Where the Crawdads Sing ending explained, and did Kya kill Chase?

Where the Crawdads Sing's twist ending shocked fans and many are still looking for answers - here is the ending explained...

Where the Crawdads Sing
(Image credit: Alamy)

Where the Crawdads Sing has been a firm favourite among film fans since its release back in summer 2022, with fans left gobsmacked by the twists and turns in this screen adaptation of the beloved novel.

Where the Crawdads Sing was released on Friday, July 22, 2022, and recently the film has seen a resurgence, with a new wave of audiences left reeling from the shocking twist ending. If you loved the book and can't quite remember how it ended, or you've just watched the film and can't quite understand the final scenes, this is Where the Crawdads Sing ending explained...

*Warning: spoiler alert!*

Where the Crawdads Sing | £7.99 at Amazon

Where the Crawdads Sing | £7.99 at Amazon
The film is based on Delia Owens' novel of the same name. Reese Witherspoon said: 'I can't even express how much I love this book!' - so it's no surprise it was her production company who brought it to the big screen. 

Where the Crawdads Sing ending explained

Where the Crawdads Sing's ending confused a number of fans, with many not seeing the shock twist coming. 

At the end of the film (and the book), Kya is finally released from jail and acquitted of the murder of Chase Andrews. The people in the town realise this case was brought against the 'Marsh Girl' unfairly and she was simply an easy target because the townsfolk hated her. The case was flimsy and Kya was clearly not guilty.

We then skip into the future and see that Kya and Tate lived happily at her home in the Marsh and grew old together until Kya died in her 60s. However, the mystery still remained, who actually killed Chase? And where was the shell necklace that Kya gave him? All is then revealed...

Who killed Chase at the end of Where the Crawdads Sing?

Following Kya's death, Tate uncovers Chase's missing shell necklace and poems written by Kya in their home on the Marsh. It is revealed through a poem titled 'The Firefly' that Kya was in fact the one to kill Chase. 

Certain lines in the poem reveal that Kya lured Chase to the tower where he then was pushed off and fell to his death. 'Luring him was as easy,' reads the first line in the poem. Another part of the poem reads, 'The last step, a trap./ Down, down he falls,/ His eyes still holding mine/ Until they see another world.'

After reading the poem, Tate knew that he would find the shell necklace in the box. The book explains, 'He looked out the window, making certain no one was coming down the lane - not that they would, why would they? But to be sure. Then he opened the small box, knowing what he would find. There, laid out carefully on the cotton, was the shell necklace Chase had worn the night he died.'

Where the Crawdads Sing

(Image credit: Sony)

Why did Kya kill Chase?

After Chase attempted to rape Kya, she realized that she would never be safe from him and decided to take his life and make it look like an accidental fall from the abandoned fire tower. She orchestrated her night out of town so that she could have an alibi and asked him to meet her by the fire tower so that she could murder him in a place where no one could see them.

She took back the necklace that she once gave him and hid it in her home. It was this a piece of evidence that confirmed to Tate that she had been the one to kill him. After realizing what Kya had done, Tate destroyed the necklace in a symbolic move that showed he would take Kya's secret to the grave.

Where the Crawdads Sing

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Who was Amanda Hamilton?

It is also revealed that the poetry by Amanda Hamilton, a writer who publishes poems in Barkley Cove’s local newspaper, is actually Kya's pen name and she was the one publishing these poems all along. This was a prominent theme throughout the book and also explains why Kya's confession was in the lines of a poem. 

Who is in the cast of where the Crawdads sing movie?

Daisy Edgar Jones from Normal People and Fresh stars as Kya, also known as Catherine Danielle Clark, and the 'Marsh Girl'.

The film also stars Taylor John Smith as Tate Walker. Taylor is best known for his roles in Sharp Objects and You Get Me. The cast also includes Harris Dickinson as Chase Andrews. Harris is best known for his work on Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The King's Man.

Other members of the cast include David Strathairn as Kya's lawyer Tom Milton, Garret Dillahunt as Kya's father, and Ahna O'Reilly as Kya's mother.

Reese Witherspoon was a producer for this movie in association with her production company, Hello Sunshine, but the actress does not star in this film. Hello Sunshine has also been associated with other films such as Gone Girl and Hot Pursuit. The company has also been behind TV shows such as The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere.

Where the Crawdads Sing

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Is Where the Crawdads Sing based on a true story?

While there are shocking real life events that inspired Where the Crawdads Sing, the book itself is not based on truth. 

In a strange coincidence that echos Kya's storyline, the author of the novel, Delia Owens, is also wanted for questioning in a murder case. Delia, her husband Mark, and her stepson, Christopher are all wanted for questioning by the authorities in Zambia because of a murder of an alleged poacher. 

Reportedly the author and her family were in the country at the same time that the murder took place. As conservation activists it is thought they may have some knowledge pertinent to the case, and believe they could be key witnesses. 

How to watch Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing is available to purchase or rent on Amazon Prime, or is included in a subscription to streaming giant Netflix

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.

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