The Nest Movie Ending Explained: Horse Meaning Revealed

By Klein Felt Posted:
Jude Law at the end of The Nest movie

Sean Durkin's The Nest ends confusingly, particularly regarding a plot point regarding a horse. 

The Nest - first released in 2020 - is now streaming on Netflix in the U.S., telling the story of married couple Rory (played by Jude Law) and Allison O'Hara (Carrie Coon) who unravel after picking things up and moving to England from New York City.  

Written and directed by Iron Claw filmmaker Sean Durkin, The Nest is a harrowing tale of a dissolving romance and how people can slither and snake their way to the top. 

What Did the Horse Mean in The Nest?

The horse in The Nest
The Nest

Following a move to England and things starting to strain in Allison and Rory's marriage, The Nest's ending is a culmination of this growing separation between the two, signified by Allison's horse. 

For much of the movie, Allison's horse Richmond struggles with his new environment at the O'Haras' estate in the Surrey countryside. 

This runs in parallel with Carrie Coon's Allison starting to have doubts about her husband as his true colors begin to be revealed.

Carrie Coon in The Nest
The Nest

Despite what he told her to get the New York native to move their family to England, Jude Law's Rory was not ever offered a job, he is making no money, and the purchasing of a mansion, a new horse, and various fancy creature comforts was him essentially playing dress up as the rich.

Everything comes to a head, though, as one day Richmond suddenly dies while Allison rides her around the yard.

As she is unable to contact Rory, the grieving equestrian is forced to head down the road from their massive Surrey mansion to find a local farmer who comes out to the O'Hara property and puts Richmond out of its misery before burying it.

The horse death scene in The Nest
The Nest

This coincides with (and seems to be a metaphor for) the dissolution of Rory and Allison's marriage. 

As Richmond is put in the ground, tensions between the two hit an all-time high. Rory doesn't come home, Allison hides money, and the pair unravels. 

However, in the film's final moments, following Rory and Allison finding their separate ways home from an ill-fate business dinner (one which Allison actively sought to sabotage her husband), Coon's character seemingly forgives Law's. 

This supposed second chance comes moments after Allison is directed by her son Sam to the site of Richmond's grave, where he has been dug up ever so slightly. 

So while not an overt reference to Allison's and Rory's marriage, the digging up of the grave seems to represent the reluctant reaching out of the hand seen at the movie's close. 

What Is The Nest Movie Actually About?

Jude Law in The Nest
The Nest

As The Nest ends, it looks as though Jude Law's Rory and Carrie Coon's Allison have somewhat made up, despite the contentious days that led up to the film's finale. 

But did Jude Law's character have any meaningful change by the time the credits rolled? 

After Allison made it home on her own, arriving at the mission in the wake of a house party hosted by her teenage daughter Samantha, she and the kids sit down for breakfast (and some early morning Pepsi for some reason).

That is when Rory comes waltzing in. Rory says he is ready to change yet still comes bandying about some grand plan to get things back on track. 

Allison and the kids have none of it, which leads Rory to ultimately break down in front of them, swallow his pride, and sit down for some early morning tea and toast. 

That is the last audiences see of the character, and it is ambiguous if this 'change' Rory is spouting about will stick. 

But it seems like writer/director Sean Durkin is leaning toward Rory officially being done with his snake-like schemes. 

Before Rory takes the long walk home, he is seen seated in a cab headed for Surrey from London. 

The English stockbroker has a heart-to-heart with the cabbie, coming across the revelation that the meaning he has been looking for may have been sitting under his nose the whole time... being a good father. 

It remains unclear if this cab ride is the moment the character decides to change, but it looks like that is what the filmmaker was going for. 

The Nest is now streaming on Netflix in the U.S.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.