Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Netflix’s The Old Guard and the comics of the same name.
A chapter ends in The Old Guard’s penultimate scene: Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) is out for now, as is the threat of the pharma bros. Former CIA operative and one-time enemy Copley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has agreed to help the Guard with future missions, and thanks to her friendship with newcomer Nile (KiKi Layne), Andy (Charlize Theron) has a somewhat new outlook on life.
However, a six-month time jump — which reintroduces us to Quynh, a fellow immortal and old friend of Andy’s who was tortured and then punished to a life imprisoned at sea — indicates that there’s more to the Guard’s story. “If an audience wants it, there’s absolutely more story to tell,” director Gina Prince-Bythewood recently told Refinery29. But before we start diving into sequel theories, let’s run through some of The Old Guard’s biggest twists and most urgent questions.
Is Andy no longer immortal? Is she going to die?
The members of the Guard are immortal. When one is about to die, their body immediately begins healing. However, as Andy points out, there is a catch. Eventually, that superpower fades, without a prescribed timeline or warning. In one of the movie’s biggest twists, Andy discovers that she’s lost her immortality when a gun wound suddenly doesn’t heal itself. Ostensibly, this is something that just happens to immortals at random, but Andy seems to believe there’s a meaningful reason she’s on her last leg: Nile, who showed up with a fresh perspective, skillset, and sense of resilience.
Prince-Bythewood agrees. In the comic series, in fact, Andy is never at serious risk of losing her immortality: this was a decision that Prince-Bythewood made with Greg Rucka, who wrote both the comics and the film adaptation. “Adding that extra layer gave us that jeopardy for her character and allowed us to really hone in on things that connected me so much with her character when I first read her,” Prince-Bythewood told Esquire. “She has lost her purpose and wants it to be over. And I love the fact that at that very moment, when she says, ‘I am done,’ a new immortal comes to life, which is Nile, who has that innate goodness, which ultimately saves the Old Guard, and saves Andy.”
If The Old Guard’s (possible) sequel follows the comic, it’s unlikely Andy will die — right away, anyway. But if Prince-Bythewood and Rucka continue to explore this new direction, rather than finding a way to give her back her powers, she’ll just have to be much more careful while fending off future foes.
What happened to Quynh? How is she alive?
Viewers learn that, over the course of centuries, there have been other immortal warriors. One of them, Quynh (Van Veronica Ngo), had a close bond with Andy dating back hundreds of years and built on weathering a series of witch trials. This relationship ended abruptly when a group of priests, fed up with Quynh’s perseverance, trapped her in an iron maiden and threw her to the bottom of the sea. Andy tells Nile that she spent years looking for Quynh before giving up, leading her to feel like she failed her. Since we know Quynh probably isn’t dead (she’s immortal, even if she’s in a constant state of drowning), it feels likely she’ll come back at some point.
What’s surprising is that this return happens in The Old Guard’s final few minutes. After a six-month time jump, Booker shows up at an apartment, drunk and wielding a gun. “It’s nice to finally meet you,” Quynh tells him.
How, exactly, did she escape her confinement? It’s possible that, centuries later, the cage deteriorated and Quynh was able to escape, but we don’t know yet how or when that happened.
A Quynh-like character named Noriko did exist in the original comic books, but she wasn’t sent to the bottom of the sea: instead, she was thrown off a ship and sent into a nonstop storm, which also caused her to drown again and again. In the sequel series The Old Guard: Force Multiplied, Quynh becomes the Guard’s main antagonist, choosing to use her immortality to wreak havoc on humanity.
What else happens next in the Old Guard comics?
If Netflix brings us a sequel or even greenlights a trilogy (fingers crossed), there will still be a lot of ground left to cover. At the end of The Old Guard, we learn that Andy, Joe, Nicky, and Nile are now determined to use their immortality for good — and Copley is going to help. Of course, only the ex-communicated Booker seems to know that Quynh is back and ready for vengeance.
In Force Multiplied, Merrick and the rest of the big pharma crusaders are no more. Instead, we learn about a new (and much more compelling) villain: Noriko, Quynh's inspiration. Noriko is deeply traumatized from her years spent drowning, and she’s still reckoning with Andy’s betrayal. (The sequel series reveals that these two weren’t platonic, adding another layer of tension to their centuries-delayed reunion.) Andy is interested in reconnecting with Noriko, who instead turns cruel, hungry for revenge, and ready for both humans and her fellow immortals to suffer the way that she did. Meanwhile, as we know from the last moments of The Old Guard, the core group is interested in using their healing powers to better the world, which sends them on new missions, including a war against a human trafficking ring.
Unfortunately, a film sequel hasn’t been announced, so there's not guarantee that the Guard’s story continues — for now. But if you’re desperate to find out what happens to Andy, Nile, and the rest of the squad, you can always look to the source material: the final installment of Force Multiplied was just published recently, on July 15.