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“The Haunting of Bly Manor” ends declared

The following contains spoilers for Netflix The haunted Bly Manor.

Watch Netflix The haunted Bly Manor It probably felt less like screening horror than repeating your mandatory second English literature course – which, you know, may be the same thing.

The series itself is based on various stories from Henry James, in particular The rotation of the screwwhere Bly gets most of his character names, storylines, and dramatic points. However, the end of the series is not the same as the end of the novella. (Literary spoilers ahead.)

In the novella, the narrator̵

7;s story ends with Miles dying in the governess’s arms. James’ ending is darker, but not by much. With Netflix’s iteration we get an expanded epilogue in which Dani moves to Vermont with Jamie and leads a relatively atraumatic life until it gets super traumatic and she decides to return to Bly and drown herself. (The series really borrows from the troubling theme of Gothic literature of women with mental illness – sometimes referred to as “lunatics in the attic.”)

We also learn that Flora and Miles grew up with Henry and conveniently forgot everything that happened at Bly. Probably because they were obsessed half the time. Or just because they forget it makes the show creepier. If a child doesn’t remember, did it happen? Probably. They were like 10.

We then return to the frame of the story – the wedding. Here we see both the world of the story and the world of the wedding blur as the narrator introduces the party guests as characters in her story. Or are they actually people in their lives?

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Bly Manor End Explained


Who is the narrator?

It is unclear When the narrator is actually Jamie or just a woman who is experiencing a loss herself – and staring blankly into reflections, hoping that the appearance of her lover will pull her into a pond so that both can pursue eternity together. (Healthy relationship goals only.)

So it is possible that the story was just an allegory for her own loss and pain. (This reading could also apply to James’ novella.)

Is Dani the lady in the lake now?

It seems as if she were the lady in the lake to end all future ladies in the lake. In other words, Dani keeps the ghosts at bay. Since she’s not a salty idiot, she literally doesn’t have to drag anyone through the mud and into the water. (And aren’t those the ghosts in this story – salty idiots taking revenge for almost no reason? Sorry the plague killed you. Jesus Christ.)

So, yes, Dani is trapped, but heroic.

Bly Manor End Explained


What was actually real?

Even accept it that the story itself did happen (and is not just an allegory of the narrative), it is difficult to know at what time some of the main characters stopped being flesh and blood and being apparitions. Hannah is a remarkably confused example. While we learn that she ultimately met her fate at the bottom of the well, we see her throughout the series well observing similar features of her surroundings. The walls of the chapel turn to stone. She begins to see cracks. Are these premonitions or memories? You could probably advocate both.

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We see her actually holding the wine bottle during the bonfire (something that ghosts apparently can’t – although the lady in the lake can literally pull people … yes, ghost physics doesn’t make any sense). We could then assume that the night of the bonfire was her last – and that she falls into the well soon after, only to experience an existential awakening and further confuse the viewer.

It is likely that many of these uncertainties are deliberate and that we are not supposed to know exactly when (or if) things will actually occur. What is it fun to know anyway?

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