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Happy Valley: Reason why Hepworth's daughter refuses to take coat off revealed

Warning: spoilers for the final episode ahead

poppy coat toy© Photo: BBC
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
Updated: February 6, 2023
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Happy Valley's dramatic season finale aired on Sunday night and while many viewers are still reeling from the epic ending, some are still looking for answers regarding one particular subplot following Ryan's abusive PE teacher Rob Hepworth and his wife Joanna

Throughout the third series of Sally Wainwright's drama, Rob and Joanna's daughter Poppy has consistently refused to remove her coat, and without an explicit answer in the last episode, some fans are wondering why.

WATCH: Happy Valley clip where Catherine visits Mr Hepworth

Taking to Twitter, one viewer wrote: "The only thing I found disappointing in #HappyValley is the little girl's coat. One glancing mention I'd have left it but it was brought up repeatedly and never answered? I don't want to have to use my imagination. Was he beating the girls as well or was it like a comfort blanket?"

A second tweeted: "15 hours on and think I am always going to wonder why she didn’t take her coat off #HappyValley."

In the final episode, Rob was initially questioned over Joanna's murder before the police charged him with the possession of indecent images after blackmailing a student at school to send them to him.

poppy coat© Photo: BBC

Fans have shared their theories

With this revelation, some fans suggested that the reason why Poppy never took her coat off was to protect herself from her abusive father or as a coping mechanism for growing up in a violent household. 

MORE: Happy Valley fans are certain there will be a spin-off with Ryan - get the details

"I am assuming it was a reaction to the trauma of growing up in a household plagued by emotional and violent abuse and this was a coping mechanism of sorts. A comfort to her," wrote one fan. 

Mark Stanley© Photo: BBC

Rob Hepworth was charged with the possession of indecent images in the finale

Mollie Winnard, who plays Joanna, spoke to ahead of the finale to give her take. "It’s actually a trauma thing, so it’s a (protective) layer," she said. "The coat is definitely to protect (herself) because of what she’s living in, the environment that she’s living in. She doesn’t want to take her coat off."

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