WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Sleep, in theaters now.
Doctor Sleep doesn't just open up the world of the Shining for new characters and settings, but it also answers a number of questions about just what happened after the events at the Overlook Hotel. Over the course of the movie, the fate of Wendy Torrance -- mother of protagonist Dan Torrance -- is revealed.
Played by Shelly Duvall, Wendy Torrance was one of the main protagonists of director Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The wife of Jack Torrance, she's finally found a semblance of peace with her husband, thanks to his attempts at sobriety. But things are still tense as they move into the Overlook Hotel to serve as the winter caretakers of the building. While Jack and their son Danny are mentally attacked by the hotel and the spirits that dwell within it, Wendy remains largely untargeted.
That is, until the Overlook Hotel breaks Jack's mind and sends him into a murderous rage. Wendy is barely able to briefly subdue Jack and is forced to try and flee the Overlook Hotel so she can make it to Danny (who has led his father into the hedge maze on the hotel grounds). While escaping, she encounters many of the spirits that have been targeting her family, and she immediately runs out of the building. She's able to find Danny and the pair escape the Hotel and Jack.
HER FINAL FATE
Doctor Sleep reveals Wendy and Dan moved to Florida, which is where Dick Hallorann -- who came to Colorado to save them but died at the hands of Jack in the climax of the previous film -- was from. Dan even later says it was partly so they would never have to see snow again. Wendy raised Dan on her own, with the pair slowly trying to deal with the memories of what happened. As they got older, Wendy eventually became ill. Dan, by then an adult, couldn't stop himself from exhibiting a new Shining ability: he can see black flies around someone when they're about to die. And unfortunately, Wendy was covered in them. Wendy could see horror and discomfort in his eyes, and she eventually died with that in mind.
This (along with a desire to suppress his Shining powers) was what drove Dan to become an alcoholic, as his father had been before him. It would take years for Dan to learn self-control, although he proved to be better at it than his father. He even eventually adjusted to his powers to see death and when it's coming, putting it to good use in a hospice center by making sure he can be there before someone dies. Dan helps soothe their transition to the afterlife, and the flies that once terrified him about his mother now give him the chance to help.
While Wendy doesn't appear much in the film, she does get one final moment towards the end of the narrative. After being possessed by the Overlook Hotel, Dan is able to stop himself from killing Abra. He even wrestles control back to stop the Overlook Hotel from venting the boilers. Because of this, the boilers explode and kill both Dan and the malevolent presence in the Overlook. But before he dies, he's greeted by his mother. She's younger, the age she was when they escaped the Overlook the first time. She doesn't say anything, but embraces her son and stays with him as the fire spreads and consumes him. There was no real happy ending for Wendy Torrance. But, alongside her son, she found a peace in moving on.
Written and directed by Mike Flanagan, Doctor Sleep stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Carl Lumbly, Alex Essoe and Zahn McClarnon. The film is now playing everywhere.