‘Locke & Key’ Season 3: How Does the Ending Compare to the Comics?

Locke & Key Season 3 brought the popular Netflix series to a close, ending the Locke family’s magical adventures at Keyhouse once and for all. The latest batch of episodes pits Tyler (Connor Jessup), Kinsey (Emilia Jones), and Bode (Jackson Robert Scott) against their most powerful villain yet. And Locke & Key Season 3’s ending sees them making some difficult choices — but how does it compare to the comics?

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Locke & Key Season 3.]

‘Locke & Key’ ending on Netflix

Darby Stanchfield, Jackson Robert Scott, Connor Jessup, and Emilia Jones as Nina, Bode, Tyler, and Kinsey Locke at the ending of 'Locke & Key' Season 3. They're all standing next to one another and smiling.
Darby Stanchfield, Jackson Robert Scott, Connor Jessup, and Emilia Jones in ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 | Netflix

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The ending of Locke & Key Season 3 boasts a finality that makes sense when you consider that the Netflix series won’t return for season 4. After the Lockes use the Alpha Key to kill Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand), they realize that the portal to the demon realm grows smaller with each Key thrown into it. And after all the trouble Keyhouse’s magic has caused, they decide to get rid of the Keys once and for all.

That’s a difficult decision, but it’s one that even Rendell Locke (Bill Heck) supports. Before bidding farewell to Keyhouse’s magic forever, the Lockes use the Timeshift Key to visit their late father. He’s proud of their choice to prioritize the safety of their world — a decision he could never bring himself to make.

And once the Lockes get rid of the Keys, they seemingly go on to live ordinary lives. Kinsey’s thinking about college, Tyler returns to Montana, and Bode remains at the manor with his mother.

It’s a relatively happy ending for the Lockes — one they’ve no doubt earned after all their struggles. But how does Locke & Key Season 3’s ending compare to the graphic novels?

How does ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 compare to the comics’ ending?

So, how does the ending of Locke & Key Season 3 compare to the conclusion of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s comic series? The Netflix adaptation has taken significant liberties with the source material, so the whole thing plays out differently than in the graphic novels. However, the finale boasts a few similarities.

In the Locke & Key comics, Dodge remains the primary villain throughout the main story — so, the series ends with the Lockes defeating them.

As Screen Rant points out, Locke & Key Season 3 takes viewers well past that point. It establishes Frederick Gideon as the final Big Bad, a character who doesn’t appear in the graphic novels. But although Gideon was created for the Netflix series, he seems to be inspired by the Locke & Key sequel Joe Hill is working on, which returns to several critical points in history, including the Revolutonary War.

It’s obvious the Netflix series made some major changes to the end of Locke & Key, but it does honor the graphic novels in noteworthy ways.

For one, the Lockes’ final showdown in the comics sees Bode getting trapped as a ghost. That happens in season 3 as well, though it unravels a bit differently. Dodge possesses him in both instances, but the consequences are more sinister in the books. More people die, and the Lockes go so far as to cremate Bode after removing Dodge. It’s only thanks to Rendell Locke that he gets his body back later on.

Speaking of which, Tyler also gets the chance to speak with his father in the comics, right after Bode returns. The season 3 finale pulls from this moment, but it allows the entire Locke family to enjoy a final scene with Rendell — not just Tyler.

What happens to the magic Keys in the graphic novels?

All of the Keys, including the Echo Key, in 'Locke & Key' Season 3. Someone is holding them in their hands, and there's blue light in the background.
The Keys in ‘Locke & Key’ Season 3 | Netflix

We’ve already noted some of the major differences between the ending of Locke & Key Season 3 and the graphic novels, but there’s one other change worth discussing.

Season 3 sees the Lockes bidding farewell to the magic of Keyhouse, throwing the Keys back into the demon realm during the finale. In the graphic novels, the Lockes don’t get rid of the Keys — and the magic of Keyhouse lives on (not that the adults would know it).

With the Netflix series coming to a close, it makes sense the writers would want to tie up loose ends. Their decision to have the Lockes lead ordinary lives seemingly nixes the idea of a spinoff or sequel. It also gives a satisfying conclusion to their adventure, highlighting how they’ve learned from their mistakes.

It’s a more positive ending than the graphic novels, even if fans are sorry to say goodbye to the magic of Keyhouse. Fortunately, they can revisit it whenever they feel the urge to.

All three seasons of Locke & Key are currently streaming on Netflix.

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