The Queen’s Gambit: Why Beth Ending Up Single Was The Best Choice – Screen Rant

Grandmaster Chess

The Queen's Gambit ends with Beth Harmon being single the best conclusion for her arc, which is a journey of self-love and acceptance.

Beth Harmon remains single by the end ofThe Queen's Gambit, which is the best conclusion for her character arc. The Netflix miniseries is an adaptation of the 1983 Walter Tevis novel about a female prodigy's rise in the world of competitive chess. In both versions of the story, Beth is orphaned at a young age, and her journey to becoming a Grandmaster is complicated by her personal trauma and addiction issues.

The Queen's Gambitwas one of the best TV shows of 2020. Although the story (both the novel and the adaptation) is ostensibly a sports drama, it is also a gripping period piece and a powerfully evocative portrait of a young woman's coming of age. Most of the story focuses onBeth as a teenager, maturing into a young woman as she matures into a master player. Through chess, Beth forms emotional connections, develops self-esteem, and perhaps most importantly learns humility. Chess alone is not what allows Beth to ultimately overcome her personal struggles, but the sport and its culture is a significant conduit to the life lessons and relationships that help her heal.

Related:The Queen's Gambit: Who Calls Beth in Episode 6 (& Why She Spirals)

Beth has several sexual relationships throughoutThe Queen's Gambit, but in the end, she is single and better off for it.The Netflix miniseries is, at its core, a story of a young woman learning who she is, and learning to let go of her self-doubts and mistrust of others. After learning some toxic lessons from her biological mother who in a misguided effort to teach her daughter to be self-reliant, fostered her insecurity Beth needed to learn how to form meaningful relationships while also believing in her own inherent value.The Queen's Gambitends with Beth triumphant, having finally mastered chess only after she's conquered her own self-doubt; introducing a romance as a part of that ending would have only served to undermine the miniseries's feminist themes and central message.

A key part of Beth's journey is her overcoming her own demons. Beth may be a gifted chess player, but she lacks self-esteem because of her abandonment issues; this manifests in the various ways she seeks validation throughout the miniseries. Repeatedly, Beth engages in sexual behavior with someone who doesn't know or understand her.This behavior hints at the young's woman's lack of maturity and self-worth; rather than pursue a relationship with someone who treats her with the respect and dignity she deserves, the young womansettles for less just asBeth's adoptive mother Alma did in her marriage.Beth's first sexual experience is with someone she barely knows, and she spends the following day hanging out in and cleaning his apartment alone. Beth beginsromantic relationships with two of her peers from the competitive chess community, Harry and Benny, despite a lack of obvious physical attraction for them (unlike Townes, who Beth is clearly infatuated with upon first meeting him).

Harry leaves Beth, likely because he realizes how unhealthy it is, and Beth later exitsherrelationship with Benny, perhapsbecause she recognizes his true interest is her skill at chess (not her). This pays off when the American players rallying around Beth for her climactic final match in Russia, calling her long-distanceto help her strategize her match. Townes, Beth's long-time love interest, even joins the effort in person, having arranged a working visa to cover the tournament. The moment sees Beth finally belonging to the chess community as an equal member: initially, as a young woman she was dismissed; then, as a rising prodigy, she was objectified. WhenThe Queen's Gambitends, Beth is finally a respected part of the community on her own terms.

Next:The Queen's Gambit: Why Mr. Shaibel Is Beth's True Father

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Sarah Milner is an editor for Screen Rant's Film/Television features division. She is a writer, researcher, and folk musician. Her writing has appeared in Exclaim! and Electric City Magazine. A graduate of Trent University, Sarah's MA thesis examines Frankenstein adaptations and their relationship with popular culture. She has a fierce love of all things "spooky," and a deep appreciation for classic cinema.

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The Queen's Gambit: Why Beth Ending Up Single Was The Best Choice - Screen Rant

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