Equinox’s Confusing Ending, Explained

Netflix’s ‘Equinox’ is a cross between ‘Lost’ and the many shows that follow the plotline of someone trying to find out what happened to their loved ones a couple of years (or decades) after they vanished or were slain. Fitting into the “Scandi-noir” category – the dark and moody genre, usually containing some sort of a psychological element, hailing from Denmark, Norway, or any other Scandinavian country – this series is the perfect watch for a cold and dim winter day. Of course, that is only if you don’t look too deep into its eerie plot on your own. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Equinox Plot Synopsis

‘Equinox’ is a Danish thriller series that follows Astrid (Danica Curcic), a 30-ish-year-old journalist and a recently separated mother of one, who gets brought back to her childhood, and broken soul, by a disturbing call. While hosting a late-night phone-in radio show that talks about long-held superstitions and fears, Astrid gets connected to someone from her past, prompting her to go back to Copenhagen, her hometown, in the hopes of finding out the entire truth about the tragedy that destroyed her family.

Dealing with a case that remained unsolved for 21 years, one that still haunts her, Astrid starts devoting all her time to the 1999 mysterious disappearance of the 21 students who vanished into thin air just as they were celebrating their high school graduation. Amongst them was her then-18-year-old sister, Ida. Astrid, who was nine when it happened, started having traumatizingly detailed nightmares about it soon after, for which she even got admitted into the psychiatric ward. But little did she know that they would somehow help her solve the matter one day. As everything starts to unravel, things get a little creepy, so without further ado, let’s discuss the many nuances of ‘Equinox,’ shall we?

Equinox Ending: What Really Happens to Ida and Astrid?

In order to understand the finale of ‘Equinox,’ you first have to understand at least a little bit of the mythology that drives it. The folklore of Ostara is told in different ways, but its Danish and German roots tie it back to the origins of the Easter Bunny. The Spring Goddess, Ostara, a human woman, borrowed from the pantheonic rituals, fell madly in love with the Hare King during the equinox. And he returned her feelings to the same extent. However, because of their nature, they had to eventually part ways. But even then, Ostara felt his presence everywhere, discovering eggs in the places they’d been together.

This tale is introduced to us quite early on in ‘Equinox,’ when Astrid’s father tells it to her as a bedtime story, revealing it to be her favorite. But what it does is that it foreshadows the ending. Essentially, it implies that Ida was Ostara all along, and as it runs in the blood, so was Astrid, her real sister. The woman they both considered to be their mother, Lene, unable to get pregnant, had somehow made a deal with the Hare King, in the form of Henrik, that gave her Ida in the past. The terms of their agreement were that the girl was to return to him at the age of 18 and deliver what had once been promised.

Unfortunately, though, when Ida had an abortion, she unknowingly broke the pact, making Henrik furious. In turn, he kept her and her 20 classmates captive until the deal was fulfilled from the other side. And as we mentioned, because Ostara is said to run in the blood the same way water runs in the river, once Astrid returns to him with his book 21 years later, everything is corrected. Those who had been long trapped are let go (seemingly not having aged), and the Hare King gets re-united with Ostara. Instead of returning to the real world, though, Ida and Astrid choose to live with the Hare King in another realm altogether.

Lene’s Secret Deal

Lene and Dennis, married and in love at one point, wanted to start a family together, so when Lene realized that she couldn’t get pregnant, she evoked the Hare King to have a baby. He granted the wish but specified that the child would have to be returned to him at the age of 18. Later on, in the form of Henrik, the Hare King keeps an eye on the child, Ida, to make sure things go as planned. And this is why Lene seems to be so overprotective of her elder daughter, restricting her freedom whenever possible.

However, once Ida ends up pregnant – whether it’s from her boyfriend at the time, Jakob, or the Hare King himself, it doesn’t seem to matter – Lene changes the deal to give up Ida’s baby instead of Ida herself, whom she’d grown to be fond of. But when Ida gets an abortion without her mother knowing, she unknowingly changes the course of nature. Lene, panicking, tries to do her best to warn Ida that she might end up hurt because of her actions, but the teenager doesn’t listen. And so, Lene’s worst fears come to life.

Henrik causes the teenager’s graduation bus to crash and takes all the students on board, save for three specific ones, as hostages. He entraps them in his other-worldly orange misted cave where they can neither move nor grow old until what he was promised is obtained. That same cave happens to be the one that haunted Astrid almost all her life.

Why Are Jakob, Amelia, and Falke Not Held Captive?

The three individuals had unknowingly already played their part in fulfilling the deal made by Lene and the Hair King to get Ida to him at the age of 18. So once things went wrong, he spared them to ensure that they did the same again with Astrid when the time came. Furthermore, they had already chosen their respective prophecies with the help of the Grimoire book as well, which they just had to live through.

Jakob is clearly punished, losing the woman he loved to the Hare King. Amelia loses way more than she could have ever imagined – her life, her best friend, and her sanity, wanting to both be Ida and be with Ida. And Falke suffers mentally every single day until things are set in motion to be corrected once again. In the end, Jakob and Falke, knowing that their purposes have finally been fulfilled, take their own lives.

Read More: Is Equinox Based on a True Story?