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The Encanto Fan Theory That Explains Why Mirabel Didn't Get A Gift

Contains spoilers for "Encanto."

At the heart of Disney's latest animated musical "Encanto" is the Madrigal family, led by matriarch Alma (María Cecilia Botero). As a young woman, Alma fled her home when an armed conflict brought discord to her everyday life. In doing so, she lost her husband Pedro, but saved each of her three children. In the film's present, Alma is now grandmother to a new generation of kids, including protagonist Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz).

Key to Alma starting a new life with her children and eventual grandchildren is a magical candle linked to an enchanted home, called the Casita, which is supposed to grow a new room for each addition to the family. Furthermore, it grants almost every Madrigal with superpowers, though Mirabel is practically unique in her family for possessing no such powers, referred to as gifts in the film's parlance.

While on the surface, Mirabel's powerlessness is presented as simple happenstance, one viewer shared a plausible theory online explaining why Mirabel may only appear to have never received a gift.

Mirabel's gift could be her link to the Casita

Reddit user thegreendorito123 proposed, in a post to the Fan Theories subreddit, that Mirabel is not, in fact, giftless, but is magically linked to the Casita. Supporting this theory are four key pieces of evidence from throughout the film.

First, they note, Alma is elderly, and unlikely to live forever. Alma exhibits a unique link to the Casita, so presumably in order to keep its magic in her family, she would require a successor. Second, nearing the film's ending, Mirabel leads her family to rebuild their home, which shattered earlier in the story, suggesting that Mirabel may be the Madrigal family member most closely tied to the magical building. Third, Mirabel is the only character aside from Alma seemingly able to communicate with the house. And finally, when Mirabel mends her relationship with her sister Isabela (Diane Guerrero), the candle appears affected and Isabela's powers altered, suggesting Mirabel's actions caused the house and its magic to react.

In summation, Mirabel appears powerless because her gift isn't one she can manifest at will like most of her other family members, but a unique link to the source of each of their powers. Furthermore, this theory posits that, while Mirabel's apparent lack of gift seems to leave her without a room in the Casita, she's primed to inherit Alma's as her successor. Whether or not this turns out to be true may well be explored in the unconfirmed but probable "Encanto 2."