Come Friday and the question that has been on everyone’s mind since 2015 will find an answer: Why did Kattappa kill Baahubali? The first film ended on that cliffhanger and ever since, fans of the franchise have come up with their own theories.
Since Kattappa definitely seems to be on the side of Mahishmati and shared a close bond with Baahubali, it’s unlikely that he would have killed the latter for selfish reasons. What then could have motivated Kattappa to do such a deed?
Baahubali told him to
When the trailer for Baahubali 2 came out, we’d drawn a parallel between Dumbledore’s death in the hands of Snape and Baahubali’s in the hands of Kattappa. In the Harry Potter series, it was on Dumbledore’s urging that Snape killed him. The plan was to ensure that the powers of the Elder wand would be nullified since Dumbledore would die willingly.
Does the sword used by Baahubali hold any such special significance? Remember Kattappa cutting through Aslam Khan’s (Sudeep) sword with the one that he has in his possession? Was it the same sword that was used to kill Baahubali? Interestingly, when Shivudu (Baahubali’s son) beheads the crown prince (Bhallaladeva’s son), he uses Kattappa’s sword. Does the sword have any magic properties?
Sivagami is a dynamic character who makes decisions that are best for Mahishmati and Kattappa is extremely loyal to her. Did Sivagami order Kattappa to kill Baahubali? The film shows shots of Kattappa placing baby Shivudu’s foot on his head after killing Baahubali, as if to suggest that he was now his king. Was it necessary for Baahubali, the father, to die, if his son were to survive?
Is Sivagami, who gave both Bhallaladeva and Baahubali an equal chance at becoming king, aware of a prophecy that’s yet to be revealed? The surprise on the faces of Bhallaladeva and his father suggests that they did not see this killing happening, so was it orchestrated by Sivagami because she knew something they didn’t?
Did Kattappa kill Baahubali because of a misunderstanding? This would be a weak plot point if Kattappa took such a mammoth decision based on hearsay or eavesdropping. Further, Kattappa is committed to protecting everyone from the royal family, even if he doesn’t agree with what they do.
Remember he tried to save Bhallaladeva from the bison-like bull? And he did his best to save the crown prince, too. So, unless he was somehow convinced that Baahubali was betraying Mahishmati, it seems very unlikely that he’d have killed him.
What role does Devasena play in all this? We only see her as the enslaved queen in the first film but clearly, there will be a lot more of Devasena in the sequel. Was she forced to order Kattappa to kill Baahubali? Did she do it to save her son who was under threat? Or did Baahubali entrust his wife with this difficult task for some reason?
Devasena is very sure that her son will come back to rescue her from Mahishmati. Is that only a mother’s belief or does she know more?
The Lion Helmet
When Baahubali and Bhallaladeva fight to defeat the Kalakeya king, Baahubali uses Bhallaladeva’s lion helmet which falls to the ground to drag the Kalakeya king. Baahubali’s symbol is the horse while the lion belongs to Bhallaladeva. We’re shown close shots of the lion helmet to remind us that Baahubali is using Bhallaladeva’s helmet – does this have more significance in the second film?
Does Baahubali once again use the lion helmet at a battle when Kattappa kills him, with the latter mistaking him for Bhallaladeva whom he meant to kill? Remember this is how Prince Hector mistakes Patroclus for Achilles and kills him in the Iliad?
In the first film, Kattappa nearly kills Shivudu before he realises who he is. He manages to fall to his feet before plunging the sword into Shivudu – does this scene mirror what happened between him and Baahubali?
When Kattappa kills Baahubali, we don’t see the helmet on the latter’s head, so this theory will hold water only if Rajamouli tells us that the headgear fell off after the deed was done.