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Last year's Justice League gave us our full introduction to Jason Momoa's Aquaman, as well as offered a brief glimpse at the royal kingdoms lurking beneath the waves and the Atlanteans that inhabit them, including Mera. Amber Heard's character made a notable impact in her time onscreen, fighting Steppenwolf and helping Aquaman get his trident and armor. Although she only played a small role in that film, Mera will be a huge player in James Wan's Aquaman. The warrior princess will be used as something of a counterpoint to the conflicted Arthur Curry, as actress Amber Heard explained:
She's a warrior who was raised by the queen of Atlantis before she passed. We meet Mera after the queen has long since left and she's been raised to take over as queen her whole life. She's been raised to serve her kingdom and rule over Atlantis with King Orm (Patrick Wilson). She's very disciplined and almost militaristic. She's fully dedicated to saving her nation and that serves as an impetus to go to the surface world and elicit help from Arthur who's the polar opposite of Mera --- he lives in the moment, he's confused about his identity, he lacks the purpose and focus that Mera has, which makes them an unlikely duo. But it's that disparity that makes a nuanced relationship between them. Where one is strong the other is weak and those differences are a conduit for their bonding.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Amber Heard certainly paints a compelling picture of Mera and the role that she will play in Aquaman, particularly her relationship with the titular hero. The dichotomy between Mera and Aquaman Amber Heard describes is really interesting and should make for a fascinating dynamic between the two characters in what should be the film's core relationship. As we saw in Justice League, she is very much duty bound, feeling a debt of gratitude to the late Queen Atlanna for raising her, and is thus fiercely loyal to Atlantis. She had a bit of resentment towards Aquaman, who was seemingly eschewing his duties and had no respect for his mother, who he never knew. They both feel like orphans in their own way and their parallel journeys have resulted in them coming to the same place, but with opposite viewpoints. Their personalities will inevitably clash, but as Amber Heard described, their differences are also what will bring them together.
From a plot standpoint, it sounds like Mera will seek out Aquaman's help for whatever is going on in Atlantis. That will be very interesting, as she will be the catalyst, going to the surface, a world where she doesn't feel comfortable, to bring him to a place where he feels like an outsider. I'm guessing that he will probably be reluctant and need some convincing from her, as he doesn't have her disciplined personality or attachment to Atlantis because of what he felt was his abandonment by Queen Atlanna. We know that Nicole Kidman is playing Queen Atlanna in the film, which is interesting because that character is dead. So maybe we will see what happened when Aquaman was a child in a flashback. If somehow the film takes the DC New 52 approach, where Atlanna faked her death, her return would likely get very hairy as Aquaman and Mera deal with a mother they each have very different feelings about.
Of course one of the coolest aspects about Mera is that she isn't some dainty princess; she's very much a warrior and she won't be sitting on the sidelines while Aquaman fights the battles. Mera has no problem mixing it up as her fight with Steppenwolf proved. Hopefully we'll get to see some of that when the trailer for Aquaman finally debuts, which will finally happen at San Diego Comic-Con.