Is Derek Hale Dead in Teen Wolf: The Movie? Why Did His Eyes Turn Red?

Paramount+’s ‘Teen Wolf: The Movie’ is a merry trip of nostalgia that reunites fans with their favorite characters from MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf.’ The supernatural thriller film directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by series creator Jeff Davis is a continuation of the show, set roughly ten years after the series finale. While the movie features several heartwarming moments, it packs an absolute tearjerker with the final sendoff to the beloved, chilly, and glaring Derek Hale we have all come to love. If you are wondering about Derek’s fate and the significance of his heroism in ‘Teen Wolf: The Movie,’ here is everything you need to know! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Derek Hale’s Fate in Teen Wolf

Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) is introduced in the series premiere episode of ‘Teen Wolf.’ He is supposedly the last surviving member of the Hale family from Beacon Hills. Over the show’s course, Derek forges a strong bond with Scott McCall and teaches him to control his werewolf powers. In ‘Teen Wolf: The Movie,’ roughly ten years have passed since we last saw Derek, and he now has a teenage son, Eli Hale. Throughout the film, Derek encourages Eli to tap into his werewolf side and accept his true self. However, Eli cannot do so because of a traumatic incident during his childhood.

During the final battle with the Nogitsune, Derek fights alongside Scott and Eli, who learns to transform into a werewolf. Derek and Scott must ensure that the trickster spirit is completely destroyed. Therefore, Parrish comes in to burn it with his hellfire, but he could also end up killing Scott and Derek. However, Parrish is not strong enough to hold down the creature on his own. Ultimately, Derek makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his loved ones. Derek perishes with the Nogitsune, ending its game of chaos and strife. However, before dying, Derek makes Eli a part of Scott’s pack and entrusts his son’s responsibility to his werewolf brother.

Derek’s death is a heartbreaking moment as he is easily one of the most popular characters from the original show. However, Derek sacrificing himself signifies his personal growth as he learns to value his pack. Initially a loner, Derek becomes attached to his friends through their years of fighting supernatural creatures together. Therefore, ‘Teen Wolf: The Movie’ ending with a big, emotional sendoff to Derek serves the character’s arc.

Derek’s Eye Color Transformation Explained

In the final moments, Derek’s eyes suddenly turn red after he pushes Scott aside and prepares to sacrifice himself. The sudden change of color signifies that Derek has transformed into an Alpha. Derek’s story arc has been closely associated with the color of his eyes. Although Derek is a beta werewolf at the start, his eyes are blue, unlike Scott’s yellow eyes. Eventually, Derek defeats his uncle and becomes the Alpha, only to sacrifice the power to heal his sister, Cora Hale. Later, it is revealed that Derek’s eyes turn blue because he is responsible for the death of his lover.

As viewers must be aware, a werewolf can only become an Alpha by stealing the power of another Alpha, killing its pack, or by the power of virtue. The latter is known as True Alpha, who rises to power through sheer will, courage, and integrity in their actions. Throughout the series, the only known True Alpha is Scott McCall. However, in his final moments, Derek attains the status of a True Alpha by showing a willingness to sacrifice himself for his loved ones. Thus, Derek absolves himself for his involvement in his lover’s death years ago. Derek turning into a True Alpha gives his heroic actions the necessary recognition, and he will go down as the noblest of the werewolves.

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