The final 10 episodes of the hit Freeform (formerly ABC Family) TV show Pretty Little Liars are airing this spring. That’s right: By June 20, we should officially know who is behind the torture that Aria Montgomery, Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, and (sometimes) Alison DiLaurentis have endured for several years. The rollercoaster will finally come to a stop.
And what a ride it’s been. Few shows have thrown so many curveballs at the audience: First Ali was dead, then she wasn’t. Mona Vanderwaal was A, then Charlotte (aka Charles DiLaurentis and CeCe Drake) was Big A, and now someone else is Uber A/A.D.? It’s all been very difficult to follow, but creator I. Marlene King has promised us that all is about to be revealed (not that she hasn’t said that before … ).
In the interim months since Season 7A ended, fans have taken to YouTube to share their theories. After all, PLL has been called the most social TV of all time, pioneering the use of Twitter for real-time interactions between viewers — it only makes sense that fans continue to share their extensive theories online. Here are just a small sampling of theories that have been floating around about Season 7B. (Spoiler alert for anyone who isn’t caught up, of course.)
1. Mona is the first (and final) A
When PLL began in 2010, there were several similarities to the YA book series it was based off of. Hanna was dating Sean (and crashed his car), Aria hooked up with Ezra in a bar (before she knew he was her teacher)… oh, and Mona is the first character revealed to be A.
Throughout the season, Mona has played both sides of the game. After she gets locked up and then released from Radley Sanitarium, she appears to be mostly good — but the Liars are still wary of her on occasion. At this point, though, they have little reason to suspect her, especially after she “died” and then was forced to pretend to be Ali in the dollhouse.
Because King loves throwing huge twists at the audience, who better to completely shock us than Mona as A.D.? We already know she has the technical prowess and dark side to be a villain, and there’s certainly a case for her having the motivation to get revenge on the Liars, as Bustle writes. And the girls are definitely guilting of being too trusting at times. Queen Mona as A.D. would bring everything full circle.
2. Aria was in Radley
Theories surrounding Aria have always been a big part of the show. In the opening sequence for the first five seasons, the camera zooms in on Aria saying “shh” to the audience, and fans have long wondered why she was chosen. (Lucy Hale was arguably the most well-known in 2010, which might explain the decision.) And the series begins when Aria and her family return from living in Iceland for a year, after things had been relatively quiet in Rosewood since Ali’s death.
As the show progressed, more reasons have cropped up as to why Aria might be more suspicious than she seems. A few fans have called Aria’s mental health into question. Tumblr aria-is-a-pll details a number of instances in which Aria appears to hallucinate or imagine various interactions, as well as times in which she snaps without warning (which usually seems out-of-character, given her sweet and quiet nature). There are also a few hints that seem to suggest she could be A, such as the most obvious one of all: Her name starts with the letter “A.”
This poses the question, what if Aria was also a patient at Radley? There are supporting details here, as well: her interaction with Eddie Lamb, most notably. And this would account for the year in “Iceland.” YouTuber marinaalexis nicely summarizes the ways in which the show might be telling us that Aria is mentally unstable. Whether or not she was actually committed, Aria is undeniably a strange character.
3. Alison has a twin
Though there were many similarities between the books and the show in the beginning, things quickly started to veer in a different direction. But after Mona was revealed as the original A, as she was in the fourth book in the series, Unbelievable, fans started to wonder if King and company might keep at least one more big element the same: The eventual reveal of Ali’s twin, Courtney.
Though King has long maintained that she will not be following that path, many have wondered if there’s another possible twin out there — maybe even one we already know. Of all the Liars, Hanna is the one that looks the most like Ali, and there have been at least a couple of clues surrounding Hanna and the idea of a twin, as YouTuber iLoveSushi90x points out in a video on their channel. And there’s the notable fact that Mona and Hanna have always been close, meaning she could have insider information into being A.
Because of the popularity of the “Ali has a twin” theory and the various characters who have been confused for one another (Ali, Hanna, CeCe, Bethany Young, and even Sara Harvey at one point), there are many videos detailing all of the possible angles.
4. Bethany Young is still alive
Expounding on the twin theories, Bethany, a character who was never really on the show, yet whose name has come up over and over again, is in the running for the Uber A title. As of Season 7A, we believe that Bethany is who was killed on the night that Ali disappeared, as it clearly wasn’t Ali herself. But Bethany’s connection to the Liars is still loose: She was in Radley with Charles, and CeCe likely used her for her schemes.
But YouTuber Pichami has an intriguing idea: What if Bethany is actually alive, and is pretending to be her twin, the real Hanna Marin, who is dead? This would solve the mystery of why Hanna is so fixated on twins. Pichami even builds upon this by suggesting that Bethany is a serial killer, and both she and Hanna were adopted.
The owner of Tumblr account thebestplltheories has an alternate (and very well-researched) final theory about Bethany’s motives. She is exacting revenge on the Liars for damaging her face with fireworks (the same event as “The Jenna Thing” that rendered Jenna Marshall blind), and killed Charlotte because she was the one who pushed Marion Cavanaugh off the roof and framed Bethany.
This theory also ties back to the Ali-has-a-twin idea, as we’re running out of blondes with similar DNA who could have been identified as Ali. The bottom line? While Bethany being alive would answer a lot of questions, it would also bring plenty more to the surface.
5. Caleb is Uber A
While the motivation behind A.D. is an important consideration, there are at least two more things this person must have: amazing tech skills and a lot of money. One character that meets that criteria? Caleb Rivers, long-time beau of Hanna (and Spencer, for a time).
Caleb is mysterious, incredibly savvy with a computer, and though it isn’t obvious by looking at him, his mother is wealthy. YouTuber littleliars xoxo explains that because Caleb has never been a true suspect, he might actually be the one behind it all. And it’s also important to remember that Caleb got his own spinoff series, and is the only real connection the Liars have to the mystical side of things seen in Ravenswood.
Despite the character’s popularity, this isn’t a one-fan theory. YouTuber Taye Nic catches a lot of subtle details in her video, including Caleb’s hostility toward Mona. Of course, there are plenty of holes in this theory, including a big one: King has said that Uber A has been around since the beginning, and Caleb didn’t appear on screen until more than halfway through Season 1. Still, fans have been suspicious of Caleb for some time, even considering the possibility that he might have been Charles.
6. Wren is an M.D. … and A.D.
In the pilot, Spencer meets her sister Melissa’s new boyfriend, Wren Kingston, a British medical student. Though he has only appeared in 20-some episodes of the series, Wren has long been a fan favorite candidate to be A, even before Charlotte was revealed.
The reasons for why Wren might be A.D. are extensive. A lot of them come back to his doctor status: On more than one occasion, medical records have been referenced or altered, not to mention when Emily’s eggs were stolen, and Ali ended up in a psychiatric facility. Speaking of which, Wren worked at Radley for a time, granting him access to the files of Bethany, Mona, Charlotte, and Spencer, among others.
Another case can be made for Wren’s possible connection to Elliott Rowland/Archer Dunhill, as YouTuber Pretty Little Theories mentions. As Elliott, the character has an American accent, but reverts to a British one when he reveals that he’s plotting alongside Mary. The accent is comparable, but not identical, to Wren’s (as seen in this video from Ayonna Sanders). There’s also the possibility that he’s working with Melissa Hastings, but more on that to come.
7. The Liars tried to kill Ali
Though they’re the protagonists of the show, the core four girls are called “the Liars” for a reason. There are issues in their friendship, especially when it comes to Ali: They’ve said before that it was Ali who “chose” them, so to speak, but considering how corrupt she was in the past, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the girls haven’t always had good intentions.
YouTuber Hannah Schröer poses the idea that the Liars tried to kill Ali on the night she went missing. We know that there was alcohol involved, and that Spencer, at least, was on some form of prescription medication. As she points out, the memories of that night across the board are hazy.
It’s not the strongest theory on this list, but it does call into question the importance of “that night.” Despite the number of times it has been revisited, we still don’t know everything that happened, and there’s at least one unreliable narrator in the mix. If King truly plans to answer every outstanding question that fans have, we’ll have to come back to this night at least once more.
8. Spencer killed Charlotte (or she has a twin)
Speaking of that night, Spencer is the one Liar who we know definitely has an altercation of some sort with Ali. G_xoxo wonders if this was meant to indicate what might happen in the future. We know that Spencer wrote (or supposedly wrote) an essay that mirrored Charlotte’s death. Additionally, A.D. is after the person who killed Charlotte, and Spencer is the one who is shot at the end of Season 7A, perhaps because someone thinks she’s guilty.
But when the show began, Spencer was the smart, serious one, the Liar that the others could count on to put the pieces together. While this has never drastically changed, more aspects of Spencer’s personality have come into play, not the least of which was her addiction to Adderall. It’s almost as if Spencer became a different person during that time … or maybe there’s a simpler explanation: Spencer is the Liar with a twin.
Hanna had a hallucination about Spencer when she was captured and tortured, and YouTuber P L L believes there are a number of hints in that scene that Spencer isn’t who she says she is. In another scene, Spencer’s adopted mother, Veronica Hastings, says that at one point, it felt like she had two daughters, one who was Spencer’s “evil twin” (during the period where Spencer was abusing medication).
Now that we know that Mary is Spencer’s birth mom, even more possibilities are opened up. YouTuber littleliars xoxo proposes that Mary might have been a surrogate for the Hastings family, and that the possible third child is Spencer’s twin.
9. Ali is Big A (along with Charlotte) …
Perhaps one of the most in-depth theories on this list, Tumblr thebestplltheories has a true endgame prediction that blows the others out of the water. Here’s what they have to say: Ali and Charlotte are Big A. They lured Bethany to Rosewood, they planned Ali’s fake kidnapping, and they locked the girls in the Dollhouse. Mona had a big part in all of this, too: She accidentally killed Bethany, and in the Season 5 episode, “Taking This One to the Grave,” she explained exactly what happened to Aria — and was then promptly “killed.”
Since she returned, Ali has been a completely different person than before her disappearance. The girls have struggled to trust her, and this transformation is definitely part of what has spawned the twin theories. Ali and Charlotte’s close friendship is also an important part of the show, and it makes sense that they’ve been working together this whole time.
There are also other branches of this theory. In particular, YouTuber Holy Geek thinks Ali might be A.D., as it would make sense that she’s been involved with the game (at least, to a degree) since the beginning. The most convincing evidence of this? A.D.’s primary goal at this point is to discover who killed Charlotte, and Ali, as her cousin and confidante, cares more about this than anyone else. Or maybe there’s someone else who is just as invested …
10. … but Melissa is A.D.
If anyone has had more secrets than Ali throughout the series, it’s probably Melissa Hastings. Spencer’s big sister has always been suspicious: She’s a member of the NAT club, and we know that she has at least been a part of the A team. Melissa has always been working to protect Spencer, and has continued to hate Ali even after she returned.
Continuing their theory, thebestplltheories Tumblr has deduced that Melissa is Mary Drake’s unknown child. She and Spencer really are sisters, and Peter Hastings is their biological father. And the theory goes even deeper: The writer proposes that Melissa is both A.D. and Charlotte’s killer, and is trying to cover up her tracks.
Melissa has a lot going against her. She’s been shown to lie on several occasions, as pointed out by Jay Cee’s YouTube video. We know that she was present on the night in question, but she often disappears for long stretches of time over the years. Spencer and the girls do suspect her at one point, but she always has a way to get out of it. Maybe when all the truth comes out, she’ll have to admit who she is once and for all.
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