Evey has just witnessed V collapse at her feet. V whispers for Evey to listen to him very closely: he doesn’t have long before he dies. He insists that England is in rubble—but from this rubble, Evey can help the people to build a new world. He adds that Evey must never remove his mask. He tells Evey that the Victoria Line is blocked between Whitehall and St. James, and asks Evey to give him a “Viking funeral.” Evey weeps beside V, unable to believe that her friend and hero is dead.
In his final moments of life, V gives Evey some important information, but as always, he expresses it in cryptic, riddling form. Even at the end of his life, V doesn’t want to merely tell Evey what to do: he wants her to figure out the best course of action for herself. In this way, V is “teaching” Evey to think for herself—a paradoxical process whose success or failure remains to be seen.
Evey sits, watching V’s body, for some time. Eventually, she climbs to her feet. She remembers what V told her: he’s almost done with his plan. Evey walks through the Shadow Gallery, listening to the radio broadcast: Creedy repeats that if V doesn’t appear tonight, he’ll be presumed dead. Evey finally comes to V’s dressing room, where she finds another copy of V’s mask. She remembers V’s advice: anarchy is both a force of destruction and one of creation.
V, when debating with Evey about the merits of violence in political activism, had brought up the notion of anarchy as a form of both destruction and creation. It’s not yet clear how Evey is processing V’s death, but it is clear that she has a finite amount of time to do so: the night when millions of people are expecting V to appear is drawing near.
Evey walks to the lowest level of the Shadow Gallery, where she finds that the train of lilies is gone. She remembers V’s dying words: the train is blocked between Whitehall and St. James. She’s confused by his request for a “Viking funeral.”
Even after V’s death, Evey is still struggling to decipher his riddling instructions.
Evey feels overwhelmed by her responsibilities. She wishes she could walk back into the Shadow Gallery and find V alive, waiting for her. She climbs the staircase, and returns to her room, where she finds V’s body, still lying on the ground. She contemplates pulling off V’s mask, and finding a completely normal face beneath. She also imagines pulling off the mask and seeing her own father’s face. Evey shakes off both possibilities—she knows V wasn’t her father. More importantly, she realizes, she can’t diminish V by seeing his human face: V was much more than a human being—he was a symbol.
In this section, Evey finally embraces the power of symbols. By himself, V is only a man—an intelligent, strong man, but still mortal. When he dresses up in a mask and cloak, however, V takes on new power: he becomes a symbol of government resistance and anarchy. By refusing to take off V’s mask, Evey effectively acknowledges that she respects V more as a symbol than as a person. She also implies that she’s no longer in need of a father figure: she reminds herself that V is not her father.
Evey walks back to V’s dressing room. She thinks, “I know who V must be.” As she stares at her face in the mirror, her mouth curls into a broad smile: exactly like the smile on V’s mask.
In this final, ambiguous scene, it’s suggested that Evey will become V. She has the same mask and equipment as V had, and she’s just realized that V is more valuable as a symbol than as an individual. Perhaps it’s time for Evey to surrender her identity as “Evey” (a name similar to “V,” and also a reference to Eve, the Biblical first woman) and act the part of V: anarchy embodied.