Hocus Pocus 2 Ending Explained: The Sanderson Sisters’ Latest Plot And How It All Played Out

The Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus 2
(Image credit: Disney+)

Warning: spoilers for the Hocus Pocus 2 ending are in play. Should you not have had the chance to run amok with the Sanderson Sisters, consider this a warning. 

It’s been a while since the Sanderson Sisters have scared up some new fun in the world of Hocus Pocus. Expansion on the 1993 classic was slow moving, despite the best efforts of Bette Midler and all others involved. Eventually the world of upcoming movies saw Hocus Pocus 2 become a reality almost 30 years later, complete with a fresh plot of villainy.

Did Hocus Pocus 2’s finale deliver an adventure worthy of that first chapter from so many people’s childhoods? Well, that’s what we’re about to dig into, as it’s time to look deeper into how this latest round of mischief and magic panned out. If you’re not ready for spoilers, you can check out CinemaBlend’s official review, which is free of twists and turns. Otherwise, come loyal readers, we’ll take thee away! It’s time for a land of spoilers and enchantment. 

Belissa Escobedo and Whitney Peak attempt to do magic in the woods in Hocus Pocus 2.

(Image credit: Disney+)

What Happened At The End Of Hocus Pocus 2?

In the final moments of Hocus Pocus 2, Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler) and her sisters Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) attempt to cast the Magicæ Maxima; a power spell that’s supposed to grant them great abilities. Their aim is to seek revenge against the descendants of Reverend Traske (Tony Hale), the man who banished them from Salem as teenagers; and inadvertently turned them onto witchcraft.

Estranged friends Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo), and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) form a surprise coven, after a lifetime of a more than passing interest in witchcraft. Standing up to the Sandersons, they technically defeat them. The big difference is, Hocus Pocus 2’s new cast of heroes actually gets the audience to feel sorry for the witches that once tried to eat all of the children in Salem.

Hannah Waddingham makes a grand speech in the woods in Hocus Pocus 2.

(Image credit: DIsney+)

Magicæ Maxima: The Spell To End All Spells

Winnie, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson were fairly warned, from day one, that the Magicæ Maxima was bad news. Even Mother Witch (Hannah Waddingham), she who gifted them their beloved Book, warned that this spell was not to be cast at any cost. It’s inferred that Mother may have even seen her own coven lost because of her own experience with that specific incantation. 

The Magicæ Maxima is a spell of ultimate power, which is exactly why Winifred is intent on casting it in Hocus Pocus 2. Always the most forceful sister with a plan, getting revenge on the Traske bloodline beats out even trying to become eternally young as a priority to Winnie. Of course, this comes at an unexpected cost, as does most of the greatest ambitions in the Disney library of IP. 

Coincidentally, this spell requires blood from a Traske family member. Ultimately, this is what brings Cassie back together with Becca and Izzy, as she happens to be the daughter of none other than Mayor Traske (Tony Hale). As one coven forms its undoing, another is bound tighter in their quest for survival.

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker look excited to be in the woods in Hocus Pocus 2.

(Image credit: Disney+)

The Consequences Of The Magicæ Maxima, And What They Mean For The Sanderson Sisters

Functionally, the Sanderson Sisters are still villains throughout the events of Hocus Pocus 2 (opens in new tab). They steal the blood of a young teenager to rule Salem with their wicked ways, and if they had their way, they’d use the Magicæ Maxima to kill the Traskes as a start. However, one important catch trips up the entire scheme, as casting this power spell requires you to lose that which you love the most.

For Winnie, the successful casting of this spell means Mary and Sarah had to be dusted into the great beyond. For all the bluster and cruelty she and her sisters have engaged in, their love for each other was what always bound them. Winifred, regretting what she’s done, pleads with the young coven to make things right. Our witchy icon has discovered her limits, as the cost of losing her sisters is not something she can live with.

Upon Book’s suggestion, Becca, Izzy, and Cassie cast the Spell of Reunion, and send Winifred to rejoin her sisters. The Sanderson Sisters leave this mortal plain once more, albeit in a much nicer context than in Hocus Pocus. This could have a pretty big effect on a potential second sequel, and the door is absolutely open to such a concept.

Belissa Escobedo, Whitney Peak, and Lilia Buckingham walking together on school grounds in Hocus Pocus 2.

(Image credit: Disney+)

What Does This All Mean For A Potential Hocus Pocus 3?

Becca, Izzy, and Cassie are our new heroes, as well as the new coven of witches in Salem! Hocus Pocus 2’s ending could see them continuing to hone their powers, and become forces of magical good. That is, if that last second appearance of Mother Witch, in her bird form, isn’t a sign of temptations ahead. Mother is definitely ready to try and shape this new generation of witches, but her intentions aren’t clear.

Depending on where the potential Hocus Pocus 3 story goes, we could see the Sandersons return to reveal more of their magical past with the Mother Witch. After all, the post-credits scene included at the end does show us another Black Flame candle that’s just sitting on a shelf in Salem. All it takes is a virgin and a full moon to bring the Sanderson Sisters back. It's just a question of what type of people they'll be after this most recent revival.

Hocus Pocus 2 and its ties to the past have only enhanced all that has come to pass. If fan reaction manages to manifest the magic that the Mouse House is hoping for, there’s no end to what the future could bring. Of course, that depends on whether the early reactions to Disney+’s latest original is an indication of where everyone else will land. 

All of the Sandersons' cinematic history, including Hocus Pocus 2, is available to anyone with a Disney+ subscription! Easter egg hunters will want to refresh their memories of the events of Hocus Pocus, as that knowledge will help you spot the many references and callbacks to the original Halloween classic. Anything could be the inspiration for another cauldron of comedy.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.