Netflix’s Katla Season 1 Ending, Explained

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WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Season 1 of Katla, now streaming on Netflix.

Netflix’s Katla takes a few intriguing turns in Season 1 as dark secrets are revealed about the townsfolk of Vik and the mysterious volcano, Katla, in Iceland. Duplicates of people are emerging from the ash and it’s soon discovered they’re not changelings per old mystical folklore — they’re manifestations of people’s thoughts. Once a degree of grief sets in, loved ones return as the volcano’s alien properties seek to fix the broken in Vik.

With that in mind, let’s dissect how Katla‘s Season 1 finale goes.

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What Happens to Ása?

A major part of Gríma wanting to move on and be happy again came due to her sister, Ása, returning. The original Ása died a year ago, and after finding her body that got lost in an ash storm, Gríma reveals to the copy that it might be best for them both to stop mourning.

These copies know they’re here for a purpose, with some staying and others accepting that it’s finite. Ása finally understands her purpose: to show her sister she needed to live again. She goes off into the sea and drowns herself, which is darkly poetic. Ása was the one who saw her dad’s infidelity and told her mom, causing the woman to become depressed.

She’d eventually drown herself in this same spot in front the girls decades ago, but rather than balk in horror, Gríma accepts that she needs to fix the future and make it more optimistic — or else she’d end up like her sister’s copy, obsessed with death.

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Who’s the Real Gríma?

Gríma’s duplicate came back too and was secretly staying in her home, sleeping with her husband, Kjartan, who had no clue there was a clone there. It pissed off the original a bit but she understood what happened as she was still depressed over losing Ása and her mom.

She learned a lot seeing the copy of her being happier with Kjartan, who didn’t even realize he willed her to life. The final episode, “I Am You,” has her honoring her pledge to Ása’s copy, playing Russian roulette with her clone while Kjartan is out in the barn.

It ends with the copy blowing her head off. The original is now grateful for a second chance and is found playing the piano and spending time smiling with her beloved.

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Do Þór and Gunhild Stay Together?

The first copy to come to Vik was Gunhild, a young Swedish woman. It turns out that decades before, she had an affair with Þór — Gríma and Ása’s dad — and left pregnant. He thought she aborted but never followed up as she was much younger, plus he had to cope with his wife’s suicide and resentful daughters. The young Gunhild rekindles a romance with Þór while the old one visits and is disgusted.

However, the son from that affair, Bjorn, comes to Vik too as he realized his mom was hiding stuff. He’s deformed and was kept out of society, with older Gunhild admitting that as she was so far along, a witch did an abortion for her that didn’t work out. She’s felt guilty since but when the young copy disappears from the hospital, the nurse tells older Gunhild there was a blood disorder that caused the deformity.

Thus, the witch wasn’t to blame, which allows the mother to lose all her guilt. The copy served her purpose and older Gunhild finally wants to go enjoy life. She’s free, as Bjorn decides he wants to now live with Þór, who craves a united family again.

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Does Mikael Survive His Parents?

Darri, the scientist who unlocked the volcano’s secret, and his wife Rakael are with their son, Mikael, who returned from the ash. He died years ago but the parents don’t want him as he’s showing psychopathic tendencies of old.

Still, he’s willing to start anew with his family but the parents take him to the sea and drown him after lying about it being a fun outing. His purpose was to remind them that despite their thoughts that he was crazy, they should have gotten over him jumping in front of a car.

Darri and Rakael now know they need to communicate more and stop blaming each other for things they can’t control. It seems they’ve put off their divorce with some semblance of love present again.

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Does Gisli Kill the Magnea Copy?

Gisli, the town sheriff, kept the healthy, young copy of his sick wife, Magnea, in the basement. He was trying to kill his cancer-ridden wife, hoping a young Magnea would take her place. The religious man just wanted to be happy again, enjoying the lust of life and going back to his youth.

Their story wraps with Magnea’s copy finding tools and escaping, only for her husband to chase her in his cop car. She dupes him and jacks the car, with the sick Magnea in the passenger seat. They drive off, holding hands, and head into an ash storm.

It’s not certain if this is an aided suicide or if they want to escape to enjoy life on their own terms. Gisli’s son, Einar, does find the fake medication and pummels his dad at the church, so it may be that the copy came back to also expose Gisli’s double standards.

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Who are the New Copies?

katla

The final scene has a bunch of people emerging from the black ash and coming to Vik. We never see who they are but they could be new faces if other townsfolk have returned after the eruption.

They could also be physical copies we’ve seen already, but manifested by different people’s thoughts. This would give them different personalities. One might even be Þór’s wife, who we heard about so much. Either way, it’s a haunting shot that promises a lot of drama for Season 2 as we have no clue what their purpose will be.

Created by Sigurjón Kjartansson and Baltasar Kormákur, Katla stars Íris Tanja Flygenring, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Aliette Opheim, Þorsteinn Bachmann, Haraldur Stefansson, Sólveig Arnarsdóttir, Baltasar Breki Samper, Birgitta Birgisdóttir and Björn Thors. Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

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