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The Dark Fan Theory That Would Change Everything About Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's 2010 film "Black Swan" is the true definition of a beautiful nightmare. The film stars Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a troubled ballerina vying for a major lead role in "Swan Lake." The psychological thriller shows her breakdown resulting from the pressures to succeed, leading her to have gruesome hallucinations that end in her downfall. 

Portman's Nina is the star of "Black Swan." She's the unreliable narrator who is responsible for tweaking the viewer's reception of reality, as a result, of her undeniable paranoia. However, she shares the screen with a few supporting characters, like her rival ballerina Lily (Mila Kunis). Additionally, a major part of Nina's psyche is her troubled relationship with her overbearing mom Erica (Barbara Hershey). 

Nina has trouble letting go of her innocence, something that can partially be attributed to her mom living out her personal fantasies through her daughter. It's why she needs to go to such extremes to give a dazzling performance as the Swan Queen — she has trouble letting go of the pressure she faces. One fan on Reddit has a theory about the role of Erica that could totally change the way you perceive Nina's story. 

One fan thinks Nina altered the reality of her mom

"Black Swan" fan u/jorge22s took to Reddit to hypothesize that Nina actually created the character of Erica in her mind and that she isn't real. According to them, it stems from her inherent issues with being independent and confident in herself. The idea is that Nina actually lives alone since Erica is rarely shown interacting with any other character besides one brief moment with Lily. However, the fan thinks that Nina could have easily twisted the portrayal of that interaction as well. "The mother of Nina is a [figment] of her imagination that represents her denial of growing up," u/jorge22 wrote. 

Other fans were quick to elaborate on the interesting idea. User u/adriel-wolf agreed that it makes sense because Erica isn't upset at the end of Nina's final performance but inspired by the situation, which wouldn't make sense if she really had just lost a daughter. "Now I have to go back and watch 'Black Swan' again. It's just like 'The Sixth Sense," wrote user u/link090909.

It's easy to watch any movie and come up with some convoluted theory that the entire plot was just a dream or the figment of someone's imagination. However, considering Nina spends the entirety of "Black Swan" experiencing hallucinations, it doesn't seem super far-fetched that she could have made up one of the characters entirely. The idea adds even more layers to this already complex film.