Appendage: Did Hannah Have a Twin? What Is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

Written and directed by Anna Zlokovic, Hulu’s ‘Appendage’ is a horror drama film based on Zlokovic’s short film of the same name. It features Hadley Robinson (‘Winning Time‘) as Hannah, a young woman dealing with severe anxiety issues and crippling self-doubt. When Hannah’s inner thoughts physicalize into a monstrous creature that slowly starts taking over her life, Hannah must find a way to regain control. In the movie, the root cause of the monster’s existence is implied to be a long-lost twin of Hannah. If you are wondering whether Hannah had a twin and what the vanishing twin syndrome is, here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Did Hannah Have a Twin?

In ‘Appendage,’ Hannah is a young fashion designer who deals with several emotional and psychological issues. As the narrative progresses, Hannah’s anxiety and self-doubt take the form of a monster known as the “appendage.” The monster is a parasitic creature that thrives on its host’s insecurities and vulnerabilities. Moreover, it uses a form of hypnosis to exert its influence and take over its host’s life. After encountering the monster, Hannah searches for answers about its emergence. Hannah learns that she has dual DNA, which only occurs in rare cases, sometimes due to the vanishing twin syndrome. As a result, it is implied that Hannah had a twin, which she absorbed when she was still just an embryo in her mother’s womb.

Later, the monster uses Hannah’s feelings of self-loathing to pose itself as the long-lost sibling and exerts its dominance on Hannah’s life. However, when Hannah asks her mother about the existence of a twin, she gets a dismissive answer. While Hannah’s mother does not rule out the possibility of a twin existing during her pregnancy, it all seems to be a part of the monster’s mind games. Hannah’s possessing dual DNA hints at her having a twin she absorbed. However, the condition can also be caused due to microchimerism or bone marrow transplant. Thus, other potential biological explanations for the condition and the lack of documented evidence strongly suggest Hannah did not have a twin.

What Is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?

After Hannah lands in the hospital due to excruciating pain from birthmark, she learns that she possesses dual DNA. Her condition is described as chimerism, which specifically describes Hannah’s unusual DNA pattern. However, the doctor explains a possible reason for the dual DNA in Hannah’s body by citing the vanishing twin syndrome. As the name suggests, vanishing twin syndrome is a condition in which one of a set of twins or multiple embryos dies in utero, disappears, or gets resorbed partially or entirely. As a result of the spontaneous reduction, a multi-fetus pregnancy turns into a singleton pregnancy. Due to the vanishing of one embryo, the condition is described as vanishing twin syndrome.

Moreover, in several cases, the DNA of the vanished embryo can be absorbed by the other embryo, resulting in dual DNA or chimerism. In the film, while Hannah possesses dual DNA, thereby making her a chimera, there is little evidence to suggest that her birth resulted from the vanishing twin syndrome. Nonetheless, the revelation of such a condition forces Hannah to reconsider her life choices and plunges her into the depths of self-loathing and disappointment. Moreover, it is implied that Hannah feels inadequacy, especially in her relationship with her parents, resulting in the monster taunting her that her twin might have made a better child to her parents.

Read More: Is Appendage a True Story?