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Wakanda Forever Explains Why Nakia Didn't Appear In Avengers: Infinity War Or Endgame

Contains spoilers for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever"

It's been an unthinkable three years since "Avengers: Endgame" saw the heroes of the MCU join forces to take down snap-happy titan Thanos in his mission to bring balance to the universe. Well, all the heroes, that is, except for Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o). Wakanda's super crafty spy and former flame of the late King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was absent from the battle for the universe, and it was never really mentioned as to why given that all the other notable characters from the "Black Panther" section of this massive franchise showed up. Even though at the end of the first "Black Panther" film, Nakia was seen departing from Wakanda, she could've at least come back to join in the fight against evil tyrants and giant space worms.

So why the mystery? Why the free pass for Nakia being away from home and seemingly unaffected by the event that changed the universe forever? Well, we thankfully finally get an answer that ties up a loose end to the past of the MCU while cleverly setting up a new era in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" that is bursting with possibilities that affect the throne and beyond.

Nakia being pregnant with T'Challa kept her out of Endgame

Had there not been a trailer for the film, Nakia's appearance could've almost been a surprise, given how long she's been away from the MCU. Appearing halfway through "Wakanda Forever," after a visit from Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), she's straight off on a rescue mission for Shuri (Letitia Wright) but not before skirting around her reason for not attending T'Challa's funeral. It comes up again speaking to Okoye (Danai Gurira), who refers to Thanos' attack on Wakanda and inadvertently confirms that unlike 50% of the universe, she wasn't blipped out of existence and brought back. This, of course, is given extra confirmation when it's revealed to Shuri that Nakia, during her time away living in Haiti, has secretly given birth and been looking after T'Challa, her son that was fathered by the late king and former Black Panther of the same name.

In a final uplifting surprise, Shuri is informed by Nakia that she kept T'Challa II in hiding and away from the throne at the request of her brother before his passing. In doing so, though, this new revelation of T'Challa's legacy immediately throws an exciting element into the future of "The Black Panther" saga within the MCU. One that could see a primarily absent character get some more time to shine on her own.

Might Coogler's future in Wakanda be with Nakia outside of it?

Back in 2021, it was revealed that Coogler had signed a deal with Marvel to get to work on a "Wakanda-based" spin-off Disney+ show. "We're already in the mix on some projects that we can't wait to share," Coogler said. Since then, talk has deteriorated, most likely due to the passing of Chadwick Boseman in between "Black Panther" and "Wakanda Forever." Nevertheless, Coogler and the amalgamation of talent involved in the recent sequel adapted to the loss and still delivered a hit, so might there be a chance that the trip back to television could be on the cards, given the events of the sequel?

It's never confirmed in the film, but T'Challa II looks around at least 5-6 years old. During that time, how was Nakia managing to protect the son of a king to (in Angela Bassett's voice) the most powerful nation in the world? That question could be answered in a prequel show focussing solely on her and her time away from home. Hey, if "Star Wars" can give us an intense thriller series like "Andor," why can't the only woman that could make T'Challa freeze get the same treatment?