Delia Owens's novel Where the Crawdads Sing became a best-seller almost immediately after it was published in 2018, so much so that the prospect of film adaptation swiftly became not so much a possibility as an inevitability.


That film eventually arrived in 2022 – with Normal People's Daisy Edgar-Jones and The Iron Claw's Harris Dickinson in starring roles – and despite a fairly lukewarm reception from critics, it went on to perform admirably at the box office.

Now it's enjoying a second wave of popularity thanks to its recent addition to the Netflix library, meaning a new audience can experience Kya's story for themselves – not to mention finally learn what a crawdad actually is.

It's safe to say that the film doesn't exactly skimp on the twists and turns, so if you're one of the viewers to have taken advantage of its newfound availability on streaming but still have a few questions left unanswered by the film's climax, read on to have the Where the Crawdads ending explained.

But be warned: there are obviously major spoilers ahead, as well as discussions of sexual assault that some may find distressing.

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Where the Crawdads Sing ending explained: Does Kya kill Chase?

The film follows the story of societal outcast Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who is accused of murdering her former lover Chase Andrews (Harris Dickinson) after he had been persistently harassing and – in one horrific moment – attempting to rape her.

After that incident, Kya yells that she plans to kill Chase – with the threats heard by a local fisherman – and just a matter of days later, he is found dead after an apparent fall.

Although the crime scene does not contain any evidence pointing to a killer, and Kya had supposedly been away meeting a book publisher at the time of the death, the locals nonetheless immediately assume her to be guilty.

However, when it comes to the court case, there is ultimately insufficient evidence to convict her – only the fact that Chase was missing his necklace and the testimony of the aforementioned fisherman – and so she is found not guilty and the charges dropped.

But at the very end of the film, we jump forward in time to Kya's death, following a long and seemingly happy life with her husband Tate (Taylor John Smith).

In the final scenes, Tate is sorting through her stuff and, while flicking through her journal, he finds a shocking passage in which she writes that to protect the prey, sometimes a predator has to be killed.

It is accompanied by both a drawing of Chase and the missing necklace, proving that she actually had committed the murder after all.

Exactly how she carried this out is never explained, but as for her motive, it seems very clear: she felt unlikely to receive any protection from the townspeople against Chase's repeated unwanted advances, and so took matters into her own hands.

Chase in Where the Crawdads Sing is now streaming on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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