Seraphim Falls Movie Ending Explained

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Seraphim Falls, Liam Neeson, Pierce Bronson

For those who have just watched 2006’s Seraphim Falls, here is a breakdown of what went down in its ending.

The Western follows Pierce Brosnan’s Gideon as he tries to escape the vengeful Carver, played by Liam Neeson and his bounty hunters.

Why Is Liam Neeson Hunting Pierce Brosnan In Seraphim Falls?

Liam Neeson Hunting Pierce Brosnan  in Seraphim Falls
Seraphim Falls

For a good chunk of Seraphim Falls, viewers have no idea who Pierce Brosnan’s character is—or even Liam Neeson’s Carver.

It turns out that Brosnan’s survivor is named Gideon, who was a former Union General during the Civil War. While looking for remaining Confederate soldiers, he comes upon Colonel Carver and his family at their home in Seraphim Falls.

While Carver claims he set his men free long ago, this does not stop Gideon from ordering his men to burn down their house and barn—an order he only gives because he was told there’s no one inside.

Little does he know, there is an infant child in a crib, whom both the mother and son (why did the son follow?) attempt to save by dashing up the stairs of the burning house.

Neither of them make it out.

It is a heavy burden held by Gideon, and why Carver will stop at nothing to kill his target.

What Exactly Happens at the End of Seraphim Falls?

Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan in Seraphim Falls
Seraphim Falls

Now, there are two ways to interpret how the movie's ending plays out.

The first is literal.

Eventually, Liam Neeson’s Carver catches up to Gideon—but instead of killing his mark, he loses his last man and is swiftly defeated.

However, Pierce Brosnan’s character decides to show mercy, telling his enemy to head back to town. He does not.

The last twenty minutes play out as an elongated, more desperate chase than before. Both men are seriously injured and impaired, but each is just as determined to keep going.

Along their final stretch, the duo meets two strange individuals, separate from one another, that push them closer to the end of their journey.

The first is an Indian man, played by Wesley Studi and credited as Charon, who takes Gideon’s horse and Carver’s last gold.

Then, in the flat desert bed, they run into Anjelica Huston’s Madame Louise, who is (apparently) walking her stagecoach around the desert. She offers Gideon a bullet and Carver a gun in return for a horse and some water—expediting their dual.

The two enemies once again come face-to-face, with Carver getting shot and Gideon coming out on top. However, he doesn't leave it there.

Instead, he gives the gun to Carver, telling him that only he can finish. After what seems to be a vision of his late wife, Liam Neeson’s character puts aside his vengeance and forgives Gideon for what he did.

The two stand up and walk into the horizon, though it is unclear if either will make it to a town before succumbing to their wounds and exhaustion.

The Spiritual Angle

Fans can view these events in an entirely different light as well, a metaphorical, spiritual one.

Wesley Studi could be named Charon after the Greek ferryman in the Underworld for a reason. After all, his presence certainly felt strange, to say the least.

Then there's Anjelica Huston’s Madame Louise, who has no logical reason to be where she is. It simply doesn't hold up to any scrutiny, pointing to something else going on.

Perhaps both men perish in the Wild West, and their souls only get any sort of resolution after wandering through the vast, barren purgatory together.

It is honestly hard to decide which is the preferred interpretation.

As of writing, Seraphim Falls can be found streaming on Netflix.

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- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.