As ‘The Promised Neverland’ Season 2 airs, the fans have been left distraught by how the adaptation skipped major portions of the story. Meanwhile, the manga is finally over, and we have some major plot points to discuss. The one we will be covering here, The Promised Contract. As the manga reached its imminent conclusion, we will be covering all the significant events that led up to this.
History of the Ratri Clan
Ever since the first chapter of ‘The Promised Neverland’, we have all been wondering, why are these kids being fed to demons? Are there kids out there who do not face this threat? If so, why? What makes them different from the kids on the farms? The answers to all of these questions lie in the history of the Ratri Clan.
A little over a thousand years ago, the world was filled with humans and demons. They used to co-exist in the same areas, hunting down one another for survival. So, Julius Ratri, the leader of a small clan, was fed up with this never-ending battle. He took it upon himself to put a stop to this. He proposed an idea to offer a portion of the humans to the demons in exchange for peace. But he was soon denied by his mates as they wanted peace with no compromise on their end. But, Julius argues that it was only a small price to pay for eternal peace. And even after the refusals from his clan members, he does make a deal with the Demon King.
With that in mind, the demons burst into their hideout, slaughtering everyone, thus forming the first human cattle. So, having a peace treaty with the Demon King, Julius heads to the Demon God alongside him to form a contract.
Why do Demons consume Humans? What is the Cursed Blood?
Demons are not really what one would call the demons in ‘The Promised Neverland’. They are some sort of sapient bacteria that quite literally personifies “You are what you eat” as they change into what they eat. Thus consuming humans allows them to keep themselves sapient and intelligent. So, when a demon goes too long without human meat, they lose their intelligence, thus becoming Wild Demons. But this wasn’t the case for all Demons, as a part of the species could stay sapient regardless.
This was the case for the characters only recently introduced in the anime, Mujika, and Sonju. Mujika is an important character as she was part of the few exceptions. Her blood could allow her to stay sapient forever. While also keeping all the demons sapient, if she were to use her blood. This could be seen in the case of her bodyguard, Sonju.
But regardless of the abilities of their kind which could maintain peace within the world, their blood was called the “Cursed Blood”. This was because the Royal Family refused to change their ways as they craved human meat. They decided to perish Mujika’s kind, making her the sole survivor of the “Cursed Blood”.
Who is HIM in The Promised Neverland?
HIM, the Unpronounceable or The Demon God, was also known as The One, who was at the top of the Demon World. He even presided over the Demon King. He was the demons’ supreme leader, even capable of taking decisions on behalf of the whole species, often referred to as a deity. Unfortunately for us readers, his name isn’t clear, thus we have to go for an alternative ‘HIM’. Although, inside ‘The Promised Neverland Universe’, this name is pronounceable by humans.
He resides in a special dimension where the laws of time and physics aren’t applicable. This is quite a mysterious place where he is accompanied by a dragon. And if anyone were to make contact with him, they must go through a set of special rituals and a trial. This trial is in the form of a strange metaphysical puzzle.
As for his appearance, he has a rather small, childlike appearance. He is dressed in some sort of royal garments, which come with a hood. He has a huge skull for a face, along with which he has two horns. And in the middle of his skull, he has an eye that is surrounded by three star-like markings. But as a matter of fact, he can change his appearance, thus meaning that his appearance is a matter of choice than necessity.
His origins and personality are quite unclear, considering he is shown to have a playful personality. But this could also be a sign of his sadistic nature, as whenever he is about to grant someone’s wish, He demands equal compensation and refuses to be rejected.
What is ‘The Promise’ in The Promised Neverland?
Like mentioned earlier, The Promised Neverland, has a being, “HIM” or “The One” who has the ability to grant wishes. These wishes are a form of contract that can be made with HIM. And anyone, human or demon, can form this contract with HIM. But before this, they must go through some special rituals and trials. And after they pass through them, they can put forward their proposal. But these wishes or proposals aren’t foolproof as they have three certain rules one has to follow for them. If “The One” is attracted by the proposal, he will promise to grant it in exchange for a reward with an equal cost.
The three rules to be followed for the promise to be granted are:
- One cannot overwrite a promise with Him.
- One cannot break a promise with Him.
- And finally, one cannot reject the reward.
These rules make it quite difficult for the proposer. As “HIM” only asks for something that is of significance to the proposer. And these rules make it impossible for one to go through without losing something precious in the process.
What was the Old Promise?
As mentioned earlier in the history of the Ratri Clan, after keeping the peace treaty, Julius Ratri and the Demon King meet ‘HIM’ to form a contract. There have been many such promises made, this being the significant one made 1000 years ago, beginning the plot for ‘The Promised Neverland’. They ask the Demon God to split the world into two: where humans would reside on one side while demons resided on the other side. And for the Demon’s consumption, farms will be built on the demon side where they could cultivate humans. And for this, humans will be sent as shipments for demons to make use of.
‘The One’ agrees to this non-aggression pact but only on one condition. He must receive a “reward” each in return from both, Julius and the Demon King. The reward has to be something of equal weight and significance to the negotiator. Firstly, ‘The One’ demands that out of all the human meat that they will cultivate, he should receive the best ones. As said earlier, the royal family was quite fond of consuming human meat, but he does agree to the reward reluctantly. Then we come to Julius.
Julius had only recently betrayed his friends to end the war and finally live in peace. In his case, he does get peace in terms of living harmlessly but loses his internal peace. As ‘The One’ asks Julius that his descendants were to be in charge of keeping the human side of the deal. And they should collaborate with the Demons forever, thus being forever stuck in an eternal cycle to oversee the Promise. And his guilt for causing this pact would act as a reward for ‘HIM’.
What happened to the Ratri Clan?
At present, the descendants of the Ratri Clan were James and his younger brother, Peter. James being was idolized by Peter for years. As the two believed that their roles as gatekeepers were noble until when James came to know the truth surrounding Julius’s betrayal and the Promise. He was horrified and ashamed of his ancestors, but at the same time, he could do nothing. His hand was tied as he couldn’t abandon his role as mediator. Doing so would result in the collapse of the balance between the two worlds.
So James resorts to don the persona of a mysterious novelist, William Minerva, and lays out several hints in the farms in the hope that the children would be able to figure out what was happening in their world. And his clues could lead them to him as he could help them. He had even built several sanctuaries such as Goldy Pond, where the children have a safe place to rest. Considering his fate, James believes that this was the only way for him to atone for the sins he and his ancestors committed. At first, Peter seems to have the same views. But later, we find out that this was a façade as he believed Julius made the hero’s choice. And therefore, he does everything in his power to protect the Promise.
What is Emma’s Promised Contract?
Knowing that the Old Promise stated that the world to be split into two: Humans and Demons. Emma knows that no promise can be overwritten. So, she carefully words her promise to HIM so as to not make a conflict. She asks that every cattle child in the orphanages be sent back to the human world. While also set a condition that it would be impossible for anyone to travel between the two worlds. This promise would exclude any adults from the farms to be sent back, thus letting them live in peace. But not much is known as to what was to happen to the Lamba kids or any children who had managed to escape the farms prior. ‘The One’ agrees to this promise, but as stated in the rules, he asks something of utmost importance to the negotiator, Emma.
As we have seen in ‘The Promised Neverland’, the most important thing for Emma was her family. And “HIM” asks her to let go of her family. This meant that Emma would return to the human world, but she would be far away from them, and also, she wouldn’t have any of their memories. But for the sake of everyone, Emma agrees to this, thus forming the Promised Contract.
What are Emma’s Fake & Real Promises?
Emma, long ago, had made a promise with Ray and other children that they would all escape the demons and live together happily as a family. And she says the same later that they would not end up like the Ratri clan. As for the ‘Fake’ Promise, Emma tells the rest that they would all go live in the human world happily together. And the reward which ‘The One’ took was their pain and anguish they had faced over the years. But in actuality, this was false as Emma wouldn’t be with them if things were to go according to the promise she made with HIM. In reality, as stated above, the ‘Real’ promise was where every cattle child will be sent back to the human world. While Emma would be sent far away from them without having any memories of her family.
How was ‘The Promise’ broken?
As the promise was sealed, Emma wakes up in the human world in a cold and far-off place. She was away from her family, and even though she does not have any memories of them, she’s still got an emotional resonance left. Emma does not even remember her own name and is saved by an old man. She does have recurring dreams in the following months where she sees shadowy figures of her family. And she feels an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
Meanwhile, the kids are sent to the shore of America, where everyone had arrived except for Emma. All of them are thrown into a panic as they have no idea what Emma truly offered as a reward in the promise. Due to which they had no idea whether she was in the human or demon world.
Even after two years, a team heads to the forbidden zone to search for Emma. There she passes them, but Ray misses her. So, seemingly Conny, Mama, and Yugo’s ghost stop Ray and asks him to turn back to the village. While Emma turns back to retrieve her fallen necklace. They have a tear-filled reunion as the kids from Grace Field run towards her and hug her. She is informed of the events that took place, and even though she does not remember them, she feels that she has longed to see them. And thus decides to live with them happily together. This concluded the story of ‘The Promised Neverland’ and how ‘the Promise’ was broken.