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John Wick 4 ending explained

Keanu Reeves' dog-loving assassin has returned for a fourth action-packed globe-tracking adventure. Here's the John Wick 4 ending explained.

John Wick 4 ending explained: Bill Skarsgard

How does John Wick 4 end? Since 2014, Keanu Reeves has stolen our hearts with one-liners, assassin antics, and plenty of near-death experiences. However, John Wick: Chapter 4 brings all of the Wick franchise’s lore into an epic story that grows past your typical action fest.

In the new movie, John Wick: Chapter 4, we see the titular hero take a stand against the criminal organisation the High Table. With a new head of the group – the Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) – out for his blood, Wick must travel around the world, reunite with old friends and craft a plan in order to gain his freedom from the dark underbelly of the assassin world.

The action movie is packed with globe-trotting, lore, and new characters – in short, it can be pretty overwhelming. And, with that in mind, The Digital Fix is here to help. Below we give you the John Wick 4 ending explained, go through any post-credit scenes and discuss the future of this beloved franchise. Warning, John Wick spoilers ahead!

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What happens at the end of John Wick 4?

John Wick 4 ends with gunfire and our titular hero finally gaining his freedom. But how John gets said freedom is pretty complicated. Winston informs John that his life on the run and killing won’t end unless he challenges the Marquis to a duel.

The duel is an ancient practice in the High Table, where family members could fight to the death. After going to Berlin and regaining his family ticket (becoming Jardani Jovonovich once again), Wick’s proposal is complete and taken to the Marquis by Winston – who announces that he is John’s ‘second’. This new role would mean that Winston would be reinstated as the head of the New York Continental if John wins or die with John if he loses.

John Wick 4 ending explained: John walks through a church

The High Table must accept John’s proposal for a duel, as it is bound by the honour of rules and the ‘old ways’. And John and the Marquis meet to discuss the details of the duel. The plan is that the two will meet at sunrise and uses duelling pistols, but two curveballs are thrown into the mix.

The first is that The Marquis will be using a substitute – Caine (aka John’s long-time friend and former assassin, who is fighting for his daughter’s life and freedom). The second is that if John doesn’t make it to the meeting place at sunrise, he will be immediately executed.

John Wick 4 ending explained: John looks into the middle distance

You can probably tell what happens next. John must fight his way through Paris as the Marquis puts out a $20 million contract on him. So John has got to deal with a horde of assassins and the men of the Marquis, who are hell-bent on receiving the reward money.

However, with the help of Caine, who wants to give his friend an honourable death, Wick makes it to the meeting place just in time. After taking off their bulletproof suit jackets, Caine and John grab the ceremonial pistols and walk 30 paces away from one another. Both their shots miss.

John Wick 4 ending explained: Bill Skarsgard

They eventually stand 10 paces from each other, and Caine hits John in the stomach – while John acts as if he missed the mark – going down in front of his friend and enemy. The Marquis – filled with arrogance – frees Caine from his duties in order to deliver the final kill shot to Wick. However, it turns out that John never actually fired his gun, and as the Marquis gets closer, he shoots the movie villain in the head, ultimately winning the duel without having to kill his friend.

John is finally free, Winston has the New York Continental again, and Caine is free to reunite with his daughter. But before we all start celebrating, this is a bittersweet ending, folks. John’s freedom leads to his death. Our hero passes away on the church’s steps – presumably from exhaustion and blood loss. But at least he goes peacefully.

The film ends with Winston and Bowery King looking at John’s gravestone, which reads “loving husband”, and stands next to his wife’s…I’m not crying; you are.

JohN Wick 4 ending explained: Akira

Is there a post-credit scene in John Wick 4?

There is a post-credit scene in John Wick 4, and it isn’t a happy one. After the credits roll for 15 minutes, fans get to see a short clip of Caine holding flowers. Caine is about to reunite with his daughter after years of only being able to protect her from afar due to the High Table. However, as he walks to meet her, we see Akira appear.

Akira was the daughter of Shimazu – the manager of the Osaka Continental, who Caine killed early in the movie. Akira whips out a dagger, and it is implied that she got her revenge. So it looks like Caine is a goner – and never got to be with his daughter, who he had fought and sacrificed for. It is a massive bummer and truly tragic.

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Will there be a John Wick 5?

Since John Wick died at the end of John Wick 4, it seems unlikely there will be a John Wick 5. Similarly, the director Chad Stahelski has hinted that John’s story is over. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stahelski said: “In our minds, Keanu and I are done for the moment. We’re going to give John Wick a rest. I’m sure the studio has a plan. If everyone loves it and it goes kooky, then we’ll take a quiet minute.”

So, it looks pretty bleak on the sequel front, friends. However, a prequel may still be on the table. I mean, who doesn’t want to see John’s origin story? Fans can also look forward to the upcoming spin-off Ballerina and TV series, The Continental – which follows a young Winston.

John Wick may be buried – literally – but there is still plenty in this franchise to be excited about. You can read our John Wick 4 review and learn all the grisly details with our guide on everyone who dies in John Wick 4. If that’s not enough, we’ve also got a breakdown of the John Wick cast and a list of the best movies ever made for you to enjoy.