Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Ending Explained – How does Shiva help Indy?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Plot Synopsis

Indiana Jones, along with his sidekicks Shorty and singer Willie Scott, land in an Indian village called Mayapore after surviving a vicious murder attempt in Shanghai.

At the request of the villagers, Indy agrees to help them retrieve sacred stones of the supreme god, Shiva. However, in the process, he has to take on a gruesome cult that involves human sacrifice.

How does Indiana Jones end up in India?

After a mafia boss, Lao Che attacks Indy, he is forced to flee on a cargo plane. However, little does he know the plane that he got into belongs to Lao. The pilots dump the fuel and bail out using parachutes – causing the plane to crash over the Himalayas.

The three, however, narrowly escape death using an inflatable raft. As they ride down the mountain, they reach a desolate Indian village Mayapore where people are in need of help.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

What do the villagers ask for?

The distressed community seeks Jones’ help to retrieve the sacred stone called Shivalinga from the evil forces of nearby Pankot Palace. The children of the village have been abducted, crops have died, and people are starving.

Villagers inform Jones that since the stone has been stolen, their livelihood has come to a halt.

Indy believes it could be one of the five Adi Shankara stones given by the god of gods, Shiva –  that’s capable of wiping evil off the face of the earth. As Indy agrees to go for the stone, the village elders believe Shiva himself sent him to restore humanity.

Indy kicks off the mission

Indy, along with Short Round and Willie, head off to attend a banquet held by Maharaja at Pandit Palace. He brings up the dire state of the village and the Thuggee cult. However, Maharaja’s officials shun Indy’s claims and label the villagers’ concerns as mere superstition.

Later that night, Indy is attacked by an assassin who he kills after a bit of a scuffle. He discovers that behind an statue is a tunnelled passage, and he sets out to discover the truth. The three reach a chamber where Thuggees make the human sacrifice for goddess Mahakali.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

What happens in the sacrificial chamber?

The trio witness a group of Thuggees carrying out the ritual of human sacrifice. The high priest and leader of the Thuggee cult, Mola Ram digs a man’s heart out with his bare hands with the man still alive and his heart still beating in Mola Ram’s hand. The man is then lowered into a lava pit, and his heart bursts out in flames seemingly with a mysterious energy at play.

Later, Jones hears a child’s cry from behind the Kali’s idol. As he advances to see, Willie and Shorty are captured. Indy notices the children have been enslaved by Mola Ram and are being forced to find the rest of the five Adi Shankara stones. However, before he can help, he is captured by the Thuggee guards and put into a holding cell with a young boy.

What happens after Indy is captured?

The boy tells Indy that the children are made to drink a potion that binds them to the cult in such a way that they can’t get out. Meanwhile, Willie is prepared to be sacrificed, and Shorty is sent to work in mines with other kids. However, it’s not long before Shorty escapes and frees Indy and Maharaja from the effects of the potion.

Indy goes on to rescue Willie and the children. He then obtains the stones, and they escape from the chamber. However, before they can go long, they are stopped by Mola Ram and his henchmen on a rope bridge over a crocodile-infested river. With no other option in sight, Indy has to rely on the stones’ strength to fight evil.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

How do the Adi Shankara stones help Indy?

Indy cuts the bridge in half using a machete. The two halves of the bridge dangle on both sides causing several of Thuggees to fall into the river to their death. While they hang on the dangling bridge, the scuffle between Mola Ram and Jones continues.

Mola Ram tries to dig Jones’ heart out, however, Jones invokes Shiva saying Ram betrayed the supreme god. The stones burn through the satchel, and the two of the stones fall off into the river.

As Mola Ram tries to catch the third one, he plummets into the river and is devoured by the crocodiles. Indy manages to catch the stone and climb up safely. The rest of the Thuggees are captured by police sent on the order of Maharaja.

Jones, Willie, and Shorty make it back to Mayapore where they return the stone and reunite the children with their families. Indy acknowledges it was all the strength of Shiva.

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