his powers, Manta is twisted for good, hanging from a ledge as the cave they were fighting in collapses around him. Aquaman, in a reversal from their first scene together in the last film, tries to help her, but Manta refuses and lets herself fall – she’d probably come back if they wanted to make a third sequence of these, but no word. Guess about it now.
Unfortunately, thanks to Manta’s efforts to speed up global climate change throughout the film, even after the threat is gone, things are still a mess. So the Atlanteans and the rest of the underwater world decide to make their way to the surface so they can deal with what Manta did to them. So Aquaman surfaces with Dolph Lundgren and the King Crab and gives a big speech about how everyone needs to come together.
And then the movie ends with Orem eating a hamburger for the first time, inspired by Aquaman, who mocked him earlier in the movie for never having tried surface food. And then the credits roll. But wait, there’s a little more.
Does Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have a mid-credits scene or post-credits?
There’s an extra bit in the middle of the credits, and it’s followed by a burger scene. You’ll remember that in that earlier food argument between Orem and Aquaman, Aquaman punked Orem by giving him a cockroach to eat and claiming it was a delicacy – making for one of the funniest moments in the movie.
This cuts back to the mid-credits scene, when he sees a cockroach on the table where he’s eating a hamburger. So he takes the cockroach and sticks it under the bread and takes a big bite. After a few moments of reflection, he nods in agreement.
And that’s how the DC movie, which began a decade ago with Man of Steel, finally ended: with Patrick Wilson eating a roach burger.