...drops of Ofelia's blood spill onto the altar that is supposed to lead her into the underworld. Ofelia is reunited with the king and queen of the underworld.

The Queen of underworld seems to be Ofelia's mother in the mortal world and she is holding a baby in her arms. All of them (Ofelia, her mother, and her father) are dead by that time, except her new-born brother. If those people in the underworld are all dead, why is her mother holding her alive son?

I'm really confused about connection between people in the mortal world and the underworld. Shouldn't they be dead to be in the underworld or is it a complete other world with different people from the mortal world?

2 Answers 2


During a film studies class we took a long look at Pan's Labyrinth, and some interesting observations were made.

My memory is sketchy, but to answer your question it is my understanding that two story threads are unraveling here; one is Ophelia's fantasy-laced ascent into womanhood (symbolized by the 'blood-letting' at the end which announces her arrival), and the other is the quite literal story that culminates in her (real-world) death.

If we are to believe that the fantastical events of the film were all in her head, fabrications created to deal with the real-world horrors being perpetrated all around her, then it is reasonable to assume that at the moment of death she should imagine her entry into the underworld, complete with familiar loved-ones and a happy ending.


This film is the Christ metaphor. Like the matrix and about a zillion other films.

The reunion was the joining of the trinity in Biblical Scripture. Her blood was the blood Christ spilled on the cross. The child is a symbol of man's soul that is saved by the blood.

  • Thanks, I guess your explanation is deeper than Nobby's and there can be a lot of discussions over your viewpoint. The movie is a deep masterpiece under a fairytale skin and every time that I watch it, I think I can understand more.. However, still, I'm not satisfied by the explanations that I found on the internet, and I'm still looking for a complete explanation which covers all the symbols and their meanings.
    – Farid Rn
    Jan 28, 2013 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .