The mystery of the ending is open to interpretation. A close look at the photograph of Melquiades' family shows that there are in fact two photos shown in the movie. One is shown to the woman he claimed was his wife, with Melquiades standing in the background and the bottom of a large tree visible behind him. This photo is also shown at the end of the movie when Norton begs Melquiades for forgiveness. A second photo is shown (sideways) when Pete shoves the photo into the face of Norton when they find Jiménez. In this photo, almost the entire large tree in the background is visible, and Melquiades is in a different position, farther away from the woman and her three children, and walking towards them. This is a nod to the magical realism that pervades much of Latin American literature from the time Spaniards first came seeking El Dorado. The dreamlike quality of human goals is most famously portrayed by the Don Quixote of Cervantes. In the feature commentary, Tommy Lee Jones seems to take efforts not to explain the ending in any way, nor to point out such details. However, he does say that the ending deals with "the mechanism of faith," and that "seeing may not be believing, but believing is seeing." In that spirit, the character Pete, believing so much in the fantasy of Melquiades, sees what his friend described: the beautiful village of Jiménez.