Lamb Ending Explained & Film Analysis

The debut of the Scandinavian director Valdimar Johannsson became a sensation in the world of modern cinema. The film “Lamb”, the meaning of which is primitive, but at the same time filled with the depth of simple truths and problems of the relationship between nature and man, was filmed in 2016. Lamb: the meaning of the film, summary, ending


A married couple, Maria and Ingvar, who live in Iceland, are childless. In the barn, a sheep gives birth to an unusual lamb – a hybrid of a human and a sheep. The couple decides to raise a creature that immediately fills the house with happiness. The couple name the creature Ada after their stillborn child.

Gradually, the situation is gaining tragic momentum. The sheep that gave birth to Ada constantly haunts the spouses. One day, she manages to take Ada with her. Maria shoots her. Brother Ingvar Petur becomes a witness to the murder. The couple claim that Ada brought happiness and peace, despite Petur’s condemnation of Ada’s animal origin. Soon Petur will be imbued with Ada and call himself her uncle.

At another family party, Ada sees an entity that killed a pet dog. Later, during Maria’s absence, Ingvar kills a certain hybrid of a ram and a man. The creature takes Adu away.

Returning Maria discovers the loss of the child and the dying husband. The film ends with a woman wandering through the deserted expanses of Iceland.

Interesting! At the US box office, the film became the highest-grossing non-English-language art-house director’s work since Parasite.

The meaning of the plot

As the story progresses, the meaning of the lives of the characters in The Lamb (2021) is revealed. Maria and Ingvar lead a leisurely life, endlessly working on the farm. In the communication of the spouses, constant unhappiness is felt, which is not openly discussed and outwardly covered with an idyll.

Changes in the family come with the birth of an unusual lamb. Maria and Ingvar take care of him as if they were their own child.

Petur, who has arrived at the farm, is trying to reveal to his relatives the truth about the surrealism of what is happening. Ada is an animal, and the behavior of Maria and Ingvar is perverted. Later, Petur still becomes attached to Ada.

The action of the film is divided into three parts of different styles:

  • A leisurely acquaintance with a couple of farmers leading a boring, and often unhappy, life. There is tension, the causes of which are not directly revealed by the characters.
  • Family drama. Represented by drunken parties and harassment by her brother’s wife. The arrival of Petur allows us to understand the emotions and feelings of Maria and Ingvar.
  • Folk horror. The denouement comes sharply, supplemented by special effects. The finale demonstrates the tragedy of the main character.

On a note! The Lamb is a film whose meaning and originality brought its creators the prize of the Cannes Film Festival.

The film is recognized as a kind of parable, which absorbed biblical motifs. It touches on the themes of parenthood and humanism.


The external idyll of a farming family is internally very fragile. Its strength is repeatedly tested:

  • mother-sheep, experiencing parting with a child;
  • brother of Ingvar;
  • mystical situations.

In reviews of the film “The Lamb”, the presented landscapes of untouched corners of Iceland are endowed with important meaning. Nature is a separate character here. She constantly attracts attention and reminds of her impeccability and omnipotence. This is the main idea of ​​the film.

Seeing Ada, Maria and Ingvar decided without hesitation to take possession of an unusual creature created by nature. People perceive themselves as masters of nature, forgetting about its incredible power. The spouses are not embarrassed by the plaintive bleating of the real mother Ada. After all, they pursue only selfish goals. Maria mercilessly kills a sheep. Later, a scene is presented where until recently Petur, cold-blooded towards animals, does not dare to shoot Ada. Because it has human features.

Man dominates animals – those who are weaker than them. The Lamb is a film whose meaning lies in the hopelessness of retribution. The progenitors of Ada, half-humans-half-rams, turned out to be stronger and more resourceful than a person.

The meaning of the ending

In the final scene, Maria returns to the farm to find her husband dying. Ingvar dies in the arms of his wife. During this time, Maria does not even try to call for help. The woman, who until recently felt power over Ada’s own mother, is now absolutely helpless. The hybrid of a ram and a man is vengeful and merciless. The meaning of the ending of the film “The Lamb” is explained by the uncertainty about the safety of Mary. The far-fetched domination of people over animals can instantly collapse under the influence of natural forces.

Nothing is known about the degree of vindictiveness of the creature that shot at Ingvar. A hybrid of sheep and man can appear at any moment. However, for sure, for Mary, the most terrible revenge will be the expectation of his appearance.

The plot of the film, ultimately, comes down to the revenge of a hybrid of a ram and a man for his murdered wife – Ada’s own mother. Adoptive parents who arbitrarily take away a half-lamb suffer cruel retribution. The power of nature, whose vivid landscapes are presented throughout the film, is incomparable with human capabilities.

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