‘The Nun’ Recap: Everything To Know About ‘The Conjuring’ Universe Before ‘The Nun 2’

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Conjuring franchise, it’s fascinating to note that The Nun was released almost exactly five years ago to the day The Nun 2 is set to hit the screens. Amidst the various malevolent entities that Ed and Lorraine Warren have confronted, one figure stands out as the most chilling—simply known as The Nun (to non-fans, you know?). This unsettling evil presence has become iconic ever since it first graced the screen. What’s intriguing is that the nun’s sinister history dates back further than many might realize, making it essential for die-hard fans of The Conjuring universe to keep up with the lore. However, fear not if you’ve lost touch with the franchise, because if you’re eager to dive into the new film and want a quick refresher, we’ve got you covered with the key details you need to know before heading to the cinema this week. While The Nun may have been one of the franchise’s most underwhelming films, based on the exciting new trailers, it appears that the sequel is poised to deliver a spine-tingling experience. Furthermore, one of the highlights of the first installment was the memorable characters, and it’s a delight to see them making a stylish return in part two. So, without further ado, let’s delve into what The Nun 2 has in store for us. All Conjuring film spoilers are ahead; you have been warned.

‘The Conjuring’ and Valak’s introduction

Valak was first mentioned in the first Conjuring film when a desperate Carolyn was in search of answers to save her family from the evil Bathsheba. The iconic film has many memorable scenes, but one that may be neglected is when Carolyn seeks out Ed and Lorraine during a lecture they’re giving. Interestingly, this lecture entails the exorcism of a man named Maurice, who, as you may know, is Frenchie from The Nun. During the procedure, Frenchie grabbed Lorraine, and she had a terrible vision of the entity we now know as Valak. Valak didn’t stop haunting Lorraine there, though. A few years later, when they were scoping out the legendary Amityville home to check if it was truly an evil entity that made a man murder his entire family, Lorraine met Valak again. After revisiting the horrifying events of the day, Lorraine is attacked by Valak, who chokes her in her vision and then shows her a display of Ed’s future impalement. This leaves Lorraine completely shaken up, and she asks Ed if they can take a break from work. During their break, both Judy and Ed see The Nun. Ed paints a picture of her (so we could get some iconic scenes out of it).  and when Judy sees her, it’s actually a vision in Lorraine’s mind where she finally gets the name of the demon and scribbles it down in her bible.

It is 1977, and the Hodgsons are the ones in need of help from Lorraine and Ed. They are on break, but the family seems desperate. So Ed and Lorraine make their way to London. At first, they think it’s a hoax, and Janet, the child who claims to be possessed, is simply having trouble and wants some attention. When Ed and Lorraine are leaving, they realize that, in fact, they do have answers. Janet claimed to be possessed by Bill Wilkins, the previous owner of the house. Bill had died there on an armchair at the back of the living room. While everyone assumed Bill was the one in charge of Janet, it actually happened to be Valak using him to get to Janet. When Lorraine and Ed listened to their tapes of the session with Janet, they finally heard a clear message from Bill asking them to help him. When they go back to save Janet, Lorraine realizes at the very end that she has the biggest weapon she needs to put Valak back in hell. She uses the entity’s many names—Valak, the defiler, the profane, and the marquis of snakes—to cast it back to hell, saving Ed from the certain death she had witnessed in her vision.

‘The Nun’ 

In 1952, Father Burke, a miracle hunter, was asked by the Vatican to look into a cloistered abbey in a small town in Romania. A nun had committed suicide there, leaving the church shocked. He was to be assisted by Sister Irene, a novitiate at the time. Sister Irene was chosen because, as a young girl, she had visions, and it could be possible that she could help figure out what happened at the abbey. Out there, they meet Frenchie, a Frenchman (later revealed to be French-Canadian), who is the person who found the hanging nun and is also the only person in the village who will go anywhere near the abbey. They have a superstition of spitting when they even mention the name. Things get messy really fast, and Frenchie leaves Irene and Burke for two days to do their investigation and promises to come back and get them.

Victoria’s death 

Irene and Father Burke get separated, and Irene is left in the abbey with all the other nuns. She is told by Sister Olana that there is an unholy entity in the abbey that takes the shape of a nun, amongst other things to toy with the prayers of the nuns in the abbey. They have been doing prayers in rotation to keep whatever evil thing is in the abbey from getting out. Olana guides Irene in many ways and even tells her the history behind the Abbey. But later, we find out that the nuns were just Irene’s visions and have been long dead. Irene sees these answers, though, and finally realizes that Sister Victoria committed suicide (a cardinal sin) not to kill herself but as a sacrifice so that Valak would not have a human soul to possess.

The Abbey of St. Carta

A Duke had built a castle during the Dark Ages, and through ritual, he was used by hell to open up a rift for an evil entity to come to Earth. Christian knights had intervened, killing the man and sealing the rift with an ancient relic containing the blood of Christ. The church then took over, and so the nuns would pray in rotation to keep that evil sealed. The bombs during World War II were the reason for the seal to be broken again.

 Irene to the rescue

 Finally, when the trio realizes that the entity is already out, Irene reminds them that it needs a human soul to possess. They know that they need the relic to reseal the rift, and Irene has been shown through her visions where it is. Since she was a child, she’s had the message “Mary shows the way” in her mind. Finally, a statue of Mary points to where the relic is. Irene takes her vows to become a nun before saving the day. Again, the trio gets split, and Irene gets possessed by Valak. Frenchie saves her while Burke is attacked by the ghost of a young boy named Daniel, whom he had failed to save a long time ago. As we know, Valak takes many forms, and so he uses Daniel to get to Burke. Irene is thrown into a body of water, and Valak tries to submerge and choke her to death. Irene uses her wit and takes the remaining blood of Christ into her mouth. She then spits it out onto Valak when he pulls her out of the water and raises her in the air. Valak is sent back into the rift along with all the water, and it shuts. Everyone thinks everything is good, but in the end, we see an inverted cross on Frenchie’s neck. We are left believing that Valak may have possessed him when he was trying to save Irene. This takes us back to the future, where Ed and Lorraine talk about Frenchie’s case in The Conjuring.

Did you get all the details needed for ‘The Nun 2’?

From the trailer for the new film, we know that sister Irene returns to kick some butt, and Frenchie seems to be quite possessed. We’ve moved bunks to a school for girls, and Frenchie looks to be working there. One of the girls sees the nun, and we’re back to the grind. Storm Reid joins the cast as a trainee nun. Tessa Farmiga returns as Irene, and Jonas Bloquet returns as Frenchie. Importantly, we’re finally going to get answers to why Valak is so powerful and who he is.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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