‘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. Apollo is the protagonist of the series, and naturally, fans of the show are interested in how his journey turns out. Since the series hasn’t been released yet, we can reference the source material to see what ultimately happened to Apollo Kagwa and whether he managed to find his son Brian alive.
Please keep in mind that this post will contain extreme spoilers for both the book and the series. Read at your own risk.
Apollo Kagwa is the protagonist of ‘The Changeling’ book and live-action adaptation. He is the husband of Emma Valentine and father to Brian Kagwa. Following Emma’s alleged murder of Brian Kagwa, Apollo ends up in prison but is shortly after released. Apollo manages to track down the witch coven that supposedly helped out Emma, but instead of getting revenge on his wife, he figures out that the creature that Emma killed was never their son at all. Apollo tracks down both Emma and Brian and kills the Troll that threatened their lives.
It’s hard to summarize Apollo’s adventures in one short paragraph, and this is why we decided to dedicate this entire post to the book version of Apollo Kagwa. If you’re interested in what his journey was like, stay with us and keep reading!
Apollo Kagwa was “abandoned” by his father when he was 4
Apollo Kagwa (originally West) was born to Brian West, a parole officer, and Lillian Kagwa, a Ugandan immigrant. When Apollo was four years old, Brian supposedly abandoned their family, and no one has seen him since.
Apollo often had nightmares that involved his father and dreams of drowning, and it is only several decades later that Apollo found out that those nightmares were actually memories and that his mother was forced to divorce and even murder Apollo’s father because Brian West tried to drown him in a tub of boiling water, and later planned on killing his mother and himself.
Despite everything that took place, Apollo was a loved and quiet child. He developed an interest in reselling used books early in his life, and his mother supported his budding career in whatever way she could.
Apollo married Emma Valentine, and this was when his troubles began
Due to his job being closely related to books, Apollo spent a lot of time in a local library, especially when sales were taking place. This is where he met Emma Valentine, an adventurous young girl. He asked her out on a date several times, but she declined because she was moving to Brazil.
When Emma returned from Brazil, Apollo waited for her at the airport. When Emma mentioned her three wishes, and Apollo saw the red string around her wrist, he cut it off and promised to make her every wish come true.
Shortly after, Emma and Apollo were married, and she became pregnant with their first son.
Emma gave birth to Brian Kagwa in a subway cart. But around the 6-month mark, she started to exhibit worrying behaviors related to their son, which ultimately resulted in Emma communicating with the “wise ones” online and even going as far as to murder their newborn son and attempt to poison and murder Apollo himself.
Apollo ended up in jail
Following the incident with Emma, Apollo armed himself and went to Emma’s former workplace, taking the women that worked there hostage. Apparently, feeling sorry for him and unable to give him any clues to Emma’s whereabouts, none of the workers from the library wanted to press charges. Apollo still ended up in prison for a few months.
While out, he met William Wheeler, who helped him track down his wife and get his vengeance.
Apollo tracked down the witches that helped Emma and almost died in the process
Apollo and William Wheeler managed to track down the witches with whom Emma was in contact before she disappeared and killed Brian. He also found out that William Wheeler was not who he claimed he was. Apollo learned that magic was real and that there are hidden monsters, primarily trolls, living in this world who have the tendency to kidnap human children, replace them with their own and try to raise them before they ultimately fail and eat them.
When William Wheeler eventually called in an air strike to annihilate the hiding place of the women, Cal, the leader of the witches, revealed that Emma was searching a forest trying to locate their real son before she sacrificed herself.
Apollo made it out alive barely and decided to help out his wife and save his son.
Apollo realized that his son never actually died
After the witch revealed to Apollo the truth about what happened, Apollo made his way toward the cemetery where “Brian Kagwa” was buried. With the help of his friend Patrice Green Apollo dug out the grave and saw with his own eyes that the body lying in a small casket was not human at all. Instead of his own son, he found a creature made out of razor-sharp fur, a baby troll.
Apollo immediately made his way toward the only forested area of New York he knew, the Forest Hills neighborhood.
Did Apollo manage to save his son?
Arriving at the Forst Hills, Apollo met a man named Jorgen Knudsen, whose family was responsible for bringing the Troll to American shores. Jorgen admitted that he was the one that stole their son and replaced it with Troll baby.
Apollo also figured out that Jorgen was William Wheeler’s father and then proceeded to kill him. After killing Jorgen, Apollo tracked down Emma in the forest, and the two made peace with each other determining not to give up on their son, who was presumably still alive.
Emma ultimately killed William Wheeler as a reflex reaction to what he showed them, and they descended into the Troll’s cave to save their son.
Brian Kagwa was alive and unharmed, as far as they knew, but dealing with the Troll was still an issue. Apollo lured the Troll to the forest and used his wits and Troll’s stupidity to defeat him. Before he started chasing Apollo, the Troll swallowed Brian whole.
Troll attempted to raze the whole forest in its pursuit of Apollo and pinned itself to the ground with one of the trees. Apollo learned that Brian was still in the Troll’s guts and proceeded to butcher the monster to save his son.
Apollo ultimately succeeded, and young Brian Kagwa was safe. Troll was dealt with, and no child will disappear (at least in New York) from this day onward.
Did Apollo Kagwa Survive?
Apollo Kagwa survived the events of the books. He managed to save his son and reconcile with his wife, Emma. He almost died a few times, but the fight for his son kept him alive, well, that and his intelligence. We don’t know what happened to Apollo after Brian was saved, as the author Victor LaValle didn’t go into too many details. All we know is that they lived happily ever after.