‘Boudica’ Ending Explained & Movie Summary: How Did Emperor Nero Perish?

There have been films like Gladiator that encapsulate the struggle of a warrior during a time when only might was right. Recently, the epic films regarding legendary warriors have become bloodier and focus much less on the warrior’s journey than the violent action sequences. Boudica: Queen of War is an example of how the story can be eclipsed by a dire need for not-so-subtle action scenes and what happens when the key moments of the film are rushed. Directed by Jesse Johnson, the film chronicles the life of Boudica from the time when she was just an Iceni queen, wife of Prasutagus, whose region was attacked by the Romans. Soon after, Prasutagus life came under threat, and the Iceni Queen’s journey began, where she had to make a choice: whether to perish or to become Boudica, the Goddess of War.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?

The story preceded the depiction of the Iceni Queen. The Romans had attacked Britannia and found themselves stopped by the druids of the tribal unit known as the Trinovante. They didn’t accept the Romans as the highest authority and believed in Boudica, the goddess, who would return and fight the Romans. So, with this faith, they didn’t budge in the face of the Roman army and laid down their lives, not fighting back at all. The Roman emperor, Nero, a young lad with all the pleasures of the world available to him, was amused to hear about the massacre. But as soon as Boudica came up, he ordered his warriors to never let the Trinovante find their Boudica. Nero was opposed to the idea of women leading the charge; his hatred for his mother strengthened this resolve. But soon he was going to face the fury of the Iceni Queen, who would later go on to become Boudica, and lead the remaining Trinovante tribe into war against the Romans.


How Was Prasutagus Killed?

The region of Britannia was under Roman occupation, and Roman officer Catus Decianus had resolved to annex as much land as he could. He had thought Prasutagus, the region’s king, would put up a fight and would easily be killed in battle, but Prasutagus offered peace, knowing that the time wasn’t right to fight the Romans. Catus was not in the mood to let Prasutagus rule the land, not after they had killed much of the Trinovante tribes, who were seen as the barbaric warriors. But first, the Roman focus was to eradicate the Christian population. The others seemed fine with the Roman occupation, despite the atrocities. There wasn’t much they could do about it, anyway. Prasutagus thought he could round up the dangerous thieves and killers and send them to Catus as a sign that they were obedient and well-behaved people, and he would leave them alone. Also, he would see the killers on the land and decide to settle elsewhere. But Catus wasn’t deterred, and the betrayal did the rest. Prasutagus’ right-hand man, Ciaran, had colluded with the Romans and had already given away Prasutagus’ location, where he could be easily killed. He did all this in exchange for a high-ranking position in the Roman army and thought no retribution would come his way. The Iceni queen, distraught, composed herself after hearing of her husband’s death, as she had her two daughters to look after, and took up the mantle of being the queen of the region, but Catus had other plans.

Why Was The Iceni Queen Left For Dead?

Catus had already seized half of the land, and the Iceni queen was naive enough to think that after the tribute she sent to Catus, he would be pleased and let her be the queen. The Romans were totally against women being in any positions of power, and hence saw it as a crime fit to be punished when the Iceni Queen conducted a formal ceremony in front of her people. She was lashed and left for dead, but not before the revelation that Ciaran was the one who had betrayed Prasutagus. She was given the mark ‘Nec Regina’, Latin for ‘Queen No More’. They may have thought that after such a severe punishment and being left in the cold, she wouldn’t survive, but the Trinovante warriors, who had already seen her and worshiped her as Boudica, came just in the nick of time and saved her life.


Were Boudica’s Daughters Dead? How Did Emperor Nero Perish?

Before Prasutagus died, he had heard about the Trinovante warriors worshiping his wife as Boudica, the goddess they believed would bring justice to their people, who had been slaughtered mercilessly by the Romans. The last thing he did before perishing was to give the Iceni queen’s sword, which he had received from her father in dowry, back to her. Her past was catching up to her, and maybe he had an inkling that she was indeed Boudica, and the Trinovantes were not mistaken. They were now the ones taking care of her after she had been beaten within an inch of her life. When the Iceni queen gained consciousness, the only thing she wanted was to be with her daughters. They were there right beside the tent where she was healing and came to hug their mother. The Trinovantes were ecstatic to have Boudica finally among them, but she wasn’t yet ready to become the Goddess of War.

As her wounds healed, she realized that she had to avenge her husband’s death and rise to the occasion. Gradually, she learned the art of war, and with her bronze sword, she began to channel her energies to overcome any opponent in battle. But they were suddenly opposed by the men in the tribe. There was Wolfgar, who challenged her authority to lead the Trinovantes and threw her sword away in a pond after having bent it. The Iceni queen proved at that moment that she was indeed Boudica, after she found the sword in the pond and returned with the sword in perfect condition. The men had to accept her as their leader, and soon she made a plan to assassinate Catus. The Roman warriors were taken by storm, and Boudica avenged her husband’s death by killing Catus and Ciaran herself, but the task was much bigger now. She had taken up the charge to bring justice to her people, and for that, she had to go up against Emperor Nero. For their blessings to attack the Romans in Camulos, Wolfgar took Boudica to the Druid Council, where she learned that Catus had killed her daughters and that the little girls she was seeing were only figments of her imagination. Nobody else saw them but said nothing out of respect. They helped Boudica make decisions, and she survived the dreaded times because she thought she had her daughters by her side. But now that it was clear, her fury knew no bounds, and Boudica led the Trinovante army, cleansing Brittania of all the Romans. 


The news reached Rome as well, and people saw Nero’s failure as Emperor, whose army couldn’t defeat Boudica. She was unstoppable, and soon she was to reach Rome. There were riots in Rome, and people were hungry for Nero’s blood, whose orders had caused such mayhem, and Rome had lost all battles. Soon, Paulinus, Nero’s right-hand man, asked him to join in battle, but Nero’s legs trembled. He committed suicide before he had to face Rome’s public. During “Boudica’s” ending, after having conquered Camulos, London, and all neighboring regions in Europe, the Trinovante army reached Rome, where Paulinus defeated Boudica, as it was her time to rejoin her daughters in heaven. She was indirectly responsible for Nero’s downfall. Had she not resolved to lead the army, Nero would have continued his occupation in foreign lands. Her death became the inspiration for the Celtic warriors who fought the Romans in her memory. Boudica, to this date, is honored and remembered as the Goddess of War for her fierce spirit and the sacrifices she made and took the fight to the Romans.

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Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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