Study Guide

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Epilogue

By Neil Gaiman

Epilogue

  • We are back to present day, and the grown-up boy is still sitting by the pond contemplating his memories—the real ones, that is.
  • Gran Hempstock brings him tea and a sandwich, and he finally puts it all together. He thought she was Ginnie, but she's Gran—who hasn't aged a bit in forty years.
  • He asks why he came there, and she says he came for the same reason he always comes back—to remember, and because Lettie wanted him to. (Uh, wait, he's done this before?)
  • Turns out, he's been there at least twice before (since he's reached adulthood), but he doesn't remember because it's easier that way. (Gotta love Gran's vague explanations that don't really explain anything at all.)
  • Ginnie Hempstock shows up, and she hasn't changed either. She says that the reason he is drawn back to the farm is so that Lettie can check on whether her sacrifice has been worth it. She's still healing, wherever she is, but she's been checking him out the whole time he's been reminiscing by the pond.
  • The women gently tell him it's time to get back to the people who are waiting for him at the funeral.
  • Ocean (the cat) shows up for some scratches and he says he used to have a cat just like her—they tell him that he brought her back to them.
  • Just like that, the spell is broken. As he walks his dishes to the farmhouse he is back to "remembering" that Lettie is in Australia, and he needs to get back to his family.