The Witches Movie Ending Explained (Versus The Book)

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There is a new version of The Witches available to watch now on HBO Max and the ending is different than the book (and the 1990 movie).

the witches 2020

The Witches is one of those stories that is super creepy — and is likely to give kids nightmares. I know that not only the book, but the 1990 version of the movie made it hard for me to sleep when I was a child. Now there is a new version of The Witches, available now on HBO Max, and the ending is different than both the earlier movie, and the book. 

Read on to figure out the differences in the endings and let me know which version is your favorite!

Be sure to read my review of The Witches (2020).

WARNING: Spoilers below for all versions of The Witches.

the witches book

The Witches Book Ending

In the book version of The Witches, the grandmother and young boy return to Norway and discover that the Grand High Witch lived in a castle there. The two come up with a plan to kill all of the remaining witches. He remains a mouse forever, and learns that he will probably only live another nine years. He is totally OK with that because he does not want to live without his grandmother, and she will probably die in that amount of time as well.

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The Witches 1990 Movie Ending

For me, my favorite ending is the 1990 The Witches movie. Probably because I was so young when I watched it and it really stuck with me! In this version, the boy sneaks an address tag into the Grand High Witches trunk so that it is delivered to his home. The trunk contains money and an address book with the location of every witch in the world — just like in the 2020 movie.

The boy and his grandmother plan to travel the world hunting witches down. The boy does become a human again, thanks to the Grand High Witch’s servant, Miss Irvine. She arrives at their house in order to change him back. This is the only version of the story where the boy is turned back into a human (which Roald Dahl was actually not happy about).

the witches 2020

The Witches 2020 Movie Ending

The most recent version of The Witches combines both the book ending and the 1990 film ending. The boy and his grandmother find the Grand High Witches trunk filled with money and the book of addresses of witches in it and take it with them when they leave the hotel. Viewers then see the grandmother, the boy, Bruno, and Daisy living together in the grandmother’s home in Alabama.

The boy is still a mouse with no hopes of turning back into a human. The boy also states in this version that he is OK with only living nine or so more years because he does not want to live without his grandmother. There is a montage of the crew hunting down witches. At the very end we see a much older mouse (the boy) training young kids on how to kill witches.

the witches 2020

About The Witches

Reimagining Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.

As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch  has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover – to carry out her nefarious plans.

The Witches comes to HBOMax on October 22nd!

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