- The biggest mystery of The Nun is the potential connection between Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren, as both characters fight the demon Valak and encounter Frenchie.
- The movie hints at the possibility that Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren are the same person, but there are inconsistencies regarding their timelines and roles as nuns.
- Alternatively, the theory suggests that Irene and Lorraine may be sisters, sharing a bloodline connected to Saint Lucy, as revealed in The Nun 2.
Perhaps the biggest mystery of The Nun is the possible connection between Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren, who is played by Vera Farmiga. Directed by Corin Hardy, The Nun is a spinoff from the Conjuring Universe, and stars Vera’s younger sister Taissa Farmiga as Sister Irene, a nun who is recruited to investigate a mysterious death at a remote convent in Romania. The Nun and The Conjuring are set about 20 years apart, and there’s a 21-year age gap between the sisters, who bear a strong family resemblance.
The Nun is also bookended with scenes of Lorraine Warren, with the end of the movie cutting straight from Irene in 1952 to Lorraine in 1971 – only serving to highlight how similar the two lead actresses look. However, the only explicit connection between the two characters in the movie is the fact that they both fight the demon Valak, and they both encounter Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), a French-Canadian farmer who is possessed by Valak at the end of The Nun. It seemed like a bizarre decision to cast Taissa Farmiga in The Nun and specifically draw attention to her resemblance to Vera Farmiga unless Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren were actually the same person.
Is Sister Irene A Young Lorraine Warren?
Those who saw The Nun without having seen any of the other Conjuring movies could be forgiven for assuming that Lorraine Warren is Sister Irene a couple of decades later, given the strong likeness between the two actresses. Even beyond that, there are plenty of parallels. Both Irene and Lorraine talk about experiencing religious visions from an early age (Irene being told “Mary points the way,” and Lorraine recalling that as a child she saw an angel by a little boy’s bedside in the hospital). Both Irene and Lorraine are American and must have been born at around the same time. Both characters are devoutly Christian and tangled with Valak.
That last detail is a bit of a sticking point because, in The Conjuring 2, Lorraine makes no reference to Irene’s experiences at the Abbey of St. Carta in Romania. She has a vision of the demonic nun at the start of the film and is later disturbed to find her husband, Ed, painted a picture of it. However, in neither instance does she mention having fought the demon before, and she doesn’t recognize the demon’s name despite Father Burke (Demián Bichir) discovering it in The Nun. However, when Lorraine realizes she wrote the demon’s name in her Bible and flips through the pages to find it, she immediately recognizes the name “Valak.”
Moreover, when she uses it to expel the demon, she seems to know an awful lot about it: “Your name gives me dominion over you, demon. And I do know your name. You are Valak, the defiler, the profane, the Marquis of Snakes.” This lends weight to the theory that Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren are the same person, but there’s another explanation. At the end of The Nun, Ed and Lorraine were at Frenchie’s exorcism and knew he had become possessed 20 years earlier. Since Father Burke survived, he would have delivered a full report to the Vatican, including the demon’s name – so the Warrens could have learned Valek’s name that way.
There is another flaw in the theory that Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren are the same person. For much of the movie, Sister Irene is still a novitiate and hasn’t taken the vows to become a nun. However, she decides to take her vows before the final battle with Valak, her faith hardened by encountering clear evidence of the existence of Hell. In The Conjuring, Lorraine is married to Ed Warren and has a daughter, which contradicts Irene becoming a Bride of Christ – especially since Ed and Lorraine founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952, the same year The Nun takes place. Did Irene renounce her vows or could there be a different connection?
Alternate Theory: Are Irene and Lorraine Sisters?
The other popular theory from The Nun is that Irene and Lorraine are sisters. That would explain the physical resemblance between them and the fact they both experience visions, the similarly religious upbringing, and even the fact that they were both tormented by Valak since demons aren’t above targeting people’s families to exact revenge. The main problem with this theory is the fact that The Nun never explicitly draws a connection between the two characters. As far as canon is concerned so far, the similarities between Irene and Lorraine are mere coincidence.
However, this wouldn’t be the first time that a movie in the Conjuring universe has held back information in order to reveal it in a future sequel or spinoff. Neither The Conjuring nor Annabelle explained where the Annabelle doll originally came from, instead leaving that story for Annabelle: Creation. Taissa Farmiga’s performance in The Nun received favorable reviews, so it wasn’t surprising when Sister Irene returned for The Nun 2. Clearly, Irene didn’t quit her role as a nun and went on to become an exorcist, as she went on to serve in a convent in Italy after the events of the first movie.
One final possibility is that Irene and Lorraine really are unrelated – neither the same person nor part of the same family – and that the similarities between them are just a coincidence. Taissa Farmiga is no stranger to the horror genre after all, having starred in American Horror Story and The Final Girls, and could have been cast despite her family connection to Vera Farmiga, rather than because of it. But if that’s the case, it was a bizarre decision to remind the audience of the resemblance between the two leads by dropping scenes from the Conjuring movies at the beginning and end of The Nun.
What The Nun 2 Director Says About This Theory
It turns out that the theories of Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren being related were not only correct but were always part of the plan for The Conjuring Universe. Their actual connection was finally shown in the second Nun movie, and it was something that they set up with various hints and clues left in the first movie. The Nun 2 director Michael Chaves said it was always in the plans to have them related in some way, and that was part of casting real sisters in the two roles (via Slash Film).
“I mean, I think from the beginning it was too much of a coincidence to have nearly identical sisters in the same movie. I think it was always part of the ultimate goal is to tie them in and I think that there’s always been a connection. There’s clues even in the very first ‘Nun’ movie if you look at it (…) people have picked out a connection before and so the idea of bloodline has already been in there.”
After The Nun 2 brought back Taissa Farmiga, the relationship between Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren was finally revealed. The two are not the same person, and they might not even be sisters. However, the movie reveals that Sister Irene and Lorraine Warren are from the same bloodline. This was revealed when the movie explored Sister Irene’s heritage, and it showed she is a descendant of Saint Lucy. She then has visions of people in Saint Lucy’s bloodline, and one of those people was Lorraine Warren. They might not be sisters, but they are both scions of Saint Lucy.