‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’: Does Orm Betray Arthur?

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Also known as Ocean Master, Orm was the villain of the first ‘Aquaman’ movie, where he clashed with his older brother, Arthur Curry, for the right to sit on the throne of Atlantis. Of course, we know that Aquaman won that fight and eventually became king of Atlantis. But in ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ Arthur and Orm are placed in an uneasy alliance that requires both of them to work together. So, does Orm betray Arthur?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • In ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ Aquaman breaks Orm out of prison because he knows that his brother is the only one who can help him find Black Manta.
  • Orm agrees to help Arthur out because he also wants to protect Atlantis from Black Manta.
  • In the end, the spirit of Kordax possessed Orm and tried to pit him against his brother, only for Orm to overcome the temptation and help Aquaman defeat Kordax.

Arthur has to work with Orm

The trailers of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ were never shy about one of the major narratives of this movie because fans were quick to see that Arthur “Aquaman” Curry is allied with his younger brother Orm, who we know as Ocean Master. This is odd because the two of them actually fought one another almost to death during the events of the first movie.

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In the first movie, Orm finds out about Arthur’s existence and is unsure about his place as the heir to the throne of Atlantis because a part of him thought that their mother, Atlanna, favored Arthur more. It was also clear that there were people supporting Arthur’s claim to the throne because he was the firstborn son. On top of that, he didn’t have Orm’s desire to wage war against the surface world.

Aquaman eventually defeated Orm in their final battle. Instead of killing his younger brother, he allowed him to get imprisoned after Orm had relinquished the throne to him. Arthur went on to become the king of Atlantis.

Then again, while Arthur did indeed become king after defeating his brother, a part of him still thought about what could have been had the situation between him and Orm been different. In ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ Thomas Curry even told his son that Orm was still his brother despite the things that happened between them. Of course, Arthur meant it when he told Orm that he would have wanted to bond with his brother had they not been forced to battle one another for the throne.

But after David Kane attacked Atlantis and stole orichalcum in ‘The Lost Kingdom,’ Arthur knew that the only person who could help him find Black Manta was his younger brother. He decided to actually go against the Fishermen Kingdom so that he could free his brother from his imprisonment.


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Orm, of course, agreed to help his brother because he also cared about Atlantis. After all, he was supposed to be the king of the Atlanteans. He truly cared for Atlantis despite the fact that he wanted to go to war with the surface. Knowing that Atlantis was in danger, Orm agreed to help his older brother, whom he still believed was not fit for the throne.

Orm wasn’t such a bad guy after all

Throughout the events of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ there were instances wherein the partnership between Arthur and Orm felt uneasy. Orm brought him to the Sunken Citadel, which was a pirate haven, despite the fact that he was well aware that Aquaman and pirates hated one another. The opportunity for Orm to betray his brother was there, but he didn’t do so. Instead, he only took him to the pirate king so that he could force information out of him.

The two eventually reached the Devil’s Deep, which was an island that surrounded a dormant volcano. This island served as Black Manta’s base, and the brothers had several bonding moments while making their way to the base. One moment included Arthur telling Orm that he never wanted the throne. Orm was surprised because his father raised him to think that his brother would eventually come and challenge him for the right to rule Atlantis.

Orm got to learn more about his brother during their time together. Arthur even got the bonding moment that he always wanted to have with Orm, going as far as telling him about the food of the surface dwellers and tricking him into eating a cockroach.

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Of course, once they got to Kane’s base, they worked well together to defeat the henchmen and eventually force Black Manta to retreat. There were also several instances wherein they had each other’s backs and saved one another from trouble. Still, the fact that Orm touched the black trident and saw a vision of the Lost City of Necrus was one of the reasons why this partnership still felt uneasy.

Orm’s redemption

Another instance where things felt uneasy was when King Nereus was in trouble when a creature in Necrus grabbed him. Nereus always made it clear to Orm that he didn’t trust him, especially after the events of the first movie. While Orm could have abandoned Nereus, he decided to help him out, proving to him that he was worth his trust.

In the final battle against Black Manta, Orm grabbed hold of the black trident once more when he stopped it from killing Mera. However, the spirit of Kordax, the king of Necrus, possessed Orm and forced him to go against his brother. In Kordax’s words, he felt that Orm harbored more hatred for Aquaman than Black Manta did, allowing fans to believe that Orm still hated his brother.


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But while Kordax initially succeeded in possessing Orm’s body, Artur was there to reassure his brother that they had each other’s back. They previously made a promise to their mother that they were going to trust and protect one another, and Arthur wasn’t about to break that promise. He grabbed the black trident to allow Orm to see his feelings as well, proving that he cared about his brother and wasn’t going to abandon him.

The gesture was more than enough for Orm to eventually let go of the black trident. Doing so opened the opportunity for Arthur to eventually kill Kordax, especially after a timely assist from the former Ocean Master.

Orm had the opportunity to betray his brother and take power for himself by joining Kordax. However, he proved that he wasn’t such a bad guy after all and that he was worth a second chance. Arthur agreed as much when he decided to allow Orm to go free and to tell the other leaders of Atlantis that Orm died in the final battle. This allowed Orm to have his own redemption story as he went on to try out the life of a surface dweller during the concluding moments of the film.

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