Spider-Man: No Way Home Ending Explained

Will Doctor Strange Remember Peter?

While Doctor Strange’s movie-ending spell was to ensure that no one would remember Peter, it seems possible that the caster might be immune to those effects. (We don’t actually know that much about how the MCU’s magic works.) While there is nothing in No Way Home to suggest that Stephen will remember Peter, stranger things have happened and, with the Doctor Strange sequel right around the corner, and Stephen messing with multiversal madness in the film, who’s to say what kind of just-forgotten memories he might stir up by movie’s end?

Peter Chooses Not to Tell MJ & Ned the Truth

Before Doctor Strange casts the spell that will make everyone forget Peter, our hero has the chance to say goodbye—and he takes it, telling both MJ and Ned that they are about to forget him. A distraught MJ makes Peter promise that she will find him and remind her who he is, and Peter seemingly intends to keep that promise. In a subsequent scene, we see him approaching the diner where MJ works, rehearing what he is going to say to explain the situation to MJ (and presumably Ned). 

However, he changes his mind after seeing the bandaid on MJ’s forehead. Peter gets a glimpse of what their life looks like without them: perhaps safer, and without the weight of the world and/or multiverse on their shoulders. He sees Ned and MJ joke about their upcoming time at MIT and when he asks MJ if she is excited, she says that she is and it seems simple… easy. In that moment, Peter makes the decision to stay out of their lives. (Which, honestly, not cool, given that MJ made it clear that she would want to know. But also understandable. How does one even go about explaining a magic spell?) 

Who Dies in Spider-Man: No Way Home?

Honestly, this film has a relatively low death count, especially given the stakes. That being said, there is one major death that occurs halfway through the film, serving as a catalyst for Peter’s vengeance. I am talking, of course, about the death of Marissa Tomei’s Aunt May, who is killed by the Green Goblin. Before she dies, she delivers the iconic Spider-Man line: “With great power there must also come great responsibility.” It’s the lesson every feature film Spider-Man has experienced as part of their character journey, and I supposed Holland’s Peter is lucky he got as much time with his Aunt May as he did.

In what feels like a callback to the Spider-Man films that predate the MCU, No Way Home’s ending isn’t complete without Peter Parker standing over a grave—in this case, Aunt May’s. While there, he sees Happy Hogan, who of course doesn’t remember him. Still, they share a lovely moment, reflecting on how much May helped others. (And, yes, the epitaph on her gravestone hammers home the point:  “When you help someone, you help everyone.”) Happy wonders if all the good that May did in the world has gone with May, but Peter is confident in his belief that it is not. It carries on through everyone she helped, he tells Happy. Even though Peter has been left without his support system, literally forgotten by everyone he knows and loves, we have never seen him quite so sure in his mission. He will carry on, helping others, just like May taught him. He will be the legacy she left behind.

Peter Parker Becomes Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

A side effect of literally everyone Peter has ever known forgetting who he is that he is no longer an Avenger. He will no longer be called upon to team up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when the fate of the universe is at stake. Instead, he is a humble, local superhero who can focus on his home city and borough, something we have rarely seen for our MCU’s Spider-Man. In the final moments of the film, we see Peter heading out of his apartment’s window, wearing a classic, homemade costume, presumably inspired by the standard Spidey costumes he saw the other Spideys wearing. 

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