Aquaman: the story so far ahead of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom bursts onto Cineworld screens on December 21st, and we appreciate it's been a good few years since Jason Momoa's DC hero last dominated the big screen. It was 2018 that Aquaman made his solo movie debut, and the film allowed Momoa to put his burly, likeable stamp on the character following his ensemble appearance in 2017's Justice League.

So, if you need a refresher ahead of this week's sequel, here's Aquaman's story so far.

  • In 1985, lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temeura Morrison) rescues Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), queen of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, during a storm off the coast of Maine
  • Atlanna and Thomas fall in love and bear a son whom they name Arthur; he grows up to become a super-powered individual who can communicate with underwater life
  • Atlanna was originally entered into an arranged marriage with Atlantean King Orvax who returns to the surface to claim his bride
  • She is compelled to return to Atlantis, leaving Arthur in the care of Nuidis Valko (Willem Dafoe) who schools him in the art of warfare
  • The older Arthur (played by Momoa) turns his back on Atlantis after learning that Atlanna has been executed by Orvax


  • Many years later, Arthur is something of a landlubber and has adopted the nickname Aquaman because of his ability to communicate with fish
  • When Aquaman later confronts pirates who are attempting to hijack a Russian submarine, he inadvertently kills their leader Jesse Kane
  • Kane's son David (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is consumed with rage and vows to take vengeance on Aquaman, eventually transforming himself into the feared mercenary known as Black Manta


  • Atlantis is now ruled by Orvax's son King Orm Marius (Patrick Wilson), who is Aquaman's half-brother
  • Orm convinces fellow underwater ruler King Nereus of Xebel (Dolph Lundgren) to help unite Atlantis and destroy the surface world for polluting the oceans
  • Orm seeks to unite all four kingdoms and receive the title of Ocean Master, commander of the most powerful force on Earth
  • Arthur is contacted by Orm's betrothed Mera (Amber Heard) who convinces him to return to Atlantis and help stop Orm's plan


  • Nuidis Vulko urges Aquaman to find the Trident of Atlan, a powerful artifact of Atlantis' first ruler, to reclaim his rightful place as the king of Atlantis
  • Aquaman, Mera and Vulko are ambushed by Orm's forces and taken into custody; Orm blames Aquaman for Atlanna's death and engages him in a duel
  • Aquaman is saved by Mera and the two escape to the Kingdom of the Deserters beneath the Sahara Desert to seek the location of the Trident
  • They eventually travel to Sicily and unlock the co-ordinates to the Trident's location


  • Aquaman and Mera are attacked by David/Black Manta, now sporting an armoured suit that has been gifted to him by Orm
  • Upon defeating Black Manta, Aquaman discovers that Orm had enlisted David and his father to attack the Russian submarine to win King Nereus' support
  • Arthur and Mera travel to the mystical kingdom known as the Trench, an uncharted sea at the centre of the Earth
  • They discover Atlanna who reveals that she was banished to the Trench for bearing the half-human child Arthur, and was never able to find her way back to the surface


  • Aquaman defeats the sea monster known as the Karathen to reclaim the Trident of Atlan and embrace his destiny as the rightful heir of Atlantis
  • Aquaman, Mera and Atlanna return to Atlantis to lead an all-out underwater war against Orm's forces
  • Orm's followers embrace Aquaman as the true king upon learning that he wields Atlan's trident
  • Aquaman spares Orm's life after defeating him in a duel and Orm accepts imprisonment after discovering that Arthur rescued their mother


  • With Orm defeated, Aquaman claims his place as the rightful King of Atlantis and Atlanna reunites with Thomas
  • Black Manta David is later rescued by Dr. Stephen Shin, a marine scientist and conspiracy theorist obsessed with Atlantis, and David agrees to lead Shin there in exchange for help in his revenge on Aquaman


You should now be up to speed and ready to book your tickets for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. It opens at Cineworld on December 21st.