White Lotus Season 2 could borrow its biggest twist from a famous Greek myth
Once you go to the Underworld, you can't go back.
Who will die in The White Lotus Season 2? That’s the question on the mind of every fan of the HBO dramedy series. In the wake of the season’s explosive flash-forward opening, which teased the deaths of multiple characters, fans have been keeping themselves busy with speculation about which new character will get axed.
This chatter has also resulted in the creation of a compelling new fan theory. And if the theory proves to be true, it may not only reveal the fate of one of The White Lotus Season 2’s biggest characters but also explain the purpose of one of the show’s strangest scenes.
The Myth of Persephone — In Episode 2 of Season 2, Bert (F. Murray Abraham) briefly tells the brutal Greek myth of Hades and Persephone to his son, grandson, and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson). As Bert details in brusque fashion, the ancient Greeks said that Hades, the god of the Underworld, lusted after Persephone, the goddess of the seasons, so fiercely that he snuck up on her in Sicily, sprung from the Earth, and raped her.
What Bert doesn’t note is that the story doesn’t end there. After abducting her, it’s said that Hades then tempted Persephone with a fruit from the Underworld. Once she ate it, Persephone was cursed to spend a portion of every year with Hades in the Underworld.
Some White Lotus fans therefore believe that the eventual fate of Aubrey Plaza’s Harper will end up mirroring Persephone’s (though not literally). Even if Harper doesn’t die, her taste of the careless extravagance of the rich may result in her being cursed to spend the rest of her life in the soulless land of the wealthy — and be stuck going on the kind of vacations with Ethan (Will Sharpe) and his friends she claims to hate.
Harper’s Future — The overall arc of Harper’s journey is a bit of a mystery, but the first three episodes of Season 2 have made it clear that temptation is a major theme in her storyline.
Not only has she been pushed by Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Cameron (Theo James) to abandon some of her middle-class considerations, but it seems Cameron is also interested in seducing her... and Harper hasn’t seemed as disinterested in Cameron’s seduction techniques as one would think.
So it’s easy to see how the myth of Persephone could connect to Harper’s storyline. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Episode 2 cuts directly from Bert’s speech about Hades and Persephone to Cameron sneaking up on Harper and grabbing her ankle while they’re swimming.
The Inverse Analysis — The White Lotus Season 2 has spent a lot of time discussing and visually reinforcing the myths surrounding its central hotel, although whether any of the season’s many ominous warnings will end up actually amounting to anything remains to be seen.
If any of them do come back around, it seems safe to say that one of them will end up being Bert’s brief monologue about Persephone and Hades. And of all the characters in White Lotus Season 2, few give off Persephone and Hades vibes quite like Harper and Cameron.
New episodes of The White Lotus air Sundays on HBO.