The Monster Hunter movie ending answered a bunch of questions – including who wins in a fight between a dragon and a helicopter – but left a bunch more dangling, either waiting to be answered by a sequel or for fans to connect the dots elsewhere.
Below, we answer any major lore questions that arose from the movie after watching it, as well as any other posers that will hopefully enrich the lore of the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed video game adaptation.
First, to ensure we’re all on the same page, here’s a Palico-sized recap of the Monster Hunter ending – including all major events and story beats.
Warning: Monster Hunter spoilers follow…
The final half of the movie sees Artemis – now having escaped the clutches of Nerscylla monsters – and the Hunter heading towards the Sky Tower so she can head back through the portal to her own world. Of course, the road ahead isn’t without its bumps and bruises. The pair are saved by the Hunter’s crew (after he fell from their ship earlier in the movie) led by Ron Perlman’s Admiral.
They, too, are heading to the Sky Tower to take down the Rathalos guarding the power source.
Once there, the Rathalos attacks the squad, though the Admiral leads the fightback. During one climatic moment, Artemis is cornered and dives over the edge of the cliff as the Sky Tower and the portal powers up. She then leaps through the portal and back to the desert in ‘our’ world – the setting at the beginning of the movie.
There, she is rescued by a task force and is evacuated. Unfortunately for them, the Rathalos flies through the portal and burns everyone to a crisp – except Artemis.
Artemis then exploits the Rathalos’ one weakness – its gaping mouth before it breathes fire – and shoots an explosive round down its gullet. The Hunter then appears and helps Artemis slay the beast.
To end the movie, the Admiral warns that another attack is imminent. Artemis agrees to head back through the portal to kill the beast and shut down the Sky Tower. The team jump through the portal and the movie ends.
In the Monster Hunter post-credits scene, the trio are seen fighting a new monster, with the Palico chef even joining in on the fun in a particularly a-mew-sing moment. Finally, a hooded man is seen watching the battle.
Is the portal between the two worlds closed for good?
It doesn’t appear to be. The Admiral made pointed reference earlier in the movie to the Sky Tower sitting on top of a lava-based power source that helps fire up the portal that allows travel between the two worlds.
The portal has also been around for a long time. Perlman’s character also explained to Artemis that ‘The Ancients’ had gone back and forth between the two worlds several hundred years ago.
However, if the Sky Tower gets destroyed then it’s a completely different story – and a dilemma for Artemis that could be explored in the sequel. For now, it’s intact – which means monsters can travel to the human world and vice-versa. Which means there’s plenty of opportunity for some creepy-crawly crossovers in future instalments.
Is the Rathalos dead?
The Rathalos, an iconic monster from the Monster Hunter franchise, served as the movie’s Big Bad. Eventually, it was vanquished thanks to a combination of the Admiral’s fire attacks, the Hunter’s laser precision with his bow, and Artemis’ explosive rounds. The monster we see at the very end is not a Rathalos. Despite the confusion, the Rathalos is certainly dead and gone.
Are the rest of the crew still alive?
We hope so! Aiden, Lea, and Handler were all knocked out or knocked back during the Rathalos fight and we don’t get to see their final fates. Expect to find out if – and how – they survived the onslaught in a possible sequel.
What is the “ancient civilization”?
Unfortunately, Monster Hunter’s mid-point reference to an “ancient civilization” isn’t really built upon. It does, however, have several lore-based explanations via the games to fall back on.
The Ancient Civilization were a mysterious group that were technologically far more advanced than any other civilization in the years following their extinction. They often used and captured monsters for their own purposes, and even built the Tower – the inspiration for the movie’s Sky Tower. Their mastery over both technology and the monsters essentially ushered in a Golden Age, though their experimentations using dragons eventually led them to being wiped out during the Great Dragon War.
Why is the Sky Tower so important?
The Sky Tower is not only one of the last remaining remnants of the Ancient Civilization’s work, it also is a bridge between the world of the monsters and ‘our’ world – where Artemis is from. Throughout history, various humans have jumped across to the monster world thanks to the Sky Tower, though it’s not known how it is activated or why Artemis and her team of soldiers were able to pass through in the first place.
What was the monster at the end?
Monster Hunter, oddly, sets up a new villain at the 90-minute mark… and makes us wait for a sequel to see what it is and whether it’ll be defeated by the Hunters.
But, if you know your wyverns from your akantors, you’ll recognise the distinctive claws and dragon-like posture immediately.
The monster in the final shot is a Gore Magala – best known for its appearance in Monster Hunter 4.
Who was the hooded man in the post-credits?
The hooded man may as well have been holding a neon sign that said ‘sequel’ – but who is he? The only parallels to that mysterious figure and the Monster Hunter series of games is the Seeker from 2017’s Monster Hunter: World.
There, the Seeker was part of the first wave of hunters who arrived in the game’s land of Astera, where the monsters of the game roamed. He is dedicated to unlocking the secrets of the world, including how the Elder Crossing – the journey an Elder Dragon takes before dying – causes the creation of new worlds.
So, all of your Monster Hunter lorehounds out there can rest assured that, if Monster Hunter 2 happens, it’s about to dive deep into some of the seriously dense background history behind the world(s) of the games.
Will there be a sequel?
2020 has proven that nothing is predictable. What we do know is that director Paul W.S. Anderson is working on a new Monster Hunter project.
Star (and Anderson's wife) Milla Jovovich told Total Film in November, "Hopefully people are going to love it because I know Paul would love to make a sequel. I mean, he’s already writing something..."
Find out what else made the leap from controllers to cinemas with our rundown of the best video game movies.