|Nancy Thompson (A Nightmare on Elm Street)|
|Known Relatives:|| Original series:|
Donald "Don" Thompson
|Portrayed By:|| Original series: (1984–1994)|
Reimagined series: (2010)
|First Appearance:||A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)|
Nancy Thompson (named Nancy Holbrook in the 2010 reboot) is a fictional character in the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series, portrayed by actress Heather Langenkamp. Nancy is the primary protagonist and final girl in the 1984 original film, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. The character also appears in the comic book series based on the films.
The Nightmare franchise focuses on Freddy Krueger, a supernatural serial killer who uses dreams to murder the children of the people who burned him to death as an act of vengeance. Nancy is one of these children, and the films depict her struggle to survive her dreams and defeat Krueger.
In the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy is a sixteen-year-old girl who has begun experiencing nightmares about a mysterious, disfigured man in a red and green sweater. The man has "knives for fingers", which he scrapes along objects in the dream. She learns that her friend Tina is having similar nightmares; Tina is murdered in her sleep later that night. Tina's boyfriend Rod tells Nancy that he saw four "invisible" razors cutting her at the same time, a revelation which convinces her that the man from her dreams is connected to the murder. Nancy begins relying on caffeine to stay awake, and eventually discovers that she can pull things out of her dream after she takes the killer's hat, labelled "Fred Krueger". Her mother explains that Krueger was a child killer who was burned to death by vengeful parents after being freed from prison on a technicality. Nancy becomes convinced that he is exacting his revenge on the children of his killers from beyond the grave. With all of her friends dead, Nancy forms a plan to face Krueger alone and pull him into the real world, where he falls victim to a series of booby traps she has set up. Nancy finally defeats Krueger by taking back the energy she has given him and stripping away his power.
Although Nancy does not appear in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, she maintains a presence when a new family moves into the house where she battled Freddy Krueger. Teenager Jesse Walsh, who inhabits Nancy's old room, and his girlfriend Lisa discover Nancy's old diary—which chronicles the events of the first film. It tells them of the murders of Nancy's friends, and also reveals Krueger's strengths and weaknesses. This helps Jesse and Lisa conquer Freddy in their own struggle with him.
In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Nancy is re-introduced as the new intern at Westin Hills Mental Institution, where she meets the last surviving children of the parents who killed Freddy Krueger. When she realizes the children are falling victim to Freddy, Nancy begs that they be prescribed Hypnocil, an experimental drug, which she has been using to suppress her dreams, in an effort to protect the teenagers from Freddy. In a therapy session, Nancy uses hypnosis to put everybody to sleep and teach them how to use their "dream powers" to their advantage. However, she and Dr Neil Gordon are fired when Hypnocil is blamed for a patient falling into a coma. Neil and Nancy learn that in order to defeat Freddy they must lay his bones to rest; Nancy contacts her father, Donald Thompson, to find out what the town's parents did with Freddy's remains. As Neil and Donald go to bury Freddy's bones, Nancy returns to Westin Hills and rejoins the patients in the dream world, where they use their dream powers against Freddy. Freddy tricks Nancy when he appears to her as Donald, and stabs her in the abdomen with his clawed glove. After rising a final time to stab Freddy with his own glove before he can kill Kristen, Nancy dies, and Krueger disappears as Neil covers Freddy's remains in holy water and a crucifix, and buries them. Kristen then states that she intends to place Nancy into a "beautiful dream." Nancy's tombstone is seen briefly in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
To some extent Nancy reappears in Wes Craven's New Nightmare. The story, which is set in the "real world", focuses on actress Heather Langenkamp being stalked by a malevolent entity. Over the course of the film, Heather learns from Wes Craven that the entity was locked in Freddy Krueger's character throughout the Nightmare on Elm Street film series. With the film series being ended after Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare the entity has been set free, and wants to cross over into the real world in the form of Freddy Krueger. It views Heather as an enemy, seeing her as Nancy, who originally defeated him. In order to battle the entity, who has kidnapped her son Dylan, Heather enters the dream world, where she traps him in a furnace and destroys him. Though she only appears in flashbacks during Freddy's introduction in Freddy vs. Jason, she maintains somewhat of a presence: her former home is now occupied by Lori Campbell.