10 Endings Stephen King Actually Got Right

He has received criticism for his endings, but these prove to be the exception to the rule!

Stephen King Gerald's Game

It has become almost trendy to mock the endings of Stephen King's novels, as there has been a perception that he tends to fumble the ball in the last act. However, this is very far from the truth for many of his works.

While there are admittedly some dud endings (not that they take away from the story as a whole), the endings on this list comprise ten of the best that he has written, absolutely nailing the close of the story in perfect time - even if that time is over 1000 pages later.

With almost 70 novels under his belt, there is a LOT to choose from and, like any author, not all of his novels or stories stand the test. Yet, these entries do. Almost all of them have a film or series adaptation too, something that King works very much lend themselves to, and while some of those more well known adaptations change elements to better suit the medium, this list refers only to the book endings.

And finally, for the love of God, SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. You have been warned.

10. 11.22.63

Stephen King Gerald's Game

Jake Epping is a classic King character in a relatively recent novel. He is given the chance/task to travel back through time and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy, an event that is described in the novel as a turning point in the history of the world - one that effected everything that followed for the worse.

The catch is that Jake can't choose the time he goes back to. It will always be 1958 when he arrives, so if he travels back into the future, he will not be able to get back to the life he quickly establishes for himself.

While in the past and preparing for his date with destiny, he meets, saves and falls in love with Sadie. This sets a chain of events into effect, which sadly results in her death, though Kennedy is ultimately saved. Time pushes back against Jake though, as when he returns to the future, he sees that the world has been all but destroyed with Kennedy's survival.

The real question of the novel then is not whether or not to save JFK, but whether or not it is right to save Sadie. It was only Jake's initial intervention that kept her alive anyway. His decision to let her fate unravel as it is ends up leading, in the novel's final scene, to a beautiful reunion, if not a conscious one, then one of souls. Jake does, in a way, get his happy ending.


Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick