Netflix’s latest fantasy film, “Damsel (2024),” featuring Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things” and “Enola Holmes,” twists the classic princess narrative. Departing from the traditional trope of damsels awaiting rescue, the film shows a daring journey where our protagonist, instead of passively awaiting salvation, seizes control of her destiny.

The story follows the life of a young woman agreeing to a marriage proposal from a dashing prince, only to find herself ensnared in a treacherous trap. Cast into the depths of a forbidding cave guarded by a formidable fire-breathing dragon, she must find her way out of this perilous ordeal.

While the film’s intention is to challenge the conventions of our protagonist, who is far from a passive bystander and becomes the master of her own fate, it is, however, an utter disaster in terms of creating an image of the world with its poor CGI. “Damsel” intends to showcase self-discovery and how a woman’s resilience can lead her to achieve what she sets her mind to, but the idea falls short due to events conveniently taking place for the sake of it.

This article takes a dive into what takes place in the film. Please be aware that it contains spoilers; hence, reader’s discretion is advised.

Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Princess Elodie (Millie Bobby Brown) hails from the cold, barren lands where the people of her kingdom are slowly moving away due to lack of food and water. Elodie and her sister Florira (Brooke Carter) are survived by her father, Lord Bayford (Ray Winstone), and her stepmother, Lady Bayford (Angela Bassett). It seems like their prayers have been answered as Lord Bayford receives a letter from Queen Isabelle (Robin Wright) agreeing to the marriage of Princess Elodie with her son Prince Henry (Nick Robinson). Soon, the family travels across seas and enters the Royal kingdom, which is the complete opposite of where the Bayford family comes from.

Upon arriving, Queen Isabelle and Prince Henry extend their greetings to the Bayford family. As Henry and Elodie exchange introductions, Queen Isabelle engages in a private conversation with Lord Bayford regarding the marriage proposal. While taking a stroll, Henry is surprised by Elodie’s conviction and strong-minded personality. The two connect instantly upon the mention of ‘traveling the world together.’

Meanwhile, Lady Bayford realizes that something is not right with the potential in-laws when she learns that her husband has agreed to a transactional marriage that would turn their life around. Later, when Elodie is preparing for the big day, Lady Bayford comes to warn the bride-to-be, stating that the family she is going to marry is not what they seem. However, Lord Bayford intervenes, making his wife angry about his decision.

Why does Prince Henry throw his new bride into the dark dungeon?

The next day, Elodie marries Henry in a beautiful wedding ceremony and bids goodbye to her family. The couple then arrives at the royal castle, where the newlyweds are summoned by the family elders. It turns out there is a tradition where the new princess goes through a series of rituals before being titled the next queen to be. This ritual is basically a sacrifice that the Royal family has been commemorating every generation. Using a sharp knife, Queen Isabelle draws blood from Prince Henry and does the same on Elodie, putting the couple’s hands on each other and mixing the blood.

Then, she announces that this ritual will mark the culmination of Elodie’s newly bestowed responsibilities, with the entire Royal family as witnesses. The final step of the ceremony is for the prince to carry his new bride in his arms, and before Elodie realizes the age-old traditions, she finds herself thrown into the deep dungeons of the mountain. 

When she finally wakes up, badly bruised, she cries for help but in vain. As she tries to figure out what just happened to her, she hears a flapping noise from a nearby passage inside the dungeon. As she looks around, she sees broken tiara pieces, jewelry, along with torn clothes and shoes lying around – leading her to believe that she is not the first one to experience this nightmare. As she moves closer to the flapping sound, she finds out that little birds are dying from an unknown source of fire.

What does Elodie find inside the dungeon?

It turns out a big dragon is on the loose inside the dungeon, and Elodie has no other way but to fight it. The dragon can talk and sense Elodie’s fear. It even tells the young bride that only her Royal blood can quench its thirst as per the promises made by the Royal family. Trying to get away from the dragon, Elodie finds a hidden spot that turns out to be a usual place where the dragon cannot reach. We then see her trying to find a path out of the dungeon, but, unfortunately, she falls even deeper inside. While exploring the cave in the dark, Elodie notices a shining light coming through from the other side.

Taking a deep breath and determined to get out, she jumps to the other side of the cave. On a closer look, she understands that the light is coming from a glowing bug which she then uses to help her guide through the dark. She then finds some icecaps which she uses as a water source, but the dragon intervenes, almost burning her to a blister. She narrowly escapes but finds herself stuck like many other princesses before her.

She starts to imagine how the other princesses had gone through the same journey with no escape in sight. In the next moment, Elodie notices that the bugs she had all along as a torch carry healing abilities. She gets up more determined than ever that she will fight the dragon and get herself out of the cave.

Damsel (2024). Robin Wright as Queen Isabelle in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024
Damsel (2024). Robin Wright as Queen Isabelle in Damsel. Cr. John Wilson/Netflix ©2024

Does Elodie find her way out of the cave?

Inside the cave, as she prepares to move ahead, she sees a map drawn by the other possible survivors, leading her to follow the perilous route. The first step to get out of the cave is to find the crystal spot where the narrow pathway is covered by sharp crystal blades. Using a tiara, she manages to pass through the passageway only to find that she is stuck again – this time, higher up in the mountain. She hears a few men riding horses by the mountain. However, her cry for help attracts the dragon to her again.

Why does the dragon want to kill Elodie?

This is when the film twists the age-old narrative of ‘the damsel in distress,’ making Elodie turn back to the point where she tried to run away from the dragon. Meanwhile, Elodie’s father, along with his guards and a local guide, make their way into the deep cave in search for the princess, oblivious to the dragon’s presence. Elodie then hears their scream, and realizes that Lord Bayford and his men are caught by the dragon. She rushes to their aid, only to discover the grim truth about the royal family.

What does Elodie discover about the royal family?

The film goes back to the opening scene where one of the ancestors of the royal family had found out about the dragon, which was the last of its kind. While the mother dragon was out hunting, the king had ordered his guards to slay the dragon’s three eggs, making the dragon rage in pain. Fearing of being killed, the king made a pact with the dragon to provide three royal family members in exchange for the pain he caused to the dragon. Since then, the royal families have been marrying their prince with the commoners as a part of their sacrificing ritual in order to safeguard their bloodline.

Returning to the present, Elodie now realizes that the dragon has also been deceived by the royal family, much like she was. 

The dragon uses Elodie’s father as bait to call her in, but the Lord tries to save his daughter till his last breath. He apologizes to her for his regrettable decision and orders her not to come and save him. After killing her father, the dragon goes after the other men. This is when Elodie decides to run away from the dragon, using the rope the men used to come in. 

Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Movie Ending, Explained:

Does Elodie kill the dragon?

As Elodie makes her way out of the mountain she takes refuge under a rock as she sees the dragon flaming up the entire place. Meanwhile, Queen Isabella abducts Floria in order to fulfill the sacrificing ritual. Lady Bayford, despite being wounded, tries to save her daughters and finds Elodie in the mountain range. After learning that her sister will be the next victim, Elodie undergoes the difficult journey all over again, only to find the dragon waiting by the unconscious body of her sister. 

Elodie attempts to negotiate with the dragon by explaining to the creature how they have both been deceived by the Royal Family. Elodie further explains how the Royals have been sacrificing innocent lives for the arrangement. However, the dragon is adamant and blames humankind for the loss of her children. Seeing no way out, Elodie combats with the dragon using a sword thrown by her sister. The dragon demands to be killed. However, Elodie uses the healing bugs on the dragon and creates an army with the creature in order to fight the Royals. 

Back at the Royal castle, another wedding ceremony shows Henery getting married again. This is when Elodie enters warning everyone to get out as the dragon takes its final revenge on all the mistreatment done by the Royal family. 

The ending of Netflix’s Damsel shows the entire castle on fire and Elodie reunited with her sister and stepmother, preparing to sail back home taking control of her lost kingdom. The last sequence of the film show the dragon following the new queen. 

Read More: Damsel: Cast, Plot, Release Date, Where to Stream, Trailer & Other Details

Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Movie Trailer

Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Movie Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Ray Winstone, Angela Bassett, Nick Robinson, Robin Wright
Damsel (2024) ‘Netflix’ Movie Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy | Runtime: 1h 48 mins
Where to watch Damsel

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