What Does The Wolf Symbolize in Bodkin, Explained

In following the investigative misadventures of podcaster Gilbert, Emmy, and journalist Dove, ‘Bodkin,’ the show centering around a small town and its big mysteries, unravels several buried puzzles and riddles. The three protagonists’ arrival in the Irish town rehashes the decades-old disappearances that occurred in Bodkin on the night of the Samhain festival. While Gilbert only aims to cover enough of the story to earn himself a podcast that could become an instant hit, Dove’s approach to her work steers their investigation into murkier waters.

However, even as the trio uncovers the answers to the disappearances, the show’s narrative pitches another subtle mystery for the audiences through the periodic appearance of a cryptic wolf. The wolf seems to be connected to Dove, who often finds herself the object of its discerning gaze. Thus, after the puzzle pieces of Samhain Night lock into place, fans are sure to be left wondering about the wolf’s persisting enigma. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Dove’s Wolf: A Reminder of the Journalist’s Past

In the contemporary world of Ireland, wolves are a scarce sight to behold since the animals have gone extinct in the country. For the same reason, the wolf strategically stalking Dove in moments of solitude creates a notably peculiar image. After its first few appearances, it becomes clear that the wolf— likely an imagined vision— is exclusive to Dove and her perspective. While no clear answers become evident about the wolf at first, observing the pattern of its appearance can help decode its relevance.

The wolf only seems to appear when Dove is partaking in something particularly dangerous or morally grey. For instance, the wolf’s arrival on the heels of Dove’s hostile altercations with masked individuals presents an occasion when the animal looms over the journalist in a time of danger. Likewise, a sense of pity can be assigned to the wolf as it makes an appearance after Dove pushes Emmy to compromise someone’s privacy for the case’s sake.

Thus, the eventual revelation of Dove’s connection with Wolves highlights these instances in the light of the woman’s past. Dove had a tumultuous childhood as she grew up under the dubious care of her mother, who was addicted to heroin. As a child, Dove never realized something was wrong with her mother until she left the young girl on the steps of a covenant to be cared for by the nuns. Meanwhile, the mother herself underwent rehabilitation away from her daughter. Eventually, she left Dove behind.

For the same reason, Dove grows up to hold most things about her childhood in contempt. She hates the idea of returning to Ireland and continues to be disdainful of churches, covenants, and nuns. Furthermore, she also detests wolves since her mother gave her a wolf plushie when she was a kid. The wolf, whom Dove named Faoladh, was meant to keep her safe as a child, acting as her guardian when her mother couldn’t. The same remains in line with Irish folklore, wherein wolves are often used as symbols for protectors and guides.

Thus, as the viewers accompany Dove to the covenant where she grew up, now visited under a new light, the mystery of the wolf resolves. The wolf that follows Dove throughout the show is an imagined version of Faoladh— the journalist’s childhood toy. Faoladh is meant to symbolize moments of time when Dove is actively making a choice that requires her to either have protection or guidance. The wolf, with its sympathetic and compassionate gaze, wishes to steer the woman back into a world of safety and save her from her own immoral choices. Nevertheless, since— ironically enough— Dove is a lone wolf herself, she can only ignore or unsee the wolf and remain on her set path.

For the same reason, after Dove allows her to open up to the experiences and friendship with Gilbert and Emmy, she has the courage to return to the covenant and face the real Faoladh. Where an older Dove may have turned away from the plush, cotton-filled Faoladh, deeming it to be a constant reminder of her past, she is now willing to see the past for what it was— a story that made her who she is. Therefore, Dove ends the show, finally facing the wolf without holding it in contempt and allowing herself to bask in its company.

Read More: Bodkin Ending Explained