‘The Abyss’ Ending Explained: Is It Based On A True Story? Is Tage Dead Or Alive?


The Netflix survival thriller film The Abyss (or Avgrunden in Swedish) revolves around a real-life iron ore mine called Kiruna, located in the Luossavaara mountain region of Lapland, Sweden. The film culturally calls it the Swedish Womb because it provides a livelihood to hundreds of people who settled near the mines and laid the foundation of the Kiruna mining town. However, the extensive mining operation caused frequent tremors, which eventually led to an earthquake of around 4.8 magnitude on May 18, 2020. The tragic incident is marked as the biggest rock burst in Swedish history, because of which the surrounding area around the mine cracked and crumbled, thereby bringing horror to the entire community. Soon after the disaster, the entire old town was shifted to a new location.

In real life, the Kiruna mine is owned by the largest state-owned mining company in Sweden, which goes by the name Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB). However, in order to avoid any conflict with the real-life company, the film didn’t introduce the company’s name and instead briefly mentioned that the mine is owned by the government. A fictional version of the regulatory body, SMC, has been introduced in Richard Holm’s film, in which the protagonist, Frigga Vibenius, works as the head of security. However, except for the tragic disaster that took place in 2020 in Sweden, none of the stories presented in The Abyss are true, and it can be said that the narrative is loosely based on the real-life incidents that took place after the earthquake. So, without any further ado, let’s explore Frigga’s story in the film and explain its ending.

Spoiler Alert

How Did Frigga Find Out About the Impending Disaster?

The Abyss clearly explained that the extensive mining operation had increased the frequency of tremors, which could turn into a disastrous earthquake anytime soon. The mining had created hollow cavities in the region, thereby weakening the walls of the Kiruna mountains. It was the reason why they were unable to sustain the frequent tremors, which therefore led to a huge sinkhole in the nearby town.

Frigga, along with her husband, Tage, and friend, Erika, went into a mining area that had been closed down for some 20 years. Possibly, it was the same region where Frigga lost her father, Bo Vibenius. Some 30 years ago, Frigga insisted her dad take her to a blasting operation, where he tragically died while trying to save his daughter. The entire incident left a deep impact on Frigga, which was why she dedicated her entire life to keeping the mines safe and closing them down if there were any signs of danger. Nevertheless, as Frigga and others lunged deeper into the closed mine area, they found a huge cavity running towards Kiruna, thereby suggesting that the entire city was about to sink into it. But before Frigga could raise the emergency alarm, she and the others got stuck inside the mines, where Erika lost her life. Somehow, Frigga and Tage managed to come to the surface and alert the team to evacuate the old Kiruna city as quickly as possible.

Who is Dabir?

Frigga walked out of Tage’s life after he asked for a divorce. While The Abyss didn’t mention why Tage wanted to separate, it could be possible that Frigga’s obsession with her work eventually led to a crack in their marriage. However, their kids, Simon and Mika, were most affected by the fallout, especially Simon, who wanted things to go back to normal. While Simon mostly lived at the family house with Frigga, he wanted her mother to let Tage live under the same roof, but Frigga was done with her husband. She started a new relationship with a man named Dabir Ayobi, who got himself transferred from Uppsala to settle down with Frigga. But as the new man arrived in town, he found that Frigga hadn’t yet signed the divorce paper because she didn’t want to break Tage’s heart. Dabir wanted to propose to Frigga for marriage, but as the new revelation hit him, he decided to give Frigga some time to figure things out with Tage.

Where was Simon?

Simon, being a conflicted teenager, failed to fathom his parents’ complicated relationship and, therefore, lashed out at her mother the day before his birthday. Later, the old lady who worked at a cafe called Ovttass told Mika that Simon had ordered a cake with the name Verdansk written on it. The old lady believed that Simon intended to leave town and settle down in Verdansk, but ultimately, the family found out that it wasn’t a real location but a Death War Zone in Call of Duty, a game that Simon was obsessed with. I know it all sounds extremely stupid in a disaster film, but I guess this goes to show that there’s no bigger disaster than marriage.

Since the beginning of The Abyss, the film has tried to elevate the tension by suggesting that Simon fell down in the Kiruna Rift Zone and probably died there. But in the end, a girl in the hospital told Simon’s parents that the lad had been playing video games with his friends in his school, Hjalmar Lundbohm, which had been closed for some time, most likely due to the relocation of the old city.

How did Frigga save Simon?

Frigga, Tage, Dabir, and Mika arrived at the school only to find it in shambles. As they made their way inside, the dead bodies of young teenagers covered in blood horrified them to the core. Frigga didn’t want her son to meet the same fate and therefore kept looking for Simon, who was finally located in a large room where the youngsters had set up a projector to play the damn video game. Simon was stuck near the edge of a sinkhole and couldn’t reach the surface, which was why Frigga used a fire hose to reach her son. However, in the process, she pierced her leg, leading to excessive bleeding. It was when Simon and Mika gathered some courage to help their mother. Dabir and Tage tried to pull the family to safety with the help of the fire hose, but suddenly, the edge started to crack, and therefore, Frigga, Simon, and Mika jumped onto a metal structure hanging off a wire in the middle of the sinkhole. As expected, the electrical cables supporting the structure started to loosen up, which was when Tage held the bare cables to give his family enough time to reach the surface. In the end, Tage sacrificed his life to save his family because it was the only thing that mattered to him the most. Moments later, the rescue team arrived at the school to tend to the wounded and look for any other survivors. 

During The Abyss’ ending, we saw Dabir looking at the melancholic Frigga sitting inside an ambulance, who was still grieving her husband’s death. At this juncture, Dabir seemed to be in a fix. He wanted to start a life with Frigga but wasn’t sure if it was the right time to propose to her for marriage. Throughout the film, Dabir struggled to find out Frigga’s true feelings for him. She had told him that she loved him, yet she hadn’t signed the divorce papers because she cared for Tage. Before dying, Tage had given Dabir a ring that he took from him, maybe foreshadowing his own death and accepting Dabir and Frigga’s relationship, which was inevitable. In the end, Dabir took out the ring once again to think over his decision, but as soon as he shared a look with Frigga, the woman smiled at him, thereby implying that they were indeed going to spend the rest of their lives together. As for the kids, Mika would most likely move to Stockholm after her girlfriend Alia’s death, as she was the only thing tethering her to the town. Simon, on the other hand, would stay with his mother at the new city site for some time before finally moving out. Tage’s sudden death had left a deep scar on the young boy’s mind, and he would need his mother by his side before he was ready to face the new world. And as for the rest of the town, they would have to move to the new site because of the earthquake. They would be forced to start their lives from scratch, but at least most of them were lucky enough to survive the catastrophe. 

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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