Copyright Notice: It’s easy to see when our selected quotes have been copied and pasted, as you’re also copying our format, mistakes, and movie scene descriptions. If you decide to copy from us please be kind and either link back, or refer back to our site. Please check out our copyright policies here. Thanks!
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Harris Dickinson, Taylor John Smith, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer, Jr., Jayson Warner Smith, Garret Dillahunt, Ahna O’Reilly
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Drama directed by Olivia Newman. Where the Crawdads Sing (2022) centers on Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina, isolating her from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world. However, when one of them is found dead, Kaya is the prime suspect in his murder case. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.
Our Favorite Quotes:'The marsh knows all about death, and doesn't necessarily define it as tragedy. Certainly not a sin. It understands that every creature does what it must to survive. And that sometimes, for prey to live, its predator must die.' Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: Marsh is not swamp. Marsh is a space of light where grass grows in water, and water flows into the sky. Then within the marsh, here and there, true swamp. A swamp knows all about death, and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy. Certainly not a sin.
Sandy: Chase Andrews and the Marsh Girl? Now if that ain’t asking for trouble.
Mr. Mosely: What do you think really happened, Frank? You think that Marsh Girl killed Chase?
Mr. Lane: Hell, I don’t know. Truth will come out.
Deputy Perdue: [referring to Kya] She a scientist, or a witch?
Tom Milton: [after Kya is charged with Chase’s murder] Well, I know you as Catherine Danielle Clark, but here in Barkley Cove they don’t call you by that name. They call you Marsh Girl. And when you stand trial, you will be judged by a jury of your peers from Barkley Cove, who only know you as such. They are going to judge you whether they know you or not. But I can’t help you unless I know you. Even just a little bit.
Kya Clark: People forget about the creatures who live in shells. I had a family once. They called me Kya.
'Being completely alone was a feeling so vast, it echoed.' - Kya Clark (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Young Jodie: I can’t live here no longer. Kya, you be careful, hear? If you’re in trouble, run and hide deep in the marsh way out where the crawdads sing. Like Ma always says.
Kya Clark: [referring to her father] I learned from the mistakes of the others how to live with him. Just keep out of the way. Don’t let him see you. Fend for yourself.
Kya Clark: Tate. There was something about that boy that eased the tightness in my chest. For the first time since Ma and Jodie left, I felt something other than hurt. I felt brave.
Pa: It’s a dangerous world, isn’t it?
'Life can change in a second.' - Scupper (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: [after the kids in school make fun of her] That was the only day I ever spent in school. Reckoned I was better off learning from the wild.
Pa: [to young Kya] Need you to be careful out here. You hear me? You can’t trust nobody. You protect yourself.
Pa: [referring to her mother] Now you listen to me. She ain’t never coming back. You hear me?
Young Kya: That isn’t true. “Ain’t” isn’t even a real word!
Kya Clark: [referring to her father] And then one day he was gone. Wasn’t like the pain when Ma left. But being completely alone was a feeling so vast, it echoed. And there was the small matter of surviving. I didn’t know how to do life without grits.
'The only constant in nature is change.' - Kya Clark (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Mabel: [referring to young Kya] Poor child. Her ma’s gone, and now her pa’s gone too, I bet. What?
Jumpin’: We ought to be careful, messing in folk business.
Mabel: It don’t say that in the Bible. “Be careful. And the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto thee, inasmuch as ye hath done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Jumpin’: Alright, Mabel.
Mabel: Don’t say about “be careful”.
Judge Sims: Catherine Danielle Clark, of Barkley County, North Carolina, is charged with the murder in the first degree of Chase Lawrence Andrews, formerly of Barkley Cove. In such cases, the State is allowed to seek the death penalty. The prosecution has announced it will do so if the defendant is found guilty.
Tom Milton: If we lose, we lose big. It’s life in prison, or the other.
Kya Clark: Mr. Milton, I won’t say anything that implies guilt. I will not go to prison.
Tom Milton: Please call me Tom. And promise me that you will think about this.
Kya Clark: I have to get out of here. One way or the other.
Tom Milton: [to the jury] Furthermore, you are going to hear that there’s a good chance no one murdered Chase Andrews. And that the defendant, Miss Clark, finds herself here because it is easier to lay blame on an outsider than it is to rely on facts. And although she was born, and grew up not five miles from this courtroom, Miss Clark is an outsider.
'Whenever I stumbled, the marsh caught me. At some unclaimed moment, at last, the heart pain seeped away, like water into sand. Still there, but deep.' - Kya Clark (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: [as Tate is teacher her to read] I didn’t know words could hold so much.
Tate Walker: Not all words hold that much.
Kya Clark: Within all the worlds of biology, I searched for an explanation of why a mother would leave her offspring.
Kya Clark: [referring to her family] I miss them. I had forgot how much. I feel them not here. But I feel them not here right now. I mean, sometimes I feel so invisible, I wonder if I’m here at all.
Tate Walker: You are.
Kya Clark: ‘Sides, I’d never leave the marsh to go live with a bunch of strangers.
Tate Walker: It’s “besides”, not “‘sides”. And you can’t live alone in the marsh forever.
Kya Clark: Watch me.
'Being isolated was one thing. Living in fear, quite another.' - Kya Clark (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: Tate, I appreciate you teaching me to read, and all the things you gave me. But why do you do it? Don’t you have a girlfriend or something?
Tate Walker: Sometimes I do.
Kya Clark: Sometimes?
Tate Walker: I mean, I’ve had one. But not now, I don’t, so.
Kya Clark: [to Tate] You can say anything to me.
Kya Clark: [after he kisses her] Am I your girlfriend now?
Tate Walker: Do you want to be?
Kya Clark: I know feathers. Bet the other girls don’t know feathers.
Tate Walker: Alright then.
Kya Clark: [as Tate refuses to have sex with her] Tate, I want to. Why not?
Tate Walker: Because I care about you too much. Look, Kya. I want you more than anything, but I can’t be damaged as easily. It’s more dangerous for you. Do you understand?
'I don't know if there is a dark side to nature. Just inventive ways to endure. Against all odds.' - Kya Clark (Where the Crawdads Sing) Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: Fall gave way to winter. Winter to spring. The only constant in nature is change.
Tate Walker: I’m going to get a degree and be something, Kya. So could you.
Kya Clark: What do you want me to be?
Tate Walker: That’s not what I meant.
Kya Clark: You’re never going to come back.
Tate Walker: Yes, I will. I won’t leave you, Kya. I promise. I’m going to come back to you.
Kya Clark: You’re going to forget about me. When you get busy with all that college stuff, all those pretty girls.
Tate Walker: I could never forget you, Kya. Ever.
Kya Clark: Tate, and life, and love had been the same thing. They were all gone. And then… Whenever I stumbled, the marsh caught me. At some unclaimed moment, at last, the heart pain seeped away, like water into sand. Still there, but deep.
'You want me to beg for my life? I don't have it in me. I won't. I will not offer myself up. They can make their decision. But they're not deciding anything about me. It's them. They're judging themselves.' - Kya Clark Click To Tweet
Kya Clark: Five years. It had been five years since Tate showed me this path. Five years for my heart to open its shell again.
Kya Clark: What?
Chase Andrews: Oh, no. It’s just the Marsh Girl knows the Latin name for shells, and where they inhabit, and why, for Christ sakes.
Chase Andrews: You’re something else, ain’t you?
Kya Clark: [after Chase kisses her] I know you think I’m trash, but I’m worth more than a picnic.
Chase Andrews: What is it? You can tell me. I won’t laugh at you.
Kya Clark: [referring to the marsh] It’s like having a friend your whole life, but you never saw their full face. Now I see it.
'I am the marsh now. I am the feather of an egret. I am every shell washed upon the shore. I am a firefly. You'll see hundreds beckoning far into the dark reaches of the marsh. And that's where you will always find me.' - Kya Clark Click To Tweet
Chase Andrews: [to Kya] Hey, there’s nobody I know who could live out here alone like this. I mean, most guys would be too scared.
Chase Andrews: [to Kya] I want to get to know you better. Alright? I think you’re gorgeous. I do. I think you’re free as a dang gale, and smart as a whip. But I won’t do anything unless you want me to.
Kya Clark: I didn’t know exactly how I felt about Chase. But I was no longer lonely. That seemed enough. The marsh was our secret.
Chase Andrews: [to Kya] It’s funny. My dad told me once, he’d had something to drink and a fight with my mom. He told me if my friends really knew me, they wouldn’t be my friends. I don’t know if anyone really knows me, is what I’m saying, I guess.
Chase Andrews: I wonder what makes the sky blue.
Kya Clark: Blue and violet wavelengths from sunlight. They bounce off the gas particles in the atmosphere and scatter.
Chase Andrews: Is it okay if I kiss you now?
[he leans in and kisses]
Chase Andrews: [after he has sex with her] Hey, I never want to lose you.
Kya Clark: Yeah?
Chase Andrews: Yeah. I think about it a lot. Sneaking out at night to come see you. My Marsh Girl.
Chase Andrews: [to Kya] Hey, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. You understand? You have me, and I love you.
Brian: What’s that Marsh Girl like in bed, man? Is she an animal?
Chase Andrews: Wild as a bobcat, and worth every bit of the gas money.
Brian: Tell me her eyes glow.
Chase Andrews: Only for me, and only when I make them.
Tate Walker: [as he overhears them] Hey, don’t talk about her like that.
Tate Walker: Kya, please! I just need to talk to you!
Kya Clark: I don’t care what you want! I never want to see you again. Ever.
Tate Walker: [referring to Chase] He’s not good enough for you!
Kya Clark: You’re the one who left me. Who didn’t come back when you promised. Who never came back! You didn’t even write to explain, or even to say if you were alive or dead. You just disappeared.
Tate Walker: I know. And I’m so sorry, Kya, you have no idea.
Kya Clark: You weren’t man enough to face me.
Tate Walker: You’re right, Kya. Everything you say is true. Leaving you like that was the worst thing I’ve ever done, the worst thing I’ll ever do in my life. I knew how badly I’d hurt you, and I couldn’t face you, like you said. I thought you wouldn’t be able to leave the marsh and live in any other world. You know, I thought I had to choose between you and everything else. But the truth is, Kya, everything else that I thought mattered, the scholarships, the grants, the jobs, it means nothing without you. I was so wrong. I’ve been sorry for years. And I’ll be sorry for the rest of my life.
Tate Walker: I would’ve done so many things differently.
Kya Clark: What do you want now, Tate?
Tate Walker: Is there any way that you could possibly forgive me, Kya? Please?
Kya Clark: I don’t know how.
Kya Clark: [after finding out the Chase is engaged to be married] I had to do life alone. But I knew that. I’d known for a long time. People don’t stay.
Kya Clark: [after hearing of her mother’s death] I’ve been waiting all these years for her to walk down the lane.
Jodie Clark: You didn’t have a family your whole life, and there’s nothing I can do to give you that back. But I’d like to come see you as much as I can get up here.
Kya Clark: Yeah, I’d like that.
Chase Andrews: Listen, I wanted to say I’m sorry. Really. I feel bad about how things turned out.
Kya Clark: “How things turned out”? What, you mean how it turned out you were engaged the whole time we were together? How it turned out that you lie to everybody?
Chase Andrews: Kya, I have to do things I don’t want to do. You know that. No, I have to get married to someone like Pearl. I had to. But you’re the one I really want. You know any other man would have tried to change you? To fix you? I never did.
Chase Andrews: I need you. I really need you. Don’t leave me all alone in that place. You know, nobody else knows me.
Kya Clark: You know, I feel sorry for you. But I want nothing to do with any of that.
[Chase then hits her]
Chase Andrews: You’re mine, Kya. You belong to me. I’m not letting you go this time.
Kya Clark: [after she manages hit and stop him] Leave me alone, you b****rd! You bother me again, and I’ll kill you!
Kya Clark: [after Chase tried to rape her] I finally understood why Ma had to leave.
Kya Clark: One thing I learned from Pa, these men have to have the last punch. Being isolated was one thing. Living in fear, quite another. I will never live like that. A life wondering when the next fist will fall.
Kya Clark: You know, I was going to go to Greenville next week. Finally meet my publishers. Talk about the next book. I was feeling brave enough.
Tate Walker: Well, you can still go.
Kya Clark: Looking like this?
Tate Walker: [referring to Chase] Don’t let him ruin this for you.
Jumpin’: [referring to Chase] Kya, look at me. Now you tell me what he did.
Kya Clark: I can’t say it. It’s over now. I just want it out of my life.
Jumpin’: And how you know he ain’t coming after you again? You’re all by your lonesome out there.
Kya Clark: Jumpin’, please. You can’t tell anybody. You know how it is.
Kya Clark: I don’t know if there is a dark side to nature. Just inventive ways to endure. Against all odds.
Tom Milton: I don’t think a good lawyer ever puts their client on the stand, but this might help you. For the jury to be able to hear from you, directly. For them to be able to see you as the kind and thoughtful person you truly are.
Kya Clark: They’re never going to see me like that.
Tom Milton: Listen. I know you have a world of reasons to hate these people…
Kya Clark: No, I never hated them. They hated me. They laughed at me. They left me. They harassed me. They attacked me. You want me to beg for my life? I don’t have it in me. I won’t. I will not offer myself up. They can make their decision. But they’re not deciding anything about me. It’s them. They’re judging themselves.
Kya Clark: Mr. Milton, you have always been kind to me. Even as a child. I never forgot.
Tom Milton: [to the jury] I have lived in Barkley Cove my whole life. And like you, I heard the tall tales told about the Marsh Girl. That she was part wolf. A missing link between ape and man. That her eyes glowed in the dark. Well, here she is. The reality is that she was an abandoned child. A little girl surviving out there in the marsh on her own, reviled and shunned.
Tom Milton: [to the jury] I’m ashamed to say that we labeled her, and rejected her, because we thought she was different. And now, the job of judging this shy and rejected young woman has fallen on your shoulders. But you must base your judgment on the facts presented in this courtroom, and not on the rumors and feelings from the past twenty-five years.
Tom Milton: [to the jury] I believe you will come to a judgment based on the facts, and not the gossip that you have heard for years. It’s time, at last, for all of us to be fair to the Marsh Girl.
Kya Clark: [after the jury find her not guilty] Now I can finally admit. All the months in isolation, yearning to be back in the marsh, it was knowing how much was left to explore, how much life to uncover in the wild, that kept me going. And the hope, always that hope, that one day I could share it, with the only person I had ever truly loved.
Tate Walker: [to Kya] Hey. You know I love you, right?
[Kya kisses him]
Tate Walker: Will you marry me? I mean, do you want to?
Kya Clark: Well, aren’t we already? Like geese?
Tate Walker: I can live with that, I guess.
Kya Clark: I hope when it is time for me to leave, I will go quick and easy, without making too much noise.
[we then see older Tate finds older Kya lying dead in her boat]
Kya Clark: It has always been enough to be part of the natural sequence of things. Sure as the tides. Nature my guide. The marsh knows all about death, and doesn’t necessarily define it as tragedy. Certainly not a sin. It understands that every creature does what it must to survive. And that sometimes, for prey to live, its predator must die.
[we see Tate finding Chase’s shell necklace, confirming she really did kill him]
Kya Clark: [as Tate throws the shell necklace into the marsh] I am the marsh now. I am the feather of an egret. I am every shell washed upon the shore. I am a firefly. You’ll see hundreds beckoning far into the dark reaches of the marsh. And that’s where you will always find me. Way out yonder. Where the crawdads sing.