Spoilers below for the entirety of Season 1 of The Haunting of Bly Manor, so be warned!
For anyone expecting The Haunting of Bly Manor to be a bone-chilling horror drenched with grief in the exact same way that The Haunting of Hill House was, creator Mike Flanagan and his creative team had quite a few surprises in store. While the two season-long arcs shared much in common, Bly Manor was much more of a tragic gothic romance spiced up with spooky ghosts, as opposed to vice versa. Yet it still managed to sweep the rug out from viewers with some of the more surprising story twists and turns, and culminated in quite the satisfying ending in most ways.
Speaking of said ending, let's take some time to talk out exactly what happened to everyone we saw in and around the titular Bly Manor, from Victoria Pedretti's Dani to T'Nia Miller's Hannah and all the others. But first, let's go over the show's actual final (and opening) scenes, which didn't take place at the Manor at all.
What Did The Haunting Of Bly Manor's Wedding Ending Mean?
When The Haunting of Bly Manor kicked off its premiere episode, fans were treated to the surprise return of Hill House's Carla Gugino as the initially mysterious Storyteller at a nondescript wedding. Gugino served as the narrator for the entire series, laying out Bly Manor's dark history for a group of rapt guests as this season's wraparound arc. In the finale, "The Beast in the Jungle," it's revealed that Gugino's silver-haired character was actually the gardener Jamie, as played in her youth by Amelia Eve. As well, viewers are clued in on all the other character. reveals, from Owen to Henry to the "kids," so to speak.
Clearly having spent many years without contacting the Wingrave family and others close to it, Jamie returned at what apparently felt like an opportune moment to test everyone's mental druthers by going over the horrific events that several of the people present had fully lived through, even if two of them were semi-possessed by ghosts at the time. Despite any possible attempts to engage the younger generation's memories, it appeared that Jamie's story only came across as a very powerful anecdote, though one with lessons to live by.
Not to mention one with a lasting effect on Jamie herself, even if she might not realize it. Though she'd never been able to catch a glimpse of Dani's face in any reflections, the season's final moment seemed to prove that Jamie is indeed still with her love in certain times. That said, Dani made the choice not to haunt Jamie's life with her presence, possibly due to learning a thing or two from dealing with Edmund.
How Bly Manor Ended For Dani
In the season premiere of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Dani suggests to Henry that a limited number of children would help her make a bigger difference in those children's lives. By the end of the show, she certainly did just that and then some, making the ultimate sacrifice time and again so that almost everyone else could live a haunting-free life. One big silver lining is that she seemed to have eliminated seeing Edmund and his reflective glasses during her time there, for what that was worth later in life.
Dani's fate was thrown into question at the end of Episode 7, when she was frightfully caught by the Lady of the Lake during the ghoul's nightly constitutional. And then her fate remained a mystery throughout the historical backstory of "The Romance of Certain Older Clothes," which featured the episode-long cameo from Hill House's Kate Siegel that explained the Lady's hyper-cyclical origin story. Viola's specter thankfully released Dani in place of Flora's self-sacrifice, but Dani soon made a nick-of-time rescue with the "It's you, it's me, it's us" line, thus inviting Viola's spirt inside herself and cementing that doomed connection. For another stretch of silver lining here, at least Dani's act broke the ghostly curse on Bly Manor.
On the plus side, Dani and Jamie got to spend some really good years in the aftermath discovering things about one another in ways that only post-trauma couples can. On the downside, there came a time when the Faceless Lady began to haunt Dani's existence the same way Edmund did, calling her back to Bly Manor to take Viola's place at the bottom of the lake. But because Dani wasn't a greedy monster like her predecessor, her cursed reign beneath the water took no lives beyond her own.
How Bly Manor Ended For The Wingrave Family
Both Flora and Miles had been taken advantage of in totally dreadful ways throughout The Haunting of Bly Manor, and by the people/ghosts they put a bulk of their trust into. Though Miles may have initially come across as evil when pulling stunts to get himself kicked out of school, it was very clearly Peter's transcendental selfishness that forced Miles' hands throughout the season. Miles didn't look very forgiving when Peter gave his pitiful apology before disappearing. For better or worse, given he wasn't of sound mind, Miles did manage to get away with Hannah's murder in the end.
Flora showed her innate selflessness with her attempt to save Dani, which somewhat mirrored the long-awaited return of Henry Thomas' Henry, her biological father. Of course, Henry quickly found himself with a foot, a leg and half of his stomach sticking through the pearly gates after he tried stopping the Lady of the Lake. (It was weird seeing him suddenly talking to Hannah for that quick bit before being jerked back into the land of the living.) In the end, Henry, Flora and Miles were all alive and well thanks to Dani's accidental volunteering.
So well, in fact, that over time, both Flora and Miles mysteriously forgot all of the creepy and horrifying shit they went through in the aftermath of their parents' deaths, maintaining only the vague notion of Bly Manor as a summer home. As Rahul Kohli's Owen put it, though, Henry still remembered everything, just as the other adults did. As the wedding celebration scenes showed viewers, both Flora and Miles are extremely happy and well-adjusted in adulthood, though Flora can now be married (and perhaps marred) with Jamie's spooky story as a cautionary tale to guide her through life.
How Bly Manor Ended For Hannah And Owen
Following the tour de force Episode 5 that featured Hannah taking a time-jaunting self-exploration, T'Nia Miller's character continued to recapture some of her darker memories ahead of the finale. She talked herself into stepping up to save the day, but then had a few issues, in that Hannah legitimately ran out of ghost-breath when the Faceless Lady passed through her, which inspired so many questions for both characters.
In any case, Hannah and Owen's tragically adorable time together was cut short by Dani swapping fates with Swamp Lady, since the curse's lifting also vanquished the spirits bound to Bly Manor by their deaths. Hannah's truncated final words were to the disembodied Henry, telling him to pass on to Owen both her declaration of love, and a warning for when he found her crumpled in the well. It was downright heartbreaking to watch Owen as Carla Gugino's Storyteller told of him staying with Hannah's body and cleaning it ahead of her funeral.
To combat all the sad emotions, Owen eventually opened up his own restaurant, which he named A Batter Place in part because the pun was a surefire way to make Hannah groan. Which is so heart-smooshingly cute in every which way, and many viewers were no doubt endlessly relieved to see that Owen's life never became an obvious wretched mess.
How Bly Manor Ended For Rebecca Jessel And Other Ghosts
For as wonderful as Tahirah Sharif was in portraying the downright angelic Rebecca Jessel, that character was infuriating to watch at times due to her infatuation with Oliver Jackson-Cohen's domineering shyster Peter Quint, whose ego and self-obsessed nature rivaled those of Viola herself. (Seriously, he committed the rare one-body murder-suicide by possessing Rebecca for her final walk into the lake.) The pair's final scheme was to permanently become Miles and Flora while leaving Dani for dead, which was a plan that Peter took way more seriously than Rebecca did.
In some of her final moments, Rebecca followed after the Lady of the Lake and, before Dani showed up, she attempted to send Flora off into a sea of favorite memories so that the child wouldn't suffer through drowning alongside the murderous ghoul. A kind-hearted gesture, but she's not getting a gold star for that last ditch effort.
As it was mentioned above, Peter's final moments were spent offering a final apology to Miles: "I'm so sorry, Miles. I'm sorry." And before anyone could worry about drowning in the giant ghost-crocodile tear falling down Peter's face, he disappeared in an instant, along with all of Viola's other victims, both deserved and undeserved, as well as those who died by other means.
How Bly Manor Ended For Jamie
Considering Jamie is revealed to be the captain of this narrative ship, her end is the beginning is the end, and so on. Having formed the foundation for something deeper than a friendship with Dani during the first eight episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor, Jamie basically got the flip side of the couples coin from Owen, getting to both leave the estate with Dani and have a clear and relatively long-lasting relationship with her. Though it wasn't one without its unique consequences, of course.
Jamie didn't run from unexplainable atrocities within Bly Manor, and she didn't run from any of the things that continued to torment Dani after they started their life together. The bond she shared with Dani was, for a while, even strong enough to outlast Viola's dreadful (and slightly more faceless) beckoning. Though it didn't last forever, and Jamie had to suffer through waking up to realize "today is THAT day" when Dani returned to Bly Manor. Jamie followed that reckoning by also returning to Bly, and then diving into the lake to get a mentally draining image of Dani's staring corpse lying on the bottom.
Going through such a torturous ordeal had to have taken its toll on Jamie mentally, and those events have obviously stayed with her long enough to the point where she went back to darken everyone's lives with a retelling of their history together, if perhaps only to personally witness Miles and Flora complete lack of memory of those days. Telling that tale definitely made her mourn Dani in refreshed ways, which is why it was all the more heartwarming/heartbreaking to realize that Jamie probably won't ever know that Dani is still around and still wearing her ring.
The Haunting of Bly Manor is available to stream in full on Netflix. To see what other new and returning shows are heading to the streaming service in the near future, head to our Netflix 2020 premiere schedule, and be sure to bookmark our Fall 2020 TV guide to keep up with all the debuts as they're announced.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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