Lottie stares intensely at the camera with two girls behind her. There's snow on the ground.

Here’s Everything We Know About the Cannibalism in ‘Yellowjackets’

Season 2 of Yellowjackets is premiering on March 24, and there are a ton of questions that need answers. The biggest question is what exactly happened during the winter the Yellowjackets soccer team spent surviving in the Canadian wilderness. Do the girls actually eat each other? Is it mere survival, or is there a ritualistic aspect to it? Here’s what we know!

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A ghastly ritual in the season 1 pilot

Season 1 opens with a teenage girl being hunted in a wintry landscape. After she falls into a spiked pit and dies, her body is surrounded by a group of masked figures, including the mysterious “antler queen” (later revealed to be Lottie). The figures then sit in a circle and eat chunks of meat.

While the show was airing, some fans speculated that that the meat comes from something else, like a deer. However, later in the season, the girls remark on how the deer have all migrated south for the winter, and everyone is in danger of starving to death. Then, in January 2022, series co-creator Bart Nickerson told ET that the girls are, in fact, eating one of their teammates. “We gave away the cannibalism in the pilot,” Nickerson said. “And part of that is we wanted to build to not just that they do in fact engage in cannibalism, but why they do.”

Misty’s confession in episode 9

In episode 9, Misty and Jessica seem to reference the Yellowjackets’ cannibalism while Misty holds Jessica prisoner in her basement. Misty makes a show of pretending to decide to finally reveal what happened in the forest when she and the others were teenagers. Jessica tells her that the team’s dark secret is obvious: everyone assumes that they ate their dead to survive. If Misty goes public with the story, Jessica assures her, no one will judge the Yellowjackets for it. After all, they did what they had to do in extreme conditions.

Jessica is probably right that no one would judge the girls for their actions. However, the exchange points to an even darker secret that Misty, Shauna, and the other survivors are holding onto.

Taissa’s altar in the season 1 finale

The final nod towards cannibalism comes in the season 1 finale, when Taissa’s wife Simone finds a secret altar in the basement. The altar contains the head of the family’s dog, with what looks like a human heart sitting next to it. It’s possible that Taissa took the heart from the body of Shauna’s lover Adam after they disposed of the torso. We don’t know that she necessarily ate any of it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The altar points to an intriguing line in the season 2 trailer, in which the survivors express fear that they brought something uncanny back with them after they were rescued.

Will season 2 of Yellowjackets depict cannibalism?

Series o-creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson have confirmed that season 2 will contain unambiguous depictions of cannibalism, as winter falls and the girls fall deeper under the sway of the mysterious presence in the forest. “I would love to reassure all our viewers that we’re not going to drag out cannibalism for five seasons,” Lyle told ET. “It is very much coming, but we want to make sure we get there the right way.”

(featured image: Showtime)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>