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Spoilers within. Finish the game before reading on.

I've already learned that it doesn't matter which brooch I pick. But I did notice that at the end, the Elizabeth that drowns me in the baptizing pond doesn't wear either brooch, just an unadorned neckband. Is this an oversight or what is the meaning of it? She still wears it on the way to the lighthouse. Did the brooch go missing? Did she take it off? Or was my Elizabeth at some point replaced by another, and how/why?

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2 Answers 2

Well, there are multiple theories about this and only one that make somewhat sense:

The theories that she took it off or that it was a oversight by the developers don't make any sense. Even if the brooch doesn't change the plot it's still, weirdly, a important plot point.

 

The other theory is that by drowning Brook, Colombia doesn't exist and so stuff starts to... huh, disappear. Doesn't make sense either since Elizabeth would disappear sooner and the brooch was given by the Lucete. That might give it some "time wibbly wobbly" effects.

 

The last theory, that I know of, is that she wasn't Elizabeth. Not your Elizabeth. Booker confirms this in the dialog when he doesn't recognize her after some moments of confusion. This brings the question on where is Elizabeth or perhaps she is all of them.

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Aye, the last one - but why? –  Ingmar Apr 1 '13 at 22:16
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I have no idea. :) Maybe she didn't have courage to do it? Maybe she was everyone? That would be a good question for Ken Levine. –  Diogo Gomes Apr 2 '13 at 2:53
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I sent him a tweeter. Let's see :) –  Ingmar Apr 2 '13 at 12:58
    
I did not thought of that! Great, I will wait for his answer. I'm also curious about this. –  Diogo Gomes Apr 2 '13 at 14:10
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The way I see it, and this is just my personal interpretation, prime Elizabeth ("your Elizabeth") did not enter the final lighthouse because she knew the fate that awaited Booker. She even asks, "Are you sure you want to do this?" A great attachment had developed between the two of them over the course of the game, and she did not want to witness his drowning. Alternatively, not entering the final lighthouse and instead staying in the "Columbia megaverse" may have been Elizabeth's way of ensuring her own survival. –  Sevean Apr 28 '13 at 5:14

I had been thinking about this scene since finishing the game and I came up with a theory.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

When Elizabeth first discovers the Lutece twins and comes across the two brooches, she is offered one of two brooches and leaves the decision to Booker. I came to the conclusion that by the end of the game, choosing whichever brooch didn't change the outcome of the ending in any way. Upon further analysis I realised that it wasn't the outcome of the choice they were presenting to us, it was the act of making the choice at all: It's just another of the Luteces' thought experiments. If you consider Elizabeth as a puppet, she can see all the strings, yet never be able to free herself from the inevitable. With Booker however, he is the one who makes all the choices (albeit minor) in the game's events before it leads up to the ending yet he doesn't know every possible pathway. This lead me to believe that even when Elizabeth sees the two brooches, she doesn't make the choice, you as the player make this choice and she has to go with your decision rather than make it herself. So it's not whether Elizabeth could be the bird, it's that she is, was and always will be the cage and you will always be the bird guiding the way, unaware of the consequences of your decision.

So in the end it begs the question to the player:

  • Would you rather be free and unaware of all the possible consequences or...?

  • Would you rather see and know every possible consequence past,present and future, yet not be able to make a single choice for yourself?

Needless to say, it still ends the same way.

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