For those who love the mind trip of a show, 1899, it’s going to be hard to wait the potential two years for season 2 to come out. And that’s if season 2 gets renewed (fingers crossed).
To tide you over, I have put together a list of ten predictions for what’s going to happen next in Netflix’s 1899.
#1. Elliot is dead or dying and Maura trapped the crew in an endless time loop so she could be with him.
This is one of the most common predictions for the show I have seen across the internet. The idea is that Maura’s son, Elliot, is either already dead or on the cusp of death in real life. She can’t accept this, so she has created an endless loop in the simulation in order to stay with her son forever (and unfortunately has trapped the rest of the crew). As we know from the show, the simulation restarts every 8 days. It’s possible that Maura’s son may have died by day 8 in real life on the Prometheus‘s voyage in 2099, so she programmed an endless loop into the simulation for it to restart every time before it gets to that point.
Clues to this theory come from the fact that Elliot’s room is beneath a grave. And the key that ultimately gets Maura out of the simulation is one of her son’s toys, meaning that her son is the key to understanding why everyone is trapped. The YouTuber, Heavy Spoilers, made an interesting point about how Maura told Elliot it’s cruel to keep a beetle trapped in a cage–a lesson she has clearly ignored for herself by keeping her dying son trapped in a virtual loop. Maura’s father even talks about people refusing to let go of the attachments they have.
Also, the simulation has a unique mechanic that when Elliot dies (such as when he was so rudely thrown overboard), he comes back to life appearing in a cabinet. Perhaps Maura hacked the simulation to give her son some sort of invincibility cheat and made the cabinet a respawn point.
Maura may have also deliberately altered her own memory, along with the memories of the rest of the crew, to forget the incredibly painful reality of her son’s death. She potentially went as far as to make herself believe that she was incapable of having children.
In episode 1, she says that she’s a doctor who studies the human mind. So it is definitely possible she would know how to manipulate the mind and memories of herself along with others.
#2. Ciaran launched a coup and took over the ship in 2099.
Before escaping the simulation, Maura learned that her brother Ciaran took over the program. Her father, Henry, is apparently no longer in charge. When Maura awakens onto a spaceship in the year 2099, she finds a note on a computer monitor that reads, “May your coffee kick in before reality does.” (This is a message we have seen before on the steamship in 1899.) The message is from Ciaran, who appears to be welcoming his sister back to reality.
Some fans have noticed that one of the pods on the spaceship is empty. There are theories that this was the pod that contained Ciaran, who potentially woke up from the simulation, and then launched his coup.
There are also theories that Henry may have been using the simulation to conduct experiments on the crew of the Prometheus, running them through different situations over and over again. Perhaps Ciaran launched a coup to stop this from happening, and then left clues in the simulation to help Maura wake up so she could in turn help him rescue the rest of the passengers.
However, the message, “May your coffee kick in before your reality does,” gives me pause. Does Ciaran really want Maura to wake up? We have already watched the scene where Maura is injected with a black liquid before appearing back in her room on the steamship, the Kerberos. Perhaps this black mind altering liquid is the “coffee,” which is intended to protect her from reality by her brother. It was also mentioned that Ciaran was potentially jealous of Henry loving Maura more. Perhaps in Ciaran’s jealousy, he’s seeking to keep both Maura and her father trapped in an endless simulation so he can control and torment them. Or perhaps he’s determined to finish his father’s work and win his love.
#3. The book The Awakening is a clue about Maura’s circumstances.
We see the book The Awakening in Maura’s room on the Kerberos steamship. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, was first published in 1899. The plot centers around a strong, independent woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna struggles to be her own person against the prevailing social norms of her time. Her male family members try to control her against her will. The novel is seen as a landmark of early feminism.
Perhaps the novel is a clue that Maura left herself to suggest that her male family members (father and brother) are conspiring to keep her trapped so they can control her.
Here’s more on this theory on reddit.
#4. Daniel is an NPC
There are some interesting theories that Daniel (Maura’s husband) is an NPC because we don’t see him in the pods when she wakes up on the spaceship (but then again, we don’t see her other family members either). The theory is that Daniel was an NPC programmed (potentially by Ciaran) to help Maura break free from the simulation. For instance, when Daniel shows Maura photos of them together, she says she doesn’t feel like they are real.
#5. The characters in the love triangles have been matched with someone who is not their partner in real life.
Up until now, most of these theories I have listed have centered around the main character Maura. But of course, this is a show full of other dynamic, interesting, international characters. So their stories will (hopefully) matter to the plot as well.
Triangles are a frequent symbol on the show. And there are many characters who are in a love triangle. There is the Angel-Ramiro-Krester triangle. The French Lucien-Clemence-Jerome triangle. And much more subtle, but definitely interesting, the Maura-Daniel-Eyk triangle. So we literally have a triangle of love triangles (gotta love the creators of 1899 for all the complexity!)
It is possible that the people in the simulation who are in love triangles are actually intentionally paired with the wrong partner. And the person they feel drawn toward is the person they are actually in a relationship with in real life. In other words, Angel is actually with Krester in real life. Clemence is actually with Jerome. And Maura is actually with Eyk. While the show doesn’t outright state that Maura and Eyk are an item, we definitely see chemistry between them. Whereas Maura shows no interest for Daniel, and even shows a physical aversion for him when he touches her.
Why would people be intentionally put with the wrong partner?
This could be part of the greater experiment on human memory. If people have their memories erased, will they still be drawn to the person they love by some subconscious longing? Henry talked about how his wife lost her memories. Perhaps this is all part of his larger experiment to understand how to revive the memories of a loved one (and how to revive the memories of his wife).
Some redditors on the 1899 subreddit have even cleverly suggested that Eyk’s name is an anagram for “key,” and that he is the true key to Maura getting out of the simulation because she loves him.
Of course, not all the lovers are in love triangles. Olek and Ling Yi clearly have a mutual love for each other. But perhaps the obstacle keeping Ling Yi away from Olek is her madam, Virginia, who wants to sell her to the highest paying John she can find.
Another interesting thought that occurred to me as I wrote this is that the multi-lingual nature of the cast may also be part of Henry’s experiment. Perhaps he was testing the ability of love and latent subconscious memory to triumph, even amidst the challenge of navigating different languages and cultures.
#6. The Earth is dying in 2099 and the simulation is preparation for a new world.
So far, I have covered theories that the simulation is some sort of twisted mind experiment originally launched by Henry in order to understand his wife’s failing memory.
But another more noble theory posited by internet fans is that the simulation was originally a test preparing the crew of the Prometheus for their trip to a new world. It has been noted that the creators of 1899 like to handle larger themes, like they did in the show Dark. One large theme is that of human beings destroying the environment. Another theme is international conflict. Indeed, when I watched The Making of 1899 on Netflix, the show creators said they were inspired by the refugee crisis which took place in Europe. Perhaps the characters of the Prometheus were put into a simulation to learn how to work together across cultural differences. But then the simulation went awry when it was hacked by Henry for his own selfish ends.
#7. The spaceship Prometheus is actually a prison colony.
Now for a less noble theory. The ship itself is actually a prison colony. The crew has been sentenced to a simulation that will punish them with mind torture for their crimes. This theory makes sense, because multiple passengers on the Kerberos have committed murder, including Ramiro, Tove, and Ling Yi. Virginia could be in prison for being a madam. Henry, Ciaran and Maura could be in prison for conducting mental experiments. Lucien could be in prison for defecting from the military and perhaps Jerome is in because Lucien threw him under the bus.
The name of the ship in the simulation, Kerberos, is a clue to this theory. Kerberos in Greek mythology was the three-headed dog that guards the underworld. The symbolism of the triangle could be a reference to these three heads. The triangle in the show is also a symbol for the element Earth, and beneath the Earth, you have the underworld.
This Reddit post goes into this theory.
#8. The spaceship in 2099 is a simulation in a larger simulation.
Okay. Time to twist your mind even further. Does it feel like a pretzel yet?
For those who watched the series Dark, we know that the show creators love complexity. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the spaceship in 2099 is not in fact real life, but actually another simulation inside a simulation. Season 2 could revolve around Maura wrestling control of the spaceship away from her brother Ciaran, and then waking up in the even greater reality nesting 2099.
#9. Season 3 will be an LSD experiment in the 1970s
You might want to take a breath for a second, because this is about to get a whole lot weirder.
In season 3, the crew is not actually in the future anymore, but they are all part of some drug experiment that is taking place circa the 1970s.
One of the clues to me that the show was potentially in the 1970s was the music. A frequent song we hear is “White Rabbit”, by Jefferson Airplane, which came out in 1967. But there are also several other songs by bands which were prominent in the late 60s and 70s. Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevans and David Bowie.
One thing we know about the creators of 1899 is their amazing attention to detail. I doubt these songs were picked arbitrarily. And all songs from the same time period? That would be an awfully big coincidence.
The 1970s was a time well known for rampant drug experimentation. The whole show could be an LSD trial being conducted by Henry.
Indeed, even the “futuristic” technology has a retro 1970s vibe. The tech looks more analog than digital. It’s almost as if the depiction of the future is how people in the 1970s would imagine the future.
Even the final scene in the spaceship has an artistic style that is very iconic of H.R. Giger, the mastermind behind the set of the movie Alien, which came out in 1979 by the way. The tube television that Henry is watching to monitor the crew also looks like it came from the 70s. Even the computer terminal on the spaceship doesn’t have a GUI (graphic user interface) like modern computers, but is just showing bare minimum text reminiscent of the classic era of VDU (visual display units) that began in the 1970s. So if this show is only from the future, why the retro tech?
I was pleasantly surprised to see this theory on Reddit as well. So I guess I’m not the only one who thinks this.
# 10. The show is actually taking place in infinite realities.
Here’s one final theory to completely blow your mind into tiny grey pieces all over your wall. Perhaps there is no “real reality.” Perhaps the crew is trapped in an infinite level of different realities. This would be similar to the theme explored in the movie Inception, that if you have dreams within dreams within dreams, who is to say what is real and what is not?
This proposes a similar idea brought up by Simulation Theory, which is that if we are all in one simulation, then we could also be in an infinite number of simulations.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave was brought up in the show. If you have people only living in a cave, they can’t possibly know the real world outside of the cave, but only what is inside of it.
If I learned anything from Dark, it’s that the creators of this show love to explore spiritual and philosophical themes.
I hope you enjoyed this! Check out the links below. And don’t forget to clean your grey matter off the wall behind you.
The Revolutionary Filming Technology Behind Netflix’s 1899 (Stories From Tomorrow)
1899 Ending: Season 2 Theories, Predictions And [SPOILER] Explained (Heavy Spoilers | YouTube)
1899 Ending: Season 2 Theories & Biggest Questions Explained (Cortex Videos | YouTube)