‘Renegade Nell’ Recap & Ending Explained: Does Nelly Save The Queen?

Set during the Jacobite insurrection in the early 1700s, Renegade Nell revolves around Nelly Jackson, who is presumed dead but returns with superpowers granted by a fairy named Billy Blind. Despite being a fantasy adventure, Renegade Nell is based on real incidents from the time. For example, the Jacobites were indeed supporters of James Francis Edward during this harrowing period of ideological war. While James was the Protestant Queen Anne’s own sibling, he was raised Catholic. While the Jacobites wanted their own ideas regarding the monarchy, the Queen had other plans; she supported moderate Tory politicians and was a supporter of the people. It makes sense that the Jacobites wanted full monarch control of the Kingdom, as it had only been a few decades since the British Civil War, which took away power from the monarch. It is said that Anne, Queen of Britain, was quite supportive of this idea and safeguarded the power of the parliament. However, outside powers, like King Louis XIV, did not see her fit to be the ruler, supporting her brother James. 


Spoilers Ahead

What’s The Plot About?

Nelly left the Trotter family with a certain Captain Jackson to fight in a war, probably the Spanish War of Succession. Along with the Captain, she was presumed dead in the war; however, much to everyone’s surprise, she returns from the dead with mysterious superpowers like superhuman strength and agility. It turns out that these powers have been given to her by a pixie, Billy Bill. She arrives at her village, and her family is shocked to find her alive. However, since she left, a lot of things have changed in the village. Thomas, the son of the regional magistrate, Lord Blancheford, is running rampant, abusing his power, and terrorizing the village folks. Lord Blancheford isn’t a power-hungry aristocrat, and he often chides his son for his elitist behavior against the people. When Lord Blancheford threatens to have Thomas excluded from the inheritance, Thomas goes to the Earl of Poynton, Robert Hennessey, for counsel. Hennessey is secretly a Jacobite in the Queen’s privy council and seeks to overthrow the Queen. He sees an opportunity in Thomas’ naivety. Thomas, aware of Hennessey’s skills in dark magic, wishes Hennessey would help him inherit his estate at all costs. Hennessey offers to help only after he proves that he is serious about the nature of his methods. 


Later, after another one of Thomas’ narcissistic acts, Nelly beats him up. In retaliation and also to prove his commitment to Hennessey, he kills Nelly’s father and frames him for poaching with the help of Lord Blancheford. The magistrate is conflicted about doing so but wishes to protect his son as well. Their staffer Rasselas overhears this and informs Nelly’s sister Roxy about it, who sets off to find Nelly. Thomas goes back to Hennessey to inform him about him killing Sam Trotter. Hennessey, on the other hand, manipulates him to kill his father, who is the only one standing between him and inheriting the estate. 

Meanwhile, Nelly, who is in London to find a passage to America, receives news of her father’s demise. She wished to have a job in America and earn money for her family, but now she’s caught up in a mess created by an aristocrat. To seek justice for her father, Nelly confronts Lord Blancheford at his manor. After a prolonged argument, the magistrate orders his son to stand trial for the murder of an innocent man, but blinded by greed and Hennessey’s manipulation, Thomas impulsively shoots his own father in front of his sister, Sofia Wilmot. He frames Nelly for the murder, a claim which even Sophia supports. To escape arrest for this false accusation, Nelly runs away with her sisters and Rasselas and becomes a highway robber, or a highwayman, to support herself while finding ways to prove her innocence. 


Why Did Hennessey Manipulate Thomas To Kill His Father?

Hennessey was a Jacobite, but little did people know that he was something that Harry Potter fans would call a dark wizard. He practices in the dark arts and envisions a future where James Francis Stuart is the King of Great Britain and Ireland. More than a wizard, though, I think he is a spawn of evil himself and feeds on the darkness inside people. 

While revealed only later, he gives a serpent pendant to Thomas, which looks identical to the ring he wears. Serpents are often associated with the Devil in the Christian faith, but the reason why he supports a Catholic King is because he has the ability to take over the throne, and once he does, Hennessey can control him. Moreover, the dark wizard that he is, Hennessey feeds on the darkness inside people to power himself, and he sees that Thomas has a reservoir of darkness. The ring that he gives Thomas, intensifies his evil nature, which only serves Hennessey as a reserve for his powers. 


Why Does Sofia Support Her Brother’s False Claim?

Thomas Blancheford was an unbelievably spoilt boy corrupted by his father’s aristocratic status as the landlord of Tottenham. Sofia, on the other hand, was a much more empathetic person. She was even kindhearted to Rasselas, who was practically Blacheford’s African slave and was bought by the Lord when he was only 3. However, Sofia made friends with him and always cared for him. Even when her father subjected him to intense labor at the age of 13, Sofia begged her father to do otherwise. 

When she grew up, she was married off to Lord Wilmot, who passed away a while ago. A widowed Sofia even loses her father at the hands of her own brother, which comes as a shock to her. Despite being in this moment of chaos, Sofia is a level-headed woman and wants to protect her estate, fearing that the estate will be given to their cousins if Thomas, the heir, stands trial. To protect her brother, she even sends men after Nelly Jackson, whom Nelly outruns because of her powers. 


How Does Sofia Become An Acolyte?

Unable to catch Nelly, despite sending her best men after her, Sofia is left anxious. Her problems are answered by the mysterious Earl of Poynton, who visits her after the funeral. When Sofia mentions that Nelly fights like a demon, it catches Hennessey’s attention. He clarifies that Nelly might actually have powers because she’s in possession of a spirit. Hennessey assumes that she might cause a problem in his rebellion against Queen Anne and offers to help Sofia. When Nelly and Charles Devereux, a highway robber himself, disguised as Lord and Lady Shankley, are invited to Lord Springbourne’s manor for tea, Sofia’s men figure out that Lady Shankley is indeed Nelly. Sofia heads off to Springbourne Manor after sending a letter seeking assistance from Hennessey. In response, Hennessey conjures a demon, possessing it and heading to the manor to kill Nelly. 

After a fight, Nelly defeats Hennessey’s demon and beheads it, which drains the sorcerer. Sofia, however, figures that the demon is Hennessey himself and offers for him to stay with them at their manor while he’s recovering. She finds it fascinating that the Earl possesses such power. Seeking such powers for herself, she asks the Earl to teach her the arts, to which he agrees and takes her in as his acolyte. Sofia is a quick learner and, in a short time, becomes quite strong with magic. She believes that with these powers she can protect her estate and Thomas, who has become disinterested in everything, burdened by the guilt of killing his father. Later, Hennessey comes up with some spells to locate and capture Nelly Jackson, putting Sofia’s new skills to the test. 


What Happens When Charles Is Arrested? 

Isambard Tulley was a highwayman who tried to rob Nelly at the beginning of the series. Tulley’s alter ego, Charles Devereux, a noble in London, was engaged to Lady Eularia, the owner of a newspaper company. Charles was taken hostage by Nelly and then joined her band of rebels later on. Because of his connections amongst the elites of London, he takes Nelly to Lord Springbourne, who is a magistrate as well, hoping he could help prove Nelly innocent. However, when the plan backfires because of Sofia and Hennessey’s demon, they flee from the manor. However, Charles is captured by Sofia, who gets him arrested as the notorious highwayman, Isambard Tulley. 

In the prison, Charles is visited by his fiancee, Lady Eularia, who suspects him of cheating with Nelly. She threatens her fiancé to confess the truth, saying she’ll do everything in her power to get him out of prison; however, Charles, being a master of deception, sticks to his own version of the truth, that he was robbed by Nelly Jackson, the highwayman. 


Meanwhile, Nelly feels guilty about letting her family get in the path of danger when her younger sister George gets shot during the escape from Springbourne Manor. This is why she decides to rescue Charles from prison. When Nelly and Rasselas infiltrate the prison disguised as doctors, however, she is almost immediately identified by the clever Lady Eularia, who alerts the guards. In the meantime, Sofia and Hennessey conjure the spells to capture Nelly at the same time she is in prison. The spell was supposed to trap Nelly, but it failed, prompting Nelly and Rasselas to escape without saving Charles. Following Nelly’s escape, Lady Eularia, who is jealous of Nelly, prints fake news about her in the papers, spreading unsubstantiated rumors about Nelly, her siblings, and even her late father. 

During his trial at the court, one of the testimonies suggests that Charles is a key figure in conspiring with the French against the Queen, given that he was of French descent. Charles loses his case, and he’s proven guilty of robbery and even treason. In defense, he impulsively discloses that his father was a cobbler and not an aristocrat, which infuriates Eularia, leaving him to fend for himself. Realizing that he has no way to win the trial case, he creates a distraction and escapes the court. 


How Does Hennessey Plan To Eliminate The Queen? 

Hennessey had already been on the Queen’s privy council and was not the only Jacobite in the Queen’s inner circle. With each passing day, the Queen’s and the aristocrats’ paranoia increased as well. Hennessey uses this panic to frame the Earl of Godolphin for being a Jacobite and assume his position as the Queen’s bodyguard. Hennessey’s plan is to convince the Queen to relocate to Broadwater Hall for her safety, where he will execute her. The Queen, fearing the Jacobites, believes the Earl and complies. Meanwhile, Rasselas had heard Sofia’s voice during the supernatural encounter at the prison. Seeking answers, he visits Tottenham Manor to meet Sofia and overhears Hennessey’s plan to overthrow the Queen. 

How Does Nelly Convince Eularia About Her Innocence? 

Rasselas confronts Sofia about what he overheard. Sofia ends up defending Hennessey, but she also pretends to express concern for Rasselas and lets him go. During this encounter, she stole a piece of cloth Rasselas used to bandage his wound. She approaches Hennessey with this cloth, expressing that she could use it to find them, but the Earl brushes it off as a mere conflict between Sofia and Nelly. Meanwhile, Nell and her gang are at Eularia’s office, trying to convince Eularia of the truth, though she is too adamant to listen to her. At the same time, Sofia, despite Hennessey’s disinterest, uses the cloth to conjure a spell and possess Lady Eularia, who then attacks Nelly. After a fight, with George’s help, they break the spell. This makes her realize that Nelly and her siblings were indeed telling the truth. Rasselas tells Eularia about Hennessey’s conspiracy, and Eularia decides to print it. 


How Does Nelly Save The Queen? 

Nelly and her gang run into Charles when they ambush the Queen’s chariot, which turns out to be a decoy instead. Realizing that the Queen must’ve already arrived, they rush to Broadwater Hall. Meanwhile at the manor, Hennessey shows his true colors, orders the Queen arrested by his men, and prepares to have her executed. Rejoiced by the accomplishment, Sofia approaches Thomas, who seems delirious and sounds like Hennessey himself. She notices that he’s been wearing a pendant identical to Hennessey’s ring and tries to take it off, but it starts to hurt Thomas. She confronts Hennessey about the ring, and he reveals that he intends to use Thomas’s energy to empower himself. Sofia realizes that it was indeed him who planted the idea to kill Lord Blancheford inside Thomas’ head. She attacks Hennessey but is overpowered by him. 

At the same time, Nelly and the gang arrive at the manor. While Nelly heads off to fight Hennessey, Roxy is led by a premonition to head inside the manor, and Rasselas accompanies her. Roxy and Rasselas find Thomas, who is in excruciating pain, as the serpent ring starts to dissolve inside his chest, making Hennessey even more powerful. At the same time, Charles and George enter the manor and rescue the Queen from her captors. 


Hennessey, drawing powers from the dark energy inside Thomas, casts dark clouds over the whole manor. Nell and Sofia join forces in a supernatural fight between them and Hennessey, but Hennessey overpowers them, only to be distracted by the Queen, who is escaping. As they head inside, Nell sees Thomas writhing with pain and realizes that it is indeed him who is powering Hennessey, and they must undo the curse to defeat the Earl. 

Thereby, Nell asks Billy to enter Thomas and undo the curse. Billy protests that he can only connect to one person and he’d be lost to her, but after further convincing, he complies and fights off the curse inside Thomas. As the curse is undone, Hennessey collapses and is killed by Sofia, putting an end to his evil. However, after fighting the curse, Billy is lost as well, which leaves Nelly distraught. Following the battle, Sofia asks Nell to lie to the Queen that Sofia and Thomas have been coerced by Hennessey and turned at the vital moment to defeat the sorcerer. However, after everything the siblings had done, Nell was disgusted at them and banished them, suggesting that they should live a life on the run instead. 


What Happens To Nell? 

In the end, the Queen is saved from the Jacobite conspiracy. Nell and her gang are absolved of their crimes. Even Nell’s father, San Trotter, is proven innocent, and his name is reinstated. Moreover, the Queen wants Nell to be her bodyguard, believing that her powers have been gifted to her to uphold the crown, but Nell turns her down. Nell clarifies that she only wants her father’s pub, ‘The Talbot,’ to be rebuilt, and the Queen complies. As Nelly and her gang head off to Tottenham on their chariot in the English countryside, Billy is seen flying towards them, suggesting that he has finally made it back to Nelly. 

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Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

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