‘How I Met Your Mother’ Ending: The Mother Is Dead Theory Persists

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By Anne Lu | March 5, 2014 1:50 PM EST

Only a few weeks left before the final episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” and fans are already beating themselves up for the possibility that the “mother” might be dead all along.

Viewers are worried that Ted Mosby’s (Josh Radnor) wife and the mother (Cristin Milioti) of his two kids has passed away before the present year in the show, which is 2030.

The theory has been around for a while, but has picked up steam recently now that the series is coming to an end after nine seasons. And after the episode on Monday (U.S.), it has all but confirmed.

The 19th episode of season 9, titled “Vesuvius,” Ted and the still unnamed The Mother were talking in the year 2024, ten years after their first meeting.

He told her about her Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) mother showed up to her and Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding. The Mother then said, “Of course she showed up. What mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?”

Ted then burst into tears at that moment, which led viewers to think that The Mother wouldn’t be present at their daughter Penny’s wedding in the future.

As The Mother comforted him, she told him to not be the guy who only lives in his stories, saying, “Life only moves forward.”

At that point, Bob Dylan’s “If You See Her, Say Hello” began playing until Ted’s narrative voice said, “She might think that I’ve forgotten her, don’t tell her it isn’t so.”

Until the recent episode, the theory was only something that fans could happily forget about. However, the dialogues uttered by Ted and The Mother have troubled the viewers, who are still hoping that they are wrong about their theory.

The Theories

Some fans claimed that Ted burst into tears because his own mum died before he got married, but that theory was quickly shot down by other viewers who pointed out that it has been suggested that both his parents were alive in the future.

It could also be that The Mother is already dead, already a ghost, or is dying. Of the three options, only the “dying” theory is preferable because, as the fans claimed, it could be a cancer-remission scenario in 2024, when she is told that she has cancer and has only a slim chance of survival. However, she gets treatment and gets miraculously cured. In short, it’s still a happy ending, which the fans are all hoping for.

Another theory is that Ted has Alzheimer’s, and he is telling his stories to his kids because he is the one dying. As was pointed out, if The Mother is dying, shouldn’t she be the one telling the story and not Ted?

The Mother kept telling Ted to stop living in the past, and the show is about Ted looking back on his life, about his friends and his romances. If he was going to lose The Mother, he should have been telling stories about their time together.

Foreshadowing The Ending – The Dead Mother Theory Persists

Remember the 20th episode of season eight? “The Time Travellers” saw Ted showing up at The Mother’s door to explain how they’re going to meet.

“Exactly 45 days from now, you and I are going to meet. We’re going to fall in love and we’re going to get married, and we’re going to have two kids. We’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now, I guess because I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them... I am always going to love you until the end of my days and beyond.”

As Jezebel said, it might be the most romantic or the most maudlin speech he has ever given about his future wife.

Also, the scenes that occur in 2030 have never mentioned The Mother in the present tense. She also never appears in flash forwards, which could just mean that she is ot present in the future beyond 2024.

“How I Met Your Mother” also stars Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan. It is scheduled to air its final episode on March 31 in the U.S.

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