How the Castle Rock Season Finale Sets Up Misery

The second season of Hulu's Castle Rock saw the iconic antagonist from Stephen King's Misery, Annie Wilkes, arriving in the fictional Maine town and kicking off a series of deadly events as supernatural occurrences began to unfold. Both seasons of the series borrowed elements from all corners of King's impressive library to craft an entirely unique story, leaving audiences to wonder how, or if, the events of the season would tie into the iconic novel in any way. Now that the second season of the series has concluded, we have a better idea of how the whole story connects to the events of Misery.

WARNING: Spoilers below for Season Two of Castle Rock

Both seasons of the series have been inspired by various stories throughout King's career, with fans curious about how Season Two tied into Misery, though not expecting direct connections to that novel. The season finale, however, depicted how and why Annie became so obsessed with author Paul Sheldon.

The season finale depicted Annie (Lizzy Caplan) and her sister Joy (Elsie Fisher) escaping Castle Rock after blowing up and destroying a number of locations that were allowing supernatural beings to be resurrected. When holed up in a cabin, Annie discovered Paul Sheldon's Misery's Child, which she began reading to Joy in hopes of earning back her trust. Unfortunately, this plan didn't work as intended, resulting in Annie attempting to drown Joy in a nearby lake.

The episode closed with Annie and Joy attending a book signing by Sheldon, with Annie professing her love for his books, as Joy pondered if the pair might be able to meet Sheldon. As the camera begins to pull out from the scene, viewers realize that Joy isn't actually there, as she had died in their encounter in the lake. It becomes clear that Annie has shifted her devotion from Joy to the author, likely setting the stage for the events of Misery.

In that novel, Annie discovers Sheldon in his car after a horrible accident, bringing him to her house to take care of him. When she reads the manuscript for his new novel, she hates what happens to the characters, keeping him captive until he writes a new story that is more to her liking.

Both seasons of the series have merely taken place in Castle Rock and haven't directly adapted stories from King's career, instead blending elements together for all-new storylines. While we shouldn't expect to see the events of Misery brought to life, the reveals of this season finale allow audiences to incorporate the events of the series into the character's canonical backstory, or merely enjoy this alternative explanation for Annie's obsessive disposition.

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Season Two of Castle Rock is streaming now on Hulu.

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