In the book "Death's End" there certainly are a LOT of endings to things (the story, the solar system, certain people's lives, etc.) but death isn't specifically one of them.

So what is the title referring to?

I don't think the title refers to hibernation since this was a concept used throughout the trilogy and not exclusive to this book, and also because it isn't the "end" of death, just a stay of execution.

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    Spoiler: My best guess is that Death's End refers to the Trisolaran's ability to "resurrect" Yun Tianming. It may also refer to Cheng Xin living until the very end of the universe.
    – Raj
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 14:12
  • 1
    @Raj in the sense that if the universe ends, so does death? (and so does life?) Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 1:22
  • Not a great guess, which is why I didn't post it as an answer. There is a discussion on the topic at reddit: reddit.com/r/threebodyproblem/comments/67rzay/…
    – Raj
    Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


One should first look at the novel's Chinese title, 死神永生, which consists of two parts:

Ken Liu's translation of the title contains a genitive ("the end of death/Death") but the Chinese title is more ambiguous. Chinese has no genitive, and "Death's eternal life" would normally require the particle 的: 死神的永生. Without the particle 的, the title can even mean 死神 & 永生, i.e. Death and eternal life (the Chinese language uses the conjunction "and" much more sparingly than Germanic languages such as English).

How this relates to the novel is perfectly ambiguous. Will the universe expand indefinitely with civilisations staying in their pocket universes (a type of coffin?)? Will the universe be sent into a crunch again? Will all of it be reduced to two dimensions? At the end nobody has an answer to these questions, which reflects the title's ambiguity.

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