NIMONA*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens with the voice of Nimona (Chloe Grace Moretz) telling the story of a kingdom that lived in peace until a giant monster arrived and began laying waste to the land. The mighty warrior Gloreth rose up and drove the monster away, then created an order of knights to protect the kingdom for future generations. But Nimona warns that peace cannot be achieved when you let your guard down, because the monsters are always out there.
1000 years later, the kingdom has transformed into a major city, and the next generation of heroes are set to be knighted. The underdog is Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), who does not come from any previous bloodline, but was instead a scrappy kid from the streets who grew up wanting to defend the kingdom. Queen Valerin (Lorraine Toussaint) has seen his potential since he was a boy, and despite public opinion being mostly against Ballister, she knows he is a true hero at heart. His fellow knight Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang) is rooting for his success, and it is shown that they are also romantically involved. Another knight, Thoddeus “Todd” Sureblade (Beck Bennett) is a jerk to Ballister.
The Director (Frances Conroy) gathers all the knights to come forward for the ceremony. After Ambrosius is knighted, Ballister goes up for his big moment. Queen Valerin expresses that anyone can wield a sword and become a hero like Ballister. After a brief moment of silence, the crowd finally cheers for him. When Valerin returns Ballister his sword, the hilt begins to open and fires a laser been at her, killing the queen in front of everyone. Ambrosius cuts off Ballister’s arm, and he is immediately framed as a murderer, forcing him to go on the run. All the knights then begin to issue a manhunt. Nimona sees the news and smiles, thinking she has found a perfect villain.
Ballister hides out and creates a robotic arm for himself. Nimona shows up at his place and offers to be his new sidekick since she thinks he is evil, but he is desperate to clear his name. He sets off to try and proclaim his innocence…and is immediately arrested.
The Director comes to Ballister’s cell, chastising him for his supposed betrayal against the Queen. Nimona shows up moments later and breaks Ballister out of prison. While he tries to sneak his way out, Nimona doesn’t care and starts messing around before they are spotted by knights, including Ambrosius. When they get trapped in a closet, Nimona tells Ballister not to freak out as she reveals her shapeshifting abilities. Nimona turns into multiple animals that helps them escape. Unfortunately, they are now both branded as being partners in crime.
Nimona returns Ballister back to his home, but he is partially freaked out by her powers and calls her a monster, which Nimona hates. Ballister reluctantly turns to her for help in clearing his name, and in return, she asks to be named his sidekick.
Todd and the other knights scour the streets looking for Nimona and Ballister, while Ambrosius has his own suspicions of what is really going on. The two make their way to the subways, but they come across knights doing checkpoints to identify them. Nimona creates a distraction by pretending to be Ballister as a madman trying to terrorize people in the subway before they can hop on a train. On the way, Ballister tries to ask Nimona about her backstory, but she makes up a tale about how she threw a coin into a wishing well before ending on a sarcastic note. Meanwhile, Ambrosius manages to track them down with footage from the subway, and the knights go after them again.
The duo create another distraction and end up in the kingdom’s marketplace. Ballister tries to hide out in a car while Nimona disguises herself as a creepy little boy to capture a squire named Diego (Julio Torres). When the knights spot them again, Nimona throws Diego in the trunk of the car while Ballister is forced to fly the car away until the get hit with too many arrows before having to land.
Ballister stops to help Nimona pull an arrow out of her leg and asks if shapeshifting hurts. She says it hurts more when she doesn’t do it. When Diego wakes up, the two interrogate him, and he takes out his phone to reveal he was in the armory (messing around with Ballister’s armor) when he had to hide, revealing that the Director swapped out Ballister’s sword with the one that killed Valerin. Ballister is shocked at the betrayal, but Nimona vows to help him confront her.
The two meet with Ambrosius and the Director. Ballister tells Ambrosius that the Director is the true killer, and just as he tries to pull out Diego’s phone to reveal the proof, the Director has Todd shoot the phone. The knights surround Nimona and Ballister, with Ambrosius trying to plead with Ballister to turn himself in. Bal then orders Nimona to show what she can do, and she gleefully begins to turn into giant animals again to fight off the guards. Todd catches Ballister and starts beating on him until Nimona charges to his rescue, only for her to get trapped in an electric net. She grows into a gargantuan dragon that takes out the knights once more. A bus starts hurtling toward a little girl, and Nimona saves her, but when she tries to talk to the girl in the form of someone closer to her age, the girl picks up a sword and calls Nimona a monster. Ballister then swoops in to get her out of there.
When they return home, Nimona expresses how much it hurts her for people to view her as a monster. Ballister sympathizes with her now that everyone else also sees him as a villain. He then offers a plan that she would like to expose the Director.
Ambrosius appears in the Director’s office to confront her about if she really did frame Ballister. The Director then admits that she had warned Valerin against knighting Ballister, thinking that straying from tradition will lead to trouble, such as monsters coming back. The Director then takes Ballister’s real sword and runs it through Ambrosius’s stomach. He then proceeds to die dramatically, revealing that it was Nimona in disguise and that Ballister recorded her confession. Nimona and Bal then upload the confession to the internet for the entire kingdom to see, leading to everyone questioning who can really be trusted. When Ambrosius (the real one) tries to confront the Director, she appears to show him a scroll that is seemingly the answer to everything.
After Nimona and Ballister celebrate their victory, Bal gets a message from Ambrosius to meet in private. They meet at a tavern where Ambrosius shows Ballister the scroll that the Director showed him. It shows the monster that Gloreth fought with a little red-haired girl at the center – Nimona. Ambrosius accuses her of manipulating Ballister for revenge against everyone who followed Gloreth, but he insists that she is good. They then see on the news that the Director is spinning the story around to make it look like Nimona disguised herself as the Director in a frame job by her and Bal. This causes more paranoia among the people, since they feel they cannot even trust their loved ones.
Ballister returns home to ask Nimona if she really is the creature in the scroll. While she tries to explain herself, Bal says she really is a monster. This hurts her enough for her to run away and to come upon a familiar spot. A flashback shows 1000 years earlier when Nimona was much younger. While trying to find company in her many animal forms, she came across another little girl (Charlotte Aldrich) closer to her age and became best friends with her. The girl even admired Nimona’s shapeshifting abilities until her parents and the other villagers called her a monster and came at her with torches and pitchforks. Nimona turned into predatory animals to fight them off, but the little girl, who is revealed to be Gloreth herself, also came to view Nimona as a monster and told her “Go back to the shadows from whence you came.” The emotions overwhelm Nimona to the point where she becomes something horrible.
Nimona grows into a gigantic black shadowy entity that begins stomping into the kingdom. The other knights, led by Todd, start to go after her, but Todd chickens out and crashes into a billboard. Ballister knows it’s Nimona and he runs after her. The Director prepares her own retaliation against Nimona by ordering the knights to fire a massive cannon, even though, as Ambrosius points out, it would wipe out half the kingdom. After Nimona is brought down briefly, she comes upon Gloreth’s statue and opens her chest up, exposing her heart and preparing to run herself through the sword since everyone wants her dead anyway. Then Ballister arrives and stops her, telling her he sees her for who she really is, with the whole kingdom watching the scene. Nimona returns to her human form and tearfully hugs Ballister.
The Director begins to lose her composure upon seeing everything and still demands for the cannon to be fired. Ambrosius tries to talk her out of it, but she fires her laser (the same that killed Valerin) against the knights and prepares to fire it herself. Nimona and Ballister see the cannon loading up, and Nimona turns into a phoenix-like creature and flies toward it just as it fires, killing the Director and seemingly Nimona herself. Ballister weeps in Ambrosius’s arms.
Sometime later, the knights begin to repair the kingdom, while everyone now views Nimona as a hero (even Todd). Ballister and Ambrosius have resumed their relationship. Bal returns home and seems to miss Nimona. He then hears a pounding sound at the door, just like when she first showed up at his house, but he finds nobody outside. Then a pink flash appears behind him and he hears Nimona’s voice saying, “Hey boss”, and Ballister happily exclaims “HOLY SH–!”
A knight named Ballister Boldheart is framed for the murder of Queen Valerin, with public opinion already down on him for not coming from a previous bloodline of knights. As he tries to clear his name, a mischievous shapeshifting girl named Nimona arrives to help clear his name, while the other knights, including Ballister's boyfriend Ambrosius Goldenloin are on the hunt for them.
The kingdom's Director was the true culprit, switching out Ballister's sword with one used to kill the queen for the belief that knighting someone like him would bring trouble. Nimona and Ballister nearly succeed in getting the Director's confession recorded and shown to the kingdom, but she twists it to make it look like Nimona (who everyone knows is a shapeshifter) did it to frame her. She manipulates Ambrosius by showing him a scroll revealing that Nimona was a mythical monster that the founder of knights, Gloreth, had fought and vanquished. A flashback shows that Nimona and Gloreth were childhood friends until Gloreth's parents and the other townspeople viewed Nimona as a monster for her abilities, and Gloreth eventually thought the same.
Nimona transforms into a massive shadowy monster and starts to attack the kingdom. She almost commits suicide by trying to run herself through the sword of Gloreth's statue, until Ballister arrives to talk her down. The Director, not satisfied, tries to obliterate Nimona with a massive cannon, which would also kill the kingdom's inhabitants. Nimona turns into a phoenix and flies into the cannon, killing the Director and seemingly sacrificing herself.
As the kingdom begins to rebuild, the people begin to view Nimona as a hero, while Ballister and Ambrosius resume their relationship. Nimona then appears to be alive when she comes back to Ballister's home.