The Blue Lagoon Ending, Explained: Do Richard And Emmeline Survive?

With Randal Kleiser in the director’s seat, the 1980 fantasy romance drama ‘The Blue Lagoon’ is an uneasy return to the age of innocence painted with a degree of existential concern. Set at the turn of the nineteenth century and based on the eponymous novel by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, the guilty pleasure tale chronicles a shipwreck. Following the explosive accident, children Richard and Emmeline get stranded on the seas with eccentric sailor Paddy Buttons. The island holds a lot of sinister secrets, possibly including that of the bogeyman and the promise of love and family in desolate barrenness. However, it would help if you had questions following the open-ended finale of the movie. In that case, let us probe further. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Blue Lagoon Plot Synopsis

Richard and Emmeline Lestrange are on their way to San Francisco on a ship with Richard’s father, Arthur. Richard and Emmeline wander off, coming across old photos of naked women in the room of Paddy Buttons. Paddy, an old sailor in the crew, is about to give the children a beating, but in the meanwhile, a fire in the ship seizes our attention. Paddy, Richard, and Emmeline get on a boat while Arthur and his associates grab another. The vessel is dwindling, and moments later, the sea claims it. While Paddy, Richard, and Emmeline survive the accident, they are separated from the other group.

Emmeline is thirsty, and Paddy moves their attention towards the hissing sound the setting sun makes when it touches the water. Even after growing up, Richard believes that he can hear the sound. Paddy is afraid they would die without food and water, but as the dawn breaks, they see that they are in front of an island. The island is a provider since there are fruits, fresh water from streams, and even a rum barrel. After much revelry, Paddy gets on the barrel and departs to his salvation one night. The following morning, Richard and Emmeline discover Paddy dead. Richard and Emmeline make the island their home, while Richard dreams that his father will arrive to take them home. They embark upon a forbidden romance in the far-flung pastoral, and Emmeline gives birth to a baby.

The Blue Lagoon Ending: Can Arthur Rescue Richard And Emmeline?

Following Richard’s hopeful contention, Arthur comes to rescue the two. While Richard, Emmeline, and the baby are rolling on the mud, their complexion gives them the appearance of people of color. Therefore, Arthur concludes that the man, the woman, and the baby cannot be his son and niece. While Arthur’s boat retreats, Richard and Emmeline decide to head to the other place where they used to live with old Paddy. Emmeline and little Paddy sit on the boat while Richard goes to procure some bananas for their journey. However, Emmeline zones out, and she comes to her senses to see that the vessel has drifted quite far from the shore.

When Paddy accidentally throws an oar onto the sea, Richard jumps on the water to reach the oar. Emmeline discovers a shark in the water and notifies Richard right on cue. Leaving the oar in the water, Richard swims towards the boat. The family comes together on the boat, but they stay adrift in the ocean. After little Paddy eats some of the never-wake-up berries, Emmeline tries her best to keep him awake. When they cannot remain guard by the baby any longer, and the road to survival is not in sight, Richard and Emmeline decide to have the berries themselves and accompany the baby. In the final chapter, Arthur discovers the boat.

Do Richard And Emmeline Survive? What Happens to Paddy?

In the end, Richard intently asks his associates whether Richard and Emmeline are alive as he gets on the boat. One of the associates replies that they are asleep and not dead. Following Paddy’s warning, we assume that eating the never-wake-up berries results in death. Therefore, we conclude that Richard, Emmeline, and the baby are dead after eating the berries together. However, it does not occur to us that Paddy’s sailor wisdom may be based on a legend, which may be the case in hindsight. Although the film’s depiction is in broad brushstrokes, the book identifies the berries as “Arita berries.”

The berries are fictional and have no authentic representation in biology. They are some powerful narcotics that make people sleep. There are similar legends about exotic flora and fauna that lull sailors to sleep – see, for example, the poem ‘The Lotus-Eaters’ by Alfred Tennyson – where “dark faces” lose color in front of a mysterious and sleep-inducing “rosy flame.” Incidentally, the plant shown in the movie can be rosary peas, the consumption of which can be fatal for an adult.

They are found in numbers in Polynesian islands, and following that path, the family seems to be dead. However, the film encourages giving the trio the benefit of the doubt, as the expert finds that they are breathing. Therefore, we may as well be thinking that Richard and Emmeline are alive. Reinstating the theory is the possibility that the seed pods were attached to other shrubs as a prop. The black and red seeds do not look identical to rosary peas. Therefore, Richard, Emmeline, and the baby are most possibly alive.

Do Richard and Emmeline Stay Together? Are They Cousins?

Here’s a question you must speculate on as they potentially head back to the civilization. Richard and Emmeline are definitely first cousins. After the death of Emmeline’s parents, Arthur rears them both until the shipwreck. However, they have come closer during their stay on the island. They have also been physically close, resulting in Emmeline giving birth to the baby Paddy. However, in the modern world, their relationship is considered taboo, which brings one to face several questions. Presumably, Richard and Emmeline have been on the island for around ten years. Although cousins, they have also accepted each other as life partners.

While it may seem odd in certain modernized cultures, it is possible for Richard and Emmeline to end up with each other. Even in some US states, like Massachusetts and New Hampshire, girls have a minimum marriage age of 12 with parental consent. While it is not ideal for a woman to marry at twelve, child marriages are prevalent across developing nations in South Asia, West Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. Moreover, although a social taboo in itself in many cultures, inbreeding is accepted in sovereign dynasties worldwide.

Even Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are third cousins, as this provocative article by The Independent suggests. More importantly, child marriages seem widespread, contrary to the so-called woman empowerment (concurrent with modernity) across nations. Therefore, the sin does not matter, as far as one cannot distinguish between the god and the bogeyman. As they are in love and vowed to walk the line together, we hope Richard and Emmeline will be happy to spend the rest of their lives together, rearing baby Paddy. Therefore, considering all the aspects, Richard and Emmeline seem to stay together.

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