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This is a spoiler. At the end of The Thing (1982),

MacReady and Childs sit together. It is not clear if either or none of them is the Thing at this point. I assume it is clear that not both of them is the Thing, because then they wouldn't bother with portraying human qualities.

I also assume that it is intentionally left unclear what is the case, but has the writer of the script or director made any hints towards what is going on?

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There is an extensive answer on our sister site, Science Fiction and Fantasy, addressing this precise question.

Rather than copy and paste it as a whole (and it's very long) I will quote the basic answer and link the remainder below.

TL;DR:

This is the million dollar question, as far as The Thing is concerned. Unfortunately, not only has the answer never been revealed, but the producer and director themselves say they have no idea what the answer is.

There are a number of fan theories - both men are Things; neither man is a Thing; only Childs is a Thing; only Mac is a Thing - but the "evidence" employed to support arguments in favor of one or both men being Things is unconvincing, and it is easy to poke holes in every possibility except "neither of them is a Thing".

Even worse for those who think they have discovered subtle (or not-so-subtle) clues that point to one or both men being Things, the director and producer have both said that they didn't include any such clues, and even they don't know who, if anyone, is a Thing at the end of the film.

Source answer by Wad Cheber

  • Community Wiki is for easier collaborative editing, not for eschewing the concept of reputation. You quoted an external website with attribution, that's a large part of what we do here and in fact some users' primary way of answering questions. Abusing CW makes no sense here. – Napoleon Wilson Oct 25 at 12:29
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    OK...I wouldn't call it "abuse" but I see where you are coming from. I just felt I didn't deserve the rep for a simple google search. Hey-ho ☺ – Paulie_D Oct 25 at 12:33
  • If that was the case, we might have to CW a majority of answer here. ;-) – Napoleon Wilson Oct 25 at 12:37
  • @NapoleonWilson I don't think it's abusing CW, I get your point, but it can be already considered "collaborative" as it was already made by another SE user in most part, also this post could use some fleshing up, which CW would entice. There was for example an interesting short story telling events from Thing's PoV... – Mithoron Oct 26 at 22:27
  • @Mithoron Again, if every post that quotes someone else's work from a third party site was considered "collaborative" in that kind, we would have to CW a majority of answers on this site. It's not collaborative in the sense that it needs collaboration to be constructed more than the normal features provide. But if you think that short story is worth an answer, feel free to write one. – Napoleon Wilson Oct 26 at 22:49

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