In the Mission: Impossible film series, Ethan Hunt has been through dangerous missions and has fought multiple villains. Along the way, he’s had some love interests too. So, who does Ethan Hunt end up with in the Mission: Impossible film series?
Ethan had a girlfriend named Nyah in the second film. He got married to a nurse named Julia in the third film.
And in the next films, the chemistry between Ethan and Ilsa was clear. So, who does Ethan Hunt end up with in Mission: Impossible?
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Read at your own risk!
Do Ethan and Ilsa End Up Together?
Ethan and Ilsa do not end up together in Mission: Impossible. Unfortunately, Ilsa dies in Mission: Impossible 7.
Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust was a disavowed MI6 agent and a potential love interest for Ethan Hunt. She became one of the main characters in the franchise when she first appeared in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
Ilsa and Ethan had a will-they-won’t-they dynamic. In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Luther talks to Ilsa about Ethan.
He shares that in all the years he’s known Ethan, he’s only been serious about two women: his ex-wife Julia, and Ilsa herself. Luther adds that Ethan cares about her more than he can admit.
He then tells Ilsa that if she cares about Ethan, she should walk away. But Ilsa chooses to help Ethan in the mission.
At the end of the film, Ethan is in the field hospital after sustaining multiple injuries. He and Ilsa share a tender moment after Julia leaves.
In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ilsa helps the team retrieve both parts of the key that unlocks the Entity’s source code.
Unfortunately, Ilsa is killed by the film’s villain Gabriel while trying to save Grace, Ethan’s new ally.
Ethan doesn’t have proper time to grieve Ilsa’s death; however, we could be seeing how Ilsa’s death affects Ethan in the next Mission: Impossible film, as Ethan clearly cares for her, even if they didn’t get romantically involved.
Commenting on Ilsa and Ethan’s relationship, actress Rebecca Ferguson said in an interview with Variety:
“I think how I would describe their relationship is that of fierce devotion, love that goes beyond any form of relationship substance because it’s boring, that’s a boring storyline. You know, people sit and they watch and go, 'Are they going snog?' And I think, 'Who the fuck cares?' You know what I mean?
We've all seen that. This is support. They're two very similar characters constantly driven to do what is best, getting in the way of each other. They are reliably unreliable, and they just make the most perfect incomplete couple. They are juxtaposition.”
So, while Ethan and Ilsa deeply care for each other, they don’t get romantically involved. And unfortunately, Ilsa dies in Mission: Impossible 7, so their romance storyline is not something that could be further explored in the next Mission: Impossible film.
RELATED: Who Dies in Mission: Impossible 7?
Do Ethan and Julia Get Back Together?
Ethan and Julia do not get back together. Julia ends up getting married to another man named Erik.
Ethan Hunt marries Julia Meade in the third film of the franchise. However, Ethan only tells her about his IMF career towards the end of the film.
In Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Ethan realizes that the only way to protect Julia was to fake her death and give her a new identity away from him. At the end of the film, Ethan watches Julia from a distance, and they smile at each other.
In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Luther shares with Ilsa that Ethan and Julia were happy for a while, but deep down, they both knew that someday, something terrible was going to happen all because they were together.
Luther adds that Julia is now a ghost and that every now and then she sends up a signal to let Ethan know she’s safe.
Later on in the film, we find out that Julia is already a doctor, and she’s married to a man named Erik. Julia reunites with Ethan while he’s on a mission, and she helps him and his team.
After Ethan is injured, Julia cares for him at the field hospital. Ethan apologizes for everything that happened, and Julia responds that everything that happened taught her who she is and what she’s capable of.
Julia adds that she sleeps soundly at night knowing Ethan will always be there. Julia isn’t in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, which makes sense considering that Julia already moved on and remarried, while Ethan appears to have made his peace.
What Happened to Nyah?
While Ethan has only been serious about two women in his life, he did have a girlfriend named Nyah in the second Mission: Impossible film.
Nyah Nordoff-Hall is a professional thief who helps Ethan take down her former lover Sean Ambrose. At the end of the film, Nyah’s criminal record gets cleared, and she spends a vacation with Ethan.
Things seemed well for them at the end of Mission: Impossible II, but in the next film, we find out that Ethan is already in love with Julia.
Nyah is not even mentioned in the next Mission: Impossible films, so we don’t really know what happened to her. What happened to Nyah after the second Mission: Impossible film remains a mystery.
Ethan Hunt’s Love Life in Mission: Impossible Explained
Presently, in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Ethan Hunt isn’t in a romantic relationship with anyone.
Talking about Ethan Hunt’s love life and his relationship with Ilsa, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie said in a May 2023 interview with Empire:
“What we’ve really baked into the narrative is that the closer someone gets to him, the more dangerous it is. I was never really interested in creating a typical love interest for Ethan. Once that relationship consummates, that relationship is over.
The simple fact of the matter is you’re not making Mr & Mrs Smith, you’re making Mission: Impossible, and so the challenge comes in creating a relationship that is always evolving and never quite reaching what is a somewhat mundane resolution. I’m much more interested in seeing characters who could be – and maybe even would be – but can’t because of the very nature of what they do. So, if I could distill it… it’s complicated!”
We have seen through Ethan’s failed marriage with Julia that having a relationship in his line of work doesn’t end well. One reason is because of Ethan’s fear of putting that person in danger because of his enemies.
Another is because Ethan’s priority will always be saving the world, and he can’t let go of his IMF side.
As Luther explains to Ilsa, while Ethan and Julia were happy for a while, every time something bad happened in the world, Ethan would think “I should have been there.”
And while Ilsa seems to be a good match for Ethan considering that they’re in the same line of work, they’re both too busy protecting the world and each other to even enter into a romantic relationship.
So, even if Ilsa didn’t die, it’s unlikely that she and Ethan would have ended up together in Mission: Impossible.
And considering the nature of what he does, Ethan Hunt might not ultimately end up with someone in Mission: Impossible.