The new season of Mike Flanagan‘s Netflix series, The Haunting Of Bly Manor, premiered in 2020. Boy was it lovely to see the cast from his 2018 series The Haunting of Hill House again. Both of these shows focus on a haunted mansion that holds the souls of those who have passed away on its grounds and explores the concept of family and loss. However, Flanagan’s new series takes a different approach by exploring the concept of family through the narratives of the devoted employees who take care of the children of Bly.
At the end of the series, the lives of those who have lived and those who have died on the estate are intertwined. This results in a touching yet heartbreaking and somewhat confusing ending. If you missed a few essential details, here is a summary of some of the most significant mysteries and questions surrounding Bly Manor.
The Setting And Plot Of The Haunting Of Bly Manor
Set in the late ‘80s, the story remains true to James’ gothic style. The tragedy that befalls the inhabitants of Bly Manor is caused by the evil spirit of the deceased, Viola. Years back, Viola refused to accept a peaceful afterlife. Instead, she created a purgatory of her own, trapping anyone who died on her property. A sacrifice is made to rid the town of Viola’s wicked haunting. However, the ending is more of an open-ended one which allows viewers to interpret as they wish
The Wingraves – Who Are They?
The Wingraves are the parents of Miles and Flora played by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and Amelie Bea Smith. However, they are only ever seen in flashbacks, as they tragically passed away in an accident at the Bly Estate. Henry – who is Dominic’s brother and Charlotte’s possible lover – is now in charge of the children. However, due to his inability to cope with the estate and the children, he hires Dani Clayton to look after them.
Why Can’t Flora And Miles Remember Bly Manor?
At the end of the episode, Jamie and Dani go to see Owen in Paris and he tells them Flora and Miles don’t remember anything that happened at Bly house. They do remember the happy times they had with Charlotte and Dominic before they died. Even more, they remember Hannah — whose death was the biggest twist of the season so far — working for their parents, but they don’t remember anything else.
The grown-ups remember everything. Even though Flora and Miles were kids back then, the incredible stuff they went through would be hard for even a kid to forget. Maybe all the dream hopping and lost time is the answer, but why would they choose to forget the people they loved? Perhaps it’s magic, or it’s psychological, it could even be a sign of youthful resilience — the ability to keep going when those older and more burdened with their own regrets can’t. It all points to Bly Manor being a more hopeful and less scary second season.
Who’s The Lady Of The Lake?
The Lady in the Lake is Viola Willoughby (played by Kate Siegel) and is the most feared character on the show. She appears out of nowhere and has a habit of dragging people towards the lake. It’s revealed that the Lady in the Lake fell ill centuries ago when the Wingraves lived at Bly and was killed by her sister. Viola’s ghost was trapped in a chest full of gifts for her daughter. Her ghost took revenge on her sister by killing her husband, who was afraid of the chest’s curse. The chest was then thrown into the lake and Viola’s ghost trapped in it. So, she wanders around the Bly property looking for her daughter and hurting anyone who crosses her path.
The Ending Of The Haunting Of Bly Manor Explained
At the end of the series, we go back to the beginning, where Dani’s origin story of sorts is told. Older Jamie, who’s the narrator of the story, is at Flora’s wedding with Miles, Owen, and Henry, played by Henry Thomas. None of them remember Jamie telling them their ghost story. Then Jamie goes to bed with the front door open. She’s looking at the mirrors and the water pools, hoping to see Dani. Perhaps Dani is gently haunting her. As Jamie falls asleep, a hand touches her shoulder. Her hair is not grey but brown, just as it was when she was young.
Is it a dream? Or does she know Dani is beside her? Even more dramatic, did she possibly die in her sleep? Will she be reunited with her lost love, even if Dani is doomed to haunt the corridors of Bly Manor? Some will argue that Dani’s sacrifice has healed her past pain and saved the people of Bly from being haunted by evil spirits. Plus that Dani will be filled with love from the people who keep her memories alive. Others will argue that It’s up to the audience to decide whether it’s sad, hopeful, or a little of both. In the end, Dani seems to be keeping an eye on Jamie. That’s the most hopeful interpretation of what happens when a mortal becomes a devoted lover.
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