Dani and Jamie’s story in The Haunting of Bly Manor may take another twist after the show ends. Following 2018’s immensely popular The Haunting of Hill House, Mike Flanagan invited Netflix’s spook enthusiasts to the quaint English locale of Bly Manor for Halloween 2020, where the awful attempts at English accents were even scarier than the spirits. While Hill House fans might’ve been expecting another full-on ghost story, The Haunting of Bly Manor is more accurately a romance masquerading as a horror. That’s not necessarily a criticism, however, as the story of Dani Clayton and Jamie the gardener has enchanted audiences more than they perhaps expected from a supernatural scare-fest.
Love begins to blossom when Dani is hired as Bly Manor’s nanny. Despite committing various crimes against British tea, Dani befriends the existing staff at Bly, and sets sparks flying with the manor’s resident gardener. Perfectly matched, Jamie helps Dani overcome the ghost of her ex-boyfriend, while Dani encourages Jamie to lower her emotional defenses, but the course of true love never did run smooth, especially with a faceless, vengeful ghost on the prowl. Dani is left with no choice but to accept the spirit of Viola into her body, effectively becoming a ticking paranormal time bomb.
Dani and Jamie are afforded many happy years together, starting a business, settling down and becoming civil partners, but Viola’s ghost eventually surfaces, and Dani’s final resting place becomes the lake of Bly Manor. Years later, an older Jamie still hopes beyond hope that her love will return, and The Haunting of Bly Manor‘s final shot depicts a mysterious hand resting gently on Jamie’s shoulder. The image is deliberately open to interpretation, but if you too refuse to accept anything less than the happiest ending for 2020’s best TV couple, here’s how the phantom hand could lead to a future reunion for Dani and Jamie.
Viola’s Gravity Well Explained
The paranormal activity of Bly Manor begins and ends with the ghost of Viola Willoughby, who lived on after death through sheer will. Viola had already defied nature by surviving many years after contracting a fatal illness, and was ultimately finished off by her own sister. Through her stubbornness, Viola’s soul became intertwined with her chest of treasured possessions, and when the box was dumped into Bly’s lake, the vengeful Viola was unleashed upon the manor’s subsequent inhabitants. The Haunting of Bly Manor describes the Viola phenomenon as a “gravity well” centered around her former home. Any who died on the grounds, whether by Viola’s hand or otherwise, would find themselves a disembodied spirit after death, left to wander the halls of Bly in Viola’s orbit.
The gravity well allowed Bly residents to cheat death, but also posed two considerable drawbacks. Any spirit who was caught in Viola’s gravity, even the originator herself, would lose themselves over time. All memories and sense of self, as well as the spirit’s face, would eventually fade. Secondly, as Peter Quint discovered, these trapped souls were confined within Bly’s grounds. Even hijacking a ride in a living body, Peter was unable to pass into the wider world, making Bly his “forever house.”Viola’s gravity well comes to an end in 1987 courtesy of Dani, who uses the “it’s you, it’s me, it’s us” incantation to draw Viola into herself when the ghost is threatening to kill Flora. Upon merging with the American nanny, Viola’s curse over Bly appears to lift entirely, permitting the trapped ghosts to move on. Without the gravity well, Viola is able to inhabit Dani beyond the gates of Bly Manor, but when the time eventually comes and Dani Clayton is made the new lady of the lake, the narrator reveals there have been no further problems for the good people of Bly.