What Remains of Edith Finch tells a fascinating story but some tales and the ending are quite ambiguous. Hopefully this explanation of the game’s ending will make it easier to understand.
After Lewis’ death, Dawn decided to get Edith away from Edie and the curse that had taken over the Finch household, but she didn’t tell Edie until the night they left. Edie wanted to tell Edith about the family curse and the stories of how her family lived and died, but Dawn blamed her grandmother’s storytelling for the curse being reality. She felt that without those stories, the family wouldn’t have been so unlucky in life. She therefore decides that her and Edith should leave Edie and the curse behind with the house, even if Edie insists that they cannot run away from it. They leave with Edie still at the house and they never see her again.
A few years pass and Dawn begins to get sick – from cancer or some other terminal illness. She begins to get better but, as many cancer patients do, the sickness returns and she dies, leaving Edith on her own as the sole surviving member of the Finch family.
That is until Edith realizes that she is pregnant. We first hear of her pregnancy after learning about Walter’s death. He believed in the curse as much as Edie so Edith speaks about it in her commentary as she explores the grounds and cemetery surrounding the Finch house. She is clearly speaking to her son/daughter as she climbs towards Sam’s room. She says, “maybe we believed so much in the family curse we made it real,” which is how Dawn felt about it the day they left. However, Edith wants to ensure that her child hears about the fate of their family so she writes down everything in her journal once she reaches what used to be her room. Even though she says, “maybe it would be better if all this just died with me,” she knows that the story of her family has to be passed on.
We hear heartbeats as Edith gives birth, her words appearing in what seems like cells floating in a blood vessel. The heartbeats get quicker and come to a halt as everything stops, yet Edith keeps speaking. The image fades to someone reading her journal, and that person takes flowers and the diary to Edith’s grave back at the Finch house. Edith died during childbirth but the diary told her son about what happened to her family. Edith was just 18 when she died, leaving her son alone as the sole member of the Finch family. Her son is all that remains of Edith Finch.
The ending isn’t as clear as some of the stories throughout the game so it is open to interpretation. This explanation is simply what I felt the final scenes were saying about Edith’s life and her family’s curse. It is a beautiful story that becomes even more touching with additional playthroughs. The second time playing, you know each character’s role in the story and you are able to link them to what happens to each member of the family and it makes the ending even more poignant. What Remains of Edith Finch is a short experience that should not be missed.
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