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Watching The Big Lebowski again, for the nth time, I felt a bit silly. If you haven't seen it... well, let's get past the summary few lines so that we don't spoil it for anyone who hasn't actually clicked on the question.

That should be good. Right?

Ok. So... pretty much everything that Dude brings Walter in on, gets screwed up. Yes... throwing either ringer would have resulted in the same thing... but that's what started his car getting wrecked... and shot... etc. In one sense, if Dude and Walter hadn't done things the way they did, they never would have found out the truth in the end. However, it was Walter's interventions/plans/decisions that ended up putting the nihilists in that parking lot with Donny, to cause the situation that brought on his heart attack.

So... did Walter kill Donny? Even inadvertently...

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Donnie was out of his element. –  Ben Plont Jul 16 at 4:34
    
Isn't the title a spoiler? After all, it reveals that Donny dies! –  Oliver_C Jul 16 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

Not really. First of all, just about everyone involved brought about this complex situation. Everyone's (usually misguided) choices - Bunny, the Dude, the big Lebowski and the nihilists themselves - put the nihilists in that parking lot, so everyone would be responsible for Donny's death. And we don't even know Donny's prior health condition. In short, you can't put the blame on just one person.

Plus, it seems that Donny was destined to have that heart attack anyway because this is foreshadowed: Just before they go out to the parking lot, Donny misses a pin (for the first time in the movie, if I'm not mistaken). As he goes back to his seat, he seems off; he winces and feels his arm. Pain, weakness or numbness in your arm is one of the symptoms of a heart attack. [Look for 'foreshadowing' here.]

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Damn it! That's half an hour of my life I am not getting back. –  Bobby Alexander Jul 16 at 7:39
    
I totally recognized the subtle build-up to where he died. And that everyone had a hand in those situations... it just came across as if the lynch pin to each situation that went wrong, revolved around how Walter decided to handle things. If Walter hadn't pulled the gun in the bowling alley, or insisted Dude see Lebowski for the rug, or thrown the ringer, or brought the Uzi, or escalated the situation with the kid, or beaten the neighbor's car by mistake, or pulled Lebowski from the wheelchair, or started the fight (thrown bowling ball)... All major events, all Walter. –  Bon Gart Jul 16 at 20:13
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The Coen brothers love killing Buscemi. Just by being in the movie he was doomed. Beyond Big Lebowski, they also killed him in Miller's Crossing and most horribly in Fargo. –  Meat Trademark Jul 17 at 0:07
    
@BonGart I'm still not sure he's any more culpable than other people or even fate. Also note that he took on the nihilists almost singlehandedly; who knows what they would've done to the Dude and Donny if he wasn't there? And again, the heart attack symptoms have already appeared in the bowling alley - the Coens are too clever for this to be just a throwaway scene. So I'm sorry, but I don't think this'll hold up in court. ;) –  Walt Jul 17 at 11:09
    
@MeatTrademark Some suppose it's a running Coen joke in that Buscemi progressively dies in smaller and smaller pieces in their movies: corpse in the woods (Miller's Crossing, 1990) -> little bits in the snow (Fargo, 1996) -> ashes in the wind (TBL, 1998). –  Walt Jul 17 at 11:17

It was a storied fate that doomed Donald (etym: Greek, "God's Gift") Theodore (etym: Celtic, "World Rule") Kerabotsus (oronym: "Care abouts us").

Contributor Oliver_C may be hinting at the very same idea.

The first subtextual story within The Big Lebowski is the Gospel of John (DBY). The Dude is the Disciple John, Walter the Disciple Simon Peter and Donny is Jesus. Maude is the Magdalene. The Autobahn band members are "the band" John 18:3. Judas Iscariot is represented as well.

The second subtextual story is about Buddhism, Hare-Mark on the Moon. Bunny plays the hare (presaging of the Buddha), the Pomeranian (terrier) represents the jackal, the monkey is the monkey, and the marmot (ferret) is the otter. Jackie Treehorn is Sakra posing as a Brahman.

The third subtextual story is about Jerry Falwell, Larry Flynt, and Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Other Lebowski is Jerry Falwell, Bunny is Liberty University, Jackie Treehorn is Larry Flynt, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon is represented by the aforementioned Buddhist animal story.

So you see, really new shit has come to light! We of the International Order of Brothers Shamaus (IOBS) stand by our results. The Coen Brothers are Master Cryptologists. No news there! What is new shit (even bearing in mind the number of published attempts at TBL) is that there, all along, was an extensive subterranean system of in-n-out code. LOTS OF CODE!

The Brothers Coen were serious. The Big Lebowski REALLY IS a who done it, a what have you extraordinaire.

I must be brief. For the evidence at THE LEBOWSKI CODEX is too extensive to be reproduced here.

THE LEBOWSKI CODEX: HIDDEN CODES REVEALED http://filmtank.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2307

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The primary reason for posting the link is to back up my implications. That the Coen Brothers are Master Cryptographers is not news; however, that The Big Lebowski may be their cryptographic masterpiece IS news. Really new information has come to light. –  Nolan Hofstadter Jul 24 at 2:12
    
So a little more about the storied fate of Donny. He suffers a cardiac arrest in parking lot under a sign, the "Ben-Hur Auto Shop." What is this reference to a tale of Christ doing in this scene? Compare TBL with the Gospel of John (plot of Christ in Gethsemane): band, sword, severed ear, falling to the ground, and most important a ransom. –  Nolan Hofstadter Jul 24 at 2:19
    
I'm just now learning that hitting enter posts the comment. Anyway, I found Oliver_C's comment to be either absolutely correct or humorously ironical. –  Nolan Hofstadter Jul 24 at 2:23
    
Well, don't expand on this stuff in comments anyway, add it into your answer to give it more substance than a mere link-only answer. –  Napoleon Wilson Jul 25 at 0:29

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