Word of God: For a while, Lois Lowry refused to explain the Gainax Ending, which could be interpreted as either the main character's triumphant escape from his dystopian society or a Dying Dream as he froze to death. However, after asking if anyone had any questions at the author Q&A of the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington, DC, Lowry added, "Jonas is alive, by the way. You don't have to ask that one."
Not too much of a stretch considering he's mentioned in the Sequel Gathering Blue and plays a key character in the 3rd book, Messenger. Son outright confirms that Jonas lived, and so did Gabriel.
Dawson Casting: The film has 24-year-old Brenton Thwaites as 18-year-old Jonas. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Rosemary is played by (at the time) 25-year-old Taylor Swift.
Dyeing for Your Art: Taylor Swift dyed her famous blonde tresses dark for her role as Rosemary.
What Could Have Been: When Jeff Bridges first bought the film rights to the book (shortly after its publication in the early 90s), he did so with the intention that his father, veteran actor Lloyd Bridges, would play the Giver. But the film remained stuck in Development Hell for over a decade and the elder Bridges died before those plans could ever come to fruition.