The Handmaids Tale.jpg

Did The Handmaid’s Tale just drop a major Easter egg about Gilead?

Contributed by
Jun 27, 2018

So, The Handmaid's Tale manages to simultaneously be brilliant, require us to seek out a Prozac prescription and continually surprise us. Case in point: In the most recent episode, "Holly," we see June trapped in an abandoned house, fighting for her survival... and something a little bit more, for those with a keen eye.

**Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale below**

As she investigates the office of the family that lives there — the very same family that was given June's daughter, Hannah, after she was taken from her upon an escape attempt from Gilead — we get a glimpse of three maps in the background. They show the United States, with each map showing red areas growing progressively larger, until it overtakes the whole country.

Handmaids Tale maps

Are the red areas Gilead controlled? Do the maps show the progression of how Gilead has overtaken the entire country, or are they plans that show Gilead's hopes for total domination? This is a key glance at what the actual territory of Gilead might look like, unlocking a key question left open-ended by the series thus far.

One interesting tidbit we got in the episode — from Oprah, no less (she played an underground radio DJ) — was that the American government is now headquartered in Anchorage. This was true in the book as well. But exactly how big is America?

This only leaves us with more questions, the biggest of which is, "what the heck is Aunt Lydia's backstory?"