All the Light We Cannot See ending explained - and is the ending different from the book?

 All the light we cannot see ending.
All the light we cannot see ending.

Is the ending of Netflix's 'All the Light We Cannot See' series different from that of the novel? The show's creators explain why they changed some things. 


Those who have watched Netflix's newest hit historical series, All the Light We Cannot See, know that it is an emotional rollercoaster - especially the ending. The show, which is based on a 2014 novel by Anthony Doerr of the same title, follows Marie, played by blind actress Aria Mia Loberti, and her father Daniel, played by Mark Ruffalo, as the duo escapes Paris in the wake of Nazi invasion during World War II.

As the show has garnered global media attention (akin to other highly-talked about series right now like Bodies and Till Murder Do Us Part) fans who didn't read the novel prior to watching are wondering - Is the ending of the series is the same as that of the book?

Here's what we know.

all the light we cannot see ending
all the light we cannot see ending

Does the 'All the Light We Cannot See' ending differ from the book to the series?

Yes, the series ending of All the Light We Cannot See does differ to that of the book, and director of the show Shawn Levy noted that there was a very specific reason behind the changes.

"There are some things in the last 50 pages of this novel that are not a part of my show, and it’s not that I say they didn’t happen, but I don’t want to show them happen because I’d like my viewers to have the possibility of believing it might have gone down differently," he told Netflix.

If you've read the book (incoming major spoiler here) - you're likely thinking of the biggest plot point the show left out, which is when Werner dies after stepping out into a land mine. This plot point was not included in the series - instead, we see Werner go out into Sant-Malo after bidding Marie farewell prior to their short but highly romantic encounter, saying that hopefully, in the future, they will meet again.

Shawn said that the book's ending "really hurt" him, and explained why: "Fans of the book know that the last 50 pages have a few deeply traumatic, horrific occurrences that happen to characters we love. I remember reading the book, and it killed me. It really hurt me."

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Executive producer Dan Levine also weighed in to Netflix, saying that they changed the ending not because they disrespected the ending that Anthony Doerr created, but mostly because they wanted to provide hope for the audience watching the show, instead of leaving them on what would have frankly been a deeply depressing note.

"We loved the book and this is no judgment on the book, but we wanted to end in a more hopeful place," he said.