The White Lotus Had So Many Clues Pointing To *That* Death
Even going back to Season 1!
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from The White Lotus Season 2 finale. The White Lotus fans knew Season 2 would end with a body count, but nobody was expecting Tanya’s body to be the one Daphne discovered on her fateful swim. Well, OK, maybe some viewers were expecting it, if they were paying very close attention to all the hints hidden throughout the season. Looking back, there are actually tons of clues Tanya would die in the White Lotus Season 2 finale... even if fans didn’t want to see them.
Going into Season 2, Tanya felt like one of the White Lotus guests who was safe from ending up dead, simply due to the fact that she was the only Season 1 character returning for the second outing. Once HBO picked up The White Lotus for Season 3, most fans assumed she’d once again be the only character continuing on as the permanent heart of the series. That’s what made her sudden death in the finale all the more shocking. After figuring out that the “high-end gays” she’d been hanging out with had been planning to kill her, Tanya defended herself by grabbing a gun and blindly shooting up their yacht. For a moment, it seemed like she actually managed to foil the scheme and make it out alive... until she tried to escape, fell off the yacht, hit her head on a dinghy, and drowned.
I’m almost sorry to say, it was a fitting death for Tanya: clumsy, silly, and self-inflicted. And although the fatal fall shocked fans, the show really had been hinting at Tanya’s demise for a while, even all the way back in Season 1. Here are some of the clues that were hiding in plain sight.
1. The Tarot Reading
Remember that tarot reading Tanya got in Episode 3? Before she cut off the psychic for being “too negative,” the woman warned Tanya in Italian that her madness would lead to suicide. Sure enough, the psychic was kind of right.
2. Madama Butterfly
The opera Quentin took Tanya to should have been a (literal) dead giveaway. Madama Butterfly is the story of a spurned wife who kills herself when her husband leaves her and marries another woman. Tanya’s own self-inflicted death after being betrayed by Greg mirrors the opera’s plot.
3. “Monica Vitti’s Dead”
There was a little bit of foreshadowing hidden in the humor all the way back in Episode 2. When Tanya told Valentina that she was dressed as Italian actor Monica Vitti (after Valentina incorrectly guessed she was cosplaying Peppa Pig), the resort manager bluntly responded, “Monica Vitti’s dead.” In the end, Tanya really was channeling Monica Vitti after all.
4. The Photo Of Quentin & Greg
This was probably the most obvious clue, and the moment when viewers finally started to seriously consider the possibility that Tanya would die. When she stumbled on a photo of two cowboys in Quentin’s room, fans were quick to guess it was an old photo of Quentin and Greg. Quentin previously confessed to Tanya his only true love was a cowboy he met in Wyoming whom he’d still do anything for, and this photo seemed to put all the puzzle pieces together that Greg had convinced Quentin to kill his wife for her money.
5. The Mannequin’s Shirt
One of the most convincing portents of Tanya’s doom arose when fans noticed she was wearing the same blouse in the finale that the Apollonia Corleone mannequin from the Godfather museum in Episode 3. Apollonia was famously killed in the movie, and The White Lotus’ scene put a lot of emphasis on how she died. Tanya dressing the same as that mannequin seems all-too-obvious now.
6. The Artwork
Season 2 of The White Lotus used a ton of artwork to hint at its story, and notably, a lot of the featured paintings were of female martyrs. In particular, the Ancient Roman legend of Lucretia was featured in numerous paintings throughout the season, including prominently in Episode 6 when Tanya takes notice of a depiction of Lucretia contemplating suicide in Quentin’s palazzo. Lucretia was a noblewoman who killed herself after she was defiled by the prince of Rome. The emphasis on her story should have hinted at Tanya’s own self-inflicted death.
7. Tanya’s Season 1 Quote
Creator Mike White pointed out another Easter egg hinting at Tanya’s death in the interview that aired immediately following the finale. Back in Season 1, Tanya mentioned to Greg that death was the last immersive experience she hadn’t tried yet. White said that comment planted the seed for Tanya’s doomed trip to Sicily.
All episodes of The White Lotus Season 2 are streaming on HBO Max.