A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?
At the end of Chapter 10, Ged faces off against the shadow, and it turns out that the shadow is actually a part of him. If you want to know more about that, check out "What's Up With the Epigraph?," since the epigraph kind of hints at how light and dark are totally interconnected.
There's also the strange paragraph-long epilogue where we hear a) that people tell different variations of this story, and b) that this story isn't part of the biographical songs that people made about Ged. So what's up with this part of the ending?
Well, it's a nice reminder that Ged lives in a place where most people don't read stories – they tell them out loud. And when you tell a story, sometimes certain parts change and morph over time. (For more recent examples of that, check out these urban legends.) It's also a reminder to us that Ged becomes a famous and powerful wizard after screwing up bigtime. We're suckers for that ending because, even though Ged did something incredibly dumb and dangerous when he was young, he still grows up to be wise and powerful and makes the world a better place. (Although we're getting dangerously close to talking about the sequels here.)