Midsommar Movie's Ending Explained: The True Meaning of the Film

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Midsommar, Florence Pugh

Ari Aster's Midsommar was one of the most shocking movies of the 2010s, and many fans are still wondering what exactly took place during the film's ending.

Starring Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, Midsommar follows a young woman named Dani as she is taken to northern Europe to experience a Swedish mid-summer festival.

After a series of twists and turns, both Dani and the audience get to experience the horrors of a pagan cult firsthand.

How Does Midsommar End?

Florence Pugh as Dani in Midsommar

Midsommar begins by introducing the audience to Florence Pugh's Dani. Sadly, she has just learned that her parents were murdered by her sister (who also took her own life).

Dani's boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), was planning to break up with her, but due to the trauma that she endured, he decides to bring her to Sweden along with a couple of other friends so that they can experience a mid-summer festival with a group of locals known as the Hårga.

The Hårga, who are actually a Pagan cult, commit multiple shocking atrocities throughout the film through different traditions and rituals. For example, in one instance two members walk off a tall ledge. One's head hits a rock and explodes, but another doesn't die and has to be killed shortly after with a huge hammer.

As the film goes on, Dani and Christian grow further apart despite all that they have to witness and endure.

Christian eventually even takes part in a mating ritual with one of the cult members that features him having intercourse with her while other nude female members surround them, mimicking the sounds that they hear.

As if the trip couldn't have gone worse for Dani, she witnesses this firsthand, only fueling her hatred for her boyfriend.

Dani is eventually elected May Queen by the cult, an illustrious honor that is awarded to whoever can dance the longest during one of the festivities.

As a result, Dani is showered and decorated with flowers and treated almost like a god seeing as how the members worship her.

She is also given the opportunity to make an important choice during the ending of the film. The cultists tell her that nine people must be sacrificed as part of the final ceremony, and she gets to pick if the last one will be one of the cult members or Christian.

The Harga Temple in Midsommar

She eventually chooses Christian, who is covered by the carcass of a dead bear and set in the temple. The temple is then set on fire, and Dani watches on as her boyfriend burns alive.

At first, the film's protagonist realizes the horror that is taking place, causing her to cry. However, in a shocking twist, her sorrow quickly turns into a smile.

Midsommar Ending Explained: Why is Dani Smiling?

Florence Pugh as Dani in Midsommar

It is important to remember that the only reason Dani came to Sweden in the first place was due to the death of her entire immediate family.

The mid-summer festival was supposed to be healing, as was some time away with her boyfriend. However, as she experienced what went on during the festival, and particularly how Christian treated her with no respect, manipulated her, was unsupportive, and even engaged in sexual relations with another woman, it only added to her grief.

Since Christian only caused her more problems, Dani was able to find some sense of comfort and support in the other members of the cult.

Those feelings were only amplified when she was named May Queen since they essentially worshipped her and gave her the ultimate power of choosing between life and death for the very person who turned his back on her.

Christian also represented the only thing connecting Dani to her old life back in America.

With his death, she not only was able to sever her connection to him, but also to the grief she felt from losing her family.

Having the cult members mimic her cries and her sorrow in those final few moments of torment for her also gave her a way to channel her grief through other people.

She should have been able to use Christian as a way to do this, but because he was so awful to her, she wasn't able to let go of everything until she, in a twisted way, found a new "family" with the cult.

What Happened to Mark, Simon, & Connie?

Mark, Dani, Christian, Simon, Jack, and Connie in Midsommar

As previously mentioned, Christian and Dani's friends also attended the mid-summer festival.

On par with the rest of the film, none of the others received happy endings, with all of them dying in different, sadistic ways.

Mark, who had no respect for the Hårga, was punished after he urinated on their sacred tree.

The actual act occurred off-screen, but Mark was led into the woods by a woman where he was ultimately murdered and then skinned.

His face was later worn by one of the cult members when Josh was killed, and Mark's skin was shown one more time during Midsommar's ending when it was stuffed with hay and placed in the temple to be burned.

Speaking of Josh, he was killed while trying to take pictures of the Rubi Radr, a sacred text belonging to the cult.

Someone (wearing the skin of Mark's face on their own head) showed up behind Josh and hit him over the head. The character isn't seen again until much later in the film when Christian runs past the gardens and sees Josh's foot sticking out of the earth.

Connie is another person who was killed by the Hårga in Midsommar. Her death also occurred off-screen, but she was brought into the temple during the movie's ending in a wheelbarrow.

Her body, blue and covered in seaweed, suggested that she had been drowned while trying to escape the mid-summer festival with Simon.

Midsommar features a lot of death and torture, but what every other character had to endure was child's play in comparison to Simon's brutal fate.

After Christian escaped the mating ritual that he was a part of, he ran into a nearby barn. Little did he know that he would come face-to-face with probably the most horrific thing he had ever seen.

Hanging in front of Christian was Simon, his eyes plucked out and replaced with flowers, and his skin completely peeled back from his back.

This is a common torture method in Norse/Viking history. This traditional practice included a ritual where the skin was cut away from the back and displayed outward, taking on the role of wings, and then the ribs were broken and pulled through the victim's back as well.

The most unsettling part of Simon's demise, however, is the fact that he is still alive when Christian finds him. Yes, despite all that he has physically endured, Simon is still breathing, but he later joins the others and is burned in the temple.

Is Dani's Sister Terri Alive?

Klaudia Csanyi as Terri in Midsommar

Although the audience is told that Dani's sister, Terri, died at the beginning of Midsommar, she shows up a few more times throughout the film.

One scene in particular features Dani looking into a mirror and seeing her sister standing behind her.

However, her sister isn't really there, and although Dani is hallucinating, her sister's appearance represents the grief she is going through as well as the decline of her mental health.

Even though she came to the mid-summer festival to have some time away from her trauma and the difficulties she had to go through in life, the issues are still very much present in her mind.

The fact that her sister makes an out-of-nowhere appearance in the mirror and Dani also sees her face in the crowd of cult members suggests that Dani is still in a lot of pain and is dealing with a lot of mental health issues subconsciously.

Midsommar is currently available to stream on Max.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.