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Apple TV’s ‘The Changeling’: What Were Emma Valentine’s Three Wishes? Explained

Apple TVs The Changeling What Were Emma Valentines Three Wishes

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‘The Changeling’ is an upcoming Apple TV+ series based on a novel written by Victor LaValle under the same name. The show will follow a man named Apollo Kagwa as he tries to figure out what happened to his son following a horrific incident with his wife, Emma Valentine. In the books, as well as in the show, what happened to Brian Kagwa seems to be connected to the three wishes that Emma wished for while she was living in Brazil, and since the show hasn’t been released yet, and we have little info to go on, we decided to consult the source material. Let’s see what three Emma Valentine’s wishes are and whether they came true. 

Emma Valentine wished for three things, a good husband, and healthy child, and a life full of adventure. She got her good husband when she married Apollo Kagwa, a healthy child when Brian was born, and a life full of adventure when a Troll offspring replaced Brian, glamoured to look like a human child. So yes, all three of her wishes came true. 

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Now that you know what Emma wished for, it’s time to analyze it in a bit more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading! 

Emma Valentine learned the true meaning of “be careful what you wish for” 

Emma has been fascinated by Brazilian culture and lore ever since she was a little girl, which motivated her to eventually move to Brazil. She moved there shortly after meeting Apollo Kagwa, which was one reason why she refused to date him at first. 

While in Brazil, Emma lived a life full of adventure. She met like-minded artists, took several nude photos of herself that are still decorating the art galleries in Europe, and made three wishes that will change her life forever. 

One day while exploring the lagoon, she met a strange woman that locals warned her not to get close to her. Against her better judgment, Emma eventually approached the old lady. 

The woman in question tied a piece of red string around Emma’s wrist, the string can only be untied when all three things that Emma wished for come true, and she can never reveal to others what she wished for, at least until it comes true. 

When she returned to New York, Apollo inquired about the red string, and Emma revealed what it was. Apollo took a plastic knife and cut at the red string promising Emma that he would make all of her wishes come true. At the time, he wasn’t aware of what those wishes were. He kept the red string with him at all times, occasionally fidgeting with it. 

Apollo didn’t know what all three wishes were, but we do. Let’s analyze them. 

Emma’s first wish – a good husband 

Unsurprisingly, Emma’s first wish was to share her life with a good man. And this wish came true even before she made it. She met Apollo shortly before she departed for Brazil, but he waited for her, and the two got married shortly after she returned from abroad. 

Apollo was her dream man. He was hard-working, he did what he loved, he showered her with attention and praise, and most of all, he was good father material. 


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He didn’t drink or fall into any vices, he was overall a great standup guy, and it was no wonder that Emma fell for him and eventually married him. 

What Emma and Apollo went through by the end of the book ultimately proved that she couldn’t find a better man to share life’s troubles with. 

Second wish – a healthy child 

This is probably the most common wish there is, as every person that plans on having children wants to have healthy and strong children. So it’s no wonder that this was pretty high up on the list of Emma’s priorities. 

Emma’s second wish came true when she gave birth to Brian Kagwa in the middle of a subway stuck on a train. 

Still, never mind the circumstances under which the baby was born, he was a real champ, healthy and glowing. This is why Emma definitely noticed that something was wrong when he was replaced by Troll’s offspring, even though the Troll baby was obviously glamoured to look like a human child. 

Brian Kagwa proved just how strong he was when he survived the ordeal with the Troll much longer than other children, something that not even William Wheeler, who was intimately familiar with the Troll, couldn’t explain. 

The third wish – a life full of adventure 

The last wish that Emma made was a life full of adventure. We only find this out at the end of the book, and if you think about it, that wish definitely got fulfilled as well. 

Emma lived through something that not a lot of people live through. Her baby was kidnapped and replaced by a Troll baby. She was put on the “most wanted list” and accused of the murder of her son and became aware of the magical world that existed alongside the human world. She became part of the community of women who were forced to do the same thing she was forced to do and whose children, at one point in time, were kidnapped but were never saved on time. 

She killed William Wheeler in a fit of revenge and eventually acquired magical powers herself. I would think that this qualifies as quite the adventure. 


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Long story short, I would say that all of Emma’s wishes came true, but the last wish got twisted because Apollo broke the red string before the wish could come true. The theory makes even more sense if you take into account that Emma’s second wish became twisted as well, nothing really happened to Brian physically, but his development was stunted because he spent four vital months of his life with a Troll instead of with human parents. 

And this is pretty much it. We can’t wait to see what kind of twist the live-action adaptation will put on those wishes. 

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