Normal People ending explained: what happens in the final episode and how is it different from Sally Rooney's book?

12 May 2020, 15:22 | Updated: 12 May 2020, 16:05

The Normal People TV series ending is slightly different to the book
The Normal People TV series ending is slightly different to the book. Picture: BBC

What happened to Connell and Marianne at the end of Normal People? And where are they now? Find out everything…

*Warning: Huge Normal People spoilers ahead*

It seems as though the whole country is hooked on BBC Three’s Normal People.

The Sally Rooney adaptation tells the complex love story of teenagers Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who are forced to overcome a series of obstacles in order to be together.

But how does the 12-part series end and what happens to Connell and Marianne? Here’s what we know…

How does the Normal People TV series end?

In the final two episodes of Normal People, Marianne and Connell have got back together, and look to finally be able to settle into a long-term relationship.

After years of struggles, including mental health battles and pressures from friends, the pair spend Christmas together with Connell’s family before heading back to Dublin to study for their final exams at Trinity College.

Read More: How old is Normal People actor Paul Mescal and who is he dating?

But while it looks like the couple might finally get their happy ending, Connell is offered a place on a creative writing course in New York, which would mean leaving Marianne behind in Dublin for a year.

Despite being adamant he isn’t going to take the place, Marianne pushes him towards it, not wanting to be the reason why he doesn’t pursue his dreams.

Connell eventually decides to move, making the emotional decision while sitting on the bedroom floor with Marianne.

They both know this might mean Connell ends up living in New York full time, which would mean the end of their relationship.

Connell and Marianne's love story stayed most loyal to the Normal People novel
Connell and Marianne's love story stayed most loyal to the Normal People novel. Picture: BBC

Marianne tells Connell not to promise her anything, as he tells her: “You know I love you and I’m never going to feel the same way about anyone else.”

While the pair don’t close the chapter on their love story, they don’t commit to long distance.

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How does Sally Rooney’s book Normal People end?

The BBC series stays mostly loyal to Sally Rooney’s book of the same name.

In the novel Connell becomes editor of the literary magazine at Trinity College after publishing a short story.

He is then offered a place on a Master's degree at Cornell University in New York.

Connell took a place at a university in New York in the Normal People series
Connell took a place at a university in New York in the Normal People series. Picture: BBC

The book then ends with the reader unaware whether Connell decides to move to New York or remain in Ireland with Marianne.

Sally Rooney has no plans for a follow-up novel which means readers are no closer to knowing what happened with Connell and Marianne.

Both the book and series have been praised for their more realistic takes on real life relationships.

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