The Way of Water’ Ending, Explained

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Okay, so you went to see the new Avatar movie and sat through all three hours and 12 minutes (!!) of it, just to make it to the end and be left equal parts amazed and asking “WTF happens next?” If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone, because that ending left open some exciting possibilities for future movies (that we hopefully won’t have to wait 10+ years for!).

Consider this your official spoiler warning, because we’re about to dive real deep into the end of Avatar: The Way of Water.

Remind me, how did Avatar: The Way of Water end?

Whether or not you think the second Avatar movie was worth a grueling 13-year wait, there’s no denying it was a downright exciting movie. That James Cameron really knows what he’s doing, huh? In The Way of Water, we jump back into the world of Pandora, only 15 years after the attempted human invasion from the first movie took place. Now the humans are back, trying to colonize Pandora because Earth is on its last legs. Tensions rise, mysteries abound, and sadly, we witness tragic character deaths (RIP Neteyam!).

The warring culminates in a final battle where Jake Sully and the cloned Colonel Miles Quaritch, along with Neytiri and Tuk, are trapped on a sinking marine hunting vessel. Sully and Quaritch end up duking it out one-on-one and Sully comes out victorious, having strangled Quaritch unconscious. Sully thankfully manages to escape the ship with some help from Lo’ak and Kiri. Spider decides to do the right thing (I guess?) and save his father’s life before he drowns…but then leaves him there and jets off on his ikran.

After the battle, Sully and Neytiri lay Neteyam to rest and are then accepted into the Metkayina Clan where they had been hiding out. While in the Cave of Ancestors, they commune with Eywa, giving them the chance to see Neteyam again. Sully finally realizes he can’t keep running from the human colonizers and instead… he’s going to have to fight them.

avatar 2 the way of water ending explained

20th Century Studios

Okay, so what does that all mean?

The ending definitely wrapped up some loose ends BUT it also left us with a whole bunch of questions. We know that the third, fourth, and fifth Avatar movies are on the way with the next one slated to come out in 2024, so the ending purposefully left the plot wide open with possibilities for Avatar 3. First things first, with the already resurrected/clone Quaritch saved at the end of The Way of Water, there’s no doubt he’s going to come back (and wreak more havoc) in future movies. As much of a bad guy as he is, he sure knows how to move the plot along.

But where things get really interesting is in Spider’s story. He seemingly settled the score with his old man, renounced him, and then split, so he’s bound to pop up again too. Also: Neytiri seemed pretty down to kill Spider (her adopted, human son!) if it meant saving Kiri. We saw earlier in the movie that she had a hard time accepting Spider as her own child, but this was some next level rejection, and it’s going to make the next family reunion a little, uh, awkward. And let’s not forget that Spider learned Neytiri was the one who originally killed his father, so tensions between the two should be verrrry high.

As for what else to expect in future Avatar movies? Probably more intel about Kiri. We know she’s the daughter of Grace (the scientist who died in the first Avatar movie) but literally everything else about her—from how she was even conceived to WTF is up with her stronger-than-normal connection to Eywa—is a mystery. The franchise put off revealing who Kiri’s father is and seems to be saving that for another movie. But until we get some answers, there’s speculation that it is, in fact, Eywa (that’s right, the powerful Pandora god) who’s responsible for her birth, which, TBH, would make Kiri’s powers make a lot more sense. We’ll see how it all plays out once Avatar 3 comes our way!

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