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At the start of the animated version of Nimona we are shown the story of Gloreth, and how she was the first person to stand up against a monster that attacked her people.

She is depicted as an adult in armor fighting against a sizable dragon like monster. The scene plays on classical European images of knights and heraldry.

Later on in the film we are shown Gloreth as a child, wearing peasant's clothes, and carrying a toy sword, facing a much smaller monster that is reacting in fear rather than anger after having been attacked by frightened villagers.

Within the scope of the story, is this telling us how events really were, and that the prologue for the movie was a case of either unreliable narration or a story being exaggerated over time (1,000 years are said to have passed since then).

Or was the version of events with Gloreth as a child merely the events that preceded the prologue. Meaning that both scenes happened several years apart with Gloreth seeing Nimona turn into a monster as a child, and then going on to found the Knight's institute as an adult later on in her life, thus setting up the confrontation between her and Nimona that is seen in the prologue.

This question is specifically about the animated version, and not the graphics novel on which it is based, due to there being significant differences in the story.

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It is very strongly implied that the story told at the start has been misremembered and embellished over the centuries, and Nimona’s memory later is the way it really happened.

The most obvious indication, is that the Director finds an old scroll showing that the monster Gloreth fought took the shape of a young girl resembling Nimona. This doesn’t make sense if it was a different monster, and if we assume Nimona came back later acting genuinely hostile it’s not clear how one knight with a sword could possibly stop her - a whole battalion with sci-fi weapons had little effect at the end.

In addition to this, both stories end with Gloreth telling the monster “go back to the shadows from whence you came”, and striking the same pose that is immortalised in her statue. Plus, in all the times Gloreth is mentioned, she is consistently said to have defeated a monster, if she fought two it should probably have been mentioned at some point.

Finally, it would undermine the themes of the movie for there to be a real monster that the people were justified to live in fear of. A major part of the story is how people are unfairly hateful and suspicious of those who are different. The ending where they all stop hiding in fear behind the wall is also treated as a happy one, which seems wrong if they’re all about to get eaten by a real dragon.

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  • I wasn't suggesting that there were two monsters. More that the Nimona's memory was that start of a longer conflict between her and the humans. Possibly consisting of Gloreth coming back as an adult to hunt Nimona down. In the graphics novel that the film is based on (very different), the plot is as much about characters accepting themselves as other's accepting them. In the original, Nimona's shape shifting is a metaphor for being uncomfortable with her own LGBTQIA+ feelings. Jul 5, 2023 at 19:45

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