‘Nimona’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Ambrosius And Ballister?


Nimona, produced by Annapurna Pictures, is the film adaptation of N.D. Stevenson’s celebrated comic that goes by the same name. Centered around the life of a shape-shifter, Nimona is all about finding the truth in our fears. Fear is rooted in the unknown or the incomprehensible, and fear helps those in authority manipulate the common people, but what happens when people start questioning authority and the Kingdom’s history altogether?

According to the history of the realm, a long time ago, a hero named Gloreth destroyed a vicious monster that attacked the realm. While Gloreth had pushed the monster back into the shadows, the threat of its return lurked. Gloreth trained a chosen force of knights and commanded their descendants to protect the Kingdom in the future. A thousand years have passed since Gloreth defeated the monster, and a knight who was not a descendant of the elite force chosen by Gloreth was to receive a knighthood from the Queen. While many did not agree with the Queen’s decision, she believed it was time for a change.

Spoilers Alert

‘Nimona’ Plot Summary: What Happens In The Film?

Born in the streets, Ballister was given an opportunity by the Queen to become a knight after he demonstrated courage and enthusiasm to protect the Kingdom at a young age. Ballister was trained by the Institute, and it was finally his time to be declared a Knight by the Queen. Ballister was often compared with his classmate Ambrosius Goldenloin, the direct descendant of Gloreth. While they were believed to be competitors, in reality, Ballister and Ambrosius were in love. Ambrosius was proud of Ballister’s achievement, and he keenly looked forward to him becoming a knight. During the knighting ceremony, Ballister was handed his sword by the Queen and was declared a hero of the realm. As soon as Ballister held the sword, it transformed into a laser weapon. The green laser beam light pierced through the Queen’s heart, and she collapsed on the floor. Instinctively, Ambrosius chopped off Ballister’s arm, and in that moment of chaos, the lovers realized that nothing would remain the same between them. Ballister escaped, and he became the most wanted man in the realm.

As the entire realm searched for Ballister, he locked himself in a tower and built a prosthetic arm. He was desperate to prove his innocence, but stepping out of the tower without getting caught seemed almost impossible. A sudden knock at the tower door shocked Ballister. He hesitantly opened the door and was confused to find no one on the other end. As he closed the door, a young girl with red hair and a smirk on her face greeted him. She addressed Ballister as her boss, and within seconds, Nimona made herself feel at home. Nimona wanted to become the sidekick of the greatest villain in the realm, and Ballister was dumbfounded by her proposal. He did not consider himself a villain, and he was not on board with Nimona’s destructive intentions. Nimona encouraged Ballister to act out of malice, but the hero was not ready to give up on being good yet. It did not take much time for Nimona to understand that she had misjudged Ballister, but nonetheless, her offer to become his sidekick stood. Ballister rejected her proposal and decided to find a way to bring justice all by himself. As soon as Ballister stepped out of the tower, he was arrested and locked in prison. No one was ready to believe him except Nimona. She managed to find a way into his prison cell and offered to help him once again. This time, Ballister accepted her offer, but he warned her not to indulge in violence to break him free from prison. Nimona was out for blood, but since her master was against it, she settled for the least violent path.

Who Framed Ballister And Why?

It was while escaping prison that Ballister found out that Nimona was a shape-shifter. With the Institute’s guards closing in on them, Nimona had no choice but to reveal her true self. In her own chaotic way, Nimona managed to bring Ballister back to his tower. Ballister tried to make sense of who Nimona was, but she refused to be defined as anything in particular. After making it out of prison, Ballister and Nimona focused on getting hold of the squire since he was the one who handed Ballister the laser beam sword before the ceremony. Meanwhile, after witnessing the chaos unleashed by Ballister and his new friend, Ambrosius volunteered to lead the knights and find the murderer. Using CCTV footage, Ambrosius tracked down Ballister in the subway, and the entire station was surrounded by the guards. Nimona, in the shape of a gorilla, helped Ballister escape through the roof. Nimona transformed into a demon boy and scared the squire out of his wits. Nimona and Ballister loaded the squire into the trunk of their newly stolen car and took off before Ambrosius could get hold of them.

After the squire came to his senses, he showed them a video that explained why Ballister was framed during the knighting ceremony. As it turns out, the Director of the Institute replaced Ballister’s sword with a sinister weapon to destroy his reputation and get rid of the Queen. Ballister met Ambrosius at the Institute and tried to show him the evidence, but before he could play the video, the guards destroyed his phone. He explained that it was the Director who had conspired against him, but by then, Ballister and Nimona were surrounded by guards ready to take them down. Ambrosius instructed the guards to arrest them, but Nimona and Ballister were not ready to give up yet. After putting up a fight and revealing her true self to the world, Nimona and Ballister escaped. They had to come up with a better plan, and a confession from the Director could just be perfect.

Nimona, as Ambrosius met the Director at her chamber and asked her about her involvement in framing Ballister. The Director expressed her frustration with the Queen’s decision to declare Ballister, a hero of the realm. She was afraid her decision would lead to a crack in the wall and that the monster, once defeated by Gloreth, would once again haunt the realm. The Director thought that she was right to question the Queen’s decision since a monster (Nimona) had now entered the realm. She chose to frame Ballister as the villain and conspired to kill the Queen to protect the realm. After confessing the truth, the Director stabbed Ambrosius. As soon as she thought she had dealt with the problem, Ballister greeted her and showed her the video he had recorded. She was horrified to realize that she had not stabbed Ambrosius but the shape-shifting monster. Nimona could not be killed with a sword, but she sure enjoyed performing the death scene. They uploaded the video, and the people of the realm finally started to question the Institute and the Director. But their happiness was short-lived; the Director publicly announced that she was not in the video; it was the shape-shifting monster that framed her by spinning a web of lies. She diverted the entire hatred towards Nimona and brought back the fear that already existed among the commoners.

‘Nimona’ Ending Explained: Why Did Nimona Show Her Dark Side?

Ambrosius met Ballister in secrecy and showed him a scroll that the Director had found in the Institute vaults. It proved that Nimona was not just a shape-shifter; she was the monster Gloreth defeated a thousand years ago. Ambrosius tried to convince Ballister that it was Nimona who manipulated him to seek revenge on the Kingdom she was once pushed away from by Gloreth. Ballister had spent the loneliest of days with Nimona. She had become his source of hope and joy, and he could not think of abandoning his friend all of a sudden. The information was a lot to process, and he decided to take some time before reaching any conclusions. He returned home to Nimona and questioned her about her past. She could not believe that her only friend doubted her for being a monster. Just as the argument between the two got heated up, Thodd and the guards surrounded the tower.

As Nimona ran for her life, she was reminded of her past. She had spent the initial years of her life trying to fit in, but she was mostly rejected. She was unlike anyone around, and a companion became almost impossible to find. She met a blonde-haired little girl named Gloreth one day near the well. She was playing alone, and when she found Nimona hiding behind the bush, she offered to play with her. Nimona and Gloreth gradually became inseparable, and Gloreth found out about Nimona’s true identity. Gloreth was not afraid of Nimona even after knowing her truth, and Nimona finally felt at home with her. One day, as Nimona, in the form of a gorilla, was spending time with Gloreth, her parents found out. They accused Nimona of being a monster, and the entire village attempted to murder her. Nimona was completely devastated when Gloreth picked up her sword and pointed it at her, asking her to leave the village and hide away. History was repeating itself, and once again, a friend she trusted turned against her. All Nimona wanted was a safe place, but she was repeatedly denied it. Since she could not change who she was, she gradually transformed into a black creature with fluorescent white eyes. No one tried to really understand her, and they pushed her to the edge. Ballister made her hopeful, but she realized that the world had nothing to offer her other than hatred and disgust.

As Nimona approached the city square, the guards and heroes lined up to defend the realm. They torched her, bombed her, and attacked her with all their might, but Nimona did not stop. She approached the statue of Gloreth and attempted to kill herself with Gloreth’s golden sword. But before she could push the sword into her heart, Ballister stopped her. He apologized for not seeing Nimona for who she was. It took just one person to stop Nimona from hating herself. She transformed into the teenager Ballister was familiar with and hugged him. All her life, Nimona had been searching for that one friend to show trust in her, and finally, when she had almost given up, Ballister showered her with love and support. The Director was not affected by the emotional reunion; she instructed the guards to pull the canon, which could potentially kill thousands of people. When Ambrosius and the guards did not cooperate, she decided to take the step alone. By colliding with the laser cannon, Nimona risked her life to protect the people of the realm. She was reduced to dust, and all of a sudden, Ballister lost his sidekick and best friend.

After the collision at the end of Nimona, the wall encompassing the realm collapsed, and the people of the realm realized that the Institution had been lying to them for a thousand years. There were no monsters beyond the wall; there was a river flowing and mountains around it. After the revelation, the Institution collapsed, and communication with the world beyond the wall was established. Ballister and Ambrosius united as lovers, and the people of the realm dedicated a wall to Nimona. She was a hero and an inspiration. Without her sacrifice, they would have never found out the truth. Ballister was proud of the love Nimona received, but he continued to miss his sidekick. One day, there was a sudden knock on the door. Ballister opened it, and there was no one on the other side. He heard a familiar voice call him out from inside the tower, and Ballister was delighted to see his red-haired friend. Nimona finally returns in the end. Nimona ends on a happy note with the dismantling of the Institute. Even though it took a thousand years, the people of the realm learned how they had been brainwashed by the Institute. Ambrosius and Ballister were finally together, and to make matters all the more heartwarming, Nimona returns, though her form might have changed due to the collision.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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