At the end of Titanic, the camera pans across a group of pictures that showed Rose had lived a rich, full life (some of which was suggested to her by Jack - e.g. learning how to ride 'like a man'). It then settles on a very peaceful looking Rose in her bed.

Then the scene segues to drop down into the inky depths of the ocean to traverse one of the upper decks of the wreck, then that transforms back to the original ship as it had looked in its splendor, turns a corner into an area of people (all of whom, I'm guessing, died during the night it sank), and up a staircase to where Jack is waiting for her in front of a clock. She takes his hand, and they embrace.

Was that to signify that she was dreaming of Jack and all those that had been lost, or had she died and joined them?

  • I think Rose did not die. The whole story is based on her experience and she is relating her story during the film; thus we can expect that she did not die in order to be able to narrate her story some years after it happened. Jul 1, 2014 at 8:35

3 Answers 3


In both the film and the script it's left ambiguous - specifically the script says;

"We PAN OFF the last picture of Rose herself, warm in her bunk. A profile shot. She is very still. She could be sleeping, or maybe something else."

  • Thank you. That script also has some interesting details on her motivation for throwing the diamond overboard that were left out of the film (see my other question). I think the film was better for it, since I could imagine some of the searchers (who witnessed that in the script) might have noted the GPS co-ordinates of the ship at that moment, and gone back with subs fitted with metal detectors to scour the sea floor for it. ..Most unsavory. Jun 29, 2014 at 15:53
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    I can recall reading that script on a London tube in the mid-90's and when it gets to the end pages being borderline tearful - so I knew how powerful the finished film would be.
    – Chopper3
    Jun 29, 2014 at 15:54
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    OK so you were at least 2 reading that script in the london underground ? wtf, world is Soooo small
    – Kiwy
    Jun 30, 2014 at 0:04

According to this post on greenspun, the film's Illustrated Screenplay featured the following info from James Cameron which strongly suggests that the ending was intentionally left ambiguous.

"I get asked about the ending all the time. Is Rose dead or is she dreaming?

You decide."

For the record, I've not been able to get hold of a copy of the screenplay in order to confirm this quote, but nor do I have any reason to suspect that it's not 100% accurate.


I think Rose died. Why else would the shot show her going back to the Titanic to be with Jack? Also, the entire staircase area is filled with all those who died with the ship.

This is all my opinion but that's what I believe is suggested. Same as Les Mis (new one) and the final episode of Lost.

  • 2
    There are a lot of little pieces of the story that support your impression. 1) That all those present in the final scene died that night. 2) That Rose had just obtained 'closure' and (perhaps) felt that also completed her life. 3) That she was ..very old (101) and had just had some excitement in what otherwise might have been a very sedate (recent) life. -- OTOH the other answer cites the script, so I'm leaving it as the accepted answer. It seems that James Cameron (with credits for both script and direction) wanted to leave it open to interpretation on that point. Jun 30, 2014 at 4:07
  • Yes, small typo. Fixed. Jul 1, 2014 at 0:06

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