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Jay Asher explains Hannah Baker's death scene in ‘13 Reasons Why’

It was graphic for an important reason.

By Hannah Orenstein
hannah baker 13 reasons why

This post contains spoilers for the finale of 13 Reasons Why.

In Jay Asher's 2007 novel Thirteen Reasons Why, it's clear that Hannah Baker dies by suicide, but details are sparse. It's possible to infer that she dies after overdosing on pills, although her death isn't written in explicit detail. The end of her life is portrayed very differently in the Netflix adaptation 13 Reasons Why's finale. It's a hard scene to stomach: Hannah runs a bath, cuts her wrists with a razor blade, and bleeds to death. Her parents find her body in the tub.

The decision to depict Hannah's death in such a graphic manner was intended to send viewers the potentially life-saving message that suicide is never a glamorous choice.

"They felt for a TV series, if you're going to watch it, you want to show it as horrific as it actually is," Jay told EW. "So the way she does it, you can't watch it and feel like it's glamorised in any way. It looks and is painful, and then when she's found by her parents, it absolutely destroys them."

Screenwriter and show creator Brian Yorkey made a similar point in Beyond the Reasons, a Netflix special featuring interviews with the cast, crew, and mental health professionals.

"We worked very hard not to be gratuitous, but we did want it to be painful to watch because we wanted it to be very clear that there is nothing, in any way, worthwhile about suicide," he explained.

The scene is difficult to watch, but ultimately serves a crucial purpose.

Similarly, in an earlier draft of the book, Jay considered having Hannah survive her suicide attempt. He chose to change the ending to send a stronger message to the reader.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Via: seventeen.com