Bonus Observations on What Remains of Edith Finch
Last weekend I posted a long-form analysis of the moving narrative game What Remains of Edith Finch. Here are a few thoughts about the game that for various reasons didn’t make it into the full article. Major spoilers follow.
•Edith spends the whole game filling in her family tree. At the end of the game, every biological member of the Finch family we’ve learned about has a birth date and death date on that tree. Edith, having died while she was writing her journal has a birth date but no death date. It’s a small but very sad detail that reflects her death.
•It’s worth noting that while almost every door in the house has birth and death dates on it, Milton’s does not. While Milton almost certainly died exploring the secret passages of the house, Edie tells us he disappeared into his paintings. His plaque likely doesn’t have a death date to perpetuate the myth that he lives on inside his art.
•The house’s cemetery was designed by Edie, a feature in the game’s timeline that tells you how dedicated she was to enshrining the Finches.
•In Edie’s old bedroom, we can see a book of Norweigan folktales by her bed, a symbol of her role as a fiction writer, and a possible source of inspiration for her tales.
•When we play through Calvin’s story we can see a cast on her leg, indicating that he is a foolhardy character, exactly the kind of person who might die going over the edge of a cliff.
•Because Edie only retells the stories of her family through their deaths, she stifles the stories of who they were during their lives. These people are almost entirely defined by the moments they passed away and this is often mirrored by the shrines to them including some object involved in their deaths. E.g. Gregory’s crib has a bottle of bubble bath in it and the poem to Gus is written on paper wrapped around the reel of a kite.