The second and final episode of The Miniaturist has aired, with the Amsterdam-set story adapted from Jessie Burton’s novel of the same name and tell the story of Nella (Anya Taylor-Joy), a young woman who moves in with her mysterious new husband Johannes (Alex Hassell) only to find herself in a house full of secrets.
Why has Johannes’ sister Marin (Romola Garai) buried herself in religion? Why are the servants Otto (Paapa Essiedu) and Cornelia (Hayley Squires) so keen to keep Nella indoors? And why does everything that happens to her keep being immortalised in miniature figurines that arrive at her door?
Over the course of the last two nights, we found out the truth about Johannes’ forbidden love, Marin’s romantic past and even who the Miniaturist really was (a departure from the book) – and it’s fair to say that viewers at home were eating it up like delicious, delicious herring.
A brilliant adaptation of the wonderful book by the very talented @jesskatbee. The 1600's in Amsterdam beautifully captured, with lavish costumes & powerful acting. Really enjoyed #TheMiniaturist
Adored @BBCOne adaptation of @jesskatbee#TheMiniaturist – sumptuous costumes, tragedy, drama, powerful young women and, above all, it was true to the wonderful original novel. So much love for a good BBC adaptation!
And RadioTimes.com readers agreed with this positive assessment, with 80% of voters in a poll about the episode concluding that the BBC adaptation lived up to Jessie Burton’s 2014 novel admirably.
Still, not everybody was happy. Some viewers complained that the ending, which saw Nella confront the titular Miniaturist (Emily Berrington) was confusing, never really explaining how she had such a forensic knowledge of the Brandt family’s travails.
Still confused as to what the whole point of #TheMiniaturist lady was? Why was she doing it all?
But with that said, this departure from the original book (where Nella never actually meets the Miniaturist or finds out why she’s doing what she does) was generally more popular with viewers than the novel’s more ambiguous ending, with 57% of voters in a RadioTimes.com preferring to know who the Miniaturist really was.
And even if you were still confused, author Jessie Burton was on hand to try and help clear things up…
Oh – the miniaturist. Who was she? What was she there for? As Marin says to Nella in the book: you saw what you wanted to see. Helper or hindrance, powerful or nothing but a vapour? Up to you. I know what she is for me. (Faith, creativity, connection. Far away, yet in the centre)