#TheLighthouse ending EXPLAINED: What happened at the end?

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are together for a two-hander, Robert Eggers’ thriller The Lighthouse. The movie sees the two workers forced to live and work together at an eery lighthouse on a small island. Things get pretty weird pretty quickly, but what on earth happened in the end?

WARNING: The Lighthouse spoilers ahead

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The Lighthouse sees Pattinson playing Ephraim Winslow, who is sent to do a job as a wickie on an isolated island off the coast of New England, USA.

He arrives and is under the supervision of Thomas Wake (played by Willem Dafoe) who is irritable and unfair, telling Winslow he must never go near the light as that belongs to him.

Instead, Winslow must do all the boring and difficult jobs, while Wake is trying to get him to drink alcohol and liven up the evenings.

After a long while of toil, delay to Winslow’s return to land and eventual sharing and intimacy between the pair, Winslow reveals his dark secret: that he accidentally killed his foreman, the real Ephraim Winslow, and assumed his identity.

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The Lighthouse ending EXPLAINED: What happened at the end?The Lighthouse ending EXPLAINED: What happened at the end? (Image: A24)

This begins the real twists and turns of the plot, as Wake, rather than showing compassion to his new friend, makes him regret his admission, saying he was “spilling his beans.”

This makes Winslow afraid of being found out and he tries to leave, but Wake chops up his boat with an axe, and the pair have a frightening confrontation the following morning.

Their angry confrontation comes after a hard night of drinking, when Winslow finds Wake recommending he does not get paid for his work.

The pair have an angry row, where he accuses Wake of abuse and begs him to let him see “the light,” which he has seen Wake standing naked in front of on numerous occasions.

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Winslow attacks his boss and beats him into submission after seeing him form into various other people, including a mermaid, a sea monster and the real Winslow.

Eventually, after

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