If you've seen Aquaman, the 2018 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, you might just need to watch it again. Because a fan theory that's been circulating around suggests that the titular character - played, of course, by Jason Momoa - might not be the traditional superhero everybody thinks he is. In fact, he might be the bad guy.
Yes, you read that right. The theory was first posited on Reddit soon after the film's release, although it's recently resurfaced and gained traction again after being spotted by Digital Spy,
In the movie, Arthur Curry/Aquaman decides to go head to head against his half-brother, King Orm - played by Patrick Wilson - in a battle to become the new leader of Atlantis.
Yet the theory suggests that while Aquaman's character arc begins in a stereotypical fashion for the average superhero, he's actually - wait for it - a tyrant. Let's defer to the original post, courtesy of Reddit user Symiir.
He wrote: "There was one thing that just kept bugging me after the credits rolled. I didn't really feel like Aquaman was a good guy. And I'm not even talking about the beginning where he was kind of a d*** to Black Manta's dad (and created a super villain in the process).
"No, for most of the movie, I feel like he follows a fairly stereotypical hero's journey. He wants to be good, makes a few mistakes, he's not sure he's king-ly enough to be king. He checks all the boxes.
"But then the third act of the movie happened. And in the third act, Aquaman turns from a hopeful king... into a tyrant. And it's all thanks to a certain trident.
"When Aquaman takes control of Atlan's trident, he gets his first taste of real power. And everything changes. Atlan's trident amplifies his powers, but also seems to corrupt them."
Without delving too deeply into spoiler terriroty - and besides, you should really make up your own mind - the charge is essentially that Aquaman's modus operandi is one of fear, and that he's pretty ruthless and non-discriminatory when it comes to killing people.
Which, we have to admit, doesn't really sound much like the actions of a superhero.
And as for the shot near the end of the film when Aquaman lifts his trident as leader of Atlantis and people are cheering? Well, that doesn't mean they actually support him, according to the theory. Rather, they're doing so 'because they have no choice'. A chilling thought.
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