‘The Ending of The Haunting of Bly Manor Explained’

‘The Ending of The Haunting of Bly Manor Explained’

Dani’s beautifully haunting love story has a few complicated knots. Here are some answers to everything that happened in the Netflix horror.

If you’re still entwined in the tragic The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix, crank up the Newton Brothers’ score, because there’s even more to steep yourself in. A lot happens at the countryside mansion, with mysteries unraveling around housekeeper Mrs. Grose and the faceless Lady in the Lake. In case you missed a few key details, here are some answers to Bly Manor’s biggest mysteries and questions.

Who is Carla Gugino’s character? In The Haunting of Hill House, the first in Mike Flanagan’s horror anthology, Gugino played Olivia, the mother of the Crain family. Here she plays the older version of Jamie, who tells the story of Bly Manor (taking place in London, 1987) at Flora Wingrave’s wedding reception (in Northern California, 2007). In the end, she realizes her horror story is really a love story with au pair Dani Clayton, played by Victoria Pedretti, aka Nell in Hill House.

Who is the Yellow Spectacled Spectre? The Yellow Spectacled Spectre is the ghost of Dani’s fiancé Edmund, who died tragically after Dani broke off their engagement. Dani had been best friends with Edmund since childhood but felt pressured by his family to stay in a relationship with him, ignoring her sexuality. One night, after Edmund discovers Dani doesn’t want to marry him, they fight, leading to Edmund storming out of their car, right into an oncoming truck. His ghost’s glasses are seared with the yellow glare of the lights.

How does Flora’s dollhouse work? Because the young Flora can see the ghost of Rebecca Jessel and the Lady in the Lake, she places talismans of them in her dollhouse, tracking wherever they are. The faceless ghost of a Victorian Child Flora befriends also helps to shift their positions in the dollhouse. Flora and her brother Miles don’t want Dani to see the ghosts because Rebecca and the ghost of Peter Quint have told them not to reveal their presence. They also fear Dani will be attacked by the Lady, who killed Quint.

Is Miles evil? Despite waxing philosophical about the evil in men, Miles was doing his best to be expelled from boarding school and rejoin his sister back home at Bly. While all his antics at school were his own doing, his creepy behavior toward Dani is down to Quint possessing his body.

What happened to Rebecca Jessel? Dani learns the previous governess, Rebecca, killed herself in the nearby lake. Later we discover this wasn’t a suicide after Rebecca was spurned by her lover, Quint, who worked for the Wingraves as a driver. The night Quint convinces Rebecca to move to America with him, he encounters the Lady in the Lake, who kills him. After he returns to Rebecca as a ghost, he possesses her body and drowns her in the lake, so they can then take over Flora and Miles’ bodies and start a new life.

Was Hannah Grose dead the whole time? When Dani first arrives at Bly Manor, she’s greeted by housekeeper Mrs. Grose, who at this point is already a ghost. Just before Dani’s arrival, Hannah notices something strange about Miles, who’s been acting out since returning from boarding school. Wanting to help him, she does as he says and follows him into the woods, where he pushes her down the well. Miles is of course being possessed by Quint. Hannah immediately reincarnates as a ghost but continues to act like she’s still alive, greeting Dani moments later. The crack she keeps seeing is a crack at the bottom of the well — the last thing she sees before dying. She remains corporeal because she hasn’t had that “moment” where she realizes she’s dead, especially since she’s around people who keep reaffirming who she thinks she is.

Who’s making the phone calls? Dani and the gang initially believe Quint’s alive and calling the house to speak to Rebecca, not realizing she’s dead. But really it’s Henry, the Wingraves’ uncle. Before the Wingrave parents’ deaths, Henry was having an affair with his brother’s wife, Charlotte Wingrave, and Flora is in fact his daughter. He rings the manor hoping Flora will pick up.

What’s ‘dream hopping’? Dream hopping is what Flora experiences when Rebecca possesses her body. She tucks Flora into happy memories of her mother, who gives her advice on how to make friends with a boy she keeps encountering, aka the Victorian Child. Flora realizes she’s in a dream because she relives the memories at her current age, instead of much younger.

What happened with Hannah in episode 5? In episode 5, Hannah hops through her memories, including her first interview with Owen. However, this changes as she reimagines it. She even lands in the moment the Lady in the Lake kills Quint, which could possibly be the house’s memory itself. Hannah appears to be special, able to hop into other people’s memories.

What was Peter Quint’s plan? When Quint becomes a ghost, he starts to learn what he can and can’t do, including that he can possess someone permanently if they invite him in. He has to do this soon because the ghosts at Bly all eventually lose their faces and memories. He convinces Rebecca to let him take over her body, but when he discovers he still can’t leave Bly, he drowns her, turning her into a ghost. Despite her betrayed trust, she agrees to his new plan of possessing the Wingrave children so they can be together, tucking the children away into happy memories of their parents forever.

Who’s the Lady in the Lake? The Lady in the Lake is the ghost of Viola Willoughby, played by Kate Siegel, aka Theo from Hill House. She’s the daughter of the owner of Bly Manor, murdered centuries ago by her own sister, Perdita. Viola falls ill with a lung disease but refuses to let a priest move her spirit on. Eventually, no longer able to endure her worsening state and abuse, Perdita smothers Viola with a pillow. She marries Viola’s husband Arthur and looks after her daughter Isabel. On the brink of bankruptcy, Perdita opens up a chest of dresses and jewelry Viola left to Isabel, intending to sell them. Viola’s spirit emerges and kills Perdita. Thinking the chest is cursed, Arthur sinks it in the lake. Now, Viola’s faceless ghost emerges from the water at night, searching the manor for her daughter and killing anyone in her path, despite no longer having her memories. While her ghost remains there, anyone else who dies on the grounds is caught in her “gravity well,” unable to move on.

What does Dani do in the lake at the end? After hearing Quint detail how Flora and Miles can invite him and Rebecca into their bodies, Dani does the same to Viola in the lake, in order to save Flora from drowning. This releases all the trapped ghosts from Bly. But in accepting Viola into her body, Dani dooms herself to Viola one day taking her over. After she and Jamie move to start a new life in America, Dani increasingly sees visions of Viola in her reflection. After almost strangling Jamie one night, Dani returns to Bly Manor and drowns herself in the lake, resuming Viola’s wandering of the grounds at night.

Why does older Flora have an American accent? After everything that happened to Flora and Miles at Bly Manor, Henry decides to move them to the US, escaping his own demons in the process. The Wingrave children are likely around the same age as the actors — 9 (Amelie Bea Smith) and 12 (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), so when they move to America, they’re still impressionable and can easily pick up the accent. They also only have partial memory of their time at Bly (only the good memories), making it easier to leave their lives in England behind.

Why is older Flora’s name different? When older Jamie tells the story of Bly Manor, she changes the Wingrave children’s names — intentionally using Flora’s middle name — so they don’t know they were involved. We don’t actually find out what name Flora goes by as an adult, but “Flora” has always been her middle name.

How does Dani’s ghost return to Jamie in the hotel room? Just like Dani and Henry see their own personal specters and supernatural doppelgängers, it’s possible the ghost of Dani who looks over the older version of Jamie in the hotel room isn’t the same ghost wandering the grounds of Bly. After all, the wedding reception is taking place all the way in America, after Flora and Miles moved there with Henry to start a new life. “I think Dani is always with Jamie,” Pedretti told BuzzFeed, when asked if she thinks Dani’s ghost had visited Jamie before. “I believe that Dani’s been with Jamie the whole time,” Amelia Eve, who plays Jamie, said. “Ever since Jamie sees her under the water, she hasn’t left her.” In The Haunting of Hill House, Steven Crain gives this description of ghosts: “Ghosts are guilt. Ghosts are secrets. Ghosts are regrets and failings. But most times… most times a ghost is a wish.” The same idea could be at play here, Jamie leaving the door ajar and filling the sink with water in the hope Dani would return to her.

How many hidden ghosts are there? According to The Haunting of Bly Manor’s official Instagram, there are 134 hidden ghosts in total.

Are there deleted scenes? Actor Amelia Eve (Jamie) revealed in an interview with Elle that she and Victoria Pedretti (Dani) shot a scene that was not included in the series. “It comes in between the moment when Dani is about to strangle Jamie [under Viola’s influence], and the moment when she leaves the next morning,” Eve said. “We shot a scene where Jamie woke up, and she sees Dani leaving, and she gets her to stay. We filmed that scene and we poured our hearts into it, we were both in tears, and Victoria and I held one another in the scene, but even once they had shouted ‘cut,’ we were still holding onto each other. I think there was just this beautiful feeling of catharsis for the both of us. That really stayed with me.” Whether that deleted scene is released or not remains to be seen. The Haunting of Hill House was released as a director’s cut, including extra footage, so there’s a chance the same will happen with Bly Manor.

What’s next? The gap between Hill House and Bly Manor was two years. With Flanagan’s busy schedule, including another Netflix series, it might be a little while before we see what ghost story he adapts next.

Source: CNET

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