‘How I Met Your Mother’ Shocker: Is the Mother Actually Dead?

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For nine seasons we’ve felt like the sixth member of the MacLaren Five. We’ve shared in their triumphs and mourned their misfortunes; in short we cared. What made How I Met Your Mother special, especially during those terrific first few seasons, was its unique mix of emotion and realism. Ted, Marshall, Lilly, Robin and even Barney, weren’t so much broad sitcom characters as they were people we recognized from our own lives. We had become… wait for it… invested.

But not all fairy tales end with a happily ever after.

During Monday’s episode of HIMYM, there were a number of clues that gave credence to a long-rumored theory superfans have attempted to dismiss as unsubstantiated gossip: By 2030 the Mother is dead.

In the episode titled “Vesuvius,” a 2024 version of Ted and the Mother return to the Farhampton to reminisce about the past. When the subject of Robin’s mother attending her wedding comes up, the Mother asks, “What kind of mother would miss her daughter’s wedding?,” which, tellingly, makes future Ted tear up — presumably because the Mother is sick, thus won’t be alive to attend her own daughter’s wedding.

So what does this mean exactly? HitFix TV crtic Alan Sepinwall believes the Mother is dead in 2030 and that Ted winds up with Robin. This is a very logical conclusion considering the preponderance of evidence that suggests we’re heading towards a melancholy finale.

HIMYM co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have been adamant about maintaining their vision for the series finale; so much so that the climactic series concluding scene was filmed eight years ago.

“It’s been the plan all along,” Thomas said in an interview. “What you see on March 31 has been the plan. We leave the series with a certain message that we wanted to convey.”

Perhaps the message Bays and Thomas hope to convey is that the journey, whether it be in life, love or sitcoms, far outweighs the destination. Then again the possibility exists that the series that specialized in red herrings and misdirection has one last decoy up their sleeve.

The two part series finale of How I Met Your Mother airs March 31st on CBS.

What are your thoughts on this theory? Would you be disappointed if the Mother died? Do you think Ted should end up with Robin?


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