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The Nun 2’s ending, explained

Sister Irene looks at a magazine collage of Valak in The Nun 2.
Warner Bros. Pictures

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for The Nun 2 (2023).

The Nun 2 begins four years after the events of its predecessor. When it picks back up with Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), she’s taken to living a peaceful life in a countryside convent. Her peace is disrupted by the return of her former, thought-to-be-vanquished demonic foe, Valak (Bonnie Aarons), whose recent killing spree through Western Europe has caught the attention of the Catholic Church.

Irene is dispatched to try and stop Valak once and for all, and she’s joined on her journey by Sister Debra (Storm Reid), a fellow nun who isn’t nearly as secure in her faith as Irene.

How does The Nun 2 begin?

What neither Irene nor Debra knows at first is that Valak secretly possessed Maurice (Jonas Bloquet), the innocent guide who saved Irene’s life at the end of 2018’s The Nun. While Maurice isn’t aware of his demonic possessor, either, it’s made clear early in The Nun 2 that he’s essentially been turned into a vessel by Valak. When the film begins, Maurice has just recently taken on a new handyman job at a French boarding school for young girls and has unwittingly put both the institution’s adult supervisors and its adolescent students in terrible danger.

For the majority of the film’s runtime, Valak is allowed to terrorize and kill the school’s residents without challenge. That’s because The Nun 2 spends its first two acts alternately focusing on Valak’s attacks and Sister Irene’s attempts to track the demon down. Along the way, Irene discovers that Valak’s most recent victims were all descendants of Saint Lucy, whose eyes were cut out before she was wrongly murdered for her faith in the 5th century. Irene and Debra further deduce that Saint Lucy’s long-lost eyes were secretly buried years prior beneath the grounds of the very school that Valak currently stalks, and that the demon intends to consume them in order to restore the angelic powers it lost when it was cast out of Heaven.

Valak floats behind Maurice in The Nun 2.
Warner Bros. Pictures

These second-act twists set the stage for Irene and Valak’s third-act showdown, which ends up involving several other innocent characters, including Kate (Anna Popplewell) and Sophie (Katelyn Rose Downey), an unsuspecting mother and daughter who have grown close to Maurice. Together, Sophie, Debra, and Irene are able to momentarily subdue Valak. However, the demon takes advantage of Irene’s affection for Maurice by tricking her into believing she’s killed him before wrenching the eyes of Saint Lucy out of her hand.

A holy Infinity Gauntlet

Valak’s power quickly grows, and it isn’t long before it looks like everyone within the demon’s vicinity, including Sophie and Irene, are going to be gruesomely killed by the entity. When Valak attempts to burn Irene alive, though, the devout nun experiences visions of her mother, whose own divine abilities led to her institutionalization. The rush of memories leads Irene to the realization that both she and her mother are descendants of Saint Lucy. As a result, not only is Valak’s attempt to immolate Irene extinguished, but her eyes are also cleared of the demon’s influence.

Irene subsequently convinces Debra to pray with her and use their faith to turn the spilled wine that covers the floors and walls around them into the blood of Jesus Christ, which burns Valak to a crisp. Unfortunately, when Irene later says goodbye to Sophie, Kate, and Maurice, her expression darkens for a moment — suggesting that she’s subconsciously aware she hasn’t fully saved the latter character from Valak’s influence. That won’t come as much of a surprise to those who saw The Nun, which ends with a flash-forward to Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) showing footage of them performing an exorcism on Maurice.

How does The Nun 2 end?

The Nun 2’s disquieting final scene isn’t the only moment in which the film creates a link between it and the other Conjuring movies, either.

Sister Irene holds a rosary in The Nun 2.
Warner Bros. Pictures

When Sister Irene discovers her connection to the other descendants of Saint Lucy, she not only sees her mother, but also a quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it flash of Vera Farmiga’s Lorraine Warren. The Nun 2, consequently, implies that Sister Irene and Lorraine are, whether distantly or not, related. Given the demon’s obsession with killing Saint Lucy’s descendants, that further explains why Valak so relentlessly targets both characters. (Lorraine and Irene are, notably, played by real-life sisters Vera and Taissa Farmiga. That fact adds a fun, meta wrinkle to the now-confirmed biological link between their Conjuring Universe characters.)

In its sole credits scene, The Nun 2 also briefly flashes forward to catch up with Lorraine and Ed as the latter takes a phone call from the Catholic Church, which once again asks for their help with a case. The scene, unfortunately, ends without revealing when exactly it’s set. It could, for instance, take place before either of the first two Conjuring movies, or it could be a scene from the forthcoming Conjuring: Last Rites. There are, alternatively, some who think it’s a deleted scene from The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which was also directed by The Nun 2 director Michael Chaves.

Either way, while fans will have to wait to find out more about the context of its mid-credits scene, there’s no denying that The Nun 2 continues to bring the once-disparate characters of the Conjuring Universe increasingly closer together. As bad as it is that heroines like Sister Irene and Lorraine will likely continue to be the inevitable targets of certain demonic forces, The Nun 2 proves that they’ll always be able to stand against the darkness that surrounds them — so long as their eyes remain clear and their faith strong.

The Nun 2 is now playing in theaters.

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Alex Welch
Alex is a TV and movies writer based out of Los Angeles. In addition to Digital Trends, his work has been published by…
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