Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda ForeverAfter Chadwick Boseman‘s tragic passing and Marvel Studios’ decision never to recast T’Challa, fans were eager to know who would be the next Black Panther. However, T’Challa was more than the protector of Wakanda as he also sat on the throne of the powerful African nation. And with the King gone, we are left wondering who rules Wakanda now.
First with the death of King T’Chaka (John Kani), then with the Snap, and finally with the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the throne of Wakanda changed hands multiple times in a few years. So, now that Wakanda Forever is available in theaters, let’s examine the country’s complicated political history.
‘Civil War’ and ‘Black Panther’
During the events of Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa gets mixed up with the Avengers after Zemo (Daniel Brühl) frames Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) for the death of King T’Chaka. With the leader of the powerful nations dead, the responsibility to take the throne falls on his son, T’Challa. That happens in Black Panther during a crowing ceremony where M’Baku (Winston Duke) of the Jabari challenges T’Challa for the role of King. While T’Challa wins the duel against M’Baku, his ruling is short-lived. That’s because his cousin, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), shows up, reveals himself as a royal descendant, and ultimately takes Wakanda’s throne. T’Challa regains the right to rule at the end of Black Panther, and for a short time, Wakanda is at peace. Then, Thanos (Josh Brolin) attacks.
Who Rules the Nation in ‘Wakanda Forever’?
Thanos’ attack did more than destroy Wakanda’s capital. It also took their King. When Thanos collects all the Infinity Stones and snaps his fingers, the Mad Titan wipes out half of the sentient life in the universe. Thanos says his decision is impassionate since the people who die are chosen randomly. However, it was still heartbreaking to see some of our favorite heroes départ, including King T’Challa.
It takes five years for the Avengers to reverse Thanos’ Snap. And during that time, T’Challa’s mother, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), took over the throne to keep Wakanda safe. When T’Challa returns from the Snap, Wakanda thinks their suffering has ended, but their King dies, definitely, shortly after coming back, due to a mysterious disease. Now, T’Challa is on the Ancestral Plane, and Queen Ramonda once more takes the throne of Wakanda. Wakanda Forever reveals how Ramonda does an excellent job of showing Wakanda’s might to the world, but her reign also ends abruptly.
The Future of Wakanda’s Throne
In Wakanda Forever, Wakanda goes to war with the underwater nation of Talokan. One of the unfortunate causalities of this conflict is Queen Ramonda, who dies at the hands of Talokan’s leader, Namor (Tenoch Huerta Mejía). Ramonda’s death leaves the throne vacant once more, at least until Shuri (Letitia Wright) decides to step into her brother’s shoes and become the new Black Panther.
While Shuri becomes the protector of Wakanda and ultimately leads the nation against Namor, Wakanda Forever‘s ending has a shocking surprise for fans. That’s because Shuri decides to skip the crowing ceremony after she forges an unstable alliance with Talokan. Instead, she sends M’Baku in her place to take the throne.
We don’t get to see what happens in the ceremony, but it’s unlikely anyone would fight M’Baku for the throne. First of all, M’Baku is enormous, and few could best him in combat. Most importantly, M’Baku’s time as an outcast is long gone, and the warrior repeatedly proved his loyalty to Wakanda. M’Baku was a friend and counselor to T’Challa, helping guide the King during tough times. So, he might be more fit to rule than Shuri, who’s just now learning to be a leader. Be as it may, Shuri giving away the throne is an exciting development, and we hope to see how this change will affect the nation in Black Panther 3.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is out now in theaters.
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