The Nun, Annabelle & Warrens

4


Summary

  • The Conjuring Universe’s timeline includes a mix of real historical events, fictional elements, and original ideas across various eras — all connected through demonic links.
  • The franchise kicks off with Ed and Lorraine Warren’s 1971 case, but the earliest event in the franchise is Valak’s defeat in the Dark Ages, which is followed up by her return in The Nun movies, a demonic doll’s hauting in the Annabelle trilogy, and the Warrens’ other cases in the mainline The Conjuring sequels.
  • Upcoming The Conjuring projects include The Conjuring: Last Rites and a potential TV show, continuing the exploration of the Warrens’ cases and introducing new demons and spirits.


SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

From The Nun‘s Dark Ages flashback to Ed and Lorraine Warren’s last paranormal investigations, the timeline for the Conjuring Universe includes a mixture of authentic historical events, fabricated truths, and wholly original ideas. The Conjuring‘s timeline is littered in sacrilege, seances, and the supernatural, and though most of the entries in the Conjuring franchise can work as standalone stories, they’re all meticulously threaded together courtesy of demonic links that take the form of porcelain dolls, nuns, and even a vintage tin zoetrope.

Beginning with James Wan’s The Conjuring in 2013, the Conjuring Universe kicks off by exploring the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real-life couple from Monroe, Connecticut, who dedicated their adult lives to investigating supernatural events. 2013’s The Conjuring introduced a plethora of demons and evil spirits through their investigations, ultimately opening the door to an expanded cinematic universe, and resulting in one of the most successful horror movie franchises of all time. That said, the ConjurVerse’s release order isn’t parallel to its chronological order, as it’s made up of sequels, prequels, and spinoffs that take place at different points in the franchise.

Related: The Best Conjuring, Annabelle & Nun Movie Viewing Order


The Nun (Dark Ages – WWII – 1952)

Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene in The Nun

2018’s The Nun reveals that the events of the Conjuring Universe timeline stem all the way back to the Dark Ages in Romania at the Cârța Monastery, beginning with Valak, a demonic entity referred to as “The Grand President of Hell”. After a dark priest summons the demon, the Roman Catholic Church steps in to reverse the deed. Utilizing the blood of Jesus Christ by way of the Holy Grail, they successfully damn Valak back to Hell, where it remains for centuries.

During World War II, however, the church is damaged by bombings, which ultimately awakens the demon, allowing it to haunt the grounds yet again. Father Burke and Sister Irene are summoned to investigate strange occurrences within the monastery following a nun’s suicide in 1952. Then, they come into contact with Valak, who itself has taken the form of a nun. Sister Irene uses the Blood of Christ to defeat Valak once again before it kills Irene’s new friend Maurice a.k.a. Frenchie, who’s set to be possessed by The Conjuring‘s prologue. Yet, Valak is also bound to return two decades later, if not before.

Related: The Conjuring Movies & Spinoffs Ranked, Worst To Best

The Nun 2 (1956)

Sister Irene and Valak in The Nun

The Nun 2‘s place in the Conjuring franchise lies right after the events of 2018’s The Nun, precisely four years after Sister Irene’s first encounter with Valak. Despite having defeated the demon once before, Sister Irene is called by the Church to investigate other similar occurrences. Various priests have died in mysterious circumstances, and Father Burke has died from cholera. Meanwhile, Frenchie has unknowingly brought Valak to a boarding school, and Sister Irene experiences visions of Valak and St. Lucy’s eyes.

Frenchie’s young friend Sophie has her own encounters with a demonic spirit that takes the form of a goat, and the boarding school’s headmaster is led to her death by the spirit that haunts the premises. Once Sister Irene arrives at the boarding school, she finds St. Lucy’s eyes where Sophie was being haunted, and she uses the eyes to defeat Valak once again, exorcising Frenchie in the process. However, Frenchie is still bound to remain possessed by the time The Conjuring rolls around. In The Nun 2‘s post-credits scene, Ed and Lorraine Warren are contacted to investigate a new case, though this scene’s point in the Conjuring timeline is left ambiguous.

Annabelle: Creation (1943-1955)

Annabelle-Creation-Ending-Orphans Large

A few years prior to The Nun‘s holy investigation in Romania, Samuel and Esther Mullins lose their daughter Annabelle, affectionately called “Bee”, when she’s struck by a car. The grieving couple is then tricked by a demon into letting it use one of Bee’s dolls, which was created by Samuel himself, as a conduit in which it can live. However, after the possessed doll becomes violent, they lock it away.

Twelve years later, Mr. and Mrs. Mullins open their home up to a group of orphan girls and their caretaker, Sister Charlotte, who had spent some time at the Cârța Monastery. She has a photo of herself with some of the monastery’s nuns – including Valak, though Sister Charlotte is not aware of its identity. During their time with the Mullins, the doll tricks one of the girls, Janice, into releasing it – after which time the doll ultimately possesses her. After a series of murders, Janice escapes, takes on the identity of Annabelle, and is adopted by Pete and Sharon Higgins in Southern California.

Related: The Conjuring Universe: 10 Connections Between Annabelle & The Nun

The Warrens (1952 – present)

Lorraine-Warren-Ed-Warren-Patrick-Wilson-and-Vera-Farmiga-in-The-Conjuring Large

In the same year that Father Burke and Sister Irene are summoned by the Vatican, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively, in the Conjuring films) officially establish the New England Society for Psychic Research. A demonologist and trance medium, the couple met when they were teenagers, and after marrying, spent roughly 50 years investigating paranormal incidences – most famously at the home of George and Kathy Lutz in Amityville, New York, and the home of Peggy Hodgson in Enfield, England. Both are featured in The Conjuring 2.

At their home in Monroe, Connecticut, the Warrens erect a museum for the occult. The Warrens’ vault features creepy paranormal artifacts from their cases, including the possessed Raggedy Ann doll known as Annabelle, psychic photography, and Satanic altars. The real-life Warrens also wrote books about their paranormal investigations and not only inspired the Conjuring franchise but also other horror films like the Amityville series. After Ed passed away in 2006 at the age of 79, Lorraine retired from active investigations, continuing her work in paranormal investigations in more of a consultant role before her death in 2019.

Annabelle (1967)

Annabelle Doll in The Conjuring's 2014 Spinoff Movie

Following a significant time jump after its own prequel, Annabelle centers around a young married couple in Santa Monica, CA, in 1967. After John Form gifts his expectant wife Mia with the porcelain Annabelle doll, the couple is quickly thrust into a series of life-threatening events, beginning with the deaths of their neighbors, Pete and Sharon Higgins. It’s revealed that Janice/Annabelle has joined a murderous cult, killed her adoptive parents, and broke into the Forms’ home before finding the doll, slitting her own throat, and transferring the demon back into the doll.

The Forms are then haunted by the demon possessing Annabelle, which intends on taking over Mia’s physical form and possessing her soul. However, after they successfully thwart the demon’s goal, the doll disappears, only to mysteriously show up at an antique shop. There, Annabelle is purchased by an older woman and gifted to someone yet again – this time to a nursing student named Debbie.

Annabelle Comes Home (1971)

Annabelle Comes Home Final Poster for review

The third installment in the Annabelle trilogy and the sixth release in the Conjuring universe, Annabelle Comes Home is the direct follow-up to Annabelle‘s ending tease. After taking Annabelle away from Debbie, the Warrens lock the doll away in their museum of haunted objects behind sacred glass. That’s not without problems, however. One night, their daughter Judy and her babysitter Mary Ellen are targeted by the demon — and everything else in the museum: the Black Shuck, the Ferryman, and the Bride. With the help of their friend Bob Palmieri, Judy and Mary Ellen stop the spirits by locking Annabelle back in the Vault.

The Conjuring (1971)

The Conjuring Horror Movie Poster

During The Conjuring’s prologue, Ed and Lorraine Warren are introduced to Annabelle by Debbie. They learn that a demon has possessed the doll, and ultimately add it to their museum in Connecticut for safekeeping. Some time later, Lorraine has a premonition of Ed’s death, and has reservations about playing an active role in paranormal investigations. That is, until Roger and Carolyne Perron convince the Warrens to investigate their home’s demonic infestation. After successfully exorcising the demon Bathsheba from their home, the Warrens are tasked with yet another case: a possible haunting in Amityville, New York.

The Curse of La Llorona (1973)

Linda Cardellini in The Curse of La Llorona

In 1673 Mexico, a mother drowns her family, becoming La Llorona, a ghost who attempts to kill the children of those she haunts. Three centuries later, in 1973, social caseworker Anna Tate-Garcia comes into contact with Patricia Alvarez, a woman who appears to be mistreating her two sons. However, Anna soon realizes that La Llorona is the one behind Patricia’s odd behavior, and Anna finds herself forced to face the spirit once her own two children are targeted.

After seeking help from Father Perez, who has experience with spirits after the events of Annabelle, Anna defeats La Llorona with a cross made from wood of the tree near the spirit’s first murder. The Curse of La Llorona is only tangentially connected to the rest of James Wan’s Conjuring Universe, as its plot isn’t acknowledged before or after in the Conjuring timeline. Still, Tony Amendola’s appearance as Father Perez and a flashback that includes Annabelle herself confirm that the 2019 movie takes place within the same universe.

The Conjuring 2 (1976-1977)

Lorraine Warren and The Nun Painting Scene in The Conjuring 2

While investigating the infamous Amityville home of George and Kathy Lutz, Lorraine has yet another vision of Ed’s death – this time accompanied by Valak the nun. Meanwhile, a single mother named Peggy Hodgson and her four children are being haunted by an evil entity in Enfield, England, which eventually earns the attention of the Warrens. In Enfield, Lorraine discovers that the spirit of a man named Bill Wilkins has been controlled by Valak, who is also possessing one of the Hodgson children, Janet.

Lorraine Warren has to juggle the paranormal investigation with her efforts to keep her premonition of Ed’s death from coming true, as well as the pressure inflicted by the media, who insists that the Warrens’ procedures are a hoax. Although Valak blocks Lorraine’s abilities, she has another vision — this time of the nun’s real name: Valak. With the help of a bible, Lorraine utters the demon’s name, thus casting it back to hell. Still, Valak may have latched itself onto an old zoetrope belonging to the youngest of the Hodgson children, having already manifested itself as a character featured on the toy called The Crooked Man earlier in the film.

Related: How Taissa Farmiga & Vera Farmiga’s Conjuring/The Nun Characters Are Connected Revealed

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (1981)

The Conjuring 3 The Devil Made Me Do It Arne and David Glatzel

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It takes place four years after the events of The Conjuring 2. It follows Ed and Lorraine’s investigation of Arne Cheyenne Johnson’s real-life case. While the Warrens are exorcising the Arne’s girlfriend’s little brother David Glatzel, Arne pleads the demon to exit the boy’s body and possess him instead. David’s exorcism seems to be successful, but Ed Warren suffers a heart attack. Soon after, Arne murders his landlord in cold blood, and the Warrens find out that David’s possession happened because of a cursed totem left at the Glatzel’s house by the Disciples of the Ram cult.

The Warrens learn about the Disciples of the Ram from Priest Kastner, whose daughter Isla is revealed to have been the one behind the cursed totems. Isla almost leads Ed to kill Lorraine, but Lorraine breaks Ed out of Isla’s spell. Ed then stops Isla and saves himself, Lorraine, and Arne by destroying Isla’s altar, though Kastner doesn’t make it. As always, the Warrens expand their occult museum with a paranormal artifact — this time a cup from the altar.

Upcoming Conjuring Films

A screenshot of Ed and Lorraine Warren confronting the Perron family in The Conjuring

Not unlike a demonic possession or paranormal haunting, the Conjuring Universe is showing no signs of going away. Many The Conjuring projects have been officially announced throughout the years, but several of them have also been canceled. For instance, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It‘s spinoff focusing on a new demon, as well as The Crooked Man, which was supposed to follow the titular spirit from The Conjuring 2. As of The Nun 2‘s 2023 release, the only officially confirmed upcoming The Conjuring projects include the following:

The Conjuring: Last Rites: The Conjuring franchise couldn’t continue with another mainline sequel starring Ed and Lorraine Warren. After all, the ConjurVerse hasn’t covered all the Warrens’ real-life cases and paranormal anecdotes in their entirety yet. Confirmed in October 2022, The Conjuring: Last Rites is set to feature the Warrens’ biggest challenge, potentially taking place directly after the events of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Two options for The Conjuring: Last Rites‘ story could be the 1986 case of a haunter funeral home and the 1989 case of yet another haunted house.

The Conjuring TV Show: Confirmed in April 2023, The Conjuring streaming series will be an HBO Max show potentially produced by The Conjuring creator James Wan and producer Peter Safran. Depending on whether the series will focus on the Warrens or serve as a spinoff, it could follow one of Ed and Lorraine Warrens’ yet-to-be-adapted investigations or introduce a new demon or spirit adjacent to Annabelle and Valak. Given that the project has been on pause for some time, the plot of this The Conjuring project is likely to still be in early development.