Warning: This Normal People article contains MAJOR spoilers for the book and Hulu series.
Normal People—both the 2018 novel and the just-released Hulu adaptation—end in a fairly ambiguous way. Marianne convinces Connell to accept the opportunity to study creative writing in New York City. She, however, chooses to stay in Dublin. While the two may be parting yet again without any commitment to stay in a romantic relationship, it’s not so hard to imagine them coming back together at some point when their lives realign. In this way, the parting of ways doesn’t feel so much like an ending as the start of the next cycle of separation and reunion.
As the reader and viewer is left to imagine what might happen next with Marianne and Connell, we asked series stars Paul Mescal (Connell) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne), as well as director Lenny Abrahamson and producer Ed Guiney what their personal head canon is for these characters following the ending of the show.
“I think Connell was going to go to New York,” says Mescal. “I think he’s going to struggle there for a little bit of time, and I think he’s going to really discover his identity as a writer. I think that’s going to take a little bit of time. I think Marianne’s going to have her own journey, and I think at some point within maybe five to 10 years, they will find each other again. I think they will be in constant contact with each other and be in and out of each other’s lives, but until they get to the point where they are secure professionally and have established a kind of more mature identity on the world, that they will find each other again.”
As for Edgar Jones, she thinks Marianne “will ace the rest of her degree, but I don’t think she will strive for a job.”
“I think she won’t really have much of an income,” continues Edgar-Jones. “I think she’ll just be an academic and find a way of surviving by just reading. Connell will probably have a lot of success, but yeah, I agree. I hope they find their way back to each other in some capacity, but I also think that they’ve done such an amazing job of giving each other goodness, which I hope that means they’ll ultimately be happy, whatever happens.”
Guiney points out that, whatever may happen next for Marianne and Connell, “as they say to each other, they’ll be alright,” adding that the story is about the positive impact these two characters have had on one another more than any specific outcome or relationship status. But of course he has his thoughts on what happens next…
“I mean, what I personally think is they will part for a while, but they’ll find each other again,” says Guiney. “That’s just my instinct, because I think when two people have such a close connection, it’s sort of very hard to imagine that they’d find anything as special elsewhere. So even though they might experiment and try, I think they’ll find each other again.”
“Yeah, I would agree with Ed,” says Abrahamson. “I don’t think this would be the last chapter of their relationship. I mean, who knows what happens in lives? But yeah, I can’t imagine them being able to stay away from each other for very long.”
What do you think happens to Marianne and Connell after the Normal People book/series ends? Let us know in the comments below…