Viewers loved The Miniaturist on BBC1 – even if the ending was a little confusing

Though some felt like the whole thing wasted their time

The cast of Miniaturist (BBC, HF)

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.

And 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.

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 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…

There you go – clear as day. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re just off to watch the last 15 minutes again, JUST to make sure we understood the whole thing…


This article was originally published on 28 December 2017