When the witch curses the Dragon Emperor in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, he turns into a mud statue inside the palace and so does his army outside.

But when Alex found the statues, they were somewhere else, the emperor's body position was different and he was holding horses' reigns (there were horses!) and traps were laid in that place. It was like, the emperor and his army were hidden but who hid them?


1 Answer 1


This isn't answered in the film and I can't find any interviews where it was addressed.

In the film, the army is based on the real-life Terracotta Army, as evidenced by this interview with the director. Thus, the film was supposed to give the "real" reason as to why the Terracotta Army exists today, as opposed to the actual reason - to act as burial art for the first Emperor of China and protect him in the afterlife.

Whilst in real life the Terracotta Army was buried with the Emperor, in the film they obviously turned to stone around the palace, along with the Dragon Emperor. Therefore, I think the most obvious solution at this point was that they were moved to the hidden location by the sorceress and people under her command and the Dragon Emperor, perhaps out of some respect for his position, was contorted into a different position.

I say this is the most obvious reason to me, as they were hardly going to leave the Emperor and his army around and within the palace for all of eternity. They had to be put somewhere! So I believe they were moved to their location by the sorceress and others (with booby traps warding everyone off) until their eventual discovered by Alex O'Connell.

  • Thanks for the Terracotta Army reference, but I think the sorceress hiding them is a highly unlikely plot, she ran away hurt and was saved by the yetis. "perhaps out of some respect for his position, was contorted into a different position" I don't think the sorceress will do that or let that happen. Perhaps its the King's civilian followers who did that to keep him safe till he returns? or maybe its just a plothole?
    – user5722
    Nov 24, 2014 at 4:50
  • @rps: I don't think it's a plot hole. Put it like this - they were most certainly not just going to remain frozen in stone, surrounding the palace, for all of eternity. Somebody was going to move them, whether that be the sorceress or somebody else. I think since the fact they'd have to be moved is obvious, who moved them becomes less important. Nov 24, 2014 at 8:30
  • "who moved them becomes less important", it is just that at one scene the emperor turns into a statue with one position (probably with a pointing hand) and then you find his statue hidden away in a position where he is holding horse reins, it makes an audience wonder what happened in between ? why his position is different as if he became a statue while holding horse reins ? If there is no plausible explanation for that, then may be it IS an anomaly?!
    – user5722
    Nov 24, 2014 at 11:26
  • @rps: To be fair, you are right. Maybe it is just an anomaly. My attitude is that since they would be moved by somebody, at some time, it was logical they'd be hidden away. I'm not sure why his position is different. That is a mystery. Maybe he's had more than one revival and recurse :P Nov 24, 2014 at 12:05

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