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What You'll Only Notice In The Haunting Of Bly Manor If You Rewatch It

Contains spoilers for The Haunting of Bly Manor

Netflix's The Haunting of Bly Manor is an intricate love story filled with ghosts and grief, with nine episodes full of foreshadowing and callbacks that all connect to one another. The show is so detailed that there are probably quite a few of these moments that you missed. Because of this, many fans have already begun to rewatch the series, noting lines and other details that they didn't realize were connected until now.

One of these particular moments relates to the biblical story featured on episode 2, "The Pupil." After the first episode introduces the new governess Dani Clayton (Victoria Pedretti), the Bly Manor staff, and the two children, Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth), the second episode starts going deeper into the characters' history — starting with Miles and his short stint at boarding school.

Miles has a memorable lesson during which his teacher, Father Stack (Jim Piddock), recounts the story of the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine. While the story of demons and possession has a very obvious connection to Miles' later storyline involving the ghost of Peter Quint (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), the old tale also has a direct connection to a key moment on the last episode of the season, "The Beast in the Jungle." Given the separation between the two episodes, the connection between the swine and Dani's fate is very easy to miss.

The boarding school lesson reveals Dani's future

In a Reddit thread, one keen-eyed viewer noted something during their Bly Manor rewatch. With the original story of the Gadarene Swine, Jesus gives the demons permission to enter the pigs, who are in turn driven mad and drowned in the lake. As u/jungfolks notes, the story is "an interesting parallel about how Dani allowed herself to be possessed by Viola and then willingly drowned herself."

On the final episode of the season, Dani invites Viola (Kate Siegel), also known as the Lady of the Lake, to possess her for the rest of her life, living together in Dani's body. By doing this, Dani saves Flora's life and lifts the curse from Bly Manor. For many years, Dani and Jamie (Amelia Eve) live happily together, but soon Dani starts feeling Viola creep in. Once she realizes Viola is beginning to take over, threatening Jamie's safety, Dani takes her fate into her own hands once again and returns to Bly Manor for the last time. 

Just like the herd of pigs, Dani enters the lake and drowns, but her destiny has a few key differences. In the biblical story, the swine have zero initiative; Jesus makes the decision for them. After Miles initially hears the lesson, he questions this, asking Father Stack, "Then it wasn't fair, was it?" — referring to "what Jesus did to the pigs." They're innocent creatures possessed by demons without their consent. While Dani objectively shares their fate, she chooses it. 

Bly Manor's overarching theme of possession and consent

The main connection to the story — and the reason you might miss its connection to Dani — is Miles' own experience with possession. By the time Miles questions Father Stack about possession, viewers already have an inkling that there's something wrong with the young boy. Soon after, the show reveals that Peter is possessing Miles without his permission. Looking back at the Miracle of the Gadarene Swine, it's clear why Miles is curious, feeling like the controlled swine in his own story.

One of Bly Manor's major themes is consent and its necessity. The ghosts of Bly Manor are able to take control of people for small periods of time, but to permanently possess them, there are a few rules. One is that they need the person's permission. For Peter, he has to emotionally manipulate Miles to get him to accept the possession. Going even further, Peter's love Rebecca (Tahirah Sharif) truly shares the fate of the pigs, as he tricks her into letting him control and drown her in the lake. 

Bly Manor illustrates how — although it may seem as simple as a "yes" or "no" — consent is a complicated matter. For Dani, she has a better understanding of the consequences of her decision, and is able to maintain her agency and live a fulfilling life. But eventually, she's forced to return to Bly Manor or succumb to Viola's will. In the end, is she any more free than the swine?