‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Under-the-Radar Best Couple?: Hannah & Owen

Opinion
EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2020

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Haunting of Bly Manor.]

Almost everyone who's seen Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor has had one fictional couple on their minds: Jaime (Victoria Pedretti) and Dani (Amelia Eve), and for good reason: “Daime” are perfectly splendid.

But there's another pairing on Bly that’s getting buzz, and their tale is no less moving (and sob-worthy). That’s Hannah (T’Nia Miller) and Owen (Rahul Kohli). The story of the housekeeper and the chef does not have a happy ending, but there’s plenty of beauty to be found in its tragedy.

Here’s why we’re in love with their never-fully-realized love (and we choose to believe they’ll be happily reunited when they’re both in a "batter " place).

They Came So Close

Just seconds, in fact, if you subscribe to the theory that had Dani chosen to stay in the car on the ride to Bly, her arrival would’ve saved Hannah’s life by stopping the Peter (Oliver Jackson-Cohen)-possessed Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) from taking the kindhearted housekeeper’s life. But even factoring out the circumstances of Hannah’s death, it’s heart-shattering to consider how close these two were to building a future together; they just didn’t know that future had already been taken from them.

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From iconic shots to lines of dialogue, the second installment of the anthology reminded us of the first.

While not a sweeping declaration of love, an adorably drunk Owen (“I’ll-cohol you later”) did ask her to go to Paris with him, which is, presumably, the most forward he’d ever been about his affections. Little did he know, Hannah’s body was already at the bottom of the well.

For her part, sweet Hannah accepted his invitation only to discover she was dead and trapped in a memory-loop. If you didn’t shed a tear when she was running after him and begging him to wait, you just might be a ghost yourself—and on that note, I think we can agree Miller deserves all the awards for her performance in “The Altar of the Dead.”

They Were Obviously, Totally in Love

So much so that it hurts.

The scene where Hannah falls asleep with her head on Owen’s shoulder, wakes up, and they’re both a little flustered and smiley? Absolute, heart-fluttering perfection. The scene where Owen (jokingly, except not really jokingly at all) says he “Only has eyes for you, Hannah”? Adorable. The scene where she embraces him after he learns about his mother’s death? Moving, while also tinged with just a pinch of passion. Was that the first time they’d been that close to each other? I need answers.

And, you know, there’s the fact that Hannah’s love for Owen was one of the biggest things that kept her centered after her death, and made it possible for her to keep appearing in the world. That Owen gave her a proper burial and hung her photo on the wall of his restaurant, which was almost certainly named "A Batter Place," to honor her was also pretty devastating.

Their love has the outline of a classic love story  — only one with a broken spine and burned pages.

They Were Both Too Selfless

In the end, Hannah and Owen are unique, perhaps, in the fact that it was their shared selflessness — a quality that no doubt drew them to each other — that made their romance an impossibility even when they were both in the realm of the living.

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Plus, find out what it was really like to swim in Bly's lake and more.

Owen was absorbed in taking care of his mother. Hannah’s reasons for keeping her feelings unspoken are multifaceted, tied up in a marriage that ended horribly, but she also spends too much time caring for everyone around her.

Had either of them been thinking just a little more about themselves — about what they wanted, rather than what they could give to the people who needed help in their lives —they probably would’ve gotten together much sooner, and Hannah might still be alive.

Their altruism doomed them, and that is the opposite of perfectly splendid.

They Were Relatable

Even though they don’t get a happy ending, their journey provides a mirror to real life in ways that few fictional romances do, simply because many fictional romances get unrealistic fairytale endings.

Certainly the lesson here is to live life while we’re alive, because there’s no telling when we might no longer be able to tell the people we care about just how much they mean to us. And if we’re offered the chance to go to Paris with someone we love, come on, say yes.

The Haunting of Bly Manor, Streaming Now, Netflix