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?
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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
— Yvonne Dwerryhouse (@YMccolvin) December 27, 2017
#TheMiniaturist beautiful series
— Sophie Ploeg (@SPloeg) December 27, 2017
What a superb drama #TheMiniaturist was. It's unusual for a film to better the book, but they totally did it. Just wonderful.
— Pam Crosby (@PamCrosby1) December 27, 2017
— Christian Boulton (@sprogsanddogs) December 27, 2017
Loved the TV adaptation of #TheMiniaturist. Beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted
— Lucy Corke (@Lucy_Corke) December 27, 2017
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!
— Nia Liversuch (@NiaLiversuch) December 27, 2017
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?
— Knitty42 (@Knitty42) December 27, 2017
Sorry, how #TheMiniaturist knew the things she knew, like the chair for example or the broken bottle of poison or how she foresaw things just wasn't answered in my opinion, which is frustrating
— Nuala Woulfe (@NWoulfeWriter) December 27, 2017
Spent today excitedly waiting for the second part of #TheMiniaturist, only for it to unravel and completely fall flat. So disappointed.
— Jelly (@Queen_Shitpost) December 27, 2017
Part 1 – compelling
Part 2 – ……? Is that it?
Hoping the book is better
— diddytup ♠️ (@KtTup) December 27, 2017
— Knitty42 (@Knitty42) December 27, 2017
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)
— Jessie Burton (@jesskatbee) December 28, 2017
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