‘Renegade Nell’ Ending Explained: Did Nell Defeat The Earl Of Poynton & Save The Queen?


Renegade Nell revolves around the titular character, who was presumed to be dead after she went away with her husband. She returned with superpowers, which were given to her by a pixie named Billy Blind, and reunited with her father (Sam) and two sisters (Roxy and George). The son of the lord of the village, Thomas, was terrorizing Roxy, and Nell tried to put a stop to it by bashing him up. In retaliation, Thomas not only killed Sam but also put the blame for Lord Blancheford’s death on Nell, thereby forcing her and her family to go on the run. Since Sofia (Thomas’ sister) sided with Thomas, their servant, Rasselas, escaped with Nell. While going all over England in search of a magistrate who could clear Nell’s name, Charles Devereux and Polly Honeycombe joined the team, and they learned about a conspiracy that was being hatched by the Earl of Poynton, Robert Hennessey to overthrow Queen Anne and put James Francis Edward Stuart on the throne.

Spoiler Alert

Did Nell defeat the Earl of Poynton and save the Queen?

Rasselas tried to stop Sofia from collaborating with Robert in his plan to capture the Queen so that James Francis Edward Stuart could be brought from France and made the king of England. In addition to that, Rasselas asked Sofia to stop hunting down Nell and requested that she clear her name of all wrongdoing. Sofia simply asked Rasselas to return to her while keeping his bloodied rag that he was using to cover his wound because she wanted to use that to track Nell down and then kill her so that the truth about Thomas being Lord Blancheford’s murderer died with her. Rasselas reunited with Nelly, Polly, Roxy, and George at Lady Eularia Moggerhangar’s printing press, where the girls were trying to get her name cleared and, ideally, spill the truth about Thomas. However, Sofia possessed Eularia and tried to kill Nell. 

Of course, Nell (with some help from George’s vocals) defeated Sofia. But, in the process, Sofia learned that Nell and her merry band of misfits were aware of what Robert was up to and that they needed to prepone their plans of kidnapping the Queen and starting the invasion of England. Since Rasselas had informed Nell about the Queen being taken to Broadwater and being held captive there, they headed to the castle there. They reunited with Charles Devereux, who was escaping his hanging after being accused of being the highwayman, Isambard Tulley, and a Jacobite. While Nell and her team made their way into the compound to free the Queen, Sofia realized that Robert was drawing his power from Thomas via the serpentine necklace that was lodged in his chest. 

Sofia tried to neutralize Robert, but he got the better of her and trapped her. Nell went to the fake Queen and was captured by Robert. Rasselas and Roxy got to the slowly dying Thomas. George and Charles rescued the real Queen. Rasselas was inclined to leave Thomas to his suffering when he revealed that he always knew Rasselas’ actual, pre-slavery name (Amadin) but didn’t reveal it to him on his father’s orders, but Roxy couldn’t let that happen because she was an empath, and she tried to pull out the serpentine necklace. That momentarily distracted Robert, and Nell broke free from his grasp and then challenged him to a duel. Sofia broke Robert’s spell, and she joined Nell to beat Robert. Since they were failing, Charles wore the Queen’s dress and distracted Robert. 

Sofia and Nell rushed into the castle to save Thomas because that was the only way to stop Robert. Nell asked Billy Blind to help Thomas, even though it would kill him. As soon as Billy’s work was done, the curse on Thomas was lifted. That caused Robert to collapse and then Sofia killed him.

During Renegade Nell‘s ending, Nell allowed Thomas and Sofia to go on the run instead of making them pay for everything that they had done. Charles was rewarded for his bravery with a knighthood. The Queen wanted Nell to be the captain of her bodyguard, but she asked her to give them back her family pub, and then she rode off into the sunset with Roxy, Rasselas, and George. Additionally, a spark flying across the screen meant that Billy Blind was, in fact, alive.

What Was the Significance of Robert Hennessey’s Defeat?

There’s a lot of real historical context when it comes to Queen Anne, James Francis Edward Stuart, and the Jacobite movement. Renegade Nell’s interpretation has some real-world parallels, and there are some complications as well. I’m not a history expert, but here’s what I surmised. Back in the day, it was believed that the monarch was chosen by God. James Francis Edward Stuart was Catholic, and Anne was raised as a Protestant, and then she became an Anglican. There were a lot of arguments between them about who had the true claim to the throne. Then, there was an invasion by William of Orange, something that Anne approved, thereby putting William and Mary, Anne’s sister, on the throne. She became the queen after King William III died. Soon after that, James Francis Edward Stuart planned to sit on the throne by invading England through Scotland. The invasion was unsuccessful because the British ships chased away Stuart’s fleet before they even got anywhere near Scotland. 

In Renegade Nell, the focus was kept on Robert Hennessey and his fellow Jacobites while keeping every single aspect of Queen Anne’s ascension and whatnot on the sidelines. The concept of Jacobitism was boiled down to a protest against Queen Anne’s attempts at democratizing the functioning of the Parliament by putting God’s chosen one, James Francis Edward Stuart, on the throne, thereby keeping the power away from the representatives of the general populace. That mostly aligned with the real-life Jacobite movement, as they were against the increase in executive power and capitalism. That said, since Renegade Nell is a fantasy show, Hennessey was portrayed as a practitioner of dark magic. That gave his Jacobitism a devilish look as he presented himself as a follower of God while doing the Devil’s work from the inner chambers of the Parliament. So, his defeat signified the literal vanquishing of the devil. That gave Nell’s crusade a little pro-Queen and pro-royalty color, so there’s that. However, due to the color-blind casting, the invader ended up being a black man, and the victim was a white woman. Knowing what we know of England’s history with people of African descent, something that the show addressed too (which is odd for a show with color-blind casting because it usually erases the history that comes with a certain race and imagines a utopia devoid of racism), Hennessey’s defeat and the rescuing of Anne can have problematic repercussions. Therefore, while I do like the use of good magic and earnestness in punching up against religious, dark magic-infused politics, it’s the optics that don’t sit well with me.

What Was The Meaning Of Sofia Wilmot And Thomas Blancheford’s Banishment?

Thomas Blancheford was evil from the start, but Sofia Wilmot was relatively good, and along with Rasselas, they kind of kept Thomas’ evil aspects at bay. But as they grew up and realized the class that Rasselas belonged to and the class they belonged to, they became arrogant. Sofia’s classism wasn’t explicit, and Thomas’ classism was incredibly obvious. However, after Lord Blancheford was killed by Thomas, and Sofia made the decision to stand behind Thomas and throw Nell under the bus, it became clear that she didn’t have an ounce of self-awareness left in her body and soul. The brother-sister duo’s literal corruption via the dark magic that they were practicing or were being seduced by underscored that very downfall. So, when they were one-upped by Nell, a villager, it was Renegade Nell’s way of punching up at these flag bearers of discriminatory behavior. 

That said, since Nell allowed Sofia and Thomas to go on the run—something they forced the Trotter family to do—it showed that the working class wasn’t as vindictive and cruel as those sitting in their personal ivory towers. I mean, Thomas literally killed Nell’s dad and tarnished his name by calling him a poacher. We don’t have any idea for how long he tormented Roxy. And then he and his sister said that Nell was the one who murdered Lord Blanchefore. Yet, after all that, Nell decided to give them a chance to become better people. By doing so, the show sent the message that the affluent should be mindful of their privilege and use it to help the general populace instead of adding to the issues they face on a daily basis because the common folk will always choose kindness over everything else. So, it’s better to simply reciprocate that sentiment instead of acting like a sniveling jerk. I don’t think Sofia and Thomas will appreciate that Nell pardoned them, and that goes to prove how bad the siblings are and how good Nell is and always will be.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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