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Spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched the entirety of The Haunting of Bly Manor, so be warned!
Despite going into The Haunting of Bly Manor knowing full well that creator Mike Flanagan and his creative team would have twists galore in store for viewers, I was still completely flabbergasted whenever the season finale revealed Carla Gugino's narrator character to actually be the older version of Amelia Eve's gardener Jamie. While that twist wouldn't have made any sense in the premiere episode, the finale properly set it up by laying out Jamie and Dani's tragic post-manor romance. But while certain details made enough sense, it wasn't immediately clear why Jamie returned to the Wingrave family to tell her tale.
During a press event for The Haunting of Bly Manor that CinemaBlend took part in along with other outlets, I asked star Amelia Eve to talk about Jamie's motivations for dredging up the past at Flora's wedding rehearsal dinner, and whether or not something slightly malicious was guiding her decision in that respect. Here's how she answered:
You mean when the narrator goes back to tell the story again? Yeah, I think kind of, because there's such a sore point when we're at Owen's restaurant and we realize that the kids have no memory of everything that happened. I think there's a moment of slight bitterness, because me and Dani are so weighted down by everything that happened, and it has consumed our lives. As much as Jamie would rather it hadn't, it does. And I think there's an element of, like, wanting them to know and to understand, but without it tarnishing their day or affecting them too much. But wanting them to have the knowledge and wanting them to have the lessons that were learned as a result of what happened without having to go through it again, and to have been a part of it and feel that pain again.
I'll admit that after hearing Amelia Eve's reply, I felt pretty justified for having partially judged older Jamie's actions during the course of The Haunting of Bly Manor. As viewers learned in the final episode, after Flora and Miles left the titular abode with Henry in the wake of Dani trading fates with the Lady of the Lake, the siblings mysteriously lost all their memories of the ghostly terrors they experienced at Bly. They entered adulthood completely free of the darkest moments from their shared history, while all of the other grown-ups seemingly maintained their harrowing and tortured memories. (Poor Owen x1000!)
However, Jamie was the one who dealt with it all the longest, and even made a depressing trip back to the cursed house after Dani stole away to accept her role as the lake's new inhabitant. to witness Dani's drowned corpse, so her mental wounds were no doubt the freshest. Therefore, it wasn't out of the realm of possibilities that Jamie would feel more than a little vindictive when she first begin to tell her long and winding story to the increasingly interested crowd. Still, it wasn't ALL vengeful, as Amelia Eve also noted that Jamie didn't want to do any major damage to Flora or Miles' psyches by reintroducing them to Bly Manor's ghouls. Rather, she wanted it to be more of a cautionary tale.
The actress continued:
So I think by turning it into this fiction instead, and dropping it in gently, I think they're able to still learn the lessons that were learned through this real struggle that they experienced without bumming these kids out and sending them on a downward spiral and them turning into the Hill House kids. [Laughs.] I think it was good intentions. I see it as good intentions.
That would be quite the baffling crossover if Flora and Miles took Jamie's story overly seriously and turned into the nerve-shattered and selfish wrecks that several of the Crain siblings became in The Haunting of Hill House. But at least that would make for a more concrete connection between broke-neck Hannah and the Bent-Neck Lady beyond just both characters being at the center of each season's fifth (and best) episode.
In the end, for as much angst and bitterness that Jamie may have felt at times about having lost Dani to Bly Manor's clutches, she didn't want to ruin the lives of arguably the two most innocent souls in the bunch. Just maybe to ruin their sleep with all that scary shit. One has to wonder, though. Would Jamie have even made that trip in the first place if she was aware that Dani's spirit was still in her presence? I'd assume not, but that would make for a sweet surprise for the wedding reception.
All nine episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor are currently available to stream in full on Netflix. While waiting to hear news about a third season, as well as news about Mike Flanagan's other upcoming Netflix shows, stay tuned to CinemaBlend and check out our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows will be popping up soon.