The Tearsmith Ending, Explained: What Happened to Rigel?



  • The Tearsmith is more than a typical teen love story, mixing forbidden love with overcoming trauma and embracing true feelings.
  • Viewers follow a twisted fairytale, watching as Rigel breaks free from a toxic upbringing by overcoming emotional torture and finding love.
  • The tearjerking ending sees Rigel and Nica finally getting their happy ending, proving that even the big bad wolf can find love.

Based on Erin Doom’s international bestselling novel, Netflix’sThe Tearsmith takes the idea of forbidden love and intermingles it with a dark and twisted modern-day fairytale. While there are no ballgowns or fairy godmothers coming down to save the day, viewers do get to see how one damsel in distress falls in love with a mysterious boy who she has always believed to be the big bad wolf. Doom’s original story is beautiful and wicked all at once, but with Simone Baldasseroni and Caterina Ferioli taking the lead as the central couple (Rigel and Nica) in Netflix’s film adaptation, audiences are certainly on the edge of their seats, rooting for the two to finally get their own happy ending.

While a lot of criticism currently surrounds the young romance — some viewers are calling the plot predictable, while others are questioning the sexual nature between the two teens — the evolution of the characters through such a short amount of time is quite amazing. Audiences watch as two tortured souls are adopted as teenagers, and then, with the help of one another, they discover who they truly want to be in this world. A main problem arises towards the end of the film when questions and answers about Rigel seem to be rushed. So, fans want to know this: What happened to Rigel at the end of The Tearsmith?

What is The Tearsmith About?

Forbidden Love Mixes with Teenage Romance

To say The Tearsmith is a standard love story between two teens would be a gross understatement. The film starts with a young Nica arriving at an orphanage, run by a strict and wicked woman named Margaret, after she and her parents are in a fatal crash. At the orphanage, Margaret takes great delight in punishing all children who do not obey her orders. Nica notices that Margaret likes targeting her the most, but what she fails to see is that a young boy named Rigel, whom Margaret loved, was always lingering in the background, trying to take away at least some of Margaret’s hateful attention towards Nica.

Years go by, and the physical and emotional turmoil never ceases. When she is a teenager, Nica finds that a lovely couple who previously lost their son wants to adopt her, but before leaving they ask to adopt Rigel as well. The two teens make their way to their new home, but when tension arises, it becomes obvious that there are unresolved feelings between the two.

Audiences then watch as a cat-and-mouse game takes place as both Nica and Rigel try to figure out their unusual feelings for one another without disturbing the delicate balance of their new life. Some of their classmates begin to take notice of how Rigel is overly protective of his adopted sister, and eventually, their feelings for one another come out in the most twisted way possible.

A Look at Rigel’s Toxic Upbringing By Miss Margaret

The Headmistress Loved Rigel, but Why?

There are a few different nicknames thrown about in the film, such as Rigel calling Nica “moth” because she is drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Then, both Nica and Rigel refer to the latter as “a wolf” from a fairytale. From Nica and her biological mother’s last conversation, she actually learned to see wolves as good creatures whom people feared only because someone else told them to.

Rigel, on the other hand, sees himself as a wolf for a few different reasons. Back at the orphanage, Rigel was always singled out by Margaret, and while he was never punished like the other children, this favoritism made him feel even more alone — much like a lone wolf. Then, since he could not exactly make friends, fearing Margaret would target and punish them, he became the “bad guy” of his very own story.

As Nica said during her speech in court, Margaret may not have physically harmed the one child she loved and actually had the pleasure of naming, but she psychologically and emotionally tortured him, causing him to hate himself and everyone around him. Even when Nica and Rigel’s adoptive parents asked about taking Rigel home, Margaret was reluctant to say yes, mentioning that he would be better suited at Sunnycreek Orphanage with her. It is absolutely horrifying to imagine what exactly went on behind closed doors with Margaret and Rigel, but fortunately, he was eventually able to escape the hold she had on his life and really learn what it meant to love and be loved.


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What Happened to Rigel in the End?

The Wolf and the Damsel Got Their Happy Ending

After Rigel and Nica are open and honest with one another about the love they share, they walk home hand in hand. Unfortunately, a classmate who had been interested in Nica (who also got into a few fights with Rigel), saw them and decided to drive as if he were going to run them over. At the very last second, Nica and Rigel jump off the bridge and land in a river.

Nica later wakes up in a hospital to find out Rigel broke her fall in the water, and paired with his underlying condition, Rigel is in a coma. Neither Nica nor her parents knew anything about Rigel having brain neuromas (benign tumors) that were causing his headaches and fevers, and some viewers were wondering if Margaret chose not to tell them in hopes that they would just send Rigel back to the orphanage.


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Nica visits Rigel every day, and after winning her case against Margaret, she runs straight to the hospital to tell Rigel, who is still in a coma, the good news. While crying over his body, Nica tells Rigel that he is her “tearsmith,” the only one who can make her cry and feel every emotion all at once. Moments later, Rigel wakes up.

The final scene along with Nica’s last speech is beautiful. Rigel and Nica are in a bed with a young girl, presumed to be their daughter, between them. Nica talks about how important it was that Rigel learned how to love while being surrounded by people who love him. Despite their trauma, the two were still able to find and embrace love and have a child together. In the end, the big bad wolf was rightfully awarded his happy ending. Stream on Netflix.



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