Welcome to our Colossus Movie Guide for Midsommar. This guide contains our detailed library of content covering key aspects of the movie’s plot, ending, meaning, and more. We encourage your comments to help us create the best possible guide. Thank you!
What is Midsommar about?
Ari Aster explained that Midsommar was the byproduct of two things: a request from a Swedish company to make a movie set in Sweden, and him dealing with a breakup. He decided to combine the two ideas. As mysterious as Midsommar can feel, everything that happens is essentially a dramatization of Dani realizing she should break up with Christian. There’s a grounded version of this movie that has the same plot beats: Dani’s grieving, Christian doesn’t prioritize her (using his thesis and friends as excuses), Dani suffers, eventually finds news friends, Christian cheats, Dani leaves him. Aster took this framework and defamiliarized it.
As much emphasis as there is on the relationship with Christian, it coincides with an exploration of grief that’s similar to what we see in Hereditary. Except Hereditary is the tragic ending. The one where grief wins. Midsommar is the “happy” ending. Instead of succumbing to her pain, Dani finds a way through. The specifics of her story aren’t something people should replicate, but the core ideas are very applicable. Seek out new experiences. Find people who truly support you. Let go of toxic relationships. Because of those core ideas, Midsommar can be surprisingly cathartic and powerful, in a way that probably surprises a lot of viewers.
Movie Guide table of contents
- Dani Ardor – Florence Pugh
- Christian – Jack Reynor
- Josh – William Jackson Harper
- Mark – Will Poulter
- Connie – Ellora Torchia
- Simon – Archie Madekwe
- Pelle – Vilhelm Blomgren
- Ingemar – Hampus Hallberg
- Maja – Isabelle Grill
- Ulf – Henrik Norlén
- Inga – Julia Ragnarsson
- Written by – Ari Aster
- Directed by – Ari Aster
The ending of Midsommar explained
The end of Midsommar begins after Dani wins the dance battle to become the May Queen (a symbolic fight against the Devil-like entity known as the Black One). One of the Hårga women tells Dani she’s family now, that they’re like sisters. Dani then goes off to bless the crops and livestock. While she’s doing that, the rest of the Hårga have Christian meet up with Maja for a procreation ceremony. Dani returns and glimpses Christian in the act. This triggers a panic attack that her new Hårga sisters support her through.
After the procreation ceremony, Christian flees. We see Josh’s leg planted in the soil. And discover Simon suffering from a blood eagle ritual. An elder blows magic dust in Christian’s face. When he wakes up, paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair, the Hårga have commenced the final part of the festivity. The sacrifice portion. They already have eight, four outsiders, four Hårga. It’s up to the May Queen to choose the last person. Dani could pick anyone. She picks Christian.
The sacrifice involves putting the nine “offerings” into a special barn then burning the barn to the ground. Before they light the fire, an elder says to Christian, stuffed into the skin of a bear, “Mighty and dreadful beast. With you, we purge our most unholy affekts. We banish you now to the deepest recesses, where you may reflect on your wickedness.”
Once the barn is on fire, the Hårga outside begin to cry out and writhe as if they were the ones in flames. Dani is initially incredibly upset, after all, it’s because of her that Christian is in there. But she stops to observe the Hårga. The outpouring of pain and passion. Then she turns to the barn and watches as it collapses. She smiles.
There’s a simple and complicated explanation to the end of Midsommar.
The simple explanation is that Midsommar is just an exaggeration of Dani breaking up with Christian and starting a new chapter in her life. Ari Aster said part of the reason why he wrote Midsommar is that he had gone through a break up and wanted to work through it. Through that lens, all the Hårga stuff is artistic hyperbole for a story where a guy cheats on his girlfriend then she finds out, dumps him, and meets other people who support her. Christian is the beast that Dani purges from her life.
Ari Aster heightens what is a very common, relatable story by defamiliarizing it through the horror genre. Things that would be metaphorical become literal.
In a standard drama, someone might call Christian a beast as part of a tongue lashing. In a horror movie, you can actually stuff him into a bear carcass. Different genres allow for different opportunities. In Titanic, Rose is engaged to an absolute jerk named Cal. No one stuffs Cal into a bear costume because Titanic is not that kind of movie. His comeuppance is far more mundane. He goes broke in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is an action-romance. It defamiliarizes the dating process by having Scott fight the romantic interests of Ramona Flowers. Each victory represents Ramona’s increased interest in Scott. It walks that line between being ridiculous yet familiar.
With this in mind, you don’t have to understand all the literal happenings of Midsommar to get the larger story. Why do the flowers pulse? Why is there a scary face in the trees? Did Pelle have something to do with the death of Dani’s family? Why did they do that to Simon? While those are all interesting talking points, they’re inconsequential to appreciating the core intention of Midsommar. How do we process grief? How do we move on? To Aster, the answer is in our support systems.
But say you are someone who is into the literal happenings. What the hell is going on? I said this is more complicated, and it is, but it isn’t. Midsommar is mostly just weird customs that we have to take at face value. That’s it. The people of the Hårga commune are, like most cults, a bit wonky. They have beliefs that they take too far. Especially when it comes to the power of their rituals. They could very easily perform mock sacrifices. Like burning a scarecrow instead of a person. But nope. They use people. A lot of their practices are creative and shocking (like the blood eagle). It’s freaky but it’s not complex.
There are surreal aspects to Midsommar. The primary example being the moments near the end where the flowers breathe and pulse. Viewers might wonder if something more supernatural is happening. But it’s just drugs. The Hårga have drugged both Dani and Christian. Because they’re our perspective characters, Aster chose to let their altered perspective affect what we see. Even though the camera stays third-person, it’s influenced by the subjective experience of our POV characters. In Aster’s previous film, Hereditary, things got very supernatural. Spirits, spells, demons—all real. That’s not the case for Midsommar. The answer is always just “shocking ritual” or “drugs”.
There’s also the moaning, chanting, and collective writhing. This isn’t addressed explicitly but it is addressed. At one point, Pelle has a serious talk with Dani where he mentions how he lost his parents in a fire. He tells her, “I never got the chance to feel lost, because I had a family here. Where everyone embraced me and swept me up. And I was raised by a community that doesn’t bicker over what’s theirs and not theirs. That’s what you were given. But I have always felt held. By a family. A real family.”
Now fast forward to Dani becoming the May Queen and the random Hårga woman telling Dani that they’re family. Sisters. It’s not given a lot of emphasis but it’s the reason for the group of women that surround Dani when she freaks out after seeing Christian and Maja. Because she’s in pain, they’re in pain. They empathize totally and shamelessly. It’s the same reason the women with Christian and Maja moan with Maja. It doesn’t matter if it’s pain or pleasure—the family supports one another. And it’s the reason why everyone goes to pieces at the very end, as the barn burns. Because Ingemar and Ulf are in there, in pain. The family experiences it too.
It’s a really dark subplot but also beautiful. The idea of being that seen and supported is kind of amazing.
What are affekts, you might be wondering? When Josh talks to the elder about their sacred text, the elder mentions how there are 16 runic letters and each stands for an affekt. Each affekt is “graded from most holy to most unholy. This one, for example, is about grief.” Affekts aren’t made up. It’s the concept of music’s ability to stir emotion. So when you hear the delicate piano of “Für Elise” there’s an emotional quality to it that differs from the guitar in Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”.
So when the elder at the end mentions purging the most unholy affekts, he’s talking about the Hårga cleansing themselves of their emotional baggage. Like grief. Which ties back to Dani’s whole character journey and why she smiles at the end. The ritual worked. Being part of the Hårga family helped her. She feels held. She feels at home.
I would assume Dani decides to stay at the Hårga, converted to their way of life through the midsummer festival and the sense of renewal it unlocked. It would make sense, too, that since everything started with her losing her family it would end with her gaining a new one.
As much as we can frame Midsommar as metaphoric and somewhat triumphant, there is a reversal. In a comment, user DPEsposito makes an argument for the exploitation Dani suffers at the hands of the Härga. Her grief makes her malleable to their indoctrination tactics. Instead of reading the film as her overcoming her grief, shouldn’t we view it as far more tragic? Her grief leaves her so broken that she succumbs to a cult’s brainwashing.
Not only that, when Christian cheats on her, Dani has a choice to save him or sacrifice him. She chooses sacrifice. And we have to imagine it’s out of a sense of revenge. In the previous sections, we discussed the dichotomy between grounded and defamiliarized. And did that through a lens of “the glass is half full.” So Dani’s choice of Christian as the sacrifice was simplified to the normal and harmless idea of breaking up with him. But. There’s the glass half empty reading that embodies the reality of domestic violence. Every day, there are stories where someone in a relationship snaps due to jealousy, anger, ego, etc. When read this way, Midsommar is not this Grimm-like fairy tale that skews positive despite its horrors. Instead, it’s just as bleak as Hereditary in its presentation of grief.
While acknowledging that, I still lean toward Aster wanting to have a darker take on healing and catharsis. But whatever the authorial intention was, that negative reading is very viable.
The themes and meaning of Midsommar
Winter and summer, grief and renewal
Midsommar is actually a simple story told in an elevated way. Dani, after a period of grief, finds the inspiration to move forward with her life. This is why the movie opens in winter and ends with the arrival of summer. Winter is usually associated with death, isolation, emptiness. While summer is related to life, interaction, and abundance. We see these aspects reflected in Midsommar’s visuals. At the beginning, it’s night time and almost entirely interior shots. Dani is often in shadow and alone. There’s snow. It’s very bleak. At the end? It’s sunny. There’s nature and color. Dani’s covered in flowers and surrounded by people. The last shot is Dani smiling.
Midsommar shows us Dani’s season of grief. The burning barn is full of embodiments of the past, both Dani’s and the commune’s. When it eventually collapses, it’s symbolic of letting go of those things. For a fresh start. Which is why Dani finally smiles. The weight is gone.
Grief and renewal, panic attacks and support
It’s one thing to recognize that Midsommar is about grief and working through grief. It’s another to understand what it says about grief and renewal. The difficulty comes from the fact that the events in Midsommar are crazy and unrealistic. That’s only a problem, though, if you’re taking Midsommar literally. You shouldn’t.
When you zoom out, the big thing for Dani is removing negative people from her life and finding others who support her.
Early in the movie, all she has is Christian. After she finds out what happened to her family, she calls Christian and can’t even articulate what’s wrong, that’s how immense her pain is. He leaves his friends and goes to her and we see Dani laying across his lap, wailing, as he attempts to comfort her. Except we know Christian wants to break up with Dani, that he’s fed up with her. Which makes his support superficial, something done out of obligation, performative.
Later in the movie, after Dani glimpses Christian sleeping with Maja, she has another panic attack. It’s similar to the first,.except this time she’s joined by a cohort of Hågra women. They surround her. Breathe with her. Cry with her. Scream with her. It’s unequivocal empathy, compassion, and support. She’s not alone. It’s kind of beautiful. This extends to Midsommar’s final scene, when Dani’s upset about Christian being in the burning barn. She initially cries. Then notices the rest of the commune vicariously experiencing the torment of those in the flames. They howl. They writhe. Dani’s no longer alone in her emotion. She’s surrounded by others who empathize. There’s a sense of community that allows Dani to calm down. With Christian, she felt crazy because he was so restrained and she was so emotional. The people of the Hågra commune, though, are open, passionate, responsive. They’re just as emotional.
Viewed literally, all of that is crazy. But it’s really just artistic exaggeration. In a heightened, dramatized, genre story, you take the normal and defamiliarize it. The defamiliarization allows the story to go in ridiculous, exciting directions, while still resonating with real emotions and lived experiences. In a grounded, realistic story, the end of Midsommar would be an empowered Dani finally breaking up with Christian after he cheats on her, free from the toxic relationship. And she’s empowered because of a new group of friends that give her a renewed sense of hope.
Except Midsommar isn’t a grounded, realistic story. So things like a break up become the May Queen deciding her boyfriend will become the festival’s final sacrifice. Likewise, after experiencing tragedy, travel can be a huge part of moving forward. We see a grounded version of this in a movie like Eat Pray Love. A more fantastic version in a movie like Up. Midsommar actually has the same character journey as both Eat Pray Love and Up, just told through the frame and expectations of the horror genre.
Exploitation, revenge, denial
As mentioned in the ending explanation, there’s an interpretation of Midsommar that isn’t so “Yay, Dani.” While some see the sacrifice of Christian as metaphoric for Dani moving on with her life, that ignores the literal fact that Dani chooses for him to suffer this horrible death as a type of revenge for him cheating on her. Seen that way, the movie goes from a sympathetic portrayal of Dani’s passage through stages of grief to something far more sinister. What happens when we’re presented with a way out of grief that is exploitive of our yearning for relief? That can be giving in to darker emotions that result in vengeful actions that result in physical, emotional, or social damage (or all of the above). Damaging someone’s car, releasing compromising photos of them, stalking them. Worse.
It can also take the form of seeking comfort from people who don’t have your best interests in mind, who encouraging you to become part of a world that you otherwise would have never participated in yet find yourself suddenly entrenched. For example, an athlete suffers a serious injury that costs them a year of their career. Instead of focusing on their rehab and having to confront the fears of what’s next, they party. They ignore calls from their trainer, their teammates, their family. They hang out with people who encourage the indulgent lifestyle because it also benefits them.
That’s essentially the situation Dani finds herself in, if you agree with this interpretation. Instead of going back to school, pursuing her dreams, she’s waylaid by the people of the Hårga because they offer her a total and complete distancing from the things she doesn’t want to confront.
Why is the movie called Midsommar?
The most obvious reason Midsommar is called Midsommar is that the main characters attend a midsummer festival at Pelle’s home commune, Hårga, in Hälsingland, Sweden. The festival is a prominent aspect of the narrative.
Of course, there’s more to it than that.
Midsommar begins in winter. It’s in winter that Dani’s sister commits suicide and takes their parents with her. Snow and darkness feature prominently. The whole visual palette is cold. This opening ends in Dani’s apartment, with Dani and Christian on the couch, Dani wailing into his lap, and the camera zooming out the window, into the night and snow. Snow continues to fall over the opening credits. Until we see “Midsommar”, then we cut to the same window, except it’s daylight. In the next scene, Dani goes to a party with Christian and the first dialogue we hear is someone saying they’re dreading summer. That leads to the discussion of the trip to Hårga for the midsummer festival.
In art, winter typically has neutral to negative associations. It can be viewed as a time for rest, recovery, reflection. But it’s often representative of death, cessation, distance, darkness, isolation. That’s not lost on Ari Aster. By beginning Midsommar in winter, with the loss of Dani’s family, it tells the audience—hey, this is the character’s rock bottom. And that begs the question: can she recover?
If winter is a low, summer is often thought of as the high point. It’s associated with life, light, hope, energy, engagement. What many might overlook is that modern midsummer festivals are about the arrival of summer. The word beginning with “mid” might have people thinking the event happens in the middle of the season. It doesn’t. It’s a welcoming party that occurs on (or around) the solstice, which is the season’s first day. So why is “mid” in the word? According to Almanac.com, it’s because the solstice marks the middle of the farming season. Crops planted in spring will grow until fall. That might seem strange, but summer is a derivation of the Old English word sumor, which means season. So midsummer actually refers to midseason. The middle of the growing season is the first day of summer.
That’s a lot of information. The key takeaway is that midsummer festivals have become celebrations regarding the arrival of the summer season. Midsommar begins by tying Dani’s grief to winter. Which means that summer becomes associated with ideas of letting go of grief and starting a new chapter. Which is exactly what we see happen over the course of the story. As the festival draws to its climactic conclusion, Dani approaches her own catharsis. Ultimately, the two dovetail. And Dani ends the movie with her new beginning.
It’s fitting that the festival begins on Dani’s birthday.
It’s probably worth noting that Pelle explains that in Hårga they view life like the seasons. 0-18 is Spring. 18-36 is Summer, when you do your pilgrimage. 36-54 is Fall, or the working age. 54 to 72 is Winter, where you become a mentor and pass on your knowledge to the younger generation. Once you turn 72…you jump.
So there might be something to the idea of Midsommar referring to a pilgrimage. A pilgrim is, afterall, one who journeys to foreign lands. And with D
Important motifs in Midsommar
Winter and Summer
Midsommar begins in winter, it ends with the start of summer. This serves as a visual representation for Dani’s journey with grief. At the beginning, we see her at her most broken. By the end, she’s part of a new family and supported. Reinforcing this idea of Dani being in a season of grief is the Hårga philosophy of life itself being a cycle of seasons. Spring is 0-18. Summer is 18-36. Fall is 36-54. Winter 54-72. Both narratively and visually, Midsommar connects nature and life.
It’s very shocking when the Hårga gut a bear then put Christian inside with his face visible in the open mouth. We’re told this represents a purging of negative feelings. The bear is symbolic of all the scary, dangerous emotions felt by the Hårga over the course of the year. Burn the bear, cleanse the community of those emotions.
On first viewing, it’s easy to forget that the bear motif is actually introduced right after the opening credits. On second viewing, it’s one of those moments that make you go, “Oh!!! Whoa!” After the opening credits, the movie picks up in Dani’s room. She’s on her bed, trying to sleep. Above her is a large painting, in the style of a fairy tale, of a young girl, wearing a crown, kissing the nose of a gigantic bear. Christian then walks into the room. Knowing that Christian ends up as a bear and Dani as the May Queen, that painting has entirely new meaning. It embodies Dani’s attempts to have a relationship with someone as difficult as Christian. Beyond that, we know the bear comes to represent negative emotions, baggage, fears, sorrows. So the painting can also be read as Dani having to confront those feelings. And also connects those feelings to Christian.
It’s a very charged motif that’s essential to Midsommar.
Once Dani wins the dance competition and becomes the May Queen, the Hårga cover her in flowers. First a crown and half-shaw over the shoulders. Later, she’s in a whole gown, covered head to toe in a mass of flowers. It so happens that right after she wins the May Queen, one of the girls tells her she’s become family. They view her as part of the Hårga and begin to honor her and incorporate her into the ceremonies. Not only that, when she has a panic attack after catching Christian with Maja, the other younger women support her through her pain. They openly empathize, mirroring her. This goes back to something Pelle said earlier about how when he lost his parents he felt held by the Hårga. He never had a chance to feel alone and sad because he had his community.
Knowing that Midsommar has already connected Dani’s grief to winter and her eventual catharsis to summer, you can start to see how that might extend to the flowers. They’re absolutely a byproduct of the warmth, vitality, and boon of summer. By covering her in this emblem of summer, it visualizes not only the way in which Dani is leaving her season of grief and starting something more positive but the impact of the Hårga’s support. The more they s
Questions & answers about Midsommar
Did Pelle have anything to do with the death of Dani’s family?
This is a popular online theory. It got started because some flowers are visible in the shot of Dani’s parents in bed. Specifically, there’s a framed picture of Dani on a bedside table and it has flowers over it. It’s very similar to later in the movie when Dani’s wearing the May Queen crown.
People took this detail and connected it to Pelle talking about how excited he was for Dani to go with the group to the Hårga and how much Pelle works to convince Dani about their way of life. There’s also probably a spill over from people who watched Hereditary and how everything in that movie was by design so they looked for similar ties to the story elements of Midsommar.
While it’s impossible to rule out this theory, it seems incredibly unlikely. If Pelle was in contact with Dani’s sister, Terri, and gaslit her into parricide, that seems like something that Ari Aster would acknowledge in some way more formal than “there were flowers over a photo.” Whether that’s seeing Terri’s email inbox, or a picture in her room that’s in the style of something we see Pelle draw later, or in the opening tapestry that summarizes the movie, or some dialogue where Pelle mentions to Christian or someone that he had tried to help Dani by talking to Terri. Something. The fact we have nothing is, to me, enough to completely squash this theory. As mysterious as Midsommar can feel, it’s not that subtextual.
What’s far more likely is that Aster has a theme of fate. Was Dani fated to be the May Queen? This concept is introduced through the opening tapestry, that pentaptych (five part image) that starts in winter with the death of Dani’s family, then shows Dani and Christian, with Pelle observing from a tree, then Pelle leading the friends to the Hårga, then the beginning of the midsummer festival, then the end. It’s elaborated on with Dani’s childhood home having floral wallpaper, as well as the flowers over Dani’s photo. Then the painting Dani has in her room of the princess kissing the nose of a giant bear. Then at the Hårga there’s all sorts of similar art that foreshadows events.
So Pelle just took advantage of Dani’s grief and probably had a crush on her. But he didn’t have anything to do with what happened to her family. Most of the theories I’ve read that try to justify this have to assume way too much and make such giant leaps that they don’t hold up to what we actually see and hear in the film.
And Aster himself, in an interview with the Huffington Post, said “Well, yes, I have read that [theory]. I can go as far as to say that it’s totally incorrect.”
Actually, I just read more of the interview and Aster said, when asked about the picture frame, “Well, I’m glad you noticed that. If you notice, there are many prophetic pictures strewn throughout the film. It was our way of weaving in the idea that whatever is inevitable is bound to happen. If you remember, the pictures hanging over the beds of Dani and Christian also foreshadow their respective endings.”
I love when I read/hear filmmakers confirm things that I’ve already written.
Why did those older people jump off the cliff? What is ättestupa?
There’s a myth that Nordic cultures had a history of senicide, of culling the elderly, when enfeeblement started. When you couldn’t contribute, you went to a cliff then leapt from it. Though historians now argue if this practice ever existed or were simply a rumor or tall-tale that people came to believe.
Whether it happened or not in reality, Aster incorporated it into the traditions of the Hårga. While the people who jumped may not have been at the point of enfeeblement, the Hårga are pretty strict about 72 being the age of passing out of this life and into the next one. It’s unclear if they only do this as part of the ceremony—like with putting someone in the bear—or if every 72 year old does this.
Do the Hårga put someone in a bear suit and burn them every year?
According to Aster in a Reddit AMA, no. The last part of the ceremony is something that only happens every 90 years. But they probably have some kind of midsummer festival each year.
Did Pelle’s parents die in the barn burning?
Pelle tells Dani that his parents died in a fire. A lot of viewers assume that maybe his parents were part of the bear ritual, like how we see Ingemar and Ulf sent into the barn to represent the Hårga and balance out the sacrifice of the four outsiders. If what Aster said is true and the burning happens once every 90 years, then it couldn’t have been Pelle’s parents. He’s between 18 and 36 years old. And the last bear in a barn ritual would have been 90 years prior. So either Pelle’s parents were victims of another ritual, an accident on the Hårga, or weren’t part of the commune and he was adopted afterwards.
Since he said he and Ingemar have been best friends since they were babies, the theories that Pelle was adopted by the commune probably aren’t true. Which means his parents were part of the commune and lost their lives in an accident or ritual. I’m guessing ritual. But it must not have been the bear in the barn but something else.
What killed Dani’s parents?
Terri used the hose to pump her parents’ bedroom with car exhaust. Meaning they passed in their sleep, probably without ever realizing what was happening. Meanwhile, she took a much more dramatic route of strapping the end of the hose to her face. It would have been a lot worse for her than it was for them. The vomit is evidence of this.
What was wrong with Dani’s sister?
It’s never stated outright. Probably a major depression along with some other mental health issues.
What happened to Mark, Josh, Simon, and Connie?
The Hårga were always going to sacrifice at least four outsiders. So it’s a bit strange because it seems like Mark, Josh, and Simon all become victims based on transgressions. Simon because he freaked out during the ättestupa ceremony and was rude about it. Mark because he peed on an ancestor tree. Josh because he tried to take photos of the holy text. There’s an implication that if they had behaved better then maybe they would have survived. Except we see with Connie that this isn’t true. She doesn’t say or do anything offensive, she just wants to leave with Simon. But they sacrifice her anyway.
With Simon, we see they used him for a blood eagle ritual and have kept his body dangling in a shed. They peeled Mark’s face off. They planted Josh’s leg. At the very end, the bodies of all four are put into the barn with Christian. Mark’s face on a scarecrow in a jester outfit. Connie decorated like a wreath. Simon with flowers in his eyes. Josh with flowers in his mouth.
If Josh’s leg is planted in the ground, how does he have both legs in the barn?
This seems to be a slight continuity error. Unless the leg is supposed to be from someone else? But that would be random/disconnected.
Will Dani go back to the United States?
I don’t think so. I think the point is that she discovers this new family and will stay part of that family. She’s joined the cult. If she were to go back to America, she’d be starting over completely. And also…like…questioned for the disappearance of five people she left the country with. I imagine as soon as she returned she’d have huge legal issues. The “happy” ending is that she stays at the commune and probably has a relationship with Pelle, if the Härga even have monogamous relationships?
Why do the flowers and trees move?
Is Dani’s sister’s face visible in the trees?
So right after Dani wins the dance battle and becomes the May Queen, she’s put on a platform and carried to the next part of the festival. During this, in the trees, you can see the face of Dani’s sister from when the police found her body (even a line representing the hose that was in her mouth). As far as I’m aware, it’s the only time something like this happens.
For those who are uncertain, there’s a comparison image in this tweet. You can even see how the eyes are different colors the way we saw with Terri. So this is most definitely a purposeful thing and not people making it up.
What does it mean? The simplest answer is that she’s on drugs (she is) and that it’s simply an externalization of the fact that Dani’s haunted by what happened. We know she’s been consumed by grief. But this would be a physical projection of that. Especially since the only reason we see the trees and everything pulsing and breathing is because Dani’s subjective POV is influencing the third-person camera. So if aspects of her subjectivity are affecting what we’re seeing, then the presence of Terri’s face would track with the grief that’s haunted Dani.
It’s probably also worth nothing that this is a tipping point between Dani going from without family to having a new family. Because she’s the May Queen, the Hårga adopt her. You could make a number of interpretations and arguments with this in mind. For example, the Hårga talk about purging unholy affekts. So maybe Terri’s face marks the beginning of that process? Since it represents the grief Dani’s carried inside of her and now we’re seeing it on the outside for the first time?
I don’t think it implies a supernatural element, since this portion of the movie is so heavily influenced by Dani and Christian being on drugs. If the special tea wasn’t involved, then you could make the supernatural case. But since it is: not supernatural.
Is there any connection between Midsommar and Hereditary? Are they the same universe?
There’s no direct connection. While they could
What was the love ritual?
- A woman sees a man she likes.
- She gathers flowers to create a totem that signifies her attraction then gives that to the man.
- While sleeping, the woman has a vision of her and the man together. A rooster crows.
- Important step: the woman creates a meal that includes her pubic hair as an ingredient and a drink that uses menstrual blood.
- When the man consumes these things, he becomes ensorcelled and will fall in love with the woman. The two can then unit physically and emotionally.
What is the point of circling around the maypole?
It’s a simple and fun way of seeing which girl wants to be the May Queen the most. Being such an endurance test, it seems like a good way of predicting who will have the dedication to bear the responsibility of the May Queen. In this case, it does seem like the whole village is expecting it to be Dani. So there’s a bit of a predestination feel about it all.
Dani has also been so in her own head the entire time that circling around the maypole is the first time she’s really getting outside of herself and finding some catharsis and relief, a feeling that leads her to her ultimate choice of joining the Hårga.
Now it’s your turn
Have more unanswered questions about Midsommar? Are there themes or motifs we missed? Is there more to explain about the ending? Please post your questions and thoughts in the comments section! We’ll do our best to address every one of them. If we like what you have to say, you could become part of our movie guide!