The 1997 blockbuster Titanic made waves (pun intended) with its star-studded cast and jaw-dropping storytelling. It turns out Titanic is still a compelling story to audiences today, mostly because of the movie’s ending.
Fans can perceive the end of ‘Titanic’ in multiple ways
Titanic concludes with an aged Rose (Gloria Stuart) asleep in her bed. She has helped treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) find the Heart of the Ocean and told her story of the night the Titanic sank.
In the final scene, Rose closes her eyes, and suddenly she is on the ship surrounded by its passengers. Standing in front of the clock where they’d met before, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) is waiting for her. Was it all just a dream, or had Rose died and went to her idea of heaven?
TikTok users break down ‘Titanic’ end scene
Titanic may have been released in 1997, but TikTok users are still analyzing the film to this day. One user recently pieced together their interpretation of the film’s ending.
“We were just watching Titanic and she just had a really, really good point,” said TikTok user coreyjennings732. “In the end scene, where she’s walking up to Jack — is this her dying? Because all of these people are dead.” He pointed out how Billy Zane’s character — Rose’s ex-fiancé — isn’t present in the scene, nor is anyone else who survived the Titanic sinking.
“All of these people are people that died,” he continues as the screen shows the final scene of the movie. “If you look on the top balcony, you even see the captain. So — did Rose just die?”
Most of the comments came from users who seemingly knew this to be the end of the movie already.
“It took you 84 years,” one user wrote, mocking one of the film’s iconic lines.
“You’re late to the party lol, I think it was obvious,” said another. “I’m not judging, I swear…but I concluded that when I first watched it when I was 10-years-old,” yet another user commented.
While this is probably one of the most popular fan theories about the ending of Titanic, it’s not necessarily the right one.
James Cameron said end of ‘Titanic’ is meant to be ambiguous
Some people think Titanic concludes with Rose’s death. That ending makes the most sense, especially when you consider her age, the closure she got from telling her story, and Jack’s line to Rose the night the ship was sinking:
Listen, Rose. You’re gonna get out of here. You’re gonna go on and make lots of babies and you’re gonna watch them grow.
You’re gonna die an old…an old lady warm in her bed. Not here, not on this night.
Ironically, Titanic director James Cameron wanted the ending of the film to be ambiguous. He and film executive Shery Lansin “had a long talk” about whether Rose was “still alive and dreaming of Jack” at the end or she “died and [went] to be reunited with him in Titanic heaven” (via The Hollywood Reporter). Cameron also alluded to this final scene’s ambiguity in the audio commentary of the film’s release.
“The big ambiguity here is ‘is she alive and dreaming’ or ‘is she dead and on her way to Titanic heaven?’” Cameron explained in the audio. “I’ll never tell. Of course, I know what we intended. The answer has to be something you supply personally — individually.”
Regardless of how you perceived the end of Titanic, it turns out you’re right.