Does Gunnar Die ‘Rebel Moon 2’? What Does The Farmer’s Character Symbolize?


After watching Rebel Moon Part 2, I guess it would be safe to say that the entire point of Gunnar’s arc was to make Kora realize that she is a doomed lover. Being the child of war, anyone she loves is destined to die on the battlefield. [Spoiler alert] And that’s what happened with her second lover, Gunnar, as well. In the climax of Rebel Moon Part 2, Kora and Gunnar arrived on Atticus Noble’s Dreadnought to blow it up from the inside. However, before they could accomplish their mission, Noble and General Cassius got wind of Kora’s arrival and decided to capture the intruder before she could escape. Noble’s boss, Regent Balisarius, wanted his adopted daughter alive, which was the reason why Noble didn’t blow up the village on Veldt. But with Kora safe on the ship, he had all the reasons to bring out the big guns and annihilate the entire planet. However, before the cannons could charge up, the time bombs, planted in the engine room, did the job and damaged the core of the ship, causing complete destruction. Noble was in a fix.

The final battle took place between Noble and Kora in the landing arena, where Gunnar had been waiting for her so that they could escape safely. But when he found out that his lover was in danger, the poor farmer couldn’t hold back and decided to act bravely for a change. Unfortunately, he got shot in the process. Kora decided to end Noble as soon as possible so that she could save her dying lover. In the end, he sacrificed his own life to save Kora from getting killed. However, like all cowards, Gunnar stabbed Noble in the back. Like they say in Marvel, he should have gone for the “head.” Gunnar did save Kora’s life, but his own actions don’t elevate his character arc in any way. His death just adds another person to Kora’s reasons-to-seek-revenge list. Her clash with Balisarius is inevitable, and when she does face her worst nemesis, she is indeed going to take revenge for her fallen lover. However, what does Gunnar’s death even mean in the grand scheme of things?

We saw the death of Kora’s (or Arthelais’) first lover in a montage, which really didn’t have any effect on the audience. Though it was enough to establish the fact that Arthelais once had a lover, and she didn’t want to indulge in another romance as she was bound to lose her lovers. Yet Gunnar, the farmer, who had a secret crush on Kora, wooed her with his resilience and innocent bravery to stand up against the Imperium. Gunnar and Kora came closer through the course of Rebel Moon Part 1 and ended up becoming lovers at the beginning of Part 2. I love how Zack Snyder lives in this fairyland where it’s okay to bring such a curve in the characters’ arcs without investing enough time in their story. But now, with Gunnar dead too, I guess it would be the end of Kora’s love life, as she might not want to go through the same heartbreak yet again. Kora, being a valiant warrior, would focus all her energy on taking revenge from her adoptive father and getting justice for the Slain King. She would try to find Princess Issa and help her get her throne back so that Kora could revert the damage she had done by aiding Balisarius in his treacherous schemes.

Coming back to Gunnar, I guess Snyder killed him too early in the franchise if he is really planning to make four more films in the same universe. The reason being, Gunnar was one of the few enthusiastic farmers on Veldt who helped the Resistance and wanted to stop the Imperium, even though they didn’t have any idea on how to accomplish that. Gunnar’s character was purely driven by passion, but overall, his character arc wasn’t striking enough. Throughout the runtime of two films, his portrayal seemed more like Kora’s sidekick than a lover or a fighter. Maybe Gunnar shouldn’t have been shot too early, and he should have been given a chance to escape the ship. I guess if the character had a more intense situation at hand, then his act of sacrifice might have meant more in the climax. 

Additionally, Gunnar’s hidden cowardice or pretense of bravery should have been implemented throughout the second part of the film so that, as viewers, we could have empathized with his sacrifice or death. In the end, Gunnar seemed to be just another lover that “Kora” lost in one of the many battles that she had been fighting against the Imperium. And what’s worse, she quickly forgets Gunnar’s death and jumps on to the next chapter, i.e., finding the Princess, as if a lover’s death doesn’t mean anything now. There are many flaws in Snyder’s Rebel Moon franchise, but how he treats his character is the worst part of it. And I don’t think it is going to change anytime soon in the upcoming parts because when you have full creative liberty of things and you run a one-man ship, you often end up becoming blind to your own shortcomings. Well, at least Game of Thrones fans got to see one Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman, who plays Gunnar in Rebel Moon) killing another Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein, who plays Noble in Rebel Moon) to point and cheer at, because that’s what franchises have been reduced to: a bland porridge of insubstantial references and Easter Eggs.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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