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Bridge to Terabithia Ending

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

The ending of 'Bridge to Terabithia' is a particularly difficult one. What will happen to Terabithia without the queen? Who will P.T. live with? How will Jesse go on?

Bridge to Terabithia: The Ending

Nothing worse could have happened to Jess. Leslie was his best friend, his playmate, and the one who created the magical land of Terabithia for him. After her death, life for Jess completely changed. How will Jess go on? How will he keep her legacy alive?

Tying Up Loose Ends

After Leslie's death, her parents, Bill and Judy, decide to move back to Pennsylvania - Leslie was the reason they moved to the country anyway. Bill gives Jesse some of Leslie's things: watercolors, watercolor paper, and all of her books - Leslie would have wanted it that way, he believes. Bill offers anything else they leave behind to the Aarons, Jesse's family, and he, of course, agrees when Jess asks for the lumber on the back porch.

Bill's generosity comes to an unfortunate halt with something of Leslie's he can't give up. That 'something' was P.T. - the precious dog that Jess gave to Leslie for a Christmas present. While Jess understands why Bill can't part with the pooch, it doesn't make it any easier. In a very grown up way, Jess tells Bill that 'Leslie would want you to keep him.' What a tearjerker!

What's Going to Happen to Terabithia Now?

Since Leslie was the creator of Terabithia, and she was the one who was able to get Jess to let loose and believe in the magic of their land, what will happen without her influence? Jess returns to Terabithia after Leslie's death and tries to connect with her in the place that was so special to them both. It is there he breaks down and finally grieves. He asks her:

  • 'What am I supposed to do?'
  • 'Leslie, were you scared?'
  • 'Did you know you were dying?'
  • 'Were you scared like me?'

What tough questions! It is then when Jess creates a wreath for Leslie - the queen of Terabithia - to memorialize her. Then a beautiful cardinal lands on the bank of the creek and stares at the wreath he just made. Jess takes notice, and says, 'It's a sign from the Spirits.'

A Cardinal
cardinal

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