HIMYM: A Theory on Ted Mosby’s Loss


Penny and Luke

Last week, we questioned the idea of whether or not the final episode of How I Met Your Mother would reveal that The Mother was dead.

The Tumblr blog, Virtual Life is Epic!, presented an interesting theory on death and the show.

We all remember that Ted used to say that he’d name his children Luke and Leia. The boy received the Star Wars name, but the girl was called Penny. In Vesuvius, we saw Ted crying when the Mother was saying that a mother wouldn’t miss her daughter’s wedding. People assumed that it was a hint that Mrs. Mosby (Ted’s mom or the Mother) was going to die. But there’s another explanation:

The first time the Mother got pregnant, she was waiting a girl that would be called Leia, probably. However, Ted’s first daughter died when she was still a baby. Penny could be a child they adopted after their loss.

That’s why we haven’t seen Ted talking about his daughter’s birth, that’s why the daughter who’s listening to the story is not called Leia and that’s why Ted cried in Vesuvius, because his first daughter died and, therefore, would never get married. This theory also explains the confusion many people have pointed out about when Ted’s daughter was born (comparing her age in Trilogy Time, the Mother’s pregnancy in the Lighthouse and the baby in Unpaused).

Many jokes have been made over the years about the kids being adopted but this puts a new spin on that topic. It would certainly provide some credence to the reason why the show’s final shot was filmed eight years ago, as there was concern that the characters would grow too much and no longer be recognizable.

The big question is, how would the show’s creators use this to tie up the ending of the show in a meaningful way?

Death is a powerful force.

It made for a logical but perfect ending to Breaking Bad. It made the ending to an otherwise mediocre series, Roseanne, memorable. The mere suggestion of Tony’s death kept people talking about The Sopranos for years.

Death resonates. It hits home. It sticks with you.

To this day, I still remember sitting in front of the TV balling my eyes out as adult Kevin Arnold, narrated by Daniel Stern, announced that his dad passed away in the closing minutes of The Wonder Years.

 

My heart just sunk. I don’t think I have ever been so moved by a television show before. Something tells me, though, that if the brains behind HIMYM had a plan for the ending and stuck with it for nearly a decade, it will be just as moving.

Marcello C. De Feo

Founder and CEO at Untied Magazine
Marcello De Feo started blogging in 2002 as a way to promote his band and stay in touch with friends back east when he lived in Colorado. Over the years, he has owned and run many blogs, the most notable of which was FlyersFaithful.com. Untied is his most expansive effort to date and he is ecstatic to have so many brilliant writers on board from the get go.