The Shining (1980) Ending Explained – What’s Danny’s truth?

The Shining

The Shinning Plot Synopsis

Jack along with his wife Wendy, and son Danny move to a deserted hotel where there is a powerful evil force at work. The solitude and eeriness imbedded in the place soon turn Jack too violent to handle. Wendy and Danny try to make an impossible escape after Jack completely loses his sense of sanity.

Where is the hotel?

Overlook Hotel is located in the Rocky Mountains. The area is devoid of people, and the hotel is even more so. Upon Jack’s arrival, the manager, Stuart Ullman, informs him that the last caretaker of the hotel went insane and murdered his family, and later committed suicide. Overconfident Jack doesn’t heed the advice.

How does their time in the hotel begin?

Since the get-go, the vibes in the hotel felt eerily depressing. Though Jack seemingly feigned cheerfulness, the rest of the family began feeling the impact of evil. Before long, Danny starts having unsettling visions, premonitions, and seizures.

His health worsens, which worries Wendy. She informs Danny’s doctor that Jack once dislocated Danny’s arm after getting heavily drunk. She fears something like that may happen again due to the bizarreness of the place.

The Shining


Does Jack’s health deteriorate?

Jack is not having the best time of his life, and it’s visible through both his appearance and behaviour. He keeps growing strange. He is haunted by nightmares about hurting his own family. When Danny asks him if he has intentions of hurting them, Jack suspects Wendy must’ve poisoned his ears.

Later, Wendy finds out that the manuscript Jack is working on is just one line on repeat. The line reads, “All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

His facial expressions radiate nothing but a sense of violence. Wendy knows it’s just a matter of time before Jack strikes.

Are there ghosts in the hotel?

Yes, many. Danny gets several bruises on his body after he visits room no. 237 out of curiosity. But the poor boy can’t tell who did that. Jack also sees a lady ghost in one of the rooms – a pretty lady who turns into an ugly rotting old woman.

In addition, Jack develops a kind of unspoken friendship with a ghostly bartender who allows him to drink without payment. He continues to see people – who he even talks with.

Does Jack kill Wendy and Danny?

Certain that Jack is coming for her, Wendy arms herself with a baseball bat. She strikes the man unconscious and locks him in the pantry. Jack is freed by one of the ghosts and frantically follows his family with an axe. Wendy helps Danny out of the hotel through the bathroom window.

Meanwhile, Jack rips through the door and tries to kill Wendy but she fights him off. Hallorann arrives just in time in his snow-cat and distracts Jack. In a sheer rage, Jack kills Hallorann.

Danny is followed by Jack into a huge hedge maze – where he outsmarts Jack and escapes. Eventually, Wendy finds Danny, and they immediately leave in Hallorann’s snow-cat. At the same time, Jack dies of extreme cold.

The Shining

What’s the truth about Danny?

Danny has telepathic abilities that Hallorann refers to as the “shining.” He has visions from the past and future. That’s why it wouldn’t be wrong to believe that Danny anticipated his father’s mental breakdown. It’s Danny who calls Hallorann to rescue his family through a telepathic SOS. The question that baffles us is whether Danny changed the course of evil with his powers.

The last scene of the movie shows us Jack in a 1921 photo with Overlook hotel staff. Was he the one who caused the hotel to be haunted? And most importantly, did Danny know about his father’s previous life? If so, it would explain why Danny did what he did.

It’s possible Danny deliberately lead his father into the hedge maze – knowing he can’t get out and would eventually freeze to death.

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