‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Ending, Explained: What Happened To Clare And Henry? Who Is The Young Girl?


The sixth and final episode of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” focuses on the couple’s wedding and future. Henry and Clare (28 and 20 respectively) are getting married after Clare agreed to marry him in the previous episode. While the wedding planning is in full swing, Henry is anxious about their future. As a result of the wedding stress, he travels to the future multiple times, and he realizes that the future will not be a bed of roses. There would be days when Clare would hate him, and he would be the reason for her tears, but as Clare later said, they knew they were sailing into the storm. Being married to a time traveler can never be easy, but being together through thick and thin was their ultimate goal.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is more of a tragedy than a love story. The fact that Clare was stuck in destiny, where every choice she made was somehow already decided in time, felt like being trapped without having agency. She knew her future lover from her childhood days. She secretly met a naked man, her lover, at the clearing who came to spend time with her. Now, this is not how any adult would want their romance to unfold. The book, the film, and now the series leave us with a feeling of discomfort. An adult man molding a young girl the way he wants his partner to be in the future is extremely problematic, to say the least. The purpose of recreating “The Time Traveler’s Wife” in the form of a series does not make much sense. While I have nothing against feeling uncomfortable while watching a film or series, given the context of it, I am repulsed by the romanticization of the relationship between Henry and Clare. I wish Clare had that fight in her. I wish she would have been more than a time traveler’s wife.

Spoilers Ahead

Episode 6: Recap Summary

Clare and Henry are busy planning their wedding, and the thought of their future together makes Henry anxious, leading to more time traveling. He travels to the future, and he ends up in a lavish house over and over again. He looks outside and spots a tree. The tree is the marker of the future because every time he travels to the future, he witnesses it. He notices how a video camera is set up in front of a desk and a wheelchair behind it, indicating that he will injure his foot in the future. In the first episode, a severed foot appeared along with a bloody bathroom. Young Clare had heard Henry scream out of pain one winter. She saw snow-covered in blood, suggestive of how Henry lost his feet due to frostbite.

Henry had always hated videos. While the rest of the world cherished their happy moments and froze them in time with a video, he had to live that experience over and over again. Therefore, in the world of Henry, videos did not make much sense. But his wedding video would be an important one. It was meant to be watched by him over time, and it was Clare’s way of keeping him alive. In his multiple visits to the future, he once saw Clare dressed in black, mourning his death. He always knew that he would not live long, since he had not seen himself beyond 43. While his future was grim, there was still some hope left. He saw a young girl climbing down the staircase.

‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Ending Explained: What Does The Future Have In Store For Clare And Henry? Who Is The Young Girl?

Henry met with his friend, who supplied drugs in the hopes of calming his nerves before his wedding. Clare was not too worried; she knew she would be married to him. That was what the future was, and she was told so from a young age. But for Henry, it was not that simple. He was scared of time traveling during the wedding, and his anxiety was not helping the case. After consuming the drug, his friend suggested, he fell fast asleep and traveled to the future again. He saw how he and Clare would have arguments in the future, and that got him worried. He was going to marry Clare, but was their future truly perfect?

With time, he comprehended that the reason why he and Clare would have arguments in the future was due to the several miscarriages Clare had to go through. A time traveler’s child seems to time travel as well, and they struggled to bring their baby into the world. Old Henry had given up. He did not wish to see Clare in a depressed state, and to avoid it; he got a vasectomy without informing her. She was enraged after he revealed the truth. She had lost her hope of giving birth to their child.

Meanwhile, Henry’s time travel was hampering the wedding. He was gone for hours, and it was the wedding day. Henry’s father and Gomez waited for Henry to return. As they waited, Henry was, in the future, disappointed with his older self. He confronted old Henry, asking him why he made a choice that would hurt his wife. Henry, 36, responded that he would do the same thing when he was of age. It was unbearable for him to watch Clare lose hope, and vasectomy seemed to be the best solution to their problem. Young Henry retorted that he would never do that to Clare. He would never hurt the woman he loves. Old Henry said that he would do exactly the same because he could not change the future even if he tried to. He would make the same choice because he would be in the same situation. Out of anger, young Henry punched old Henry in the face, and he traveled to young Henry’s reality, that is, the wedding day. Whereas Young Henry remained in old Henry’s reality and spent the evening with Clare.

Henry’s father and Gomez were glad to have Henry back at the right time. But the only problem was that it was not the same Henry. He had gray hair that needed to be taken care of. Old Henry knew what to do because, at one time, he was on the other side as well. He got hold of shoe polish and managed to look young. Clare was glad to have Henry back, and they headed to the church for the wedding. Meanwhile, young Henry is with old Clare now. They discussed how the vasectomy affected Clare’s life. Clare then played their wedding video so that Henry could watch what was going on in their reality. Clare walked down the aisle, she was not aware that it was old Henry waiting for her, but the moment she was close to him, she realized what was going on. She played along, though she was quite upset about the whole fiasco, and the smell of the shoe polish from his hair made it worse. Nonetheless, Clare was married, not to the man she would call her husband but to a version of him from another timeline. Henry would, later on, always remind her that she was technically not married to him. But expecting a regular wedding with a time traveler was never on the cards.

Clare watched the wedding video with Henry and talked about how love is not only about being happy together but also about dealing with tough situations as a team. She asks him to keep visiting her time and again. She showed sexual interest in young Henry primarily because he had not gotten a vasectomy yet, and she had the chance of getting pregnant with him, or at least they could try. This reveals the identity of the young girl whom Henry met on one of his visits to the future. She was Clare, and Henry’s daughter. It is expected that their child would not have been born under normal circumstances but an exceptional one that can only be possible as a result of time travel.

“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is a well-made series. It tells the story of Henry and Clare in an interesting way that focuses on the oddity of time traveling. However, it misses the mark for me because the story is not dealt with critically. While the show proposes that it takes place in modern times, the character of Clare does not seem to belong to the modern world. Clare Abshire, the identity, is lost in the process of being the time traveler’s wife, and that is simply depressing to watch in this day and age.

See More: ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained – Why Was Clare Disappointed After Meeting Henry?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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