How I Met Your Mother comes to an end on March 31st, and many of us are trying to square what we know with how we want the series to end. Rumors have been flying for years that the final episode would see the death of The Mother, and “Vesuvius” — the episode last week — seemed to confirm that when Ted expressed sadness at the thought of a mother not being able to attend her daughter’s wedding. However, Cristin Milioti — who plays the mother — has suggested that the theory that the mother would die in the end is “insane.”
So, let’s assume she doesn’t die. What could possibly be the explanation for that statement? Here’s a round-up of half-formed and probably unlikely theories that I’m basically going to paraphrase, because they come from a variety of different sources, but mostly on Reddit.
1. We know that Lily doesn’t die because Ted has spoken about her from the present day in 2030, but what if — in 2024 — Lily has a health scare. What if she nearly dies from lung cancer, because of all the times that she has smoked while Marshall is away. In this case, the mother missing her daughter’s wedding would be threat of Lily missing Daisy’s wedding.
2. What if it’s The Mother’s own mother that didn’t attend the wedding of Ted and The Mother, maybe because Ted and The Mother had a baby (Penny) out of wedlock, and The Mother’s mother disowned her? If that’s the case, Ted seemed to be awfully upset over something that happened a long time ago, so that doesn’t make that much sense. It probably also wasn’t The Mother’s mother who died, either, because it’d be The Mother that got upset, and not Ted.
3. What if it’s Ted’s sister, Heather, who dies, and who can’t make it to her daughter’s wedding? That’d be weird. We haven’t seen Ted’s sister since season four, and there’s no sign of her at the wedding weekend. A corollary to that is, what if Penny was Heather’s daughter, and Ted and The Mother were raising her because Heather died?
4. What if Penny was actually Victoria’s biological daughter, and Victoria (Cupcake Girl) died and Ted and the Mother raised her?
5. It’s Ted’s Mom, Virginia, who dies before Ted and The Mother’s wedding, in which case: Boo!
6. Here’s a really insane theory that’s so obvious it MUST be true. From Reddit:
In 2016 Russia invades the US. -Putin (through cybernetic enhancements) is ruling overlord president of the US till the year 3000 -Under his reign, he creates a War on Gay marriage. -Teds daughter is gay -In fear of being round up and shipped to Antarctica, daughter decides never to get married -No wedding occurs, so neither Ted nor the Mother get to attend.
7. But what about this theory, that’s kind of been hinted at here and there. In a flash-forward sequence in a 2021 meatball prank, neither Barney nor Robin are wearing wedding rings. What if they divorced. And what if The Mother DOES die, and what if Ted is telling his kids the story of how he met their mother on the eve of his second marriage to … Robin.