New Theory Says Roald Dahl’s Matilda Grew Up To Be Stephen King’s Carrie


The fiction of Stephen King is littered with kids who possess mysterious and extraordinary powers, and with the possible exception of Danny from The Shining, none have left a greater impact on pop culture than Carrie White, the telekinetic misfit who laid waste to a school prom in the 1976 movie Carrie. Brian De Palma’s adaptation has since spawned one sequel and two remakes, none of which garnered much affection from critics or audiences.

That being said, if a popular fan theory’s to be believed, then the horror classic has at least managed to inspire a more family-friendly prequel which has become pretty cherished in its own right. That film is Matilda, the 1996 adaptation of the 1988 Roald Dahl novel. According to the theory, the title characters of these two stories are actually one and the same, with the young and gifted Matilda developing PTSD and forgetting about her telekinetic abilities. Yes, this sounds like quite the stretch, but let’s explore this idea further.

First off, Matilda ends with our hero happily living with her teacher Miss Honey, after the nasty Miss Trunchbull was successfully ousted from their lives. From here, the theory suggests that living in the house of her old abuser took its psychological toll on Honey. This prompts the two of them to move to Maine where she and Matilda change their names to Margaret and Carrie respectively, in order to prevent the former’s criminal father from seeking them out. While the trauma eventually causes Matilda/Carrie to forget her past, Honey/Margaret’s own disturbed state takes the form of religious fanaticism as she herself becomes a crazed and abusive guardian.

If this seems like a pretty elaborate way of connecting these two stories, one Reddit user even finds a way of working in a link to another King story, Christine, with the suggestion that Matilda’s shifty father sold the titular killer-car to an unsuspecting buyer.

“After Matilda is adopted by Miss Honey the FBI catches Matilda’s father Harry Wormwood. He is charged with selling faulty unstable cars and second degree murder as one of the cars sold had caused its passenger to die. The car was found to be a 1958 Plymouth Fury that Harry had named “Christine” and sold for $250 under a different Alias.”

Carrie Stephen King

There are many holes to poke in this line of reasoning, from the implication that the Matilda movie takes places in the late-‘60s or early-‘70s, to the scene in Carrie where the mother and daughter discuss the absent father of the family. Thought Catalog, however, have offered an alternative version of the theory that at least manages to remove the need for Miss Honey to have a change in personality that’s conveniently in-sync with Matilda’s PTSD.

“The biggest stretch seems to be that Miss Honey suddenly becomes such a crazy person, but perhaps the theory could work without this. If something happened to Miss Honey, perhaps “Margaret” is Matilda/Carrie’s birth grandmother? Or she could be another relative of Miss Honey’s who adopts her, we all know she had at least one insane relative (Miss Trunchbull). Perhaps there are some other events that take place in between that account for the holes in this theory.”

Despite these attempts at fixing the theory, this one’s going to prove pretty hard for most fans to buy, though it would certainly add an intriguing layer of tragedy to Matilda – a film that already has a much crueler edge than your average family flick – while offering a little more context to the telekinetic abilities in Carrie. Now, if someone finds a way to work Jean Grey from X-Men into this narrative, then we’d really be impressed.