In The Haunting Of Bly Manor, Hannah Grose’s memory of Peter Quint’s death creates a major plot hole; here’s why and what it could actually mean.
In Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting Of Bly Manor, Hannah Grose (T’Nia Miller) believes that Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) has stolen money and fled the grounds, leaving behind Ms. Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif). While the employees of the house believe this to be true, Bly Manor episode 5, “The Altar Of The Dead”, reveals that Hannah witnessed his death. There are several reasons why she may have chosen to forget the incident and lie to everyone, but this plot hole also reveals the effects of dying in the house.
The highly anticipated follow-up to Flanagan’s The Haunting Of Hill House is adapted from the 1898 horror novella The Turn Of The Screw, written by Henry James. While it is the foundation for the entire series, there are several other James ghost stories implemented in order to craft the narrative of each character. It follows Danielle “Dani” Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), who is hired as an au pair to Flora and Miles Wingrave. Once arriving to the manor, she begins to discover that there are numerous ghosts hidden in dark corridors and plain sight, including Peter Quint. After falling in love with Rebecca, he steals jewelry and clothes from the bedroom of the children’s deceased parents. The two plan to run away together, but he inexplicably leaves without a trace.
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In episode 5, it’s revealed that Peter was killed by the lady of the lake, Viola Willoughby (Kate Siegel), in front of Hannah, Miles, and Flora. All three are fully aware of what has happened, yet they continue to uphold the theory that he ran away and left Rebecca to wallow in her loneliness. Throughout the entirety of the series, Hannah insists that he ran off. Episode 5 reveals that she has been lying the entire time or, perhaps, may have forgotten. While this lapse in memory or intentional lying creates a plot hole that could’ve resolved several issues early on in the series, it may have an explanation.
How Hannah Could’ve Forgotten Peter’s Death
It’s no secret that Hannah dislikes Peter based on his blatant disrespect of the forbidden wing, stealing possessions from the Wingraves, and his abusive tendencies toward Rebecca. Regardless, it doesn’t make sense to keep a secret like this from their current au pair. Yet, Hannah persists in her belief—or lie—that he ran away. She may be doing this to shield her from the news that a man she knew is dead, but it could also be her disbelief about the whole situation. Hannah witnessed a faceless ghost choke a living person to death and drag them down the stairs, all while the ghost of the recently deceased is interacting with her and the children. It’s very possible Hannah believed this was all a dream.
When Peter dies, it is revealed that the ghosts lose a part of their memory when they are killed. After they see their lifeless bodies, they realize that they are no longer living. While this could substantiate the theory that Hannah merely forgot about the incident due to Peter possessing Miles and killing her later in episode 5, it does not explain the six months of time between Peter and Rebecca’s deaths up until the moment Hannah dies and Dani arrives. After the series unveils that the lovers died, Hannah’s four candles in episode 1, “The Great Good Place”, appeared to represent Flora and Miles’ parents and them. Except, Hannah did not like Peter, so it seems very unlikely that she lit a candle in his memory; it would also mean that she knew he was dead the entire time, and chose to keep the information to herself.
This plot hole is one of the most confusing in the series based on the various timelines that run through it. While it may never be fully resolved, it can be assumed that Hannah either chose to believe what she saw was a dream or chose to keep it to herself in fear of it making her sound delusional or to spare Rebecca’s feelings. In The Haunting Of Bly Manor, Hannah Grose is a deeply compassionate person, so it is likely she chose to follow the story of Peter running away to keep herself and those that she loves safe.
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