In the finale of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which shares the same title as the series, there are a lot of “a-ha” moments. It doesn’t take long before a path from beginning to end becomes clear. Little moments that seemed of little importance quickly become the why and how to the conclusion to this strange beautiful tale. The overall message is that sometimes things happened for a reason. At least they do in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
Step 1 – Awaken Lady Pole
In the very first scene of the series, Segundus tried (and failed) to complete a spell to attach two things that have been separated. It turns out this is the key to freeing Lady Pole from her horrible predicament.
In last week’s episode, Jonathan Strange gave the box containing Lady Pole’s finger to Drawlight with the message to deliver it to Childermass. Drawlight doesn’t deliver the message to Childermass and is shot dead by the lecherous Lascelles instead. However, with the use of his tarot cards, Childermas is able to see through Lascelles lies and get the box which he quickly brings to Lady Pole. Segundus uses his old spell to re-attach Lady Poles’ finger thus waking her from her spell… and unbeknown to them angering The Gentleman.
Step 2 – Defeat The Gentleman
Jonathan Strange has come to Mr. Norrell, bringing his darkness with him. But it’s not a battle he wants. He wants Mr. Norrell’s help in killing the fairy and freeing Arabella. Since no human has ever killed a fairy, they decide to summon The Raven King and ask him to complete the task. They succeed and The Raven King appears but quickly vanishes.
The magicians decide to try again, this time offering up all of English magic and Mr. Norrell’s library of books. And instead of calling upon The Raven King, they summon The Nameless Slave. Just as The Gentleman is about to force Stephen to kill Sir Pole, Stephen is brought by magic to Mr. Norrell’s library. Then Lascelles shoots him.
The Gentleman follows and after seeing what Lascelles has done, turns him into glass and breaks him into pieces. The Gentleman then brings Stephen back to Lost Hope with him. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell follow and send Arabella through the mirror to Flora’s home in Venace. Stephen, now full of all of England’s magic, survives the gunshot and defeats The Gentleman.
Step 3 – Save The Two Magicians Of England
Meanwhile, Childermass finds Vinculus and cuts him down from the tree from which he hangs in hopes that the book written on his body will be the key to saving the magicians. The Raven King then shows up, immobilizes Childremass, changes the words written on Vinculus, resurrects Vinculus and then wipes the memory of his presence from their minds before disappearing.
Childermass rushes Vinculus to Mr. Norrell’s house as quickly as he can but is too late. The magicians are consumed by the external darkness and sucked up into the clouds.
Some days later, Childermass arrives at the magician’s club in York and advises the men there that their agreement with Mr. Norrell to no longer practice magic is now void. He has brought Vinculus with him and shows the magicians the book in hopes that they may decipher it together. When asked where the two magicians have gone, Childermass explains “I do not know. Wherever magicians used to go perhaps. Beyond the sky on the other side of the rain.”
Some notable moments:
- In the book Stephen takes The Gentleman’s place as king of Lost Hope thus changing the fairy kingdom into a new less frightening place. It is implied the same happens in the series but is never shown.
- Lady Pole leaves Sir Pole stating that “I will not go from one kind of helplessness to another.”
- Arabella sees Jonathan Strange in a reflection. He tells her to be happy and not live like a widow then disappears.
- Mr. Norrell, who has always been shown as being reliant on his books, is able to create rain by himself.
- Mr. Norrell’s library seems to be hidden in a maze of hallways in his home.
- Lascelles threatens Childermass and cuts the side of his face when accused of lying.
- When Mr. Norrell becomes freightened by the approaching of Jonathan Strange, he yells out for Childermass like he did in the first episode when approached by Vinculus.
Lascelles delivers a false warning
In favor of Jonathan Strange
In favor of Mr. Norrell
Photos and video courtesy of BBC One and BBC America.