HBO's The Time Traveler's Wife episode 1 ended with a dramatic hint at Henry's fate as he looked at his own severed feet.

Based on the bestselling novel by Audrey Niffenegger and written by Steven Moffat, The Time Traveler's Wife exploits time travel in a rather unusual manner.

Time travel serves as the central plot device for a love story in which a time traveler named Henry DeTamble (Theo James) encounters the woman he is destined to marry, Clare Abshire (Rose Leslie).

The Time Traveler's Wife episode 1 sets up the premise of the entire show, explaining how its time travel works and introducing viewers to various iterations of Henry

The time travel narrative reveals that Henry essentially lives his life in the shadow of his future; he will marry Clare because he was always destined to do so

The Time Traveler's Wife episode 1's cliffhanger ending he even sees his own severed feet - identifiable because of a distinctively shaped birthmark.

The addition is a smart one, though, because it allows Stephen Moffat's storytelling to emphasize the sense of predetermined fate that governs Henry's life.

There's a sense in which this version of The Time Traveler's Wife is not a love story at all, but rather it's a tale of fate, where its stars have no agency at all.