After nine years, a parade of failed relationships, and hours of Bob Saget's longwinded recollections, How I Met Your Mother is finally approaching its end. On March 31, Ted will meet the still-nameless mother and their life together will begin. But just how long will that life last? We've already considered the likelihood of the mother being dead in the future, but what if she's not the only one to kick the bucket?
After all, there is a lot of evidence pointing toward at least one death in the series finale. It's called "Last Forever," executive producer Carter Bays described the episode as "really heartbreaking," and the fact that Ted's story is so detailed and important to him would make sense. And though this has led many to speculate that the mother is going to die (why else would Ted be relaying this information to his children?), others have theorized that Barney is dead in that future. Which could lead to one we-should-have-seen-it-coming conclusion for the series: Future Ted and future Robin finally get together.
But let's rewind a tad. Why exactly do some fans think Barney will die? Just see one fan's theory, which has made it pretty far on Reddit, listing all of the clues indicating that Barney doesn't make it to hear Ted's story. While a few details are a little farfetched (i.e., Barney always wears suits, an outfit often worn at funerals), others make a lot of sense. So much of what Barney does is extreme and borderline unbelievable. Could a guy really con that many women, then have a sudden transformation into a loving, attentive, thoughtful fiancé? Likely not in real life. But in someone's memory? Of course. If Barney is dead when Ted is telling the story, it's entirely possible that Ted would glorify him, exaggerating all of his stories because he misses his friend and remembers him fondly.
Then there's the way that Ted talks about Barney to his kids, which, as the fan points out, makes it seem like they don't know him well. Just see this example of future-Ted talking about Barney: "The thing you have to understand about your uncle Barney is this... " An odd statement, when you pair it alongside a quote from future-Ted about Marshall, "Kids, something you might not know about your Uncle Marshall is... " Maybe the kids never had the chance to get to know Barney.
Still not convinced Barney might be dead in the future? Let's take a look at Lily's front porch in the future. When meeting Ted's serious girlfriends, Lily tries to imagine them sitting together, playing cards with her and Marshall when they're all old. There are a few imagined flash forwards to the porch, and Barney is never there.
So What Does This All Mean?
It appears as though the mother and Barney could be at the center of that aforementioned heartbreak in the finale. But Bays used more adjectives than "heartbreaking" to describe the episode. His full quote? "I think it's going to be really heartbreaking, and sweet and wonderful."
Considering the amount of times that Ted and Robin have gotten back together and struggled with feelings for one another, Bays and the other writers must be fans of them as a couple. So wouldn't it be simultaneously, in their eyes, heartbreaking, sweet, and wonderful, for tragedy to finally bring them together, for good?
Perhaps after a few years of marriage, Barney will be in some kind of accident and die. Maybe a few years later, after she's had two kids with Ted, the mother will tragically pass on, too. And after that, as Ted tells his children the story of how he met their mother, he begins to remember how important Robin has been to him throughout his life. He's been telling his kids about their relationship and all of the times he fell back in love with her, and now that his true love is gone, he realizes there is someone else who he could love again.
It would also eliminate most of the problems in Ted and Robin's earlier relationship. They disagreed over what kind of life they each wanted. Robin wanted to focus on her career and travel the world (which we've learned she eventually did), and Ted wanted to settle down and have a family (which clearly, he did). By getting together later in life, they've both done what they wanted and can now be together. Robin traveled, Ted had children, they were each with the person they wanted, and now they're both healing.
Of course, there's one problem: This would be an awful ending that would render most of the series pointless. (And what sitcom would be cruel enough to give its main character such a sad life?) But it's also an ending that would make sense on HIMYM, a show fueled by Ted and Robin's will-they-won't-they relationship. As much as I hope I'm completely wrong, I wouldn't be too surprised if a certain colorful instrument found its way into the series finale.
Images: CBS (2), fanforum