In the End is one of the most popular songs by Linkin Park. It was part of the album Hybrid Theory released on 24 October 2000. According to sources, Chester initially disliked the song and did not want it to be a part of the album and Mike Shinoda was under pressure to write this song by Warner Records. The song is the most viewed song by the band on youtube with over a billion views.
Song Meaning and Background
Mike talked about the time when they were producing this song. They were in Hollywood and Mike describes it as the grossest part of Hollywood. Hollywood had prosti**tes and d**g dealers and some people were following Scientology. They went to a reading center which had mainly books related to scientology and that was the place where they got a rehearsal room which they could afford. Mike decided to stay overnight in the building and wrote ‘In the end’.
There’s a weird battle with hopelessness and the ephemeral nature of time and our lives that the song is really about.
And what’s so odd about the song is it’s almost talking about these things and saying, ‘I don’t have any answers.’ ‘Cause usually a song isn’t about having no answers, right? It just kind of runs itself around in a circle, lyrically. And especially as a young person, that’s just how I felt — that’s how we all felt. We didn’t know what to make of things, and, in a sense, that’s still what goes on today. It’s a timeless and universal thing.Mike Shinoda
So, this is my interpretation regarding the song and I could be wrong about this. Mike is talking about the struggles in his life which he tries really hard to overcome. Failing to do so makes him hopeless. The song is about life in general. You try really hard for certain things to happen and eventually things don’t go as you had planned. As time goes on, you realize that those things that you had placed a lot of importance on don’t really matter in the end. Time is very valuable and goes on really fast so you must make the most of it.
Also, on a side note the song could be referring to a person who you place trust on. It could be a person most likely a lover in the past or someone you considered a friend before. It talks about how someone took you for granted and ended up fighting with you all the time despite you trying your best to make the relationship work. Eventually, time passed and the person ended up leaving you. So, from another view point Mike could be talking about how his efforts didn’t really matter in the end. So, lesson to be learnt here can be don’t waste your time on people who don’t deserve it.
In a general sense when the song was being produced the band was still struggling. Warner Bros record had been a little reluctant in signing them and were skeptical of their initial recordings. So, this song was a result of what Mike felt at that time with the way that things had been happening in his life. So, this is my opinion on what the song is about.