'Modern Love' Director Explains That Kit Harington Train Story Ending

Modern Love is famed for bringing together some very famous actors to perform in an anthology series based on a newspaper column. Every story is completely separate, starring wholly new people and following a different story.

This series moves out of New York, where Season 1 was set, and goes across the world to areas like Dublin, Ireland, which is where the train story begins.

"Strangers On A Train" is the only story in the new season which talks about COVID-19 and the effects of lockdown, as a couple try to meet one another off a train.

The pair, Michael (played by Kit Harington) and Paula (Lucy Boynton) are travelling from Galway to Dublin to stay with family after the pandemic has caused a shutdown for three weeks.

Those three weeks turned into months, but the pair did not exchange numbers and suddenly realized they are stuck miles apart, with no way to contact each other.

The episode ends with a cliffhanger, with it unclear if the pair ever managed to meet again.

The story is adapted from a 'Tiny Love Story' from the column, meaning the 100 words had to be expanded for the show, and showrunner John Carney was the one to do it.

**WARNING: Ahead are some big spoilers for this episode of the series.**

What Happened At The End of Modern Love's "Strangers On A Train"?

In an interview with Newsweek, John Carney explained how he decided to end the episode on a cliffhanger in order to ensure he did not alter the true story too much.

That story was from Cecilia Pesao, who met a man on a train from Paris to Barcelona. The pair had planned to meet again in Paris, but, sadly, the pandemic prevented them from doing so.

Carney told Newsweek: "One of the rules that I stuck to for this show is that I wouldn't change the lateral timeline of the episode too much, I didn't want to go messing with the original piece too much in terms of the events.

"I didn't want to kind of change structural things, I'm happy to change names or to you know, have a character here and there in order to tell the story better for a different format.

"But we decided early on that we stick to the kind of rules of the column in that we wouldn't fictionalize the ending and in that particular piece, I think it ends with them saying they didn't get to meet again. I felt like if I changed that too much and had a happy ending, I would get slagged off for that."

As Carney said, Pesao did not meet her man again. Though they did message on Twitter and eventually exchange numbers, their face-to-face relationship ended on the train.

Of course, Carney chose not to end things on a completely hopeless note, with Michael camping on Paula's road in the hope of bumping into her.

He added: "I kind of had my cake and ate it in a way I guess, if he's camping outside her street it's likely, you know, to maybe run into her. But I didn't want to do too much with that are kind of sugar-coat it and have them running off like a sort of big happy end...

"It's funny, I actually did not expect the response that we've got, which is some people are actually very frustrated by not getting the ending."

Carney imagined these characters might hold a special place in their futures, as they tell their new partners or children about the time they met someone on a train and never saw them again.

For him, the idea was more fun and not a serious story, compared to some of the others where far more deep-seated issues are explored.

At the center of that story is Harington and Boynton, the former of whom was, according to Carney, looking to show his skill outside of his Game of Thrones life.

With Harington comes many fans, which Carney felt added "another dimension" to the stories.

He said: "It was pretty straightforward [getting Harington to join the cast]. I am, I think, the one human being on earth who hasn't actually watched Game of Thrones, so he didn't come to me, I just, you know, connected with him over Zoom.

"I sent the script because other people had told me he was great. And I think he wanted to do something fun and romantic and show a different side to his acting chops. And he's just a terrific actor."

Carney said he does not focus on their previous work when working out the casting, and said the shorter production schedule of Modern Love has appealed to bigger names like Minnie Driver, Anne Hathaway and Tina Fey.

The second season of Modern Love is on Amazon Prime now.

Production still from Modern Love Season 2
A production still from 'Modern Love' Season 2. Lucy Boynton and Kit Harington star in "Strangers On A (Dublin) Train" Amazon Prime Video