The Snow Girl ending explained: Who kidnapped Amaya?

The Snow Girl ending explained: Amaya on the shoulders of her parents
Amaya was kidnapped in episode one, but what happened to her? (Image credit: Netflix)

The Snow Girl opens with an emotional scene where a young girl named Amaya is kidnapped during a parade, sparking an investigation into her disappearance. If you're wondering what happened, you've come to the right place.

Following Amaya's disappearance, an intern journalist named Miren (Milena Smit), becomes obsessed with getting to the bottom of what happened, and alongside her mentor  Eduardo (José Coronado), the two conduct a parallel investigation to the local law enforcement.

Throughout the series, we uncover the truth about Amaya's kidnapping as the story builds to an intense final episode where we finally get our answers. 

Here's what you need to know about The Snow Girl's ending.

The Snow Girl ending explained: Who kidnapped Amaya?

An older Amaya sitting next to a dog

Amaya had been living with a woman named Iris, alongside her dog, in a rural area. (Image credit: Netflix)

There are a few time jumps in The Snow Girl, and the final episode is set nine years after Amaya's disappearance, so it's been a long and grueling investigation.

However, there's some good news as Miren believes a woman named Iris has kidnapped Amaya, although she isn't clear on her motive just yet. Wasting no time, she visits her house and pretends to be a reporter covering people who live in rural areas.

Iris lets Miren into her home after originally trying to rebuff her, but eventually becomes spooked by the visit and tells Amaya to quickly pack her things, confirming that the child was living there.

Miren follows Iris and Amaya in their van, despite being told not by the police, putting herself at risk as she attempts to bring Amaya back to her parents. The situation escalated when Iris decides to kill them both by driving off a cliff so that they "can't be separated".

Iris tearfully looks at Amaya in the van

Iris threatens to drive the van off a cliff. (Image credit: Netflix)

However, Iris ends up crashing the van and is killed immediately, leaving a terrified Amaya in the van where Miren catches up to them. Miren attempts to tell Amaya her real name and that she was kidnapped, but she's hysterical and ends up shooting Miren in the shoulder with Iris' gun, telling Miren that her name is Julia.

Despite her injury, Miren is able to restrain Amaya until the police arrive, where she's taken to a nearby hospital and her real parents are informed that she's been found alive.

The police warn Amaya's parents that their daughter was isolated for nine years and will need time to process what has happened, and come to terms with the fact these are her real parents.

Although Amaya is safe and well, the series leaves us on bit of a cliffhanger as we're not sure about the future of their relationship, but she seemed okay with them sitting with her and watching cartoons in the hospital so it's small steps.

Amaya's mother tries to reconnect with her

Amaya's mother tries to reconnect with her by watching cartoons in hospital. (Image credit: Netflix)

There's more mystery for Miren too, as the episode ends on a scene two years later where she's at her book launch about the case with Eduardo watching on proudly, but she is handed a mysterious envelope.

It has the words "want to play?" written on it and when she opens it, Miren finds a photograph of what looks to be another missing girl, implying someone's been watching her and wants her to get involved...

Why did Iris kidnap Amaya?

Amaya and Iris standing together in her room

Iris tried to pass Amaya off as her own child. (Image credit: Netflix)

We also learned more about Iris in the final episode, and her motive behind kidnapping Amaya. Eduardo found out more about her and gives some key backstory to Miren.

It turns out that Iris used to be a patient of Amaya's mother, Ana, who was a fertility doctor. She became depressed that she and her husband could not have children, deciding to take drastic action to kidnap a child and pass her off as her own.

We later learned that Iris was a widow, so it's likely she became incredibly lonely following her husband's passing and that's what led her to make the extreme decision after seeing that her doctor had a family.

Iris kept Amaya at her home for nine years, brainwashing her into thinking she was her daughter and her name was Julia. It appears that she treated her well during that time, giving her toys, a room of her own, and a pet to play with, and everything seemed "normal" to the outside world.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress