Clara is ready to embrace her childhood fantasies and her beloved companion, but is conflicted due to her desire to not abandon her family whom she loves and is thus unable to give a true answer. As she makes a statement of growing up in a real world, dolls start to turn back into inanimate toys, because her childhood imagination slowly goes away. Drosselmeier's warning of the time proves true, and the severely wounded Mouse King suddenly arrives for one last chance at revenge while mentally unstable due to his agony. The Nutcracker being the last doll still alive, tries to save Clara, but slowly turns back into a toy himself. Clara tries to keep the Mouse King at bay, but he corners her on a balcony, with his mental state continuing to decay.