SPOILER WARNING: The following feature contains massive spoilers for The Nun. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know details about the way the movie ends, you may want to click away to another one of our wonderful articles.
The Conjuring Universe is rapidly expanding. The franchise didn't really start off with hugely ambitious plans, but ever since The Conjuring made over $300 million worldwide the aspirations have grown more epic. Not only did the first movie spawn a sequel that out-grossed its predecessor, but Annabelle has proven to be a massively successful spin-off series, two movies together making over $560 million globally. Now we have the latest entry in the form of director Corin Hardy's The Nun, and it ultimately proves to be a crucial piece in the growing continuity.
Specifically, it's the end of The Nun that ties it directly into the rest of the happenings in the Conjuring Universe, and it's those sequences in particular that we're here to dissect. What happens at the end? What does it mean? What do the filmmakers have to say about it? You'll find the answers to all those questions and more in this feature, so read on!
What Happens At The End Of The Film
After discovering the truth about Sister Victoria's suicide -- that she was actually sacrificing herself to avoid possession instead of just killing herself -- Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), Father Burke (Demian Bichir) and Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) formulate a plan to defeat The Nun a.k.a. Valak. They believe that if they can seal the broken rift from which the demon escaped it will be banished from our realm, and they acquire the tools that will help them complete their mission: the key to the catacombs, and an artifact that contains a vial of Jesus Christ's blood.
Of course, fighting a demon is no easy business -- and recognizing that the trio is stronger together Valak successfully manages to separate them. The group is attacked by all matters of unholy things Irene is temporarily possessed, though she is freed when Frenchie uses some of Christ's blood (an act that gets him knocked out for a good spell). Burke is once again haunted by images of the young boy who died during an exorcism, forcing him to separate from Irene, and Irene is thrown into the rift room, which is quickly filling with water.
Irene sees the artifact floating close to her, though it appears that it is broken. Valak attacks again, trying to drown her. At first it looks like the demon has succeeded, holding Irene's limp body, but the young nun then spits Christ's blood in its face, revealing that she had held it in her mouth. Valak disintegrates, and the portal closes, but Irene appears lifeless. Frenchie, now awake, rushes over to her, and performs CPR, successfully waking her up. Burke finds them, and Frenchie tells them his real name: Maurice Theriault. As they start to leave they affirm that the monastery is once again a holy place, but it's revealed that this is really nothing more than sentiment. Rather than being banished, Valak has managed to successfully possess Frenchie, as evidenced by a scar on his neck that looks like an inverted cross.
Fast-forwarding to 20 years later, Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) sits in an auditorium watching a presentation by Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) -- a clip from the first Conjuring. In the slideshow, the couple discusses a particularly disturbing exorcism that they were a part of, one that involved a French-Canadian farmer... named Maurice Theriault.
This may seem like a simple dovetail that links The Nun to The Conjuring, but those intimately familiar with the Conjuring Universe should know that the connection to previous titles goes much deeper than that. And if you're not entirely sure how it all works, we recommend clicking to the next page.