The Hateful Eight Ending, Explained: Who Poisoned The Coffee?

‘The Hateful Eight’ is Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 Western thriller drama film featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Walton Goggins, among several others. The movie centers around eight strangers who escape from a blizzard and take shelter in “Minnie’s Haberdashery.” Among the travelers are Marquis Warren, John Ruth and his bounty Daisy Domergue, and Chris Mannix, all on their way to Red Rock. Forced to wait out the blizzard in the same cabin brimming with dangerous tension, each individual tries to put up with their differences and survive the night. The film takes place after the American Civil War and explores themes of race, politics, and revenge. If you’re interested in finding out how this chance encounters ends for these characters, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘The Hateful Eight.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Hateful Eight Plot Synopsis

Major Marquis Warren, an African-American Union veteran turned bounty hunter with three dead bounties, is without a horse in the middle of an incoming blizzard. He hitches a ride from John “The Hangman” Ruth, another bounty hunter traveling to Red Rock to deliver his latest bounty, Daisy Domergue, to her death on the gallows. On the way, they pick up another lost hitchhiker, Chris Mannix, son of Erskine Mannix, a former Confederate leader. John Ruth is reluctant to take Mannix on at first but has to agree when Mannix claims to be the new Sheriff of Red Rock. On the wagon ride, Mannix reveals the South had put a 30,000 dollar bounty on Warren’s head for escaping and burning down a prisoner camp during the war. As a result, the animosity between them grows.

As the blizzard approaches closer, O.B., Ruth’s driver, stops the wagon at Minnie’s Haberdashery for shelter. However, instead of being greeted by the cabin owner, Minnie, and her husband, Sweet Dave, the group finds Bob. When asked, Bob informs Warren that Minnie and Dave were gone on a trip to Minnie’s mother’s house and have left Bob in charge. Inside the cabin, Warren and Ruth find three strangers who seem to be in the same predicament as them. One of them asks to see Warren’s warrant for Ruth’s arrest and reveals himself to be Oswaldo Mobray, Red Rock’s hangman. Ruth continues to go around the room and acquaint himself with the men he will be sharing a roof with for the remainder of the blizzard.

One of them, a cowboy named Joe Gage, tells him he’s visiting his mother for Christmas and attracts Ruth’s suspicion. The last man is Sanford Smithers, a Confederate General who disdainfully refuses to engage in conversation with Ruth. Mobray asks Mannix if he’s the one with a letter from President Lincoln, having heard a rumor about it. Ruth discloses Warren as the one in possession of the Lincoln Letter from back when he was pen pals with the President. Later, when Mannix recognizes Smithers as a General, Smithers tells him about his plans in Red Rock. Smithers’s son, Chester Charles Smithers, had come to Red Rock searching for financial opportunity and lost his life. Therefore, Smithers has bought a plot for his missing son in the town’s cemetery.

Warren walks into the cabin and comes face to face with Smithers. The two had fought in the Battle of Rouge on opposite sides. Once tension around the room starts to get high, Mobray suggests they partition the cabin into two: the fireplace as Georgia, the southern side, and the bar as Philadelphia, the northern side. John suspects a bigger scheme to be at play, involving an attempt at freeing Domergue from his capture. He confiscates everyone’s weapons except Warren’s and asks O.B. to get rid of them.

At dinner, Mannix asks Warren about his letter from President Lincoln and refuses to believe in its legitimacy. After Ruth tries to defend the same, Warren admits to lying about the letter. Ruth is displeased at the discovery. Afterward, Warren goes to talk with Smithers. The Confederate General is reluctant to talk to Warren at first. Still, he eventually discusses his life after the war with the other man. When the topic of his son comes up, Warren tells Smithers that he knew Chester Charles and discloses that he is the one who killed him.

After handing Smithers a gun, Warren recounts his meeting with Chester Charles, who had come looking to claim the bounty on Warren’s head. Warren proactively shares the gory details of how Warren had sexually assaulted and murdered Smithers’s son as a way to take revenge on Smithers for his actions during the war. Smithers takes up the gun and pulls it at Warren. However, Warren is quicker and more prepared. He pulls out his own gun and shoots Smithers dead. Meanwhile, Domergue witnesses someone poisons the coffee while everyone is distracted by Warren and Smithers.

Gage and O.B. dispose of the Smithers’ body while Mannix, Ruth, and Mobray discuss the legality of the murder that had just transpired in the cabin. Domergue watches Ruth and O.B. drink the poisoned coffee and remains quiet. She takes up the guitar and starts to sing a song. Initially, Ruth finds her song amusing but soon becomes angered after a particularly menacing verse. He handcuffs Domergue to himself. Soon, Ruth and O.B. both throw up a concerning amount of blood. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Ruth starts attacking Domergue. As the two fight each other, Domergue manages to pull out Ruth’s gun and shoots him.

The Hateful Eight Ending: Who Poisoned The Coffee?

After Ruth drinks the coffee and dies, Warren realizes someone must have poisoned the batch and interrogates everyone about it. He leaves Domergue cuffed to Ruth’s body and lines up the rest of the men with their faces to the wall at gunpoint. He quickly counts out Mannix as a suspect due to the fact that Mannix almost drank the same coffee himself moments before Ruth threw up some blood. Therefore, Warren hands Mannix a gun and uses his help to find the real culprit. Mannix thinks Gage the Cowboy is responsible, but Warren isn’t quick to assume.

Warren first interrogates Bob because he has been suspicious of him for a long time. Warren claims that the stew Bob had served for dinner tasted exactly like Minnie’s stew. He comes to the conclusion that it was, in fact, Minnie’s stew, which paradoxes Bob’s story of the couple being out of town for a week. Warren also deduces that Sweet Dave would have never left without his beloved armchair. When Warren peels back the blankets from the chair’s headrest, he finds a big splatter of blood on the chair. Warren then reminds Bob of Minnie’s racist tendencies toward Mexican people. Therefore, she never would have left her cabin under the care of Bob, a Mexican. Having caught Bob in the lie, Warren kills him.

However, the culprit behind the poisoned coffee still remains. Ruth had been skeptical about someone trying to interfere in his capture of Domergue from the very start. He had thought Domergue had accomplices in the cabin and that some men were in cahoots with her. Warren puts his faith in Ruth’s theory and threatens to make Domergue drink the poisoned coffee unless someone makes a confession. As a result, Cage comes forward and confesses. However, before Warren can kill him, Jody shoots Warren between his legs from below the cabin floor. Consequently, a shootout breaks out in which Mannix and Mobray fire their guns at each other.

Who is Jody? Does Daisy Domergue Escape?

Jody Domergue is Daisy Domergue’s brother and leader of his gang with a 50,000 dollar bounty on his head. After hearing about his sister’s capture and future execution at Red Rock, Jody came to Minnie’s Haberdashery with three of his men: Marco, Pete Hicox, and Douglass, who take up the aliases Bob, Oswaldo Mobray, and Joe Gage, respectively. The gang members killed everyone in the cabin, including Minnie and Sweet Dave, and then set up a stage for Ruth to walk in with Daisy. However, they didn’t account for Warren and Mannix’s presence.

After the shootout, Mannix holds Douglass and Pete at gunpoint while Warren orders Jody to come out from under the floor. Jody does the same after Warren threatens to kill his sister, Daisy. Once the two siblings share a few words with one another, Warren puts a bullet in Jody’s head, effectively killing him.

After Jody’s death, Daisy and the rest of the gang members try to pursue Mannix to turn on Warren and kill him. Daisy tells him that 15 members of their gang are waiting in Red Rock for Daisy’s return and that if she doesn’t, then the gang will sack the whole town. She also tells Mannix he can claim the bounty on the dead Marco as well as Pete, who is on his way to dying. Warren finishes the job by killing Pete. Douglass procures a hidden weapon and tries to attack back, but Warren and Mannix shoot him before he can do anything. Daisy is still trying to strike a deal with Mannix. Warre tries to shoot her, but his gun runs out of bullets.

Nevertheless, Mannix refuses Daisy’s offer because he doesn’t believe her claims about the 15 gang members. Moreover, Mannix is also holding a grudge against her for almost letting him drink the poisoned coffee. While confronting Daisy about the same, Mannix faints from blood loss and drops down on the floor. Daisy realizes she has the upper hand over the gravely injured Warren she makes a run for a gun nearby. However, the weight of Ruth’s dead body holds her back. She gets her hands on a blade and hacks off Ruth’s arm. Still, before Daisy can reach the weapon, Mannix wakes up and shoots her. Mannix and Warren decide to pay tribute to John “The Hangman” Ruth and fashion a noose for Daisy Domergue. The two pull the rope and watch as she’s hanged to her death.

What Happens to Warren And Mannix?

In the shootout against Jody Domergue and his gang members, both Warren and Mannix end up gravely injured. Warren is all but castrated and is likely to die due to blood loss. Similarly, Mannix is in a similar state due to the bullet in his leg. Even if the two somehow survive their injuries, they won’t be able to survive without food and water. When they decide to kill Daisy Domergue, they have also accepted their inevitable deaths. As their last dying act, they kill Daisy in the way Ruth would have wanted her to die.

Afterward, Mannix asks to see Warren’s counterfeit Lincoln Letter. He reads the letter out loud as the two come closer and closer to their deaths. In the end, Warren and Mannix also die in the cabin like the rest of the Hateful Eight.

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