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.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
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 doll house 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 doll house, tracking wherever they are. The faceless ghost of a Victorian Child Flora befriends also helps to shift their positions in the doll house. 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 leave the grounds together.
Was Hannah Grose dead the whole time?
When Dani first arrives at Bly Manor, she’s greeted by Mrs. Grose the housekeeper, 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, tucking them 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 jewellery 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.
How does Dani’s ghost return to Jamie in the hotel room?
Just like Dani and Henry see their own personal spectres 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.