Nancy Thompson is a character in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, the novelizations of the original film series, A Nightmare on Elm Street (book adaptation of the 1984 film by E.L. Flood), the book adaptations of the original film series by Bob Italia, and Jesse's Lost Journal.
The Original film series
This version of Nancy Thompson (c. 1965 - 1987) was the main protagonist of A Nightmare on Elm Street and the main deuteragonist of Dream Warriors. She was the daughter of alcoholic mother Marge Thompson and police sergeant Donald Thompson.
In the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy was the heroine whose life was put into jeopardy by a dream stalker who killed her friends.
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Nancy began working as a dream researcher at Westin Hills, trying to help the last of the Elm Street children from being killed by Freddy Krueger. Freddy finally killed her at the end of the movie.
Nancy was portrayed by actress Heather Langenkamp and was a "girl next door" type with brown hair and blue eyes. Nancy was the sixth and the final falling victim of the third killing spree by Freddy.
A Nightmare on Elm StreetIn A Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy was told by her friend Tina Gray that she had been having terrible nightmares. Since Tina was scared to be alone, Nancy and her boyfriend Glen Lantz agreed to spend the night at Tina's house so she didn't have to be alone. Tina then described the man she had been dreaming about and to Nancy's shock, the description of the man matched a man she had been dreaming about. That night, Tina was murdered in her sleep while Nancy is sleeping in the next room with her boyfriend Rod Lane. Although Rod was blamed, Nancy seemed to have her doubts that Rod killed Tina. On her way to school the morning after, Nancy was pulled into the bushes by Rod, who insisted he did not kill Tina. Nancy's father confronted Rod, who ran off. Rod is soon captured by the police, and Nancy accused her father of using her as a pawn to capture Rod. At school, Nancy fell asleep in history class and wandered into the boiler room of the high school. She was then confronted by Freddy and burned her arm on a pipe to make herself wake up. Screaming, Nancy woke up with a burn on her arm and left school.Nancy asked her boyfriend Glen to stand guard while she entered her dreams to find Freddy. In the dream she watched Freddy enter the jail cell and attempt to kill Rod. Afterwards, Freddy attacked Nancy and she eventually woke up. After telling her mom she was going back to bed, Nancy and Glen went to the police station to check on Rod. Right before they entered the cell, Freddy killed Rod by hanging him.
At Rod's funeral, Nancy revealed that she knew Rod didn't kill Tina. She described the killer to her father and mother and her father appeared shocked at the description. Marge took Nancy to a sleep clinic where she was again attacked by Freddy Krueger. This time, however, Nancy pulled Freddy's hat out of her dream.
Later, Marge revealed to Nancy that Fred Krueger was a child murderer that was released from arrest due to a search warrant being signed in the wrong place. She told Nancy that her, Donald and other parents burned him to death. She then showed Nancy that she had Freddy's glove and that Freddy could not hurt her anymore. Marge also had bars put up on the windows.
While talking to Glen on a bridge, Glen revealed that in a certain culture, the people turn their backs on nightmares to rob them of their power. Nancy revealed to Glen that she was learning how to make booby traps in order to survive.
Nancy decided that she had to pull Freddy out of her dream in order to defeat him. She asked Glen to come over to her house at midnight and attack Freddy once she pulled him out of the dream. She warned Glen "Whatever you do, don't fall asleep." Freddy then called Nancy on her phone, telling her that he's her boyfriend now. Fearing for Glen's life, she tried to go help him but her mom locked them inside the house. Nancy stood by helplessly while Freddy killed Glen.
Nancy asked her father to step into the role originally given to Glen, to catch Freddy when Nancy brought him out of the dream. She then booby trapped her house and went to sleep. Nancy successfully pulled Freddy out of the dream and set him on fire. By the time Donald made it into the house, Nancy and he saw Freddy murder Marge and then sink into the bed. After excusing her dad from the room, Nancy turned her back on the bed. Freddy rose out of the bed, ready to kill Nancy. Nancy, however, figured out that the whole movie was only a dream. She refused to look at Freddy and demanded her friends and mother back. Freddy tried to kill Nancy but disappeared.
Nancy stepped outside and it was day time. She got into Glen's car with Glen, Tina and Rod, all seemingly restored to life. Then, however, the car locked the friends in and drove off on its own while Marge was pulled into the house by Freddy.
Nancy Thompson never appears in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, but she is mentioned when Lisa Webber finds her journal in Jesse Walsh's bedroom. While reading it, they find out about Freddy Krueger and the events that surrounded Nancy.
In Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Nancy is considered by the teenagers as a young girl who saw her boyfriend get butchered before losing her mind.
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Nancy first appeared as a new intern at the Westin Hills Asylum. When Kristen Parker was admitted and was attempted to be sedated, Kristen freaked out and attacked the orderly with a scalpel. Kristen began singing the jump rope song and Nancy appeared and finished the song. Kristen immediately gave up the scalpel and hugged Nancy.
Nancy became quickly close with Neil Gordon, who discovered Nancy was taking a medication called Hypnocil for suppression of dreams. Nancy requested that the children be given Hypnocil but Neil refused.
After one of the patients, Phillip Anderson, was killed by Freddy, a panicked Neil agreed to get the hypnocil.
When Kristen pulled Nancy into her dream, this gave Nancy an idea of how to fight Freddy. She told Neil about Freddy and decided to encourage the patients to develop their dream power. An impromptu hypnosis session was held in which they all developed dream powers. However, in the dream, Freddy caught Joey Crusel and kept him in a coma. Both Nancy and Neil were relieved of duty because of what happened.
When Neil informed Nancy that a nun told him that they had to find Freddy's bones to lay him to rest, Nancy decided to ask her father Donald where the bones are. Donald, however, refused Nancy's claim that Freddy was still alive.
Leaving Neil to obtain information from her father, Nancy returned to Westin Hills in an attempt to save Kristen. She attempted to speak to Kristen, who was in the quiet room, but the orderly Max wouldn't allow her. Exasperated, she requested a meeting with the other kids to say goodbye and Max allowed her 5 minutes. Nancy gathered the kids up in the group therapy room for a hypnosis session aimed at helping Kristen and destroying Freddy.
In the dreamworld, Nancy managed to rescue Kristen and Joey but was killed when Freddy disguised himself as her father and claimed he was sorry for all he put her through. Nancy hugged him and was stabbed by Freddy's glove. Kristen held Nancy and promised she would dream her into a beautiful dream where she couldn't die.
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
- Main article: Heather Langenkamp Porter
At the climax on "Wes Craven's New Nightmare", Heather again becomes Nancy. John Saxon suddenly starts calling her Nancy, to which she asks why. She then notices he is now dressed as he was in the original movie. He leaves, telling her to look after herself and Dylan. Heather finally acknowledges herself as Nancy again and says "I love you too, daddy".
She finds her son and together they battle Freddy. Eventually, they lock him in a furnace, killing him. They escape back to the real world, where they find the script, with a thank you note from Wes Craven.
DeathFreddy tricked Nancy when he appeared to her as her father, Donald, and stabbed her in the ribs and stomach with his clawed glove. He yelled "Die!" and stabbed her in the same area much deeper. After rising a final time to stab Freddy with his own glove before he can kill Kristen, Nancy died. Krueger disappeared as Neil covered Freddy's remains in holy water and a crucifix, and buried them. Kristen then stated that she intends to place Nancy into a "beautiful dream". However, before Krueger disappeared, he manged to absorb her soul. It was released by Alice in the next movie. The character's appearances in other media have explored both options (see below) though their canonicity is open to interpretation.
According to the script by Wes Craven and Bruce Wagner First Draft: June 16, 1986, Nancy was always intended to die in ANOES 3. Some controversy has come up as to whether this was always the case.
Nancy is a playable character in A Nightmare On Elm Street (1989 DOS/C64 Video Game) alongside the other Dream Warriors Kristen, Kincaid, Will and Taryn. Her power is the ability to freeze time.
Nancy's spirit appears in the story "Asleep at the Wheel" from the 1991 short stories collection The Nightmares on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger's Seven Sweetest Dreams, appearing in the dreams of the character Ian to warn him that Freddy is real and not just an urban legend or the result of mass hysteria. While not always considered canonical to the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, Nancy returned in the Nightmares on Elm Street six-issue comic book series published by Innovation Comics in 1991. In the story, Nancy, now a powerful dream entity in her own right thanks to Kristen's efforts at the End of Dream Warriors (see above), teams up with several other characters from the film series, including Neil Gordon, Jacob Johnson and Alice Johnson, to fight Freddy in his nightmare world. The events of this series were meant to fill in the time period between the A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare films. The series was written by Andy Mangels. The first two issues of the story explain to the readers about Nancy's life in between parts one and three. After the events of part one, Nancy had been sent to an institution by her father until she was "rational" again. Around the time she was in college after she was released, her father sold 1428 Elm Street to the Walsh family in Freddy's Revenge. In college, she studied psychology and sleep disorders, and made two friends in her roommates Cybil Houch and Priscilla Martin. After Nancy was fatally wounded by Freddy at the end of part three, Kristen had dreamed her soul into the Beautiful Dream (see above), the good side of the dream world, where Nancy now acts as its agent as Freddy acts as an agent for the nightmare realm. In the story, Freddy begins targeting Cybil and Priscilla in an attempt to get to Nancy. He actually succeeds in killing Priscilla and Cybil's husband, James, before Nancy rescues Cybil. She is then reunited with Neil Gordon and the three of them realize that it might be impossible to fully destroy Freddy since he is pure evil, but it is possible to weaken him. Freddy is stopped and weakened by the dream-selves of unborn children, such as Cybil's unborn daughter, in a realm in the Beautiful Dream. The next four issues, titled Loose Ends, deals with the characters from previous Nightmare movies teaming up to defeat Freddy again. Here, Nancy is reunited with the soul of her father, who Freddy uses to try to kill her but is unsuccessful. Nancy defeats Freddy and manages to stop his plan of using Jacob Johnson to break into the real world with help from Neil Gordon and Devonne, a psychotic former accomplice of Freddy's.
Nancy makes an appearance in the final issue of the crossover comic series Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash: The Nightmare Warriors. In a battle against Freddy Krueger, Dream Master Jacob Johnson summons the spirits of Freddy's past victims, including Amanda Krueger and the Dream Warriors. Nancy also appears, reuniting with Neil Gordon to help him read the Necronomicons' passages needed to banish Freddy. With Freddy defeated, Nancy leaves Neil and returns to the afterlife with the other spirits. The latter two examples are mutually contradictory in terms of storyline, though as with any spinoff media their canonicity is open to individual interpretation/preference.
- Heather Langenkamp beat over 200 actresses for the role of Nancy Thompson. Notable other actresses who auditioned were Demi Moore, Jennifer Grey, Marisa Tomei, Courteney Cox, Winona Ryder, Carrie Anne-Moss, Claudia Wells and Tracey Gold.
- She is the first Nightmare heroine that survived in her first film, but dies in the third film.
- She is the second Nightmare heroine that lived in 1428 Elm Street, the first was Maggie Burroughs.
- During the scene where Nancy was running towards her home, away from Freddy, she cut her foot and needed stitches.
- In the 2011 Mortal Kombat video game, a woman that Freddy kills resembles Nancy appears in Freddy's ending and looks the way she did in the original film's poster.
- She is the only dream warrior to not have a dream power. Ironically, she's the founder and leader of the dream warriors.
- In the original screenplay, before Nancy goes to sleep in the dream research clinic, the doctor makes a comment about Nancy not being like the Bride of Frankenstein. This foreshadows the gray streak that appears in her hair when she wakes up.
- A deleted scene in the first movie revealed that Nancy had an older sibling that was killed by Freddy. However, this was cut from the film and is thus never mentioned nor considered to be part of the continuity nor the canon of the series.
- In 2016, a fan film titled "Don't Fall Asleep" was released on YouTube. The film is a direct sequel to "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and a prequel to "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM98xWLARPc&t=2296s
- "Whatever you do...don't fall asleep." (To Glen through the phone)
- "Oh, God; I look 20 years old." (To herself)
- "Screw your pass!" (To hall monitor at school during her dream)
- "I take back every last bit of energy I gave you, you're nothing, you're shit." (To Freddy during the climax)
- "His name is Freddy Krueger." (To every kids that sit beside her)
- "I'll always love you." (Right before Donald/Freddy stabs her to death)
Jesse's Lost Journal
- She's mentioned, but doesn't directly participate.
Nancy Thompson has a Photo Gallery.
- Nancy Thompson at the Friday the 13th wiki.
- Nancy Thompson at the Horror wiki.
- Nancy Thompson at the Hero wiki.
- Nancy Thompson at the Internet Movie Database