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"I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world! And my entire family... is gone! Have I not given everything?!"
Queen Ramonda

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a 2022 superhero film co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler. It is the follow-up to 2018's Black Panther, the 30th feature film and 39th overall installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 16th installment and final feature film of Phase 4.

In the wake of King T'Challa's death, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M'Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje must pull together to defend Wakanda from a new threat from beneath the seas. In addition to Lupita Nyong'o returning as Nakia and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross from the first film, joining the cast for the sequel are Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart, Tenoch Huerta as Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Michaela Coel as Aneka.

Thorne is also set to reprise the role of Riri Williams in the Disney+ show Ironheart. Coogler is also set to develop a series for the streaming platform focusing on the supporting cast of Wakanda.

The film was released on November 11, 2022.

A three-episode documentary series on the soundtrack and score of the film, Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever, was released on Disney+ on February 28, 2023.

Previews: Official Teaser, Official Trailer


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to D 
  • Abdicate the Throne: Shuri chooses not to attend her coronation, which means that when M'Baku arrives to challenge her claim to the throne, he (most likely) wins by default, though it's implied that Shuri will remain Queen in a symbolic sense as the Black Panther with M'Baku essentially becoming something like a Prime Minister.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: During Okoye and Shuri's first meeting with Riri Williams, Riri roasts Okoye over her Dora Milaje haircut. Much to Okoye's displeasure, Shuri cracks up.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: Riri is still a child prodigy who built her own power armor in a garage using scraps, but now she's recruited by Shuri instead of Tony Stark. Namor is also far older and of Mayan, rather than Atlantean heritage. His mutation furthermore comes from the plant his people consumed to gain water breathing rather than mutant genes carried down from his human father.
  • Adaptational Name Change: In the comics, Namor is the king of the Atlanteans, whereas in the film he is the king of the Talokanil people, named after the legendary city Tlālōcān from Aztec mythology. Namor is also a name he adopts (taken from the Spanish "Sin amor"), with his birth one being the Mayan K'uk'ulkan.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Namor is much more even tempered and mildmannered than his hammy, prideful and often violent comicbook counterpart. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that he has been around since the Atlanteans / Talokanil was born this time around, and thus was considered blessed for his differences and raised as a god king rather than shunned as a cursed, half-human, Child Of Rape who was only good so long as he could fight their wars. It's sad to consider that in a world where Namor is allowed love and security, he actually grows up to be a decent, if misguided, person.
  • Adaptational Species Change: The Atlanteans - or rather Talokanil, presumably to avoid confusion with DC's Aquaman - are mutated humans rather than merpeople who just evolved naturally.
  • Adapted Out: The Phoenix Force's part in Namor's flooding of Wakanda is not present in the film.
  • Agony of the Feet: During their final clash, Shuri manages to rip one of the wings off of Namor's feet, causing him great pain and visibly hampering his flight capabilities.
  • All There in the Script:
    • One of the earlier script drafts identifies M'Kathu, the Border Tribe Elder, as Okoye’s uncle, lending more context to when he defends her during her termination from the Dora.
    • Ramonda is confirmed to have been from the River Tribe, like Nakia.
    • Namor’s birth name is Ch’ah Toh Almehen.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Talokan (save for Namor) all turn a vivid blue on the surface world.
  • And Starring: The teaser trailer's cast roll ends with "introducing Tenoch Huerta with Martin Freeman and Angela Bassett". The film itself also has "with Julia Louis-Dreyfus", and the credits further describe Richard Schiff as a "special guest star" before the rest of the cast list rolls.
  • And This Is for...: When joining the Final Battle in the completed Ironheart armor, Riri states "For the Queen" before attacking Namor to avenge Ramonda.
  • Anti-Villain: Namor is a kind and loving ruler to his people, and his only goal throughout the movie is to protect Talokan from the predations of the surface world. However, this means he's willing to do some very unpleasant things to protect them, such as attempting to assassinate a teenage girl and storming the Wakandan capital, killing innocent civilians and Queen Ramonda in the process.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Namor took his name from a dying Catholic priest calling him a child "sin amor" (without love), as he has no love for the greedy surface world.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Shuri repeatedly denies the existence of things like the goddess Bast or the Ancestral Plane, despite having fought alongside multiple wizards and gods in Avengers: Endgame.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Okoye is stripped from her title of the Dora Milage, she pleads for her queen to give her another chance, insisting that she has "given everything". Ramonda gives her an impassioned refusal.
    Ramonda: Where is her treacherous husband now? But in a place where she can visit if she wished! MINE... is with the ancestors. I am Queen of the most powerful nation in the world, and my entire family is GONE! Have I not given everything?!
  • Artistic License – Marine Biology: Downplayed. Near the beginning, a jellyfish in the deep sea is identified as a "phantom jellyfish." Close, but the common name is actually "giant phantom jellyfish."
  • Artistic License – Military: In the scene at Langley, when Ross and Valentina are speaking with the Ambassador, seated next to him is an officer wearing a Navy uniform. However, he is sporting five one-inch stripes on his sleeve, a rank that does not exist. Captains (O6s) wear four, and Rear Admirals, Lower-Half (O7s) wear a two-inch stripe and a one-inch stripe.
  • Ascended Extra: Griot (the Wakandan AI voiced by Trevor Noah) has a much larger role in this movie compared to only getting a few lines in the first one.
  • As Himself:Anderson Cooper appears as himself during the In-Universe CNN coverage of Queen Ramonda's death.
  • Asshole Victim: The Spanish Colonizers who brought destruction to the Talokanil's former home and enslaved other people get what they deserve when a young Namor and the Talokanil start slaughtering them.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Lift Me Up" by Rihanna.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Namor gets everything he wants here. Wakanda will be forced to protect Talokan and keep it hidden from the outside world while making sure that Wakanda will be entirely dependent on it from any outside aggressors.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The audience would have expected Shuri to meet T'Chaka, T'Challa (via digital recreation due to his actor passing away), or Ramonda in the ancestral plane. Who do we get? Killmonger, due to Shuri's fury at the death of Ramonda bringing out the worst in her when she takes the herb and enters the ancestral plane. Ramonda does appear to Shuri during the climax with her signature line to convince Shuri to snap out of the Cycle of Revenge.
    • The Be Careful What You Wish For moment begins with the crowd standing and cheering on the waterfall with the Talon fighter arriving and the royal court introducing the Black Panther. They instead get M'Baku coming out of the fighter and issuing his challenge. Cue Shuri walking towards Nakia's home in Haiti.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: An extremely downplayed example. Shuri is given a dress, to which Riri starts calling this trope out, before she is brought to meet Namor but only to fit her status as a princess. Namor seems to be implying this when he tells Shuri she can't go to Talokan in her dress... only to point out that the extreme cold and water pressure of the underwater city would kill her like that. Instead, she wears a decidedly unsexy atmospheric diving suit taken from one of the divers at the beginning.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: By the end of the film, M'Baku finally gets what he was after back at the beginning of the first movie: the de facto kingship of Wakanda. But this is now a M'Baku who's undergone Character Development and become close to the Royal Family (and lived through the horrors of the Infinity War, the 5 years after the Snap, and the damage and death Namor inflicts in this film). Even if M'Baku was still after the title and the throne, he didn't want it like this.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Despite Ramonda's concerns, Shuri's lab AI Griot is never anything but friendly and helpful.
  • Best Served Cold: Subverted. Namor makes it clear that their interest is not revenge against the surface world after all this time despite having the capability to bring the entire surface world to its knees — Wakanda included. In fact, their invasion of Wakanda makes it clear that they could have easily invaded the surface world at almost any time since the Mayan era. They only decide to make a move when their civilization is at risk of being discovered.
  • Big Bad: Namor, ruler of Talokan, serves as the primary threat to Wakanda. Valentina De Fontaine is a secondary threat representing the western nations (particularly the United States) in their own quest for Vibranium.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ultimately, Shuri chooses to let go of her vengeance at the very last second and makes peace with Namor, who accepts her truce offer, and the conflict between Wakanda and Talokan is stopped before it escalates into an all-out war. However, it's an alliance of convenience at best, with Namor stating that with the rest of the world focused on Wakanda — a country that is now at its weakest state due to the loss of all but one of its royal family members — Talokan can continue to hide in the depths while it is Wakanda that needs their help for protection against its numerous enemies. On the other hand, Shuri succeeds in saving Riri Williams and recreates the Heart-shaped Herb, ensuring that the legacy of the Black Panther can live on once more and that Wakanda still has its greatest protector defending it, and it's revealed that Nakia had a son with T'Challa before his untimely death who is now living a normal life free from the conflicts of the world, giving both Nakia and Shuri some much-needed reprieve after the loss of T'Challa.
  • Blade Brake: Performed multiple times by Okoye during her fight with Attuma to anchor against his superior strength. At one point, blocking his blow leaves her standing but still sliding backwards, so she quickly jams her spear into the ground to stop herself.
  • Bling of War:
    • Namor doesn't wear much, but he does have a bejeweled collar made of vibranium.
    • Shuri's Black Panther suit is the most blinged out yet, with plenty of gold and silver trim. The gold harkens back to N'Jadaka's own suit.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Shuri is impaled on a spear by Namor and pulls herself down the shaft, all without losing any blood due to the Black Panther suit sealing over the wound.
    • Wakandan soldiers fall into the water in the final battle, where they quickly get slaughtered by the Talokians who are in their own element. Despite the amount of deaths by bladed weapons, the water stays a pristine blue.
  • Body Horror: Namor's people show the scars of smallpox when they take the blue herb. It's an ugly disease; fortunately, the disease has only slightly touched them.
  • Book Ends:
    • Phase 3 ended with the death of Tony Stark and, as such, the retirement of Iron Man, with the final movie in the lineup having an arc about whether Peter Parker will be the next Iron Man. Phase 4, as a means to tie up the entire Central Theme of how people grieve in their own way and how it's time to pass the torch to the new generation, has a spiritual torch-passing, as it's Riri who inherits the role, though as Ironheart.
    • Phase 4's first movie involved a cameo from Valentina De Fontaine in The Stinger (not unlike Nick Fury's cameo). This, being the last movie in Phase 4, is her full debut.
  • Break the Cutie: Shuri goes through quite the wringer. Years prior, her father was murdered. She gets turned to dust for 5 years. Her brother dies from an illness she is unable to save him from. She carries that guilt for over a year. Her people come under attack. Her mother drowns. When she takes the Heart-Shaped Herb, instead of getting to see a close family member, she comes face to face with Killmonger, who gives her a "Not So Different" Remark speech that breaks her down into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. In the end, she is able to pull herself back together after everything that has happened to her.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even when subject to his Weaksauce Weakness of becoming weaker if he is out of the water for too long Namor is still a force to be reckoned with. In the climax, despite being dehydrated, he is still able to hold his own against Shuri in her vibranium armour and may even have won had he not been standing in front of her ship when it self-destructed.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Ramonda calls Shuri to burn their funeral clothes, to symbolize that a year has passed since T'Challa died and they are no longer in mourning. Shuri refuses, saying that if she outputs her grief she'll set fire to the world instead. The last scene is Shuri finally choosing to burn the clothes, serving as the backdrop for the Creative Closing Credits.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Nakia, who hasn't appeared in any project since Black Panther, returns for this movie. Her absence is explained by her choosing to raise her and T'Challa's son in Haiti so he could grow up without the pressures of royal life.
    • After her cameos in both The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow, Fontaine returns with a larger role and a fleshing out of who she is as a character in the greater universe.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ramonda caps off her speech about preparing for conflict with other nations by claiming she will show them who Wakanda is- a variation of the words she told T'Challa in his challenge against M'Baku in the first movie. Shuri later has a vision of her mother telling her to show Namor who she is.
    • In the same speech, she mentions that they are well-aware that Wakandan artifacts have been circulating on the black market. One such artifact, a Dora Milage spear, was shown to be in the possession of a clueless collector in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, T'Challa claimed that vengeance has consumed Zemo and he would not allow it to consume him. In the movie, Shuri spares Namor and says that vengeance was consuming their people and that they should put an end to this.
    • When M'Baku shows up to comfort Shuri after Ramonda's death, she wonders why would he come to help "a child that scoffs at tradition"- quoting his insult towards her prior to his challenge against T'Challa for the throne.
    • When punishing Okoye for failing to prevent Shuri's capture by the Talokan, Ramonda accuses her of having sided with Killmonger during his insurrection while she fled to seek help from the Jabari.
    • When meeting Shuri again in the Ancestral Plane, Killmonger dismissively refers to her as "little cousin", in the same way he referred to Ramonda as "auntie" in the first movie.
    • Shuri proclaims that the Black Panther lives when giving back the habit necklace to T'Challa in the first movie. M'Baku says the same words upon Shuri's drop in to Jabari land and strength challenge with him here.
    • In The Stinger, Nakia explains to Shuri that T'Challa had previously visited to ensure that she and their young son were ready for his imminent passing, showing that T'Challa took his own father's words in the Ancestral Plane to heart.
      T'Chaka: A man who has not prepared his children for his own death has failed as a father.
    • When introducing her son to Shuri, Nakia tells her son "This is your auntie", using the word with a great deal more affection and respect than Killmonger did when he called Ramonda "auntie".
    • Riri passing out from lack of oxygen due to the altitude while in her first suit and regaining consciousness just in time to stop herself crashing into the water calls to mind Tony's test flight in the Mark 2, where he similarly fell from a great height due to exceeding a safe altitude, only saving himself at the last second.
  • The Cameo: Michael B. Jordan reprises the role of Killmonger when Shuri takes the Heart-Shaped Herb and encounters his spirit in the Ancestral Plane.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Played with: the main coloniser aggressor against Wakanda is France, blatantly hiring French mercenaries to attack Wakandan outreach sites meant to improve civilian lives, but the US is if anything far worse by seeking any pretext for a war with their nominal ally.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Before Ramonda takes Shuri on a private trip to grieve she tells Shuri to leave her earrings behind as they're also Kimoyo beads. When Shuri is taken by the Talokanil, Ramonda tells her AI to track her earrings which she was still wearing.
    • One of the diving suits belonging to the scientists inspecting the vibranium-seeking machine is reused to allow Shuri to see Talokan in all its glory.
    • The vibranium-seeking machine itself is used to lure Namor and the Talokanil to the deep ocean to begin the final battle.
    • The bracelet that Namor gives to Shuri. He mentions that it was woven with fibers from the vibranium-infused plant that granted the people of Talokan their mutations. Since this means that it has similar properties to the Heart-Shaped Herb, Shuri is able to use the fibers to create a synthetic version of the herb.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: One of the children who eagerly runs up to Ramonda at the school in Haiti is in fact her grandson as The Stinger reveals.
  • Circling Monologue: Killmonger circles Shuri as he convinces her to give into vengeance.
  • Color-Coded Speech: The Wakandan's chief spoken language Xhosa is translated in yellow subtitles, The Talokanil chief spoken language Mayan blue, and French and Spanish are in white. This comes in handy when Nakia approaches a woman in Mexico and speaks Spanish to her, then switches to Mayan—the text turns blue—to prove she knows about the Talokanil.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While it ultimately fails, M'Baku doesn't hesitate to simply attack Namor when his back is turned.
  • Compelling Voice: The rig workers, and later Wakandans, are enthralled by the Talokanil warriors singing and walk towards and off the ledge of the platform to their death at the hands of the Talokan. It takes a distraction to snap them out of it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Riri and Shuri perform the same secret handshake that T'Challa and Shuri shared in the Wakandan laboratory in the first film.
    • When we first see M'Baku in this film after the prologue, he is eating a raw carrot. He stated in the first film that his family are vegetarians.
    • In the first movie, Klaue claimed that legends of El Dorado where actually about Wakanda and its store of vibranium and conquistadors were just way off the mark on where it was located. Here it's revealed that there really is a city of vibranium that conquistadors would have believed was around South America, probably started when Namor and his people sacked a village they colonized.
    • When Shuri leads the Wakandan forces against the Talokan army, she shouts "YIBAMBE!", the battle cry her brother used when preparing for war against Thanos's forces.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The first movie gave us Killmonger, who raged for his suffering as a black man in a racist world and wanted to use Wakanda's power to turn colonial violence against the colonial powers that rule the world. Namor is also a victim of colonialism, but he wants first to hide from the world and protect his people, and turns to war as a secondary tool and never wants vengeance.
  • Cool Big Sis: Two non-familial examples.
    • Nakia acts this way towards Shuri, probably due to her being practically her sister-in-law.
    • Shuri herself seems to be fulfilling this role to Riri by the end of the movie.
  • Cool Chair: The Talokan throne is made from the jaws of a shark.
  • The Corrupter: In the Ancestral Plane, Killmonger tells Shuri to give into her rage and kill Namor for killing her mother, asking her whether she's going to be "noble" like her late brother or if she'll "take care of business" like he did. Though it's downplayed in that he wouldn't have been summoned at all if Shuri hadn't already made up her mind.
  • Creative Closing Credits: As the last scene of the film is Shuri finally burning her funeral garments, the credits run over a series of extreme close-ups on the garments as they slowly burn in the fire.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Although Namor is still a better fighter and has much more experience than Shuri, she, now having the powers and suit of the Black Panther, manages to fare pretty well against him in their fight once she works out how to weaken him through dehydration. While Namor does manage to drive his spear through her, he is almost killed when Shuri sets off the engine of her wrecked plane and is forced to yield.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Shuri and Namor agree to end the conflict in order to prevent a true war between Talokan and Wakanda from starting.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first Black Panther film had an overall optimistic mood, and while there were several deaths, T'Challa remained positive for both his own personal life and the direction of Wakandan politics. This one begins with the Happy Ending Override of T'Challa's death, which clouds the entirety of the film. Shuri’s guilt and grief is a contrast from her cheerful self in the first film and only gets worse when her vengeful self emerges after her mother Ramonda’s death at Namor's hands. The stakes are also higher in the third act where instead of a Wakandan civil war, it’s a war between two nations. And unlike the first film's arguable Earn Your Happy Ending, the sequel's ending is undeniably a Bittersweet Ending.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Shuri's grief after losing her mother turns her into a cold-hearted warrior hell-bent on killing Namor slowly and painfully, no matter the cost. It's best represented with her Ancestral Plain vision being that of Killmonger, and while she rejects his encouragement to take her revenge, it's clear she's taking his words to heart. Eventually she puts the well-being of the people of Wakanda and Talokan over her desire for vengeance.
  • The Day the Music Lied: At one point in the climax, Shuri approaches a downed Namor menacingly with her suit's claws extended and her Black Panther theme at full, triumphant blast...only for it to cut out the moment Namor impales her through the stomach with this spear.
  • David Versus Goliath: Even after dosing herself with the Heart-Shaped Herb and forcibly dehydrating her opponent immediately beforehand it is clear that Shuri is at a vast physical disadvantage during her final confrontation with Namor; requiring sonic weapons and vibranium claws to actually damage him directly atop only lasting as long as she did because Namor was dehydrated and she rendered him unable to fly as swiftly as possible.
  • Dead Guy Junior: The mid-credits stinger reveals that Nakia and T'Challa had a son before the latter died. His name? Prince T'Challa, son of King T'Challa.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: Ramonda informs Shuri that there's something important she has to tell her daughter. Unfortunately, Ramonda dies before she ever gets to tell Shuri. The Stinger would clarify that Ramonda meant to tell Shuri about her nephew born from T'Challa.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Done casually by Namor when he tells Ramonda and Shuri that he ... stopped a research ship from mining Talokan's vibranium. His smile sells it.
  • Death by Adaptation: Namor's father is portrayed as having died before his birth while his comic counterpart Leonard McKenzie lived for many years after that before meeting his eventual death.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Shuri defeats Namor in battle but stops herself from dealing the killing blow, unwilling to subject their peoples to a Forever War. They form an alliance instead.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ross doesn't have a big role in this movie compared to the previous other than informing Shuri and Okoye about Riri Williams. He is even Locked Out of the Loop regarding Talokan's existence since telling him will put a target on his back.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Riri built the vibranium detector as a school project and, despite her genius-level intellect, fails to consider the real-world consequences of creating such a machine. This puts her on the radar of the US government, the Wakandans, and Talokan, the latter of whom want her dead for exposing their society's vibranium deposits.
    • The Americans want to retaliate against Wakanda as they believe them responsible for the attack on their vibranium mining expedition. At least until Ross points out they have no idea of Wakanda's military capabilities and attacking them without any idea of what they can do is stupid and prohibitively dangerous.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • An eerie wailing sound plays as the Talokan soldiers arrive around the American ship, which is gradually revealed to be from a sonic weapon they use.
    • The opening riff of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Can't Stop" plays over a transition shot of the United States — and it turns out to be Everett Ross listening to the song in his earbuds while jogging.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: The first clear sign that the Power of the Black Panther has been imbued into Shuri is when she swats aside a mannequin wearing a Dora uniform out of angry frustration and sends it across the room into a wall.
  • Don't Create a Martyr: M'Baku warns Shuri not to kill Namor because his people see him as a god and his death would result in eternal war between Talokan and Wakanda.
  • Downer Beginning: Merciful Bast, where to start? Shuri tries and fails to save her brother, T'Challa, from an unknown illness. With his passing, and the heart-shaped herbs destroyed in the previous film, there is no one left to officially carry on the Black Panther mantle. If that's not stressful enough, the nation of Wakanda is faced with scrutiny for isolating itself once more, rolling back the late king's promises to share its technology and vibranium reserves, and are targeted by other governments for them once again. And that's all before being blamed for the Talokan attack on a research ship that just happened to locate new traces of vibranium outside Wakanda.

    Tropes E to L 
  • Empowered Badass Normal: While they are pretty badass for themselves - being part of the Dora Milaje and all - Okoye and Aneka use the Midnight Angel Armors in the climax of the movie.
  • Eternal English: Namor speaks Yucatec Mayan and was actually alive in the sixteenth century, and since he's the God-Emperor of Talokan, it's implied that the language is in stasis because Namor's people emulate him as much as possible. Furthermore, Namor's trips to the surface mean he has learned both modern Mayan and Spanish as well. However, the Spaniards from the sixteenth century speak modern-day Mexican Spanish.
  • Ethereal White Dress: White is the color of mourning in Wakanda with all citizens donning it for T'Challa's funeral and again during Ramonda's funeral. When Shuri enters the Ancestral Plane, she's wearing white, a precedent established in the first movie when T'Challa entered the plane. Killmonger's spirit is also wearing white when he appears to Shuri.
  • Feminist Fantasy: This movie has the highest female-to-male character ratio out of any MCU film. It focuses on Shuri’s Coming of Age Story and Hero's Journey, with particular emphasis on her relationship with her mother. A large part of the film is about the women of Wakanda protecting Riri Williams, a young African American genius. In the end, Shuri engineers an alliance between Wakanda and the equally powerful nation of Talokan by defeating a nigh-invulnerable God-Emperor and forcing him to yield to her.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition:
    • A major theme in the film. Water obviously belongs to the Talokanil, while fire is with the Wakandans for their practice of burning funeral clothes.
    • When Shuri meets N'Jadaka in the Ancestral Plane, they're in the Wakandan throne room, which is both flooded and burning.
    • One involving two members of the Royal Family of Wakanda: T'Chaka died in a fiery explosion, while Ramonda dies by drowning.
    • Namor is strongest when he is in water; Shuri defeats him by blowing up her ship against him and setting him on fire.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Shuri goes through this throughout the movie. Bargaining: She prays to Bast to let her find a cure for her brother and she will never ask for anything again. Denial: While trying to make an effective cure her AI says she should go to her brother's side as his heartrate continues to drop, but she refuses to give up, only to fail in the end. Depressed: Shuri is depressed throughout the film and tries to bury herself in work to hide from her grief. Anger: With the death of their mother she is ready to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Namor. Acceptance: By the end of the film she has finally come to terms with all of her loss, stopping herself from killing Namor, and commits to the ritual her mother had shown her.
  • Flight: Namor can fly thanks to the wings on his feet.
  • Foil:
    • Talokan is a hidden kingdom created by indigenous people of colonized land and was established by a champion given a magical herb thanks to a vision from their god, just like Wakanda. They also have a superpowered champion they believe has a connection to a deity. In fact, it's implied that the herb that mutated Talokanil is related to Wakandan Heart-Shaped Herb, when Shuri uses the former to synthetically recreate the latter. However, while Talokanil were refugees escaping colonization, Wakandan tribes had no contact with Europeans, instead being threatened by civil war. Also, Wakanda eventually ended their isolation and chose to share technology for the common good, while Talokan stayed hidden, taking extreme measures to remain undetected.
    • Shuri and Namor are both extremely intelligent leaders who love their respective nations and are devoted to keeping their people safe, but also find themselves quite alienated from them, with Shuri being ambivalent about her people’s traditions and Namor being far more powerful and older than everyone else. They both have close relationships with their mothers. However, because of the differences in their upbringing and experiences, they are also very different: Namor hates the surface world while Shuri cares for outsiders like Bucky Barnes, Everett Ross, Vision, and Riri Williams. Ultimately, Namor is what Shuri could have become if she let vengeance and grief consume her. The aforementioned similarities between them, and between Wakanda and Talokan, inspire Shuri to offer him a truce despite defeating him in battle.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During Ramonda and Shuri's private grieving ritual:
      • Ramonda tells Shuri there's something she needs to know about T'Challa but is cut off by Namor's arrival. During the mid-credits scene it's revealed that Nakia and T'Challa had a son, and Ramonda was the only other person that knew.
      • Ramonda burns her clothes that she used to mourn her son. Ramonda states that it signifies the end of her grieving. Shuri does not burn her clothes... Sure enough, Ramonda doesn't need them anymore because she's the next to die in the film, and Shuri again wears the same outfit at Ramonda's funeral.
      • Shuri refuses to burn her robe, saying that if she were to think too much about her brother, she would burn the whole world. The phrasing is reminiscent of her cousin Erik Killmonger/N'Jadaka's rage and desire to take on the world and "burn it all". Later, Shuri enters the Ancestral Plane, and Killmonger is the person she encounters. She's wearing the same white clothes, and as they talk, the room catches fire, surrounding the two in flames.
    • Okoye and Shuri snark that if Riri (who's threatening to throw a space heater at them) doesn't come with them, she'll have to deal with Namor herself "with [her] heater". In the climax Riri equips a Wakandan fighter plane with heating to help entrap and dehydrate Namor.
    • Back in Avengers: Endgame, one of the things that the remaining team detects is sonic disturbances underwater. At the time, Okoye told Natasha Romanoff that it's "a mild subduction beneath the African plate."
    • Ramonda shows little patience for the Elders during the first council meeting, but after M'Baku reminds them that letting Killmonger take over cost them the herb, Ramonda sincerely asks him what he would do regarding Namor. She later reveals she still resents the other Elders and Okoye for initially siding with Killmonger, and shows gratitude for the Jabari taking her in, showing among her council, M'Baku is the only member that she trusts the most thanks to his loyalty even when he didn’t need to show her any.
  • Forever War: Defied. M'Baku warns Shuri against killing Namor, since he is seen as god by his people and his death would make Wakanda eternal enemies to the Talokan. Though Shuri is burning with revenge against Namor for having killed Ramonda in his attack on Wakanda, she ultimately spares him precisely to avoid an endless conflict between their people.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The part in the teaser when the Marvel Studios logo pops up includes the easily missable sight of Shuri holding the Black Panther helmet.
    • During the CNN report of Ramonda's speech at the UN, the bottom scrolling text talks about Scott Lang's book tour for his autobiography.
  • French Jerk: The French government figures are depicted as aggressive neocolonialist hypocrites who openly attack scientific outposts meant to improve African diaspora communities. Queen Ramona's argument against the UN French rep attacking Wakanda's "aggression" is to simply show her the French mercenaries behind one of the attacks. That said, the US isn't any better, and is likely even worse.
  • Get Out!: In the cold open, Shuri has everyone clear the lab as T'Challa is fading and she grows increasingly desperate.
    Shuri: I have to think. Everyone, get out! [all the scientists stare at her] ...GET OUT!
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: As part of their warfare, Talokan floods Wakanda, with many Wakandans being swept up in the water.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Discussed Trope. When Shuri and Riri are trapped in Talokan, Shuri is told to put on a dress and go meet Namor. Riri calls it "supervillain shit" and cites other (Disney-owned) fictional women who are given new outfits by their captorsnote .
  • The Gloves Come Off: Once Shuri and Namor get to the desert, they both go all-out in their fight: Namor, knowing his time having the upper hand is limited without returning to the water, constantly manhandles and lands heavy punches on his smaller opponent to try and stun her. Meanwhile, Shuri's anger leads her to demonstrate a savagery even T'Challa never did, using her suit's claws without the restraint her brother showed, not caring that Namor is completely unarmored and suffering painful injuries because of them.
  • God-Emperor: Namor isn't called king, but rather "the Feathered Serpent God" by the Talokanil people.
  • God Is Good: In Namor's story of Talokan's origins, the rain god Chaac showed a priest the Vibranium-mutated plant that would allow the people of the village to live underwater and escape subjugation at the hands of the Spanish, similarly to how Bast showed the first king of Wakanda the Heart-Shaped Herb, which allowed him to unite and protect his people.
  • Gray-and-Grey Morality: None of the factions in this film are evil, nor are they saints:
    • The United States has good reason to be unhappy about Wakanda having a monopoly on the power of vibranium, considering Killmonger showed how easily Wakanda's power could fall into the hands of a psychopath. Since no one was aware of the existence of the Talokanil, they had every reason to think that they had the right to mine vibranium outside Wakanda. Of course, the look on Val's face when she imagines what America could do with the power of vibranium indicates that it's best America doesn't have any, and it's strongly implied that the US was fixing for any reason to start a fight and steal vibranium when Wakanda outed itself - and now the US has one.
    • Namor has every reason to distrust the surface world and want to keep the existence of his people a secret. Unfortunately, in his legitimate desire to protect his people he's very quick to jump to Murder Is the Best Solution, even when his targets don't intend him any harm. He kills the Americans mining his vibranium and blames the Wakandans for the world searching for vibranium, which is rather unreasonable considering neither knew of Talokan's existence.
    • Wakanda, especially Queen Ramonda, is very dismissive of the above valid concerns, and she's very quick to antagonize Namor, instead of listening to him and trying to find a non-murderous solution to his problems.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The other nations of the world, the United States in particular, serve as this, albeit in a more Unwitting Instigator of Doom sense for the most part; not only do various nations want Vibranium for their own purposes (with France even hiring mercenaries to try and steal some from a Wakandan outpost), but an American attempt at mining non-Wakandan Vibranium is what brings Namor's attentions to the surface world, setting off the movie's main conflict. With Talokanil attacks being blamed on the Wakandans, the Americans even consider launching a military strike on Wakanda in retaliation, and, after his defeat, Namor predicts that the world will eventually come after Wakanda for its resources, which Namor believes will force them to turn to Talokan for help.
  • Happy Ending Override: T'Challa dies, and the good he has done for the world in sharing the Vibranium not only becomes undone, but has proven to have been so detrimental that the Wakandans made an enemy in Namor and the Talokanil.
  • Heel Realization: Zigzagged with Shuri. Her guilt over failing to save T'Challa causes her to become angry and bitter, to the point of saying she'd like to see the world burn. When Namor (who overheard her) later recounts her words, she's disturbed to hear them spoken back to her and seems to have a change of heart. However, Namor's attack on Wakanda leads to Ramonda's death, which pushes Shuri even further into despair and rage, before she finally reconciles her actions with what she knows her mother would have wanted for her.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The women of the royal family.
    • Ramonda is the Crone as she is The High Queen.
    • Shuri is the Maiden, as the movie is a Coming of Age Story for her.
    • Nakia is the Mother, who tries her best to be a Cool Big Sis to Shuri. And she is a literal mother to Prince T’Challa II.
  • He's Back!: A symbolic variation. T'Challa's death and Killmonger's destruction of the Heart-Shaped Herb left the future of the Black Panther legacy uncertain and likely over. Shuri finally accepting and embracing the mantle shows her desperate countrymen that their champion lives again — something M'Baku joyously exclaims.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: When punishing Okoye for failing to stop the Talokan from capturing Shuri, Ramonda reveals she never forgave her for siding with Killmonger during the events of the first movie. There were no hints beforehand that her anger at the Dora Milaje general would be so personal. Furthermore, the truth is more complex: Okoye served under Killmonger due to her duty as general of the Dora Milaje, not out of actual loyalty to him- and turned against him when T'Challa returned to resume the challenge for the throne.
  • History Repeats: Going into the final battle with Namor, Shuri finds herself in the exact same position her brother was in nearly a decade earlier when he pursued T'Chaka's killer (both when he thought it was Bucky Barnes and after learning it was actually Helmut Zemo). Like T'Challa, Shuri too had become consumed with vengeance— and like her brother, she too recognizes the futility of the Cycle of Revenge and snaps out of it in time during the climax.
  • Hollywood Atheist: The film's opening lines are Shuri's pleas to Bast, promising to no longer doubt her existence or that of the afterlife if she saves T'Challa life, and she fully becomes this trope when her prayers (apparently) fall on deaf ears, and spends the remainder of the film venomously and mockingly snarling that the hopes, dreams, and ideals of T'Challa and her mother no longer matter because they are deceased and hence no longer exist. It does not help that her three previous appearances already mark her as a staunch scientist and modernist who holds no respect for tradition and spirituality.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Talokanil use a hypnotic sonic weapon against the crew on the ship and the Wakandan civilians, designed to lure them into the water for the Talokanil to kill them at their leisure. In the final battle, the Wakandans use a sonic weapon to force the Talokanil above the waves.
  • Humble Pie: His defeat against Shuri seems to be Namor’s first; one gets the impression that he’s never had anyone he can consider an equal. Downplayed as he still thinks the alliance would be ultimately lead to his goal of eliminating the surface world with the help of Wakanda.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Though Shuri is taller than most women in the movie, she is absolutely dwarfed by the men.
    • M’Baku is a foot taller and more than twice as broad, which makes an interesting contrast when she strong-arms him into supporting her plan to declare war against Namor.
    • Namor is only a few inches taller but is much broader, which is very obvious during their fight.
  • Hypocrite: Namor is furious that Nakia trespassed upon Talokanil to rescue Shuri and Riri. While it's valid to be upset about the deaths of two of his people, the fact that he himself trespassed into Wakanda as a means of opening diplomacy rather than just send envoys is lost on him — or he just doesn't care either way.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Everett Ross works for the United States government but chats up Wakanda repeatedly without ever checking for bugs, which is how he's caught out.
    • Even though Namor has a general idea of the surface world and its technology, he sends uniformed Talokanil to kill Riri which could have revealed their existence to the world. He's very lucky there weren't any cameras where he sent his troops. Even The French had the foresight to send mercenaries dressed in generic tactical gear. Somewhat justified though since their society has been living underwater for centuries and they probably don't know the scope of modern technology aboveground, figuring they can just kill anyone who saw them.
    • During the final battle, the Wakandan jet that Shuri traps Namor on crashes near the shore. While Shuri is stunned from the impact, Namor makes no effort to make it to the water, despite Shuri earlier exposing him to the dryers on the jet itself. This ultimately results in Namor's defeat as by the time he realizes he needs to head to the water, he has already been weakened.
  • I Owe You My Life: Everett Ross feels this way towards Shuri due to her healing his spinal wound in Black Panther. His loyalty runs so deep he commits treason by giving her highly classified information about Riri Williams creating the Vibranium detector.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Wakanda has spent centuries assuming they had the only collection of vibranium on the planet. It never occurred to them that just maybe, the same meteor also dropped a chunk of vibranium in the ocean and thus are taken aback at how it can, indeed, be found outside Wakanda.
  • Imagine Spot: With a spear to Namor's throat, Shuri imagines the war running backward, all the damage undone. Then she pictures the beauty of both Talokan and Wakanda and realizes killing Namor won't undo anything.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Namor pins Shuri to a pillar of stone with his vibranium spear, forcing her to break the shaft and pull herself off of it.
  • Infernal Background: Downplayed. When Killmonger is speaking to Shuri in the ancestral plane, manipulating her into becoming vengeful and wrathful like him, pillars of fire rise up one by one in the room and in the area outside. They don't completely fill the background, but they do get more prominent as the scene goes on. Considering that an evil man in the spiritual realm is manipulating someone, the Satanic imagery is very clear.
  • Instant Expert: Despite no training as the Panther or experience carrying the Heart-Shaped Herb, Shuri's experience in previous wars and presumed training as a princess of Wakanda allow her to go toe to toe with Namor and defeat him, albeit after severely weakening him.
  • Interservice Rivalry: M'Baku mocks the River Tribe for letting Namor sneak into the country and says his warriors would not have allowed it to happen.
  • Irony: Namor attempts to convince Shuri to "burn the world" with him. In the climax, she blows up her ship against him to finally defeat him.
  • It's All About Me: Ramonda couldn't care less about Okoye's agony over losing Shuri, or the sacrifices she has made for Wakanda. She only cares about her own pain and punishing whoever she can hold responsible as she strips Okoye of her rank and position.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Val. While she set Yelena after Clint in Hawkeye and recruited an unstable U.S. Agent in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, she seemed much more reasonable here. She backed Ross to the Secretary of State, and even expressed some contrition over how their marriage ended. It turns out that she was playing him the whole time, spying on his conversations with Ramonda, and arrests him the moment he's no longer useful.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • When M'Baku enters the throne room to discuss the situation with Namor, he insults everyone, is incredibly rude, and is the first to suggest outright just murdering Namor. Despite his attitude, he is correct when he points out that even if they do as they're told - find and hand over Riri - there's no guarantee that Namor won't just keep using the threat of force to keep getting Wakanda to do whatever he wants in the future. M'Baku is equally correct in rethinking this position later in the film, voicing the concern that the Talokanil revere Namor as a God-Emperor, and killing him would spark a Forever War between Wakanda and Talokan.
    • Val was justified in arresting Ross for feeding information to the Wakandans. He himself admits that he would be in a lot of trouble if it ever got out. However one feels about the two countries in question, secretly providing information to Wakanda about an impending US military action constitutes espionage and is considered treason.
    • From the CIA's point of view, Ross is this when he advises them against action against Wakanda. He correctly states they have no idea of Wakanda military capacity and striking them without actionable intelligence is dangerously stupid. Furthermore, they almost illegally arrested the crown princess of Wakanda, nearly triggering a serious international incident. True to their portrayal, the government dismisses Ross's advice until Val vouches for him.
    • Namor is completely right that the surface world will stop at nothing for vibranium and would absolutely pillage Talokan for it. Doubly so since the film begins with French soldiers attacking a Wakandan outpost to do exactly that, not to mention that Namor's people are descendants of indigenous peoples escaping colonization, death, and enslavement. Granted, his solution leaves a lot to be desired, but his reasoning is sound.
  • Join or Die: Namor offers an alliance with Wakanda when he begins his war against the surface world to preemptively protect Talokan. If Shuri refuses, he promises to make Wakanda the first nation he destroys.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Ramonda, who drowns in Namor's flood while saving Riri.
    • T'Challa also counts, Killed Offscreen by an unknown disease right at the beginning of the movie. This was after he survived his apparent death at the hands of Killmonger during their duel for the throne in Black Panther and after coming back to life in Endgame after being a victim of the Snap in Infinity War.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Shuri and Riri realize that given while Namor is able to breathe through both air and water, the latter makes him stronger. Hence the Royal Fighter is redesigned so its interior is basically a perspiration chamber to dehydrate and weaken Namor.
  • Kubrick Stare: Shuri's demeanor in this film includes several of these, showing her being consumed by grief and hate. Namor's poster has him in this pose.
  • Last of His Kind: By the end of the film Shuri is officially the last surviving member of the Wakandan Royal Family. Unofficially, however, there is a second survivor: T'Challa's hitherto unknown son with Nakia, whose existence has been kept secret to protect him.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When the world goes hunting vibranium on the sea floor, risking the exposure of Talokan, Namor tries to threaten Wakanda into fighting the world on his behalf.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: After being shown with her hair in a bun in previous appearances, Countessa Val now has it let loose, showing the bright purple streak in it.
  • Like a God to Me: Namor is revered by the people of Talokan as Kukulkan, the Feathered Serpent God.
  • Little "No": Shuri gives a whimpering "No", in response to her mother's reveal of her brother's passing.
  • Logical Weakness: As a dense medium, water is a much better carrier of sound, so underwater sonic cannons are going to be a very, very effective weapon against the Talokani.

    Tropes M to R 
  • Magical Defibrillator: The Kimoyo beads can be used as makeshift defibrillators by placing them on the person's chest. Nakia and Okoye use theirs on Riri and Ramonda when they drown after Namor floods the throne room. Riri wakes up after a few jolts...but Ramonda doesn't.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Shuri repeatedly doubts the existence of Bast and the reality of the Ancestral Plane. The movie doesn't confirm whether or not these things are real or just constructs of the imagination. However, the Egyptian goddess Tawaret talks about the Ancestral Plane as a real place, and Bast can be seen in the Omnipotence City.
  • Mayincatec: Namor's people are descended from Sixteenth-century Mayan tribes who fled the Spanish conquest and begged the rain god Chaac for salvation. They speak Yucatecan Maya, wear age- and region-appropriate attire, and refer to their lord as K'uk'ulkan—the Feathered Serpent known also as Quetzalcoatl to the Mexica. He also wears a headdress that is highly reminiscent of sculptures and engravings of said god across Mayan temples and cultural sites. Actor Tenoch Huerta claimed to have learned the Mayan language in preparation for the film, as both he and his costars speak it exclusively among themselves. However, their hidden realm is named Talokan, a derivative of Tlalocan, the domain of the Mexica rain and fire god Tlaloc and the afterlife paradise for victims of floods and drowning.
  • Meaningful Echo: Ramonda's advice to Shuri during the climax from the Ancestral Plane that snapped the latter out of her Roaring Rampage of Revenge being the same quote from Black Panther.
    Ramonda: Shuri! Show him... who you are!
    Shuri: "Vengeance has consumed us. We cannot let it consume our people."
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The AI of Shuri's lab, Griot (essentially the counterpart to Stark's JARVIS/FRIDAY), is named after the West African cultural polymaths of many pre-colonization empires (like that of Mali and Mande). The tradition still lives today throughout Western African nations.
    • In the mid-credits scene, Nakia reveals that her son with T'Challa's Haitian name is Toussaint, referencing the Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, who was instrumental in liberating the country from French rule. He also has a meaningful Wakandan name—T'Challa.
  • Mermanity Ensues: The Talokans were once humans who contracted smallpox, until one of their priests found a cure in a meteorite. Said cure saved their lives, but rendered them unable to breathe outside water, and turned their skin blue when they surfaced. A little Vibranium was the cause of their transformation.
  • Mind-Control Music: The Talokan people have an eerie wailing song that they use to lure the people on land hearing it to dive into the water and drown themselves.
  • Misblamed: Since the Talokans wear vibranium and are defending undersea vibranium deposits, the governments of the world mistakenly think they're Wakandans, the only known wielders of vibranium.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • Ramonda has never forgiven Okoye or the Council of Elders for siding with Killmonger in the first film after he beat T'Challa (and doing nothing while her family fled the country). While there's merit to the Council's guilt, Okoye's a bit more complicated. While she recognized all too well that Killmonger was bad business, she was also trapped between her loyalty to the Royal Family and her legal obligations as the General of the Dora Milaje. To her credit, she did not hesitate when an opportunity for Loophole Abuse arose (i.e. T'Challa's survival invaliding Killmonger's victory).
    • Namor wishes the Wakandans to bring "the scientist" who invented the vibranium-detecting device to him, with the implication that said scientist would be executed for endangering Talokan's secrecy and safety. However, not only is the inventor of the device a teenage college student who had simply designed it for a metallurgy class and had no idea her work would be used in such a way, it is heavily implied that the CIA appropriated it without notice, so exacting retribution upon the original inventor will not solve the issue anymore.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The teaser begins with Tems's downtempo and understated cover of Bob Marley's light, upbeat reggae song "No Woman, No Cry", befitting the moody scenes it plays over. By the end, the instrumentals become more grandiose and it mashes up with Kendrick Lamar's "Alright".
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Ramonda is still harboring anger over Okoye’s decision to side with Killmonger, even though Killmonger won the throne as required by Wakandan law and Okoye did exactly what a Dora Milaje is supposed to do, serve the king.
    • It's a masterpiece of cognitive dissonance for the Spanish priest to call Namor "the Son of Satan" while the Conquistadors were committing mass genocide on the Mayans.
    • Namor's encounter with a hypocritical priest likely influenced Namor's own moral myopia. He's utterly convinced of his infallibility and that nobody on the surface can be reasoned with regardless of intent — even his attempts to negotiate with Wakanda are more of an effort to strong-arm them into an alliance. While being bitter towards the Conquistadors is understandable, he effectively punishes people hundreds of years later who had nothing to do with colonization.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Wakanda is flooded by Namor, just as he does in the Avengers vs. X-Men event, Namor empowered by the Phoenix Force flooded Wakanda.
    • The priest in the flashback called Namor "a child without love." That's not too dissimilar from the meaning of his name in the comics, which is "Avenging Son."
    • Namor says his Catchphrase "Imperius Rex" (in Mayan) once Shuri does a last stand on him.
    • The alliance Namor proposes between Talokan and Wakanda has shades of the Atlantis/Latveria alliance in the comics.
    • Talokan's attack on the U.S.' vibranium mining ship brings Namor's portrayal as a horrifying terror of the seas in Sub-Mariner: The Depths to mind, especially when Namor himself is seen cloaked in shadows after he sends Dr. Graham's helicopter to a watery grave.
    • Namor's crown is in the form of a serpent. This is a homage to the Serpent Crown, an artifact that appeared in the Sub-Mariner comics.
    • In a deleted scene, Agent Ross knocks out and impersonates a British intelligence agent called Clive Reston, a supporting character of Shang-Chi. Ross as Reston is there to pick up intel of a rogue spy called the Spymaster, an Iron Man villain in the comics.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: Even Ross, a federal agent, knows that America having too much Vibranium won't be good for the world.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Anderson Cooper from CNN appears on TV reporting on Ramonda's address to the United Nations and about Ramonda's death.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Just like his comic counterpart, Namor is Pride personified and is utterly convinced of his own infallibility. From the very beginning he trespasses into Wakanda rather than open relations conventionally, which in normal circumstances would be considered a serious diplomatic incident and yet he solely blames Wakanda for the rising tensions between the two nations. In the end, he only surrenders because he realizes it puts Wakanda in a position to give him everything he wanted anyway.
      • Averted, however, when he decides to go to war with Wakanda after two of his soldiers are killed, since he tells his people that he had been "blinded by hope" of a possible alliance between the two nations.
    • Killmonger's ghost still refuses to accept wrongdoing, justifying his actions as necessary to strengthen Wakanda even though his brief kingship contributed to Wakanda being far weaker by the time of Wakanda Forever.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Ramonda re-closing of Wakanda's borders is what led to America trying to find their own source of Vibranium, leading to the major conflicts of the film which ultimately leads to her own death.
    • Ramonda and Nakia teaming up to rescue Shuri (who volunteered to accompany Namor diplomatically) and Riri results in Nakia killing a Talokan warrior and subsequently in their (the Talokanil) retaliatory attack that costs Ramonda her life.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Namor gives Shuri a bracelet woven from vibranium-infused plants, which Shuri later uses to reproduce the heart-shaped herb and make her the Black Panther and strong enough to fight him.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: When the CIA confiscated Riri's vibranium-detecting device, they took it wholesale and immediately put it to use in the field without attempting to understand or reverse-engineer it. Once Namor takes it, it's gone, and the US government is completely unable to build a second device. This puts pressure on the authorities to take Riri into custody to have her build a replacement. Riri, on the other hand, does have the designs in her laptop, locked behind such advanced encryption it would take a quantum computer to break through it.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Wakanda exits the film in worse shape than they did after Killmonger's failed coup. The Royal Family's been all but wiped out save for Shuri (and T'Challa's secret son). Shuri's seemingly abdicated the Throne, allowing M'Baku to become the new King (or potentially the Prime Minister) while she serves as the Black Panther. The Dora Milaje have also been shook up, with Okoye ousted by Ramonda (and going on to become one of the inaugural Midnight Angels). Wakanda's international relations are also left in tatters. Their biggest American advocate, Ross, has lost his influence thanks to the machinations of Fontaine (As well as his acts of sedition against the interests of the United States). The United States suspects that Wakanda was responsible for Namor's attacks, as well as their actual actions of turning Ross into a Wakandan spy, kidnapping a US citizen (from US soil) and their assaults on US law enforcement personnel (and the disbandment of the Avengers has robbed Wakanda of their mutual allies in the global superhero community). Their only "ally" now (Namor) is really just an ally of convenience at best — and one who benefits far more from said alliance than Wakanda will.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Both Wakanda and Talokan are ancient, powerful civilizations which have used Vibranium to become mighty while also hiding from the outside world. Both are filled with happy, kind people protected by those who will stop at nothing to keep them safe. A Forever War would snuff the spark out of both, which is why Shuri spares Namor at the end.
    • Killmonger does his own version of this with Shuri when she encounters him in the Ancestral Plane, pointing out they've both lost loved ones and are consumed with a burning desire for vengeance and retribution.
  • Oh, Crap!: The response of one FBI agent when he sees what Riri has been building in her lab.
    Agent: Oh, shit! She got an Iron Man suit?!
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Ramonda has unsurprisingly never forgiven Okoye or the Council of Elders for siding with Killmonger after T'Challa's (apparent) death and after her family was exiled. She's carried that grudge for the better part of a decade, but with everything that's happened in the interim (e.g. Thanos, Shuri and T'Challa initially dying in the Snap, etc.), she's had to put Wakanda first over her own anger. However, the defection led to the Heart-shaped herbs being destroyed and T'Challa subsequently dying from an illness that could have been cured by them causes Ramonda's anger to simmer once more. Okoye's failure to protect Shuri from Namor—the fact that Shuri went to him willingly out of diplomatic interest notwithstanding— is the last straw that finally causes that burning grudge to flare up into an inferno and results in Ramonda punishing her.
  • Only Sane Man: M'Baku and Ross play this role for their respective peoples. M'Baku initially suggested killing Namor, pointing out that giving him what he wanted would set a dangerous precedent, then later argued against killing Namor when he realized that doing so would make eternal enemies of the Talokanil. Meanwhile, Ross tried his utmost to cool tensions between Wakanda and the United States, is well aware of how his country would behave if it had the world's Vibranium, and grateful that the Wakandans haven't gone down that road.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: T'Challa has died while his mother, Queen Ramonda, is still alive — a fact that she is very distraught over.
  • Outside-Context Problem: This is why Namor is very confident that Talokan can easily bring Wakanda and even other nations down in no time. Not only is every person in the nation superhumanly strong and able to compel others with their song, their choice of battlefield is a place no other hero or villain has ever tried to specialize in, under the ocean.
  • Pet the Dog: Killmonger in the Ancestral Plane expresses some respect for Ramonda sacrificing her life to save Riri, satisfied that at least she saved an outsider unlike T'Chaka, who he believes would've murdered the girl.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: Implied. Shuri speculates that the Talokanil got their Vibranium resources from a meteor that crashed into the ocean, noting that Earth is 70% covered by water. The location of Talokan is near the Yucatan Peninsula, the crater site of the infamous asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65.5 million years ago.
  • Please Wake Up: Okoye tearfully begs Ramonda to wake up while attempting resuscitation, and Nakia has to tell her that she's already dead.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Shuri choosing to visit Talokan with Riri as a diplomatic envoy rather than a hostage was a good plan, but unfortunately she failed to leave any sign or word with Okoye that would make Wakanda aware of this. Their assumptions that she is a prisoner led to an escalation of the conflict and the death of Ramonda herself.
  • Power Glows:
    • The telltale sign that the offshore rig digging for Vibranium has struck a vein, besides the mashed up drill bit, is that the exposed material glows purple.
    • Like the heart-shaped herb, the herb the Talokanil used to gain their water breathing glowed from growing in vibranium. When Shuri synthesizes the former using the remains of the latter, she tells Nakia they'll know it's viable if it glows, which it does.
  • Posthumous Villain Victory: In a sense, Killmonger still manages to achieve his goal of killing T'Challa despite his death in the first film. T'Challa dies from a disease which Shuri believes could have been cured with the Heart-Shaped Herb — an option denied to the Royal Family thanks to Killmonger destroying it. Shuri outright blames her cousin for this when she encounters him on the Ancestral Plane.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In order to avoid there being two superhero film franchises involving Atlantis, Namor is now the ruler of Talokan, named after the realm of the water god Tlaloc from Aztec Mythology. Even the origin of Namor and the Talokanil was changed to better distinguish them from their DC counterparts, with them instead being Mayans who undertook a transformation via a potion/concoction/elixir to escape the Conquistadors and founded a nation under the waves, with Namor having been in his mother's womb when the transformation took place.
  • Present Absence: After his death offscreen in the opening scene, T'Challa's shadow looms large over the story; all of Wakanda grieves for him, especially Ramonda and Shuri, and in the Black Panther's absence, the other nations of the world consider Wakanda vulnerable.
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: Namor impales Shuri with his spear and leaves to get to water. She cuts it in half with her vibranium claws and pulls through the much shorter shaft so she can still run towards him.
  • Put on a Prison Bus:
    • W'Kabi is mentioned during Okoye's trial as still being in prison, but he is not seen at all in the movie. Justified, as Daniel Kaluuya was unable to reprise the role due to scheduling conflicts with Nope.
    • Subverted with Everett Ross. At Val's machinations, he's shown being transferred to a prison facility near the end of the film, complete with orange jumpsuit. However, Okoye stops the vehicle he's in, defeats the guards and frees him, allowing him to escape.
      Okoye: A colonizer in chains? Now I've seen everything.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Shuri manages to make Namor surrender and negotiate a ceasefire between Wakanda and Talokan, but at the cost of hundreds of her countrymen, including her mother, against few-to-none of the Talokanil, and Namor makes clear to Namora the peace will be in their favour instead of simply being mutually beneficial. Namora also makes it clear they're itching to destroy Wakanda for any reason.
  • Queer Establishing Moment: In their final scene, Ayo addresses Aneka as "my love" after Aneka kisses her on the head, establishing that the two are romantically involved.
  • Really Dead Montage: Does this two times. The first is actually a clever reuse of the special Marvel Vanity Plate from the first film on Disney+ where it's all devoted to T'Challa and his actor, and the other is through Shuri's own recollection of T'Challa as she burns her funeral robe.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: After Ramonda's death, M'Baku approaches Shuri and tells her that the Elders approached him with a course of action, but he wants to know what she thinks before he acts.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Aneka is added as part of the supporting cast in this movie. She's established here as being a member of the Dora Milaje for at least a while, leaving it ambiguous if she joined the group after the events of the first movie or even Avengers: Endgame. She also is on friendly terms with Shuri as she's testing her new designed weapons and acts as an Implied Love Interest to Ayo.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Shuri seeks to kill Namor for all he's done without considering until the end that this would initiate a Forever War and Cycle of Revenge. Killmonger notes this in his "Not So Different" Remark.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Some viewers only realize upon a second viewing that one of the children who greets Ramonda upon her arrival at Nakia's school in Haiti is Toussaint/T'Challa II.
  • Rule of Symbolism: T'Challa's dream as Black Panther before Thanos' invasion was to build bridges of understanding so that the brotherhood of humanity can unite in friendship. The New Generation of Heart-Shaped Herbs that Shuri reverse-engineered from his Genetic-Pattern not only symbolizes his noble soul living on in literally every warrior who becomes the Black Panther henceforth, but since the extinct flower's revival was made possible through genetic recombination with the Talokan equivalent of the Heart-Shaped Herb, the sowing of this new crop symbolizes a hopeful future of unity and understanding between Wakanda and the underwater nation as well.

    Tropes S to Y 
  • Scenery Porn: Wakanda is still a marvel to look at, and the realm of Talokan is definitely a grand underwater kingdom in its own right.
  • Schizo Tech: Riri's vibranium detector is a mix of high tech gear and cobbled together scrap, because she's a student at MIT and has access to great labs but no money of her own. All the new stuff she invented she had to make from crap she could find.
  • Secret Handshake: At the end of the film, Shuri greets Riri with the handshake she'd previously shared with her older brother in Black Panther.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Both Ramonda and Shuri know of T'Challa and Nakia's son and keep it from the rest of Wakanda at Nakia's request in order to avoid the pressure of the throne
    • Ross continues to keep his alliance with Wakanda secret in this film - for example - hiding Shuri's Kimoyo beads behind his smartphone when talking to Ramonda. However that was compromised by Valentina who planted the beads at the crime scene for Ross to find. This leads to his firing from the CIA and arrest for treason.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Nakia has vanished for six years, having left and relocated to Haiti once T'Challa was a victim of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War because she couldn't handle the grief. And to raise their son away from any royal pains.
  • Sequel Hook: Downplayed. Two minor hooks are set up for Disney+ spin-offs that involve characters seen in this show, but not for the Black Panther franchise as a whole.
    • After helping defeating Namor, Riri Williams is shown giving up her Vibranium Starktech suit to Shuri before being escorted back home, setting her up for her own Ironheart series.
    • Near the end of the film, Okoye rescues Everett Ross from being imprisoned, but results in him having to go on the run. This ties into his appearance in Secret Invasion (which Ross was confirmed to appear in shortly before this film's theatrical release).
  • Sequel Reset: Wakanda has retreated back into an isolationist policy and is no longer sharing its Vibranium/technology with the world. It's justified, as T'Challa was the architect and advocate of the "Open Wakanda" initiative. With his death (on top of Wakanda's own scars from the Infinity War and the 5 years after the Snap), Ramonda is circling the wagons. She knows the world sees them as vulnerable without the Black Panther.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: 19-year-old Riri Williams is the youngest and shortest main character, and the other women act like big sisters (or mothers in the case of Ramonda) to her and are also taller than her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In one scene, Shuri identifies Okoye's makeup as Fenty 440. Fenty is a cosmetics brand founded by Rihanna, who sang on the song "Lift Me Up" for the film.
    • When Shuri is given a new outfit to wear before meeting Namor in Talokan, Riri panics and points out several examples of female characters in movies being given a dress to wear before meeting a villain: Princess Leia, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and "that white chick from Indiana Jones" (Marion Ravenwood).
    • In Riri's final interaction with Shuri near the end of the film, Riri offers to invite Shuri to Chicago to "catch a Bulls game".
  • Shown Their Work:
    • While trying to work out how to weaken Namor, Shuri and Riri speculate that since he doesn't have gills like the other Talokanil, he must instead absorb oxygen from the water through his skin. This is a real phenomenon, known as cutaneous respiration, and it's the primary means of breathing for pretty much every known amphibian species in the world. Since Namor is himself an amphibian being, this makes sense.
    • When Namor went to bury his mother on land, a soldier is seen balancing a musket on a forked stick. This is something that people would actually do, because their weapons weighed a ton and took a long time to fire using a slow fuse.
  • Silence Is Golden: Several sequences in the film play out in complete silence for dramatic effect, namely the opening Marvel Studios logo (redesigned as a dedication to Chadwick Boseman) and Shuri's moment of grieving at the very end, intercut with a series of shots of Boseman as T'Challa.
  • Simple Solution Won't Work: With the danger of facing an unknown enemy without the advantage of vibranium the Mining Tribe Elder is quick to say they should do as Namor says, locate and give him the creator of the vibranium detector. M'Baku shoots that down, pointing out there's nothing to suggest that it's a one time deal and he won't keep holding the threat of war over their heads to keep them doing what he wants forever.
  • Simple, yet Opulent: Compared to her outfits in the first movie, Shuri's outfits here like the Little Black Dress she wears after becoming the Black Panther are much simpler but still obviously well-made, to reflect her mourning period. Her panther necklace is a simple gold band.
  • Sinister Spy Agency: Unlike in the Captain America films, the CIA isn't treated in a particularly positive light here. While Agent Everett Ross remains a noble character who tries to aid Wakanda, its director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is a cold War Hawk who not only expresses a desire to invade Wakanda or overthrow its leadership in a typical coup, but also revels in using Vibranium to advance American interests.
  • Siren Song: The Talokani people have a siren song ability — described as a form of sonic hypnosis — that they can use to lure their victims into the water to drown.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: M'Baku and Okoye love trading barbs with each other, even at council meetings.
  • Soap Opera Disease: T'Challa dies from an illness in the opening of the film, though it's left intentionally vague throughout the film on what it was. All we know is that it was fatal and that synthesizing the Heart-Shaped Herb was either the cure or the only solution they would have had after exhausting all other options.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: The Stinger reveals that, after T'Challa was dusted in Avengers: Infinity War, Nakia gave birth to his son, called Toussaint as his Haitian name, but also called T'Challa in his father's honour.
  • Special Edition Title:
    • The Marvel Studios logo is shown in white in the teaser, befitting the funeral garb of the Wakandans.
    • In the movie itself, akin to how the Marvel Studios logo of Captain Marvel only had images of Stan Lee, the logo here only features Chadwick Boseman. It also plays in complete silence.
  • Status Quo Is God: Killmonger's destruction of the Heart-Shaped Herb during the first film (and his own subsequent death) left T'Challa as the last of the Black Panthers. In this film, Shuri is able to synthetically re-create the Herb using samples from Talokan — thus ensuring the Black Panther line will continue. In addition, while T'Challa dies at the beginning of the movie, another T'Challa (named for his father) is revealed to exist in The Stinger, to carry on the name.
  • Stealth Pun: A cross-cultural one, even, with bit of Mayincatec thrown in: the comic book version of Namor hails from Atlantis, and, therefore, his people are known as Atlanteans. In this film, Namor's people are descended from a Mayan tribe, and his true name is K'uk'ulkan, another epithet for the Mexica, and Toltec deity, Quetzalcoatl. In Toltec tradition, Quetzalcoatl founded the city of Tula, but the devotees of the rival deity, Tezcatlipoca, expelled Quetzalcoatl's followers and they fled to Yucatan, founding various Mayan cities. But back in Tula, there exists a group of great stone columns depicting Quetzalcoatl in warrior attire. It is believed these columns held up a long-gone roof, therefore, they have been given the name of "the Atlanteans of Tula." Therefore, Mayan Namor still has his Atlantean warriors.
  • Stepford Snarker: Shuri is still just as much as a snarker as she was in Black Panther, taking particular cracks at Okoye. However, she is not dealing with the grief of her brother's death in a healthy manner having buried herself in her work for a year. It gets even worse with death of her mother.
  • The Stinger: Nakia reveals to Shuri she has a nephew, who while mostly referred to by the French name Touissant given he's growing up in Haiti, is named T'Challa after his father.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream is heard as one of the Talokanil gets thrown overboard in the final battle.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Despite Wakanda's ties to the Avengers during the late Infinity Saga, none of the surviving members or any of the non-aligned heroes come to their aid during the war with Namor. Justified, as the heroes who had the closest ties to the Wakandan government leaders are all currently either dead, retired, or persona non grata due to recent events. There's also the fact that the Wakandans aren't telling anyone about the Talokanil sans the very limited information they give Ross, leaving them in the dark about their conflict.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: T'Challa dies (offscreen) of a mysterious illness in the first scene.
  • Supporting Leader: M'Baku becomes this by the end of the film. While Shuri will remain an important figurehead and leader of Wakanda as the new Black Panther, she doesn't attend the crowning ceremony, with the implication she's allowing M'Baku to take over as king.
  • Take a Third Option: The United States government, being unwilling to just sit back and let Wakanda keep their Vibranium monopoly and knowing attacking the country for it would be disastrous for numerous reasons, has decided to simply explore the rest of the world for other deposits of Vibranium to harvest. Unfortunately, this results in them coming in contact with the Talokanil.
  • Team Mercy vs. Team Murder: Both Shuri and Namor want peace between Talokan and Wakanda, but Namor is only willing to ally if Wakanda agrees to join them on a war against the rest of humanity.
  • Tempting Fate: At the beginning, Queen Ramonda tells the UN that if they want to look for vibranium outside Wakanda, they are welcome to try. Cut to a minor vein being found outside Wakanda and without their technology, even if mining it... runs into issues.
  • The Nothing After Death: What Shuri bitterly believes after her prayers for Bast to save T'Challa's life (apparently) fell on deaf ears, making her spitefully ignore and laugh off all pleas to honor the memories of T'Challa and her mother to not go to war with Namor in vengeance for the death of the latter because she believes since their souls no longer exist, their ideals and memories no longer matter either.
  • This Is Reality: Shuri laughs off Ramonda's fears of her A.I. eventually destroying them all and explains that it's not like the movies, and Griot only does what she asks it to do. Teeny bit of Arbitrary Skepticism given Ultron almost wiped out the human race less than a decade prior, though, which the royal family was aware of and is probably what gave Ramonda the idea.
  • This Means War!: While Namor was already rather leery of Wakanda, after Nakia kills one of his warriors to save Shuri, while Ramonda distracts him, Namor takes this as confirmation of his fears of the surface, and makes the decision to go to war. Shuri even outright says this when she tries to get Nakia's kimoyo beads so she can treat the warrior (although, unfortunately, it's too late for even Wakandan medical care).
  • Title Drop: Shuri says the subtitle to activate the self-destruct sequence of her ship to heavily wound Namor and ultimately win her the war against Talokan.
  • Token White: Everett Ross and Valentina are the only white characters on the main cast of predominately black and (originally) Mayan characters as justified by the setting in Wakanda.
  • Took a Level in Badass; Shuri, while already an Action Girl in the previous movies, is shown here to be far more confident and capable as a fighter after her brother's death. Not to mention she Is finally able to recreate the Heart-Shaped Herb and takes on the mantle of Black Panther in the latter half of the movie.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Shuri was mostly portrayed as a cheerful Deadpan Snarker in her previous appearances. In this movie, thanks to her brother's death at the beginning of the movie, she acts far more serious and cynical. It gets even worse once her mother dies.
  • Truer to the Text: Zigzagged: On the one hand, Bill Everett, as related in the fifth issue of Saga of the Sub-Mariner, never intended for Namor's underwater kingdom to be Atlantis, only inspired by it, and it was not identified as such until over two decades after the character's debut. On the other, its Antarctic location made it clear his kingdom was not intended to be of Mesoamerican origin, as it is in the film.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Happens to Okoye after she fails to prevent Shuri from going with the Talokanil. A furious Ramonda viciously dresses her down in front of the entire council, revealing that she never forgave her for initially siding with Killmonger after the duel in the first movie, and that losing Shuri on a mission that Ramonda didn't want her to go on was the last straw. She removes her from her position as General and boots her out of the Dora Milaje. Okoye can only plant her spear into the ground and walk away.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The movie has a subtle thread of people underestimating Shuri’s skills.
    • Shuri has already successfully convinced Riri Williams to go to Wakanda with her, only for Okoye to intervene, which only scares Riri.
    • During their fight in the dessert, Namor chooses to fight Shuri on land instead of taking her to the ocean. This only serves to further dehydrate him and allows Shuri to chop off his wings and gain the upper hand.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Referenced by M'Baku, who sarcastically muses that the Queen may reward Nakia's rescue of Shuri with banishment referencing Okoye's punishment, which he views as unjust.
  • Uniqueness Decay: Prior to this movie, Wakanda was the only known deposit of vibranium on Earth which it used to develop advanced technology. The reveal of underwater deposits and the emergence of Talokan as another vibranium-powered society means Wakanda now has a peer.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: After taking the synthetic heart-shaped-herb, Shuri obtains the enhanced physiology of the Black Panther but is still, essentially, a scientist with very little combat experience. During their final showdown, Namor has the physical upper hand throughout most of the fight, even in his weakened state, and Shuri ultimately defeats him through weapons and technology.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • T'Challa opening Wakanda to the world and revealing its technology and Vibranium in the first film. While he did so with the best of intentions, the late King also set off a chain of events that brings Wakanda and Talokan into conflict — events he ironically and tragically doesn't live to see or can even try to rectify due to his premature death.
    • Riri Williams inventing the Vibranium Detector. It allows the CIA to search for the valuable metal outside of Wakanda and avoid antagonizing the once-reclusive nation. But, it also ends up bringing the modern world into violent contact with Namor and his people.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: When confronted with the fact that there might be vibranium outside of Wakanda, Shuri postulates that another asteroid containing it may have hit Earth in a different place. Namor and his people are based near the Yucatan peninsula, near where the dinosaurs' extinction level meteor hit.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: In Mesoamerican myth, although they would cooperate often in acts of creation, the deities Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca are traditionally rivals to each other. Tezcatlipoca's sacred animal was the jaguar, and he was associated with the color black. In the myth of the Five Suns, Tezcatlipoca ruled the First Sun, the Sun of the Earth, until struck down by Quetzalcoatl, who brought forth the Sun of Water; Quetzalcoatl's own reign ended when Tezcatlipoca loosed his jaguars upon the world. By the events of the film, Wakanda was flooded by the Talokanil, prompting the return of the Black Panther as Shuri sought retribution, and she cast down Namor to bring their peoples together in a truce. At the end, Namor is busy working on a painting that shows himself, K'uk'ulkan, in human form (as opposed to the Feathered Serpent from adjacent murals) locked in ritual combat with a version of Black Panther that more closely resembles an anthropomorphic jaguar, a very common depiction of Tezcatlipoca in Mesoamerican codices.
  • Villain Has a Point: Namor is absolutely correct to think that most of the world would try and steal Talokan's Vibranium if they knew it existed, and as if to prove his point, the next scene shows the U.S. preparing to wage war on Wakanda for it.
  • Villainous Legacy:
    • While Killmonger has been dead in-universe for the better part of a decade now, his actions in the first film continue to haunt Wakanda. The destruction of the Heart-Shaped Herb left T'Challa the last of the Black Panthers (to say nothing of weakening Wakanda's military leading up to the Infinity War — a repercussion which, in its own way, arguably contributed to Thanos' initial victory). The destruction of the Herb also robbed T'Challa of a potential cure for his illness. The internal divisions Killmonger created and exploited have also never fully been healed (ex. Ramonda has never forgiven the Council of Elders or Okoye for siding with him).
    • This gets defied during the movie itself, where Shuri's desire for vengeance against Namor for Ramonda's death causes Killmonger to appear before her in the Ancestral Plane rather than Ramonda as she expected. He stokes her vengeful behavior despite M'Baku's warnings that killing Namor would result in a cataclysmic Forever War between Wakanda and Talokanil. It's only at the last second that Shuri manages to stay her hand and offer Namor a truce, but Killmonger's actions nearly caused even further carnage.
  • Villain Respect: Ramonda earns respect from Killmonger in the Wakandan afterlife (or at least a scrap of it) after she drowns saving Riri. Killmonger's genuinely surprised and impressed his aunt actually chose to save an outsider over a Wakandan (especially as, in her place, T'Chaka would almost certainly have let Riri drown). Killmonger's similarly impressed Shuri's gone to the lengths she has to protect a non-Wakandan.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Namor, per his usual appearance in the comics. In the movie it's justified by stating that he can absorb oxygen from water through his skin, like certain species of fish and amphibians, so he's probably trying to maximize the amount of oxygen he respirates in this manner. (He does have an outfit that covers more skin, but only wears it in a few scenes. Usually he's wearing nothing more than jewelry and his shorts.)
  • We Can Rule Together: Namor tries to convince Shuri that Talokan and Wakanda should "burn the world together."
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Namor becomes weaker if he is out of the water for too long. Downplayed in that a weaker Namor is still pretty strong.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: Shuri uses the engines on her wrecked vehicle to fry Namor while he's already weakened, leaving him at her mercy.
  • Wham Line:
    • The Cold Open's confirmation that T'Challa is dead:
      Shuri: GRIOT.
      GRIOT: Yes, Princess?
      Shuri: What’s my brother’s heart rate? (gets no reply)
      Ramonda: (choking up) Your brother... is with the ancestors...
    • Namor's introduction to Ramonda and Shuri quickly reveals Talokan to be a technological rival to Wakanda.
      Ramonda: Vibranium only exists here — in Wakanda.
      Shuri: ...Mother, he's covered in it.
    • In The Stinger, Nakia introduces Shuri to a little boy by calling her his aunt. Also, as she is taking in the revelation that her brother had a son, the boy reveals that his Wakandan name is none other than that of his father: T'Challa.
  • Wham Shot: Shuri enters the Ancestral Plane expecting to meet her mother...only for the camera to turn around and show Killmonger sitting on the throne.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Shuri is captured by Namor, Queen Ramonda gives Okoye a thorough chewing out for not only failing to protect the her daughter but also for siding with Killmonger during the events of the previous Black Panther movie.
  • "Will Return" Caption: Because Black Panther is not a person, but a mantle, it is understood that Black Panther will return, which the film closes its credits with.
  • The Worf Effect: M'Baku attempts to hit Namor from behind with his staff... Which shatters in half upon contact. Namor replies by punching him in the chest hard enough to knock him into a hut, leaving him whimpering and gasping for air. Likewise, the otherwise insurmountably deadly Okoye is badly beaten by Attuma and his Talokan soldiers, only surviving because Attuma plays fair in a fight.
  • Working with the Ex: Everett Ross and Valentina de Fontaine are divorced but are forced to work together as she's the head of the CIA and his boss.
  • Worthy Opponent: How Attuma and Okoye see each other. On their first encounter, Attuma sees Okoye as worthy enough that he returns her spear so they can have a fair fight, and upon meeting again during the climax, she gets his attention in the crowd so they can have a rematch.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Namor seems to come out on top no matter what happens. Kill Riri, the young scientist that created the machine making vibranium searches easier? Wakanda is safe and left alone, and that would be the end of it. Have Wakanda ally with Talokan? They become a united force against the rest of the surface/outside world. If anyone from Wakanda attacks while Shuri and Riri are held captive? Namor gets an excuse to fight back and eliminate Wakanda. If Namor dies? His followers in Talokan can avenge their "god". By Shuri sparing Namor in the climactic battle and offer to instead help Talokan in the aforementioned alliance? Namor can treat this as a debt to use Wakanda if the outsiders decide to attack it, especially since the nation has already isolated itself following T'Challa and Ramonda's deaths as well as the recent shakeups with the United Nations.
  • You Are in Command Now:
    • Following T'Challa's death, his mother Ramonda becomes queen regnant of Wakanda.note  She is seen sitting at the dominant seat in the Wakandan council's chambers as well as addressing the United Nations.
    • A rare antagonist to protagonist example, after Ramonda dies from drowning, Namor says that Shuri is now queen.
    • By the film's end, Shuri has basically ceded control over Wakanda's monarchy to M'Baku, who challenges her leadership without any opposition. After Ramonda's death, the elders began looking to him for leadership, and Shuri doesn't object to him taking charge of the situation and by the end chooses to pass political leadership to him effectively naming him Prime Minister.
  • You Say Tomato: Namor's name is pronounced both "nah-MOR" (how "sin amor" is actually pronounced) and "NAY-mor" (how the character's name is traditionally pronounced) by different characters.


 
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King "Namor" K'uk'ulkan

King K'uk'ulkan, better known as "Namor" to humanity (played by Tenoch Huerta), is King to a race of Apparently Human Merfolk that had evolved from survivors of the Mayan race via a vibranium-infused plant. He is the only one of his kind that can breathe air, he has Super-Strength comparable to the Hulk, can fly via wings on his ankles, and is so beloved by his people, he is worshipped as though he were a God (which he might be since Gods do in-fact exist in the MCU). He is portrayed as an Anti-Villain in his premier appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, trying to create an alliance with Wakanda out of the mutual threat of the rest of the world declaring war on them over their stock in vibranium.

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