As a brief refresher, in this dystopian male-dominated world, women are divided into strict societal categories. Handmaids are concubines who are not allowed to read or be called by a real name — “Ofglen” means that she belongs to a man named Glen, just as protagonist Offred (who will be played by Elizabeth Moss) belongs to a man named Fred.
In the novel, she’s Offred’s shopping partner, as Handmaids must travel in pairs to monitor each other’s movements. Offred initially doesn’t trust Ofglen, as she seems to be a doormat who is a true believer in this horrifying new society. But there’s always a question of whether she’s a secret revolutionary in an underground movement called Mayday.
Spoiler alert — at the end of the story, Ofred finds a stranger in her place as “Ofglen”. Here’s the eerie scene from the novel:
“I am Ofglen,” the woman says. Word perfect. And of course she is, the new one, and Ofglen, wherever she is, is no longer Ofglen. I never did know her real name. That is how you can get lost, in a sea of names. It wouldn’t be easy to find her, now.
If the show decides to explore the underground movement further than the book does, that would be a very welcome development. At least we know her last words won’t be “Mom, I’m pregnant.”