*Warning: This article contains full spoilers for All the Light We Cannot See episode 4.*


The anticipated adaptation of Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See is finally here, boasting a raft of talent both in front of and behind the camera.

Directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and adapted by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), the series follows Marie-Laure LeBlanc (Aria Mia Loberti), a blind French girl, and her father Daniel (Mark Ruffalo) who flee Nazi-occupied Paris in the 1940s with an infamous precious jewel to stop it falling in the hands of the Nazis.

Finding refuge in the French coastal town of Saint-Malo, they hide out with uncle Etienne (Hugh Laurie) and Madame Manec (Marion Bailey) who are part of the underground resistance, getting messages about the incoming Nazi soldiers.

But in Marie's life, she has always found solace in the radio, like young German soldier Werner (Louis Hofman) who was forced against his will to join the army after displaying major radio skills. The radio for them both brings hope in the darkest of moments but as the episodes go on, we soon see just how their paths come to cross as they both find themselves in Saint-Malo.

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But how do things end for Marie and Werner? Read on for everything you need to know about the ending of All the Light We Cannot See.

All the Light We Cannot See ending explained: What happens to Marie-Laure?

Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See.
Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in All the Light We Cannot See. Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

The finale starts with Reinhold Von Rumpel (Lars Eidinger) managing to break into Etienne's house, where Marie is hiding. She runs up the stairs and bolts the door, but Von Rumpel continues to shout after her, confessing that he is "weak and slow" but intent on cornering her for information about the diamond.

Von Rumpel tells Marie he has a gun and a hand grenade but she refuses to talk about where the Sea of Flames is, instead talking aloud to Etienne and willing him to return home.

We then see the impact of the explosion from episode 3 and while the other members of the resistance have been killed, Werner gets up and realises that Etienne is bleeding out. Now knowing Etienne is actually the Professor he's listened to for years, Werner is teary as Etienne recalls what happened four months prior.

In the flashback, we see that Etienne has gotten a message from the BBC in London who has read the Autumn Song, the agreed signal that the Americans and the British are coming, meaning they have a lot to do including watching the ports.

Madame Manec has grown visibly more frail and we realise she has a heart condition that has meant the doctor has prescribed her strong medication. Because of this, Etienne doesn't want her doing too much so Marie says she can do it and collect messages for the resistance. Of course, Etienne could also help, but because of his agoraphobia, he can't leave the house.

The next day, Marie familiarises herself with Saint-Malo via her father's wooden model and Etienne approaches her, asking her to ask him again if he would join her. He says he will for the first time since the First World War and Madame Manec is teary as she sends him off with his hat.

Marie and Etienne sit at the side of the water, pretending to fish but keep stock of the incoming and outgoing ships for the resistance. They're approached by Nazi soldiers who force Marie to read from the book she claims to be reading and, satisfied, walk away. Etienne is beaming with pride at Marie being able to trick the soldiers and the pair return home happy from their day's work.

But when they approach the house, they smell smoke and see it coming from the windows. They race upstairs and find a pot on fire, clearly left on the hob, and Etienne then sees Madame Manec dead on the floor. "She waited until she knew I could take her place," Etienne says.

Back in real time and once he's recounted his story, Etienne orders Werner to find Marie and protect her until the Americans come and then takes his last breath.

Lars Eidinger as Sergeant Major Reinhold von Rumpel in All the Light We Cannot See perched on the side of a desk.
Lars Eidinger as Sergeant Major Reinhold von Rumpel in All the Light We Cannot See. Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

But back in Etienne's home, Von Rumpel tells Marie what happened to her father. We get a flashback to Daniel making his way to Paris but he's stopped by the Gestapo in the station. Von Rumpel interrogated Daniel about where the Sea of Flames is and tortured him for three hours, but Daniel refused to give Marie up and Von Rumpel shot him dead.

Werner runs to Etienne's home to find Marie but we see that Marie has gotten up and is holding a gun to the door, threatening Von Rumpel with it. Von Rumpel attaches a grenade to the door, counting down the seconds and saying she won't be able to hear anything once it's happened.

He detonates it and as Marie is fumbling around for the gun with her ears ringing, Werner finally makes it the house, calling out for her but is shot at by Von Rumpel in the process. Von Rumpel says he will deal with the German traitor first and descends the stairs to where Werner is hiding, but Werner manages to quickly fashion a weapon from the wire within the radio.

Werner tries strangling Von Rumpel but he doesn't manage to and Von Rumpel points his gun at Werner. Marie cocks her gun behind Von Rumpel and shoots him. When he goes down, we see that the Sea of Flames diamond is on the ground, clearly knocked out of the wooden model town that Daniel created for Marie.

Werner tells Marie that Etienne is dead and relays his last message before telling Marie about how he used to listen to Etienne throughout his childhood. Werner manages to fix the radio that Etienne used to broadcast from and plays his signature classical song.

We see Jutta working at the orphanage and she goes towards the radio, recognising the song from her childhood. Werner broadcasts a message for Jutta telling her that he is alive and will try to come home to tell her everything. Jutta cries and hugs the radio.

Dancing to the song, Marie and Werner kiss and then hear that the American soldiers are close. Marie says she can escort him to the city walls but Werner refuses, saying that Marie will be shot as a collaborator as he is a German soldier. He says he will come back if she wants him to and that he will continue listening to the broadcasts.

Later, Marie collects the Sea of Flames and walks through Saint-Malo and the cheering crowds. She ends up on the beach and throws the diamond in the sea.

What happens to Werner?

Louis Hofman as Werner in All the Light We Cannot See.
Louis Hofman as Werner in All the Light We Cannot See. Katalin Vermes/Netflix

Outside, Werner leaves Marie's home and tells her that he will be listening. He waves a white flag and gets taken away by soldiers through a crowd of people who are booing him.

Previously, Marie said that she hoped the Americans would take care of him with food and another chance. While the last we see of Werner is him being marched away, the series leaves it open-ended as to what happens to him.

All the Light We Cannot See will premiere on Netflix on Thursday 2nd November 2023. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is available to buy now.

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