Wonder Woman (2017) Ending Explained: Who Is Ares?

This post includes a brief plot summary, an explanation about the ending of Wonder Woman and a small discussion about film’s main villain: Ares. Beware of spoilers.

wonder woman ending explained

Wonder Woman – Plot Summary

During World War II, a pilot named Steve Trevor crashes into Themyscira, an island inhabited by Amazons. A woman comes to his rescue, Diana: Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta. He tells her about the great war that’s happening “outside”. During one of his missions, he managed to steal a notebook from Dr. Isabel Maru, the chief chemist working under the orders of General Ludendorff. He hijacked a plane to escape but ended up crashing in Themyscira. After interrogating Steve, Diana decides to leave her “island” and follow Steve to find Ares (the God of War).

First, Steve and Diana head to London. He needs to deliver Maru’s notebook to the Supreme War Council. The notes are in a foreign language, but Diana offers herself to translate them. Soon, they learn about the General’s plans of dropping poisonous gas at the Western Front. Steve’s commander forbids him to act under this information, but he receives support from Sir Patrick to head to Belgium.

After successfully crossing No Man’s Land, Diana and the rest of the team head to a gala held by the German High Command. Steve and Diana infiltrate into the party. The General notices Diana but Steve stops her from killing him. However, this decision allowed the General to drop the gas in Veld, which led to the death of its inhabitants. Furious, Diana decides to follow the General. She finds him in a base, where the poisonous gas is being loaded into a plane headed to London. Diana confronts the general: fights him and kills him. However, he’s not who Diana thought he was (Ares) because his death did not stop the war.

After the General’s death, Sir Patrick Morgan appears and reveals himself as Ares. He tells Diana that humans are inherently corrupt. Then, Ares destroys Diana’s sword and tells her that she’s the Godkiller. Despite of his effort, Ares fails to convince Diana to join him and destroy mankind. Meanwhile, Steve sacrifices himself by hijacking the plane: he carries it to safe altitude and then detonates it. Ares tries to direct Diana’s rage towards Maru, but she spares her. During her time with Steve, she realized that humans also have good in them. Diana strikes Ares with lighting and kills him. The war ends.

Wonder Woman (2017) Ending Explained: Who Is Ares?

Ares is the God of War and son of Zeus (the King of Gods). Diana is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, which makes Ares her half-brother.

Mankind was Zeus’ creation. According to the Amazonian women, Ares grew envious of mankind and tried to destroy his father’s creation. He did it by instilling jealousy and suspicion, which led them to turn them against each other. The Amazons tried to intervene but Ares declared war to everyone against him. As a result, Zeus decided to fight against his own son. He wounded Ares so badly, that he had no choice but to retreat. However, Zeus knew that Ares would return to finish what he had started. Therefore, he decided to create Themyscira, an island hidden from to the rest of the world to protect the Amazons from Ares. Now, this is Amazons’ side of the story. Now, let’s talk about Ares’ point of view. How does he see himself? Is Ares the real villain of this story?

Ares – Character Analysis

Villains don’t usually see themselves as the bad guy. In their mind, they are the ones that are right. The rest of the world is at fault and needs to catch up with them. Ares’ philosophy about humans is very simple: they are inherently bad, corrupt and not worthy. In other words, humans are trash.

According to Ares, he’s not the root of all the evil in the world. So, he admits to whispering to humans impure thoughts, but he doesn’t hold himself accountable for their actions. At the end of the way, the humans are the ones making the decisions, not him. That’s how he excuses himself for his actions. But the funny thing is: he’s not wrong.

What’s the difference between Diana and Ares? Diana reckons that humans have bad qualities. However, she also sees the good in them. So, humans have both good and bad in them. That’s the definition of being human. Ares is a little bit more extreme. He doesn’t see beauty in “imperfection”, that’s why he deems mankind unworthy.

What Made Wonder Woman So Good?

What do I have to say about Wonder Woman? Wow, wow and wow! I must confess: I had some reservations when they first announced the project. First, there aren’t many films with female superheroes. Therefore, I was crossing my fingers for Wonder Woman to be great. Second, I kept thinking to myself: is Wonder Woman (the character) really that interesting? Now that I got to see the film, I feel silly for even asking that question. Patty Jenkings did a phenomenal job and Wonder Woman is more than interesting. It’s official! I’m a Wonder Woman fan.

Nowadays, there is no such thing as a shortage of superhero films. Everything in the film is big and it’s mean to be like that. However, just because you put large amounts of money to produce a film, it’s not a real guarantee that is going to be a success. So, why was Wonder Woman such a big box-office success? In my opinion, it was an amalgamation of many things such as story, characters, actors and its heart.

The Story

Everybody loves a superhero. There’s something very emotionally captivating when these characters (superheroes) are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to save the world from the “bad guys”. One important aspect that is explored in the film is that evil is not something cast upon the human race. Everyone has a little bit of evil and good inside. In my opinion, that gave the film another depth.

The Characters / Actors – Main Cast

Diana Prince / Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)

When it comes to the main character “Diana”, she’s been basically living in a “bubble”. She is physically strong and highly trained for combat. However, she knows very little about the world. Therefore, she might come off as a very one-dimensional type of character but that slowly changes throughout the film. What do I like about Diana? She’s a grown woman with an innocent heart. When I say innocent, I don’t mean gullible. Diana is someone who has faith in mankind.

Gal Gadot is officially my new girl crush. Rumour has it that Patty Jenkins didn’t want Gadot as Wonder Woman. Jenkins wanted an American actress to play the iconic superhero. Well, I guess Gadot just proved her wrong.

Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)

He’s Wonder Woman’s love interest. Actually, she’s not that interested in him. However, they do have a mutual respect for each other. In the beginning, war was the thing that bonded them. As you might have suspected, this changes rapidly and they actually end up developing feelings for each other. You might be thinking… What could a guy like Steve give to woman like Diana? A different perspective about mankind. You see, he doesn’t see the world in black and white. In his opinion, both good and evil exist in people. Therefore, killing Ares is not going to end the war.

Honestly, I was not expecting Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Why? Well, Pine is not a newcomer, he has a couple of blockbusters under his belt (in which he starred as the lead actor). Therefore, it was kind of refreshing watching him as Wonder Woman’s “main squeeze”. In my opinion, he was perfect as Steve. Very few actors can be funny without trying too hard. Having said that, it was a very pleasant surprise.

Sir Patrick / Ares (David Thewlis)

Honestly, I did not see it coming. What a great twist! I know this might sound bad, but Ares has a point. I’m not saying that he’s right, but his motives are compelling. The difference between Ares and Diana is faith. Ares has lost faith in mankind (maybe he never had it), whereas Diana believes that it’s not their call to decide their destiny. Having said that, Ares is a great villain because he challenges Diana’s values and ours too. He almost had me, but then, I thought: he went too far.

Wonder Woman: who is Ares?

David Thewlis is no newbie. In this film, he really shines when he reveals himself as Ares. The transition from Sir Patrick to Ares is quite subtle. It wasn’t like “gotcha, bitch!” It was more like “now you see me” type of scene. Having said that, it takes talent to portray a villain that makes us feel conflicted.

Final Thoughts On Wonder Woman

The film has a heart. It’s not only about having a fancy budget and impressive visuals. As I said, the story and the characters are full of emotion. The film doesn’t only look pretty for the camera, it also captivates the audiences’ heart. Ultimately, I believe this was the element that made the film so well received by the audience and critics. It’s serious without being pretentious and uses comedy in the right amounts.

Having said that, Wonder Woman is one of my favourite films of this year. I’m not saying this because of the hype, I’m saying this because I know what I saw. In addition, I believe Wonder Woman marks a new era for superhero films. Girls can kick ass and bring home the big money too!