I noticed these two GIFs as idontfeelcorrupt posted them, and I’ve noticed some really interesting symbolism.
In the first one, Chell’s just woken up and GLaDOS is relieved. In the entire monologue afterwards, the panels and music respond to Her mood. But they generally stay up, breaking up the usual dome-shaped wall in the Chamber.
But once GLaDOS says “Goodbye Caroline,” the panels come back down, restoring the wall.
We all know GLaDOS keeps the world at snarky arm’s length. She has Her defenses and coping mechanisms. One of the ways people use to describe this is that She has a wall up around Herself emotionally.
But look what that literal wall of panel’s movements seem to be saying about GLaDOS’ feelings and sentiments right there. The wall breaks up once She sees Chell is awake and seems all right. And She’s talking about how She’s glad Chell is OK, how Chell is now her best friend all along, and so on. And it’s restored once GLaDOS closes the final book on Caroline, restoring Her mind to the order She prefers it. Boom, the wall is back.
I think it’s almost quietly indicating that She was telling the truth then, and once the wall was back up, you couldn’t count on anything She said being truthful anymore.
Her usual snarky self comes back in Her parting shot, too: ”Fine. You win. Just go. Don’t come back.”
Anyways, just thought that was interesting, and made for some very cool sybolism. The panels have reflected the emotions of the Chamber dwelling robot throughout the game, so why would the final monologue be any different?