‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ Season 1 Episode 8 ‘The Murmuring’ Ending Explained

Here is the ending explained to The Murmuring of Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities.

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For anyone confused about the ending to the eighth episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities then allow us to try and help! We’ll also be covering the remaining episodes of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, but here is the ending explained to The Murmuring.

The Murmuring is the eighth episode of Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities and was directed and co-written by Jennifer Kent which is based on the short story by Guillermo del Toro.

Mourning a major loss, ornithologists Nancy and Edgar flock to a secluded home to study Dunlins, but the house’s history reveals heartbreak and horror.

What happened in ‘The Murmuring’?

Nancy and Edgar arrive at an isolated island to begin their research on Dunlins and are given a house to use in order to have a comfortable place to sleep and rest.

Their research starts off well, as Nancy and Edgar are able to survey, record footage, and record the sounds of Dunlins, in particular during their murmurations. All seems well between the pair, except when Edgar tries to be intimate with Nancy and is rejected.

Almost immediately Nancy is plagued by the noises of the house and is struggling to sleep. This leads her to discover Dunlins that have roosted in the attic despite the fact they typically never roost above the shrubbery.

As Nancy continues to record the Dunlins she begins to hear noises on the recordings, as the ghost of a child begins talking to her and visiting her in the night. As she begins to see the boy more, Nancy soon becomes obsessed with finding more information on the family that lived in the house decades ago. Meanwhile, Edgar just wants them to focus on their research and thinks Nancy’s obsession with the family has become too much of a distraction.

Edgar continues his attempts to be intimate with Nancy, but we eventually discover that the couple had tragically lost their daughter Ava, and this was the root cause of their intimacy, and Nancy’s insomnia.

Nancy’s neglection of her research and her obsession with the mother and son that previously lived in the house causes a huge rift between her and Edgar. She continues to see ghosts of the two, including when she’s in the bathtub where she sees the boy drowned, the mother bangs on the door screaming “what have you done.” She also upset the gentleman that was providing the house for the pair after she asks too many questions, but she does learn that the mother was the one that drowned after the isolation of the island drove her mad.

Her obsession with the family eventually leads to a big argument with Edgar, in particular about Ava, who Nancy has refused to talk about since her death, and never over. Edgar then decides he needs some space from Nancy and decides to sleep on the sofa instead, preferring an early start for his research.

The next morning Nancy is once again visited by the little boy, who is being chased by the ghost of his mother. She locks the door to the living room, stops the mother, and attempts to comfort the boy. He passes on to the other side after Nancy comforts him to the point where is no longer scared and runs into the light. This revelation finally breaks Nancy down, who begins to cry.

Nancy proceeds to visit the attic, where the ghost of the boy’s mother is staring down at her hands in disbelief, haunted by the fact she killed her son. As Nancy attempts to approach her, the mother jumps out of the window, where her body is nowhere to be seen and the Dunlins fly away. Nancy races downstairs where murmuring Dunlins fly around her, captivated by this moment it leaves Nancy almost breathless.

The experience leaves Nancy ready to move on with her life, and ready to talk about Ava with her husband.

Why did the ghost of the little boy disappear?

The entire time the little boy has been a ghost he has constantly been running from his mother, due to the fact she drowned him after going crazy. Thanks to his fear and confusion, the boy would have been too scared to pass on. This is why when Nancy helps him, she is able to comfort him to the point where he can run into the warmth of the light, and in doing so passes on, no longer to haunt the house.

Was Ava a ghost?

It’s more than likely that Nancy was dreaming, or thanks to her sleep deprivation was causing her to hallucinate. As Ava died many miles away from where Nancy and Edgar were conducting their research, it’s super unlikely the ghost of their baby girl was haunting them.

Why didn’t Edgar see any of the ghosts?

This was most likely due to the fact that he had come to terms with the death of his daughter, and was trying to move on from the tragedy. As for Nancy, who had yet to come to terms with Ava’s death, could have been more susceptible to the ghosts in the home.

Why did the Dunlins swarm Nancy?

Nancy used freedom as the reason why she loves birds so much. The Dunlins swarmed around her through their murmuring, which was symbolic of her finally moving on from Ava’s death, setting herself free.

What did you think of The Murmuring? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jacob joined What's on Netflix in 2018 as a fulltime writer having worked in numerous other industries until that point. Jacob covers all things Netflix whether that's TV or movies but specializes in covering new anime and K-dramas. Resides in Norwich in the United Kingdom.