Damsel Ending, Explained: Does Elodie Kill the Dragon?

Image Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

Netflix’s fantasy action film, ‘Damsel,’ offers a different side of a fairy tale ending. It begins with a girl from a small town in a vast kingdom receiving the offer of marriage to the prince of the kingdom. It feels too good to be true, but then, doesn’t every fairy tale have the girl finding her Prince Charming and receiving her happily ever after? For Elodie, however, this is the beginning of a transformative journey, one that brings to light the secrets and lies of the royal family, all while the young woman faces death at the hands of a terrifying dragon. Does Elodie survive this ordeal? Do the villains pay for their actions? SPOILERS AHEAD

Damsel Plot Synopsis

Image Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

Elodie is the daughter of a nobleman from a small town that is situated far from the eyes of the rulers of the kingdom. Her people are suffering from hunger and cold, and while there isn’t much to share with them, Elodie tries her best to provide for them in any way she can. Then, one day, a messenger from the royal family arrives at her house with the proposal of marrying the prince. Elodie knows she has to say yes, not just because it would mean that she would someday become the queen, but also because this is the only way she can ensure the survival of her people. The royal family could ignore Elodie and her people when they were simple commoners, but no one would ignore the people of the princess of the kingdom.

It is with this thought that Elodie arrives in Aurea, and even though she has her doubts, she has to accept that the prince is amiable and that everything might just turn out for the best. But then, it turns out that the prince and his family are hiding a terrible secret. Soon after the wedding, she is taken deep into the mountains to a cave where the royal family carries out its own ceremonies. At first, it doesn’t seem too unreal to Elodie, even though she is clearly uncomfortable. But things take a turn when she is thrown into the caves and discovers that a dragon lives there, ready to eat her.

Damsel Ending: How Does Elodie Escape the Dragon?

When Elodie came to Aurea, she was told the story of the dragon attacking the kingdom and how its brave king and knights fought the beast, eventually failing to kill it, and the king making a terrible deal with the dragon to sacrifice his daughters in return for the safety of his people. After being thrown into the cave by her husband, it becomes clear to her that everything she was told was a lie the kingdom had been propagating to keep themselves from being held accountable. It was only when she reached the heart of the caves, where the dragon lived that she found the truth.

It turns out that the king’s attack on the dragon was entirely unprovoked, and while he and his knights may have failed to kill the dragon, they did manage to kill the dragon’s three newborns. It was only after her children were mercilessly killed that the dragon attacked the king and killed his knights. It was in return for the loss of her children that she asked for the king’s daughters. The dishonorable king and his family didn’t learn their lesson, and soon, instead of giving up the daughters of royal blood, they found a loophole to send innocent women with no connection to the dragon or the royals to their deaths.

This is the reason that the royal family came so far north as to look for Elodie and invite her to be the prince’s bride. Just like her, two other girls were also trapped, and one of them was killed right before Elodie was married to the prince. It soon became clear to her that both the girls and the dragon had been lied to. The royal family had created a narrative to serve themselves while the innocent paid the price. She also knew that even if she and her sister escaped the dragon, there would be other girls, and the cycle of violence would never stop.

To end all of this once and for all, Elodie decided to tell the truth to the dragon. It took some time, as the dragon refused to listen to her and attacked her with the intent to kill. But in the end, using her presence of mind, Elodie found a way to subdue the dragon enough so that the creature would listen to her, know the truth, and act accordingly.

What Happens to the Dragon?

When Elodie’s sister is thrown into the caves, the Dragon knows that it’s the only way to get Elodie back into the caves and kill her. Elodie cleverly tries to fool the dragon and escape with her sister, but the dragon figures out her plan. A fight ensues, where the dragon shoots to kill, despite Elodie trying to speak the truth about the royal family. In the end, she finds a reflective surface and stands in front of it. When the dragon fires at her, she jumps out of the way, and the dragon’s fire is thrown back at it. While no man-made weapons could harm the dragon enough to kill it, its own fire is potent enough for the job.

Image Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

The dragon is severely burnt by its own fire, and after discovering that it has been killing innocent women all these years, it asks Elodie to kill it and end the cycle. However, Elodie knows that the dragon is also a victim of the royal family. Instead of killing it, she uses the glowworms to heal its wounds, bringing it back from the brink of death. Even though the dragon tried to kill it, she empathizes with it because it is the last of its kind and has no one else. Its children were killed by the king centuries ago, and vengeance and hatred are the only things that have been keeping it alive.

Elodie tries to change things for the dragon. She decides to let the bad guys lose for once after having wreaked havoc in the lives of all the girls for so many centuries. When they receive their due, the dragon finally avenges the death of its children. But now, it has no other purpose. It is still bound to live the rest of its day alone. But not if it decides to change things for itself and try to turn over a new leaf. In Elodie, the dragon finally finds a friend, someone it can trust, someone just and kind, entirely unlike the king and his bloodline.

In the final scene, as Elodie and her family begin the journey back home, the dragon is with them, too. This shows that the dragon has moved on from Aurea, leaving behind its loss and hatred, and is ready to find a new home in Elodie’s kingdom, where it will protect the weak and help Elodie bring peace and prosperity to her people.

What Happens to the Royal Family? Does Henry Die?

In all the death and violence that happens to Elodie and the other girls, the only people to benefit from the situation are the royal family. The king of Aurea was the one who started the cycle of violence by going after the dragon and its children when the creatures never even bothered them. When the time came to pay their dues, the royal family found their way out of it and decided to let others die in place of their own blood.

They consider it a tradition and have been so brainwashed by their narrative into believing that what they are doing is right that they never even thought about the innocent girls and their families. They were so desensitized to it that it never occurred to them to find other ways to make peace with the dragon. What they were doing was not sacrifice but murder, and people like Queen Isabelle thought they were entitled to it. They thought that the gold in return for the young girls would be enough to keep their families satisfied. Even if someone protested their actions, they couldn’t do anything about it because no one could stand against the might of Aurea.

After discovering the truth, Elodie decides it’s time for the royal family to pay their dues. They should be the ones paying for their crimes, not the girls and certainly not the dragon. So, instead of killing the dragon, she offers it revenge. She comes back to Aurea with the dragon and tells the girl next in line to marry the prince to run away with her family while she still has time. She gives the same option to others who were completely unaware of the royal family’s actions. When only the real culprits remain, the dragon arrives and burns them all, even young Henry, who accepts his death more easily than his mother.

In the end, the whole castle is burned to bits by the dragon, who finally has its revenge on the royal family. Seeing how it is all destroyed, there is no chance that anyone inside the castle survived the dragon’s fire, which means that the royal family of Aurea has met its end. There would be no more heirs to marry innocent girls and cheat them into sacrifice. Justice has been served, and everyone is safe, including the dragon.

Read More: Is Damsel Based on a True Story or a Book?