The Most Dangerous Game Questions and Answers
by Richard Edward Connell

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What happens at the end of "The Most Dangerous Game"?

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Scott David eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford escapes from Zaroff by diving into the sea. Zaroff then returns to his mansion and eats dinner. As he eats, the story tells us, he feels annoyed about how the hunt ended (he finds it unsatisfying for it to have resolved in the manner that it did), just as he feels annoyed by the death of his servant, Ivan. Later, Zaroff retires to his bedroom for the night.

However, Rainsford has not died. Since his escape, he has hidden in Zaroff's bedroom, with the intention of killing Zaroff himself. When Zaroff discovers Rainsford, the general is delighted to learn that their contest isn't over but will conclude with one final fight to the death. The story skips over that last fight. Instead, it shows Rainsford lying in Zaroff's bed, having defeated and killed his opponent.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Near the end of Connell’s classic short story, General Zaroff and his hunting dogs close in on Rainsford, who is forced to jump into the sea to survive. Zaroff assumes that Rainsford is dead and heads back to his chateau. Later that night, General Zaroff eats dinner by himself and muses on the difficulty of replacing his reliable servant Ivan as well as his unique experience hunting Rainsford. Just before Zaroff goes to bed, Rainsford steps out from behind a curtain and challenges the general to a fight. Zaroff is initially surprised that Rainsford is alive and responds by congratulating him on winning the game. However, Rainsford is still a “beast at bay” and seeks revenge on Zaroff. Rainsford ends up killing the general in one-on-one combat and rests peacefully in Zaroff’s bed that night.

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clane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the end of the story General Zaroff believes that Rainsford has simply given up and jumped off the cliffs and into the sea to meet his death. He is actually disappointed that Rainsford chose this method of death as opposed to finishing the game. Rainsford jumped, but not to his death and he hikes back to General Zaroff's home and hides behind his curtain to lay in wait for the hunter. The roles now swiftly change and Rainsford is now waiting for his prey instead of being the prey. Zaroff retires to his room, disappointed in the game for the night and Rainsford reveals himself and declares victory by sending Zaroff out to his killer hounds and sleeping restfully in Zaroff's big beautiful bed.

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zumba96 | Student

That story was absolutely weird and disturbing on many levels. However, clues are provided. The two men, Rainford and the Creepy Castle Owner, make a pact that whoever loses "shall furnish a repast for the hounds".

Ssloan1716 | Student

at the end Rainsford when 

missclark | Student

Rainsford ends up killing both Ivan and Zaroff, and essentially "winning" the game. 

jennifer79 | Student

At the end he wins.


db1957 | Student

What he says, what he does, what others say, what others do for him.

db1957 | Student

Yeah, Rainsford kills Zaroff, but that's not the big question.  What happens after the story ends?  Does Rainsford give up hunting?  Does he continue hunting?  Does he stay on the island and take Zaroff's place? Remember, it's not what you know, but what you can prove.

huskdog11 | Student

Rainsford does become the hunter and waits for his "prey", Zaroff in his bedroom.  He SWIMS to get there after he jumped off the cliff as it was "quicker than walking through the jungle".  His swimming prowess is foreshadowed in the beginning of the story when he swims to save himself.  Raisford does sleep in the "most excellent bed" while Zaroff becomes a meal for his own dogs.

lisamirasolo | Student

At the end of "The Most Dangerous Game", Rainsford wins the game.  Although the hunt was the initial challenge, when the two men come face to face in Zaroff's bedroom, he issues another challenge to Rainsford.  This time, the winner gets to Zaroff's comfy bed, while the loser will be fed to Zaroff's hungry dogs.  At the very end of the story, Rainsford is obviously sleeping in Zaroff's bed.