Avatar: The Way Of Water Ending Explained: What Happens And What It Could Mean For Avatar 3 And Beyond

Jake teaching his kid to use a bow and arrow in Avatar 2
(Image credit: Disney)

The following contains significant spoilers for the ending of Avatar: The Way of Water.

Somehow after years in screenwriting and development, Avatar: The Way of Water is finally actually here. Whether you’re a serious fan of the franchise or just somebody wondering if it will actually live up to the hype, there will certainly be many people checking out the second Avatar film. Those that do will see an exciting finale, and while the Avatar: The Way of Water ending is dramatic, exciting, and largely conclusive, it still leaves a few open questions regarding where things will go from here.

Avatar 3 was filmed alongside The Way of Water, so we know that film will be here in two years time, and barring financial catastrophe, Avatar 4 and Avatar 5 will follow as well. What those movies will ultimately be about is anybody’s guess, but how Avatar 2 ends gives us some strong clues of the franchise's direction

Kate Winslet's Ronal and Sam Worthington's Jake Sully surrounded by other Na'vi in Avatar: The Way of Water

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

What Happens To Jake Sully, Neytiri, And Their Family, At The End Of Avatar The Way Of Water 

Avatar: The Way of Water ends the way you would expect a massive tentpole blockbuster to end, with a massive battle sequence. Jake, Neytiri, their children, and the entire Metkayina reef clan take on a massive ship of humans, as well as the Blue Squadron of military Avatars led by Stephen Lang’s resurrected Quaritch

While the Na’vi suffer their share of casualties in the battle, the most significant is when Jake and Neytiri lose one of their own. Oldest child Neteyam is shot in the chest while escaping after he and brother Lo’ak rescue their adoptive brother, Spider, son of the human Miles Quaritch. While everybody does their best, the wound is too much and Neteyam dies.

This sends both Jake and Neytiri into a rage, and they attack the human vessel, killing essentially everybody else still on board, both human and Avatar. Quaritch is the last one standing, and he uses a recaptured sister Kiri as leverage. Neytiri then captures Spider to force a standoff. While Quaritch claims to have no feelings for the boy, in the end he does release Kiri in order to save Spider, and he and Jake begin to fight.

Jake ultimately prevails and appears to leaves Quaritch for dead, but when Spider comes across the not quite dead Quaritch, he makes the decision to save the Avatar, though there is no reconciliation, as once he’s sure Quaritch is alive, Spider returns to his Na’vi family.

In the final scenes, Jake tells the Metkayina leader, Tonowari, that he and his family will be leaving, making their own way once again. However, in the end Jake decides that running is simply no longer an option, and instead they will remain with the reef people, and from there they will fight.

Sigourney Weaver in Avatar 2

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

What It Could Mean For Avatar 3 And The Rest Of The Franchise 

We know that Avatar 3 was filmed alongside The Way of Water and so it makes some sense that the next film will also take place largely in the same geographic area of Pandora. If Jake Sully and the rest of the Na’vi really do make their stand to fight the sky people here to the end, then the next three films could all be set here. There is at least some evidence that could be the case.

Some of the larger ramifications of the events of Avatar 2 in Avatar 3 regard exactly who lived and who did not. Quaritch survived, largely thanks to Spider. By the end of the film it’s unclear if Jake and family are aware he’s still alive, or why he is. If Spider only saved him because he didn’t want to feel responsible for the death of anybody, then there may not be any larger issues here, but if Spider did it because he does, in fact, feel a familial bond, then that could become important later on.

And that familial bond could be key, because Spider’s other family may not entirely feel the same way. We’re told early in The Way of Water that Neytiri doesn't feel the same way about Spider as the rest of the family, and at the end she threatens to kill him. Considering how filled with grief she was, it seems likely she would have followed through. If Neytiri continues to push Spider away, she may push him toward Quaritch.

Quaritch’s next move will be interesting. He’s been defeated by Jake (again, though the Avatar version technically doesn’t remember the first time) so his desire for vengeance will have only grown. He appears to be the only Avatar soldier who survived the fight. It’s unclear if the humans will have more Avatar soldiers for Quaritch to command in future films, or if he’ll be alone from here on out.

And then of course there’s the question of what Neteyam’s death will mean. Jake seemed to blame Lo’ak in the aftermath, as Lo’ak did have a tendency to get his brother in trouble. But by the end of the film it seemed he had realized his other son was not to blame. The family appears to be united, but we’ll have to wait and see if that ends up being truly just a façade. 

The other big question looking forward into Avatar 3 is Kiri, the "child" of Sigourney Weaver's Dr. Grace Augustine. She was introduced as a very unique character. Her own birth isn’t completely explained, and we know now that she has either a mysterious connection to the planet Pandora, or a form of epilepsy that’s causing her to believe she does. It’s all but certain the issue is the former, but convincing others of this will be a challenge. Kiri's connection already feels like it will be the ultimate solution to winning the battle against the sky people, though it will likely take us three more movies to get there. 

When the first Avatar debuted we didn’t know if we’d ever get sequels, and the first one took more than a decade. The good news here is that we know Avatar 3 is no more than two years away. That means that some of these questions raised in Avatar: The Way of Water will see answers very soon. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.