In the series finale of The Haunting Of Bly Manor, Miles Wingrave inexplicably survives Peter Quint’s final possession – here’s how he was able to.
There are only a select few who make it out of The Haunting Of Bly Manor alive and, surprisingly, Miles Wingrave (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) is one of them despite being repeatedly possessed by Peter Quint. After numerous instances, it was believed that Miles’ final possession by Peter would end his life. Somehow, the young man was able to survive and live on to see his sister get married. Here’s how Miles survived Peter’s final possession in The Haunting Of Bly Manor.
Mike Flanagan’s follow-up to the massively successful series The Haunting Of Hill House is adapted from the influential 1898 horror novella by Henry James titled The Turn Of The Screw. It features several returning cast members from the first installment in The Haunting series, including its primary character, Danielle “Dani” Clayton (Victoria Pedretti). Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who terrified audiences as the titular villain of 2020’s The Invisible Man returned for Bly Manor as Peter Quint, the unsettling spirit who lurks the hallways of the home. When he became romantically involved with Ms. Rebecca Jessel (Tahirah Sharif), he grew close to the Wingrave children, who lost their parents to a tragic accident years prior. As their relationship evolved, his abusive behaviors began to manifest. Once the Lady of the Lake murdered him, Peter discovered that he could possess Miles after growing incredibly angry at the woman who created the ghostly gravitational pull that plagues Bly Manor.
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In the original novella, Peter’s final possession of Miles results in his death. As the governess banishes the spirit from the boy’s body, she looks down to discover that he is laying in her arms, lifeless. When Dani allowed the lady in the lake, Viola, to enter her body by stating “it’s you, it’s me, it’s us,” it set every spirit free, including Peter. In the process, it stopped his possession over Miles. Somehow, he lived while Dani’s possession resulted in her death. There’s a few reasons why this may have happened.
The ending of the original novella is a highly debated topic in literary circles based on its ambiguity. Some argue that the governess killed Miles after she began to experience the delusions of seeing Peter Quint. Others state that it should be interpreted as is: when the spirit left the boy’s body, it killed him due to the amount of stress being possessed caused him. In The Haunting Of Bly Manor, there may be a very simple explanation for how Miles was able to survive Peter’s final possession. It is entirely possible that, once Dani accepted Viola into her body, it freed all of the spirits and rid them of their power over the living entirely.
Viola is an incredibly powerful force in the series and manifests the gravitational that causes the spirits to stay trapped within the manor. If she were stripped of this power by entering Dani’s body, it’s likely she was stripped of all of her powers, which might in turn rescind the other ghosts’ abilities to possess people. It could also be related to the amount of time that each person was possessed for. Miles was fully possessed by Peter for less than an hour while Dani was possessed by Viola for over a decade before she returned to the lake and drowned herself. If the boy continued to live his life with Peter having control, it is likely his fate could’ve been similar to Dani’s, as the spirit of the dead wears away at the body, mind, and soul of the living.
Miles possibly lived in order to avoid having the complex and morbid ending that The Turn Of The Screw had. There is no concrete explanation for how he was able to survive, but it can be deduced based on the amount of time he was possessed for and how Viola’s pull ended with Dani’s choice to be willingly possessed to save everyone else. Peter Quint always knew that Miles Wingrave wouldn’t survive the final possession in The Haunting Of Bly Manor, but there are several elements that allowed for him to live to see his sister marry in the show’s bittersweet finale.
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