How does The Empress end? The series finale explained

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

If you've been anywhere near Netflix this week, you'll likely have come across new period romance, The Empress. The German-language series, set within the Austrian royal family, follows the story of an unlikely relationship between rebellious Elisabeth and Emperor Franz.

Fans have been hugely invested, sending the series straight into Netflix's Top 10, and we're already looking ahead towards a season two. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, it's time to turn our attention back to season one and how everything wraps up between Elisabeth and Franz. Do they stay together, and what's next for Elisabeth?

Here's a run-through of The Empress' ending in full.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The Empress ending, explained

The Empress might only have six episodes, but a lot happened in season one. As well as focusing on Elisabeth and Franz's relationship, we saw the new Empress navigating tension with her husband's family members, while there's also political unrest looming from outside.

Throughout the series, Elisabeth's rebellious nature causes rifts with the strict members of the Viennese Court - with Elisabeth showing sympathy to the poorly-treated workers, and damaging her reputation by partying with Franz' brother Maximillian.

By the end, Franz' mother Archduchess Sophie suggests that Elisabeth should leave Vienna to go back home to Bavaria and have her marriage to Franz annulled. Either that, or stay in the palace and conform.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Elisabeth then discovers that she's pregnant. However, just as she's about to tell Franz, she finds out he agrees with his mother and wants her to return home. Heartbroken, Elisabeth holds back on telling Franz the news about her pregnancy and instead decides to leave.

On her way out of the palace, Elisabeth's exit is blocked by a huge crowd protesting against the Emperor. Guards call for the gates to stay closed, but Elisabeth goes against their advice and demands that the gates be opened. She then addresses the crowd, telling them "I see you," before announcing her pregnancy publicly.

Following the drama at the gates, the series opens up a bunch of question as to what might happen next. Can Elisabeth proceed with her return to Bavaria now she's announced her pregnancy to the world? Will her and Franz manage to reconcile? And what will happen to the empire now protests have come to a head?

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Here's hoping we'll find out in a potential season two.

The Empress is streaming now on Netflix.

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