Warning: SPOILERS for Aquaman:
A new King was crowned in Aquaman but the movie also proved Mera (Amber Heard) deserves to be Queen of Atlantis. While the main plot of director James Wan’s blockbuster involved Arthur Curry’s (Jason Momoa) quest to find Atlan’s Trident and claim his birthright, Mera concurrently established herself as the person best suited to actually rule the undersea kingdom.
In Aquaman, Mera initiated the plan she and the royal vizier Vulko (Willem Dafoe) concocted to stop King Orm Marius (Patrick Wilson) from uniting the remaining kingdoms of Atlantis, declaring himself Ocean Master, and waging war on the surface world. Despite her reservations about Arthur Curry based on their previous encounter in Justice League, Mera led the halfbreed first son of Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), on a mission to find the Trident of Atlan, which would prove Arthur as the true king of Atlantis under their most ancient laws. Her plan worked: not only did they successfully find the lost Trident, but Arthur also defeated Orm in battle and stopped the war – and he couldn’t have done any of it without Mera. It was Mera herself who proclaimed Aquaman as King Arthur.
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However, where all of this leaves Mera is the question. It’s natural to presume that Mera will be Queen since DC Comics fans know her comic book counterpart is married to Aquaman and rules Atlantis by his side. The movie doesn’t automatically make this a fait accompli, though; as the Princess of the kingdom of Xebel, Mera was actually pledged to marry Orm and unite their two kingdoms – a duty she abandoned when she committed treason and saved Arthur from losing to Orm in ritual combat in the Ring of Fire. With Orm deposed, King Arthur will no doubt nullify Mera’s treason but her status otherwise was left unclear. After all, Arthur didn’t propose to Mera at any point in Aquaman, so despite the sparks that developed between them and the passionate kiss they shared during Aquaman‘s final battle, Mera actually lost her automatic path to becoming Queen. And despite his own feelings for Mera, Arthur may also not be the marrying type, whether it’s for political gain or for true love.
Regarding what happens next in Atlantis’ game of thrones, the details of Atlantean law are also uncertain; Atlanna returned and she may actually be the rightful Queen, even though she chose to return to Maine and reunite with her love, Arthur’s human father Tom (Temura Morrison). Aquaman ended with Arthur as King, that much is certain, and if he does need a Queen to consolidate his claim to the throne and help unite the kingdoms politically, Mera is certainly the most likely candidate. But let’s face it, Arthur is actually best suited, in the movie’s own words, to be “something greater than a king – a hero.” With that in mind, here’s why it’s Mera who is the most deserving person to actually rule Atlantis as Queen.
- This Page: Mera Is As Great A Hero As Aquaman
- Next Page: Mera Can Also Unite Atlantis And The Surface World
Mera Is The DCEU’s Best Female Superhero Besides Wonder Woman
The DC Extended Universe hasn’t exactly been prolific when it comes to female superheroes, but in Aquaman, Mera earned herself a place alongside Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) atop the pyramid. The competition is admittedly slim; Lois Lane (Amy Adams) was the most prominent female character in the DCEU before Diana Prince arrived and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is technically an insane super-villain, though she’s due for a “fantabulous emancipation” into superheroism in next year’s Birds of Prey. After them is Katana (Karen Fukuhara), who was deadly but silent in Suicide Squad, and, as powerful and dangerous as she is, no one would confuse Task Force X’s devious head honcho Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) with being a hero.
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Regardless of how few peers she has in the DCEU, Mera is as powerful as any Atlantean and she cemented herself as a bona fide hero in Aquaman. Again, without her masterminding the entire plot to depose Orm, Arthur couldn’t have saved the surface world from a devastating war with Atlantis. Mera was just as responsible for Arthur’s victory, and she fought side-by-side with him against Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), Orm’s elite soldiers, and against the monstrous horrors of the Trench.
Even Among Atlanteans, Mera Is Special
Although the hows and whys of Arthur’s special ability to speak to fish is one of Aquaman‘s unanswered questions, Mera is also unique among Atlanteans because she, too, has a superpower: Mera possesses hydrokinesis, which allows her to control and manipulate water. She doesn’t just use it in battle, either; it’s thanks to Mera’s powers that Tom Curry was able to survive the gigantic tidal wave Orm sent to attack the shores of every continent on Earth. Being a hero at heart, Mera uses her ability to save lives just as much as she uses it for combat.
Additionally, while Aquaman delighted audiences around the world with its numerous eye-popping sights – like an octopus that plays drums in Arthur and Orm’s gladiatorial battle- Mera’s biggest moment (which is arguably the coolest moment in the whole film) is when she used her hydrokinesis to turn the wine inside a wall-full of bottles into wine daggers to kill Orm’s soldiers. She may not be the one chosen by the Trident of Atlan to command the sea like Arthur, but Mera is very much gifted just like the Aquaman. However, prowess in battle and innate superheroism doesn’t make someone a monarch; Mera’s other talents and traits are what truly make her fit to be Atlantis’ Queen.
Page 2: Mera Can Also Unite Atlantis And The Surface World
Mera’s Arc In Aquaman Expanded Her Worldview
While the focus of Aquaman was on Arthur learning more about his mother’s kingdom, its history, and his destiny to be king, Mera was right next to him the whole time and she was also learning and growing as a person, especially in regards to the surface world. Before she visited Arthur and Tom Curry in Maine to urge Atlanna’s son to help stop Orm, it’s unclear if Mera had even visited the surface world before, but even if she had, she held a low opinion of it. Still, Mera cared enough to not want billions of humans to die in a war with the sea and she knew Orm’s desires were wrong. However, the princess knew very little about the places and people she wanted to save.
Part of the fun of Aquaman was Mera finding herself as a proverbial fish out of water in the surface world. The search for Atlan’s Trident saw her ride an airplane and trudge through the Sahara for the first time. As much as she complained about the desert, Mera softened a great deal about the surface world when she and Arthur arrived in Sicily and were able to partake in the beauty of its sights, its people, and… eating its flowers. Arthur was probably also right when he guessed Mera would like lakes since they’re “little baby oceans”. Though Mera had to learn not to steal boats, she quickly saw her long-held beliefs about the surface world were incorrect. Cheesy as these moments were, Mera got to expand her worldview, which made her see both Arthur, who is half-human, and the surface world in a new light.
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Mera’s greater perspective about the seven continents and the humans who live in it would only benefit Atlantis if she were Queen. She’s now one of the few Atlanteans who can say she’s been to the surface world, which still regards Atlantis as a myth. If Mera ruled Atlantis with Arthur, the two of them together could bridge the undersea realm with the nations of Earth, while Mera herself could continue her education about one-third of the planet she’s only beginning to understand.
Mera Has The Political Smarts To Be Queen of Atlantis
Aquaman‘s ending where Arthur became king and stopped Orm’s plans of conquest actually leaves Atlantis in a political lurch. He may command the seas with Atlan’s Trident but King Arthur remains a half-breed with virtually no understanding of Atlantis’ complex politics. This is why Mera would be invaluable as Arthur’s Queen; she was schooled not just as a warrior by Queen Atlanna but also in politics by Vulko and by her father King Nereus (Dolph Lundgren). Since she upended Orm’s reign to install Arthur as King (and talked King Nereus into endorsing Aquaman), Mera’s political savvy will be needed more than ever in restoring the kingdoms’ confidence in Atlantis’ throne going forward.
As Princess Y’Mera Xebella Challa of Xebel, Mera is obviously shrewd and understands the ins and outs of Atlantean politics. She was promised to Orm as his wife and she held to the ideals of her duty as a princess of Atlantis – until she betrayed Orm, of course. But Mera did so to prevent a despot from igniting a war that could destroy the entire planet and her efforts ultimately gave Atlantis its own superhero. That very hero, Aquaman, would only benefit from ruling with Mera at his side since she has a complete grasp of Atlantis’ intricate political system and monarchal structure. King Arthur could literally just drink beer and fight sea monsters and super-villains all day and Atlantis would still be fine if Mera were running the show.
It will be interesting to see where Mera’s story goes; will Aquaman 2 immediately follow the comics’ lead so that Mera marries Arthur and become Queen of Atlantis? Should it all be so cut-and-dry or will the relationship between Arthur and Mera continue to be entertainingly prickly with unforeseen roadblocks? While Amber Heard may not be earning any Oscar nominations, in Mera, she and director James Wan created an admirable and inspiring heroine who was much more than a romantic counterpart to Arthur. Aquaman would agree that you gotta love how this redhead is more than a love interest or a superhero – Mera should be Atlantis’ Queen.
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