Cursed is Netflix's new hit of the summer of 2020. The respinning of King Arthur's legend quickly hit the streamer's Top 10, reaching Number 1 by the Monday after its Friday, July 17, release. The story reimagines what would have happened had the Sword of Power chosen the Lady of the Lake, Nimue, as a Queen of the Fey people, instead of picking Arthur to be King of Men. But the ending is ambiguous, leaving fans wondering if there will be more to the story. The good news is, Netflix's Cursed is based on a book, and the ending on the page promises there will be a sequel, at least in the bookstores, if not on screens.
Warning: Spoilers for Cursed Season 1 follow. Written by Thomas Wheeler and illustrated by the legendary Frank Miller, Cursed is sometimes billed as "graphic novel." But the hardcover isn't a traditional inked comic; it's more like a fantasy novel with a lot of extra illustrations, many of which are the inspiration for the show's interstitial sequences.
The series is surprisingly faithful to the novel, considering how much fantasy series can break from their source material. Other than a few details — like The Red Spear's real name being Guinevere — it keeps pretty faithful to the page. But the show ends a few beats before the book does, leaving out one crucial detail: Nimue has survived her fall and lives.
In the Netflix series' Season 1 finale, Nimue fell from the bridge, seemingly to hear death. In his grief at losing his daughter, Merlin took up the Sword of Power, grabbing Morgana and escaping. Iris, who shot Nimue, took credit for the death of the Queen of the Fey and was promoted into the Red Paladin ranks, as she was promised. But as she accepted her new position, the show intercut to Nimue floating in the water. Viewers were left to wonder if Nimue is dead as the final credits rolled. But in the book, there's an extra scene.
In the book, as Nimue floated in the water, she seemed to become the Lady Of The Lake, vowing to protect the Sword, wherever it may be, "until a true king rises to claim it." But it's not that simple. After all, the tide comes in, tide goes out, and it's not long before Nimue washed up on shore. She awoke on the shores of the Leper kingdom, and she was quickly taken captive by the area's inhabitants. They led her to Rugen, the Leper King, to whom Merlin has promised the Sword.
That's where the book concludes, with Nimue seemingly beginning a new adventure in which she will have to sort out problems caused by Merlin's endless wheels within wheels politicking. For fans of the novel, that's good news. There is more story to tell, and Wheeler and Miller are planning on a sequel to explore it.
Speaking to Bustle, Wheeler said:
One of the real thrills of this process was sitting with Frank Miller on the set of Cursed last summer and starting to drill down into the details of the storylines for a potential [sequel] and beyond.
Though Wheeler said "[Nimue's] story will continue absolutely," he cannot promise another Netflix season. That likely remains up in the air until the streamer sees viewer numbers for the first month of the series being available, which often determine whether a show gets picked up for another season. But for fans of Nimue, Arthur, Merlin, and all the rest, it sounds like there will at least be more Cursed to come in bookstores.