Does King Triton Die in The Little Mermaid 2023? Here's What Happened

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little mermaid

WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for The Little Mermaid Live-Action (2023). So read at your own risk!

Disney’s The Little Mermaid live-action is now out in theaters and you’re probably wondering, what else has the remake changed from its animated counterpart?

Well, one of those things is the fact that King Triton, ruler of the seven seas, Ariel’s father, actually dies in 2023’s The Little Mermaid.

There’s a catch behind his death, though, which you can read here to find out!

Did King Triton Really Die in The Little Mermaid Live-Action?

Did King Triton Really Die in The Little Mermaid Live-Action?
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Credit: Disney

The short answer is yes, King Triton (Javier Bardem) essentially died in the 2023 version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

When Ursula the Sea Witch (Melissa McCarthy) finally brought Ariel to her clutches, she reminded the princess she signed a deal to become hers since she failed to kiss Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) as they agreed on.

Ariel already felt defeated then and there, only then was she reminded. Do note that the live-action’s Ursula put a little twist in her spell on Ariel.

She ensured that Ariel (Halle Bailey) would forget she even needed to kiss Eric in the first place.

This is due to Ursula desperately wanting to take Ariel for herself, in exchange for King Triton’s plea, where she could have the ruler of the seven seas bargain his trident for her daughter’s life.

Now, before Ursula even reaches her lair with Ariel, the King Triton caught up to them, and once he discovered about the unbreakable contract, the King did not hesitate to surrender his trident to Ursula.

This then gave Ursula the power to evaporate King Triton into the abyss.

This was entirely different from what the original animated film depicted, where King Triton was instead transformed into a deformed type of shrimp, shrinking in size, unrecognizable in his form.

ALSO READ: Will The Little Mermaid 2023 Live-Action Get a Sequel?

How Did King Triton Come Back To Life In The End of The Little Mermaid?

How Did King Triton Come Back To Life In The End of The Little Mermaid?
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Credit: Disney

Well, as Disney classics go, of course, King Triton comes back to life. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a good story for Ariel to suddenly take off with Prince Eric.

But here’s how The Little Mermaid live-action did it.

Once Ariel managed to kill Ursula in her gigantic form, instead of immediately swimming over to Eric, Ariel followed the sinking trident, soon discovering that her father was brought to life as soon as the staff hit sea grounds.

King Triton returned from the ashes, his trident back in hand, and of course, his daughter reunited with him in the end.

The tragedy behind his quick death definitely brought Ariel and King Triton closer together. It performed a sense of urgency between the father and daughter duo.

Disney changed some of its elements, leading to The Little Mermaid’s 2023 version to be more about the rekindlement between Ariel and her father, which, personally, they did a great job on.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is now out in theaters worldwide!

ALSO READ: The Little Mermaid: Why Were The Merpeople and Humans Divided?

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