Books

The 'Artemis Fowl' Book Ending Reminds Us Why He's Such A Great Criminal

Disney+

Major spoilers for Artemis Fowl ahead. Nearly 20 years after Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl landed on store shelves, fans are finally getting to see the juvenile crime lord on the screen. With the Artemis Fowl movie — directed by Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express) and starring Ferdia Shaw in his debut role — coming to Disney+ on June 12, now's the perfect time to refresh yourself on the finer points of the Artemis Fowl book ending. The trailer for Disney+'s Artemis Fowl shows that the movie won't follow the book exactly, but that's no reason to forget how the original novel ended.

Colfer's novel centers on Artemis, a 12-year-old criminal mastermind who plans to replenish his family's coffers by ransoming a kidnapped fairy for 2,000 pounds of gold. Unbeknownst to Artemis, he and Butler, his bodyguard, have just kidnapped Captain Holly Short of the fairy world's LEPrecon unit. The fairies aren't going to give up their gold without a fight, and soon the four members of the Fowl household — Artemis, his mother, Butler, and Butler's sister Juliet — find themselves trapped in the house by magical forces sent in to rescue Holly from the humans' clutches.

As Artemis Fowl comes to a close, the fairies deliver the gold, but they don't intend to let Artemis keep it. Holly's allies let her in on their plan, which involves getting her out and then killing everyone inside Artemis' house in order to take back the ransom money, not realizing that the LEPrecon officer has grown to like her captors. She warns Artemis, who maintains his cool demeanor and releases her — but not before giving her half the gold in exchange for curing his mother's insanity, which came on in response to the loss of Artemis' father.

As the fairies prepare to destroy all life inside the house, Artemis busts out the champagne to toast a job well done. Draining his flute, Butler realizes that Artemis has drugged the alcohol, and considers killing him, but does not want to make Juliet panic. The four humans fall to the ground as the fairies' deadly plan takes hold... and awake later, unscathed.

As it turns out, the "bio-bomb" that Holly's compatriots unleash on Artemis and crew only affects creatures trapped by another of their spells: the time-stop. Because the fairies had frozen the Fowl house in time, sedating themselves into slumber was the only way for the humans to escape the time-stop and avoid dying to the bio-bomb, which Artemis figured out just in the nick of time. Carrying out his plan without a hitch, the 12-year-old wunderkind proves he's the greatest criminal ever to live, in the final pages of Artemis Fowl.