The Meaning of Wake Up in 1899, Explained

Netflix’s ‘1899‘ is a sci-fi mystery TV series that follows a group of migrants sailing from London to New York on Kerberos. Each of these passengers has a dark past they’re trying to escape, and they believe a new life awaits them in America. However, Kerberos takes a detour to find and rescue Prometheus, a ship that’s been missing for the last four months. When the vessels cross paths, the passengers experience strange visions and dreams that make them question their reality.

Each migrant on the ship is somehow involved in a traumatic experience that haunts them while aboard Kerberos. However, every time they have a dream or a vision of it, they hear a voice say, “Wake up.” Hearing this, the migrant snaps out of the dream and returns to the ship. So, what exactly does “Wake up” mean? Whose voice is it, and why do the migrants hear it? Well, allow us to shed some light on this. SPOILERS AHEAD!

What Does Wake Up Mean?

Maura tells all migrants who are having a dream to wake up. Since all of them are in a layer of simulation created by Maura, they hear her voice. She created the simulation so that Elliot could live in it for eternity. Thus, she doesn’t want any migrant to dream in the simulation and be reminded of their reality.

Interestingly, when the migrants dream of their traumatic past, they do not get the full picture in one dream because Maura wakes them up. This is another sign that indicates that Maura is trying everything she can to keep the simulation going. This weird phenomenon occurs at different points in the series with different characters.

For instance, when Eyk sees his wife and daughters in the house, it starts burning. Before he can find out why or how it happened, he hears, “Wake up.” Only later, he gets the complete picture when he enters the house, and his daughter tells him that her mother is ill. Eyk realizes that he shouldn’t have ignored his wife’s illness because she burned herself, her daughters, and the house. A similar pattern is followed by the rest of the traumatized migrants, who Maura wakes up before they can fully know what happened to them.

In the simulation, even Maura dreams, despite being the creator, and even her dreams are interrupted multiple times. However, she hears two different voices on two separate occasions. The first time she dreams at the show’s beginning, she hears her father, Henry’s voice and wakes up. The second time Elliot takes her to the mental ward, and she wakes up after listening to her voice. There are two different reasons behind the two instances.

In the first case, Maura’s dream exists within Henry’s simulation, which runs like a loop. Since Henry doesn’t want her to remember the previous loop, he tells her to “Wake up.” However, in the second case, the dream takes place in the hospital. She reaches the place because of Elliot. The young boy wants her to remember that she’s his mother. Since Maura’s entire motive behind creating the simulation was to forget Elliot ever existed, she hears her voice and wakes up.

In the show, even Daniel uses the phrase “Wake up,” but it’s not in anyone’s dream or vision. He tells it directly to Maura because he hasn’t created the simulation and wants Maura to return to reality. Unlike Maura or Henry, Daniel doesn’t want her to be a part of the simulation. He understands that the actual reality is elsewhere and insists Maura remember it and wake up. Thus, to reiterate, Maura uses the phrase “Wake up” to keep the passengers inside her simulation, and Henry uses the phrase to keep Maura in his simulation.

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