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Wonder Woman's Death In Zack Snyder's Justice League Explained

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Between Zack Snyder's Justice League and the 2017 theatrical cut, it's easy to see plenty of similarities. The two films are ultimately about a group of superpowered individuals who need to band together to simultaneously resurrect Superman (Henry Cavill) and stop Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) from getting his hands on the three Mother Boxes. Beyond that, there are numerous differences between the two, with one of the most noteworthy involving the ultimate goals of each one. 

In hindsight, it's clear that the 2017 version of the film was intended to follow in the footsteps of Marvel's The Avengers by offering lighthearted fare that brought iconic superheroes together on the big screen. The Snyder Cut has something else on its mind: We know from Snyder himself that he intended to pursue a five-movie arc with his DC films, with Justice League being the third installment (preceded by Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). Not only did the director want the film to be entertaining in its own right, but he wanted it to set up big things to come. Now, with his vision officially on HBO Max for all to see, we have a better glimpse than ever before of where Snyder was heading with all of this. And it all gets pretty dark. 

Batman v Superman introduced what's known as the "Knightmare" timeline, in which Batman (Ben Affleck) wanders a barren landscape with an evil Superman on his tail. Any mention of this timeline was conspicuously absent from the 2017 cut, but it's back with a vengeance with Zack Snyder's Justice League, giving us a truly dystopian look of where Snyder's films would've gone, including the demise of a critical League member — Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). 

Cyborg sees the future where Wonder Woman has met her end

Before the superheroes bring Superman back from the dead, Cyborg (Ray Fisher) has a vision of the future. This isn't just a bad dream; it's a sign of what's to come if he resurrects the last Kryptonian. After getting a good look at Darkseid (Ray Porter), Cyborg sees Wonder Woman dead, set up on a funeral pyre surrounded by her fellow Amazons. It's clear this is the Knightmare timeline where Darkseid has annihilated Earth, and considering that her funeral is surrounded by his warships, it's a safe bet Diana was killed by the New God. 

As for the coins that appear over her eyes, that's in line with Greek mythology. People would often be buried with two coins in their eyes (or mouths) so that they could pay for passage over the River Styx to make their way to the afterlife. Seeing as how the gods Ares and Zeus are real beings in this universe, it's likely that the River Styx is real, too, and Diana's mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), wants her to be able to have safe passage into the next realm. 

Judging from the fact that her body's still intact (from what we can see), it's interesting to speculate on how exactly she lost her life and how she ended up back in Themyscira after she was told she could never return. Maybe Zack Snyder will illuminate some of these details in the future, but it's clear the director fully intended to make one of the darkest superhero projects of all time with his franchise. 

How Wonder Woman's death factors into the rest of the Knightmare timeline

Assuming Cyborg's vision is in chronological order, it looks as though after Wonder Woman's death, Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is next on the list, as he dies by Darkseid's hand, impaled with his own trident. After that, we see Superman clutching the skeleton of who we assume is Lois Lane (Amy Adams) as the New God approaches him and places his hand on Superman's shoulder. While we don't hear anything, we can only assume Darkseid told Superman the Anti-Life Equation, which, in the comics, places Kal-El under the villain's control.

After losing two of the Justice League's most powerful members and having Superman switch sides, it's easy to see why things look bleak in Cyborg's visions of the future. After all, if Darkseid wanted to conquer the planet, he probably wouldn't waste his time on men who dress up as bats and clowns. He'd go after beings with actual powers, especially Diana, who was ultimately responsible for killing his servant, Steppenwolf. 

Does this mean Justice League 2 would've spelled the end of Wonder Woman's time in the DCEU? Not necessarily. 

Based on things Zack Snyder has said in the past, his sequels would've involved Flash (Ezra Miller) running so fast that he travels back in time so that the team can stop the Knightmare reality from ever taking place. There's a good chance this would've saved Wonder Woman as well, allowing her to appear in Wonder Woman 3 after all. Of course, the chances of seeing Snyder's franchise come to fruition are slim to none at this point. Maybe Flash can still change the past so that the Snyderverse gets restored to all its glory one day.