First off, in case you’re wondering–The Nun does not have an after credits scene. So, there’s no need to sit through to the end once the credits start rolling. There is, however, plenty to talk about when it comes to explaining The Nun’s ending. So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, keep reading if you’ve already watched The Nun and you want to know more about that ending–or if you’re too scared to watch it yourself, and you don’t care about spoilers.
The Nun spoilers below!
Alright, so you survived The Nun. You’ve made it home, you’re trying not to jump at shadows or wonder why your house is suddenly making so many weird noises you’ve never heard before, and you’re trying to process what the hell just happened at the end of that movie.
Look, first of all: It’s OK. There’s definitely not a terrifying demonic energy stalking you now that you’re a little more tuned into that sort of thing and there definitely isn’t someone tapping on your window right now as you read this, hoping that you’ll glance over and see their glowing yellow eyes. That stuff is all in your head and it’s probably fine. Second, the ending itself has a lot of pieces to be fit into place, but they’re nothing a quick jaunt back into the earlier Conjuring Universe movies can’t solve.
The finale of The Nun leaves us pretty hopeful, all things considered. Sister Irene and Father Burke have done what they set out to do, sealing the evil back into the monastery and the seemingly ill-fated Maurice, aka Frenchie, has survived against all odds. Or has he? (Mwa ha ha.)
As we pan out, away from the victorious party’s wagon, we see Maurice reach up to itch his neck and when his hand pulls back, we see the imprint of an upside down cross appearing on his skin. Whoops! So much for those warm, fuzzy feelings.
The obvious implication here is that poor Frenchie is now possessed by Valak, the evil that was sealed away beneath the monastery, who has become the semi-defacto Big Bad of the whole Conjuring universe. This fear is all but confirmed moments later when we skip forward in time to a familiar scene: a moment from the first Conjuring film where Ed and Lorraine Warren are giving a talk about their work. In their presentation, they feature a video of an exorcism they’d performed on a man named–you guessed it–Maurice.
Now, as we’ve already established, we’re sorry to report that there is no post-credits teaser here. Though we know that there is more in store for us with both The Conjuring 3 and a new spin off The Crooked Man announced, we’re leaving The Nun with no concrete teasers to speak of. Instead, we’ll have to connect some dots with what we get in the films themselves.
The Nun employs some creative revision of The Conjuring’s events. In The Nun’s version of the Warrens’ presentation, Maurice has been re-cast, the line “his friends call him Frenchie” has been added, and the more gruesome elements of his story have been omitted. In the original version, Ed explains that Maurice had been molested and tortured by his father, something we don’t see any evidence of in the character in The Nun, and that he tried to kill his wife before killing himself once the exorcism failed. Of course, these things could all change in the handful of years between the end of The Nun (set in the ’50s) and the beginning of The Conjuring (set in the late ’60s), but it’s never explicit in the movies themselves.
But some retcons aren’t the only things The Nun’s ending establishes. Throughout the first Conjuring, Lorraine has the shadow of a bad experience looming over her head. During the exorcism with Maurice, Lorraine “saw something” that deeply terrified her and left Ed wondering if they should call it quits on the supernatural stuff. It’s never directly addressed what Lorraine saw, but later, in The Conjuring 2, we see her have another vision–this time working on the Amityville case–of the demon Valak (and of Ed dying).
With the bits The Nun has filled in, it’s now safe to assume that that original vision during Maurice’s failed exorcism was Valak’s responsibility as well, and that it has been functionally manipulating the Warrens for years. Luckily, that chapter of the story is hopefully at an end, seeing as Lorraine successfully banished Valak at the end of The Conjuring 2. That said, with how much retconning has gone on in this series already, it’s totally possible that the demon’s fixation on the Warrens could be significant in future movies like The Conjuring 3 and The Crooked Man.
That said, with Valak’s chapter of the Conjuring Universe possibly closed, there are still plenty of potential threats looming just over the horizon for the Warrens and their friends. After all, Valak proved more than once that it was willing to partner up with other demons and spirits to cause havoc in their lives–now that it’s out of the way, who knows what could come to take its place?