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     Hereditary-Related Theories/Shared Universe Theories 

The movie is a Spiritual Successor to Hereditary

The cult is a branch of the Cult of Paimon
In the trailer, deep exhaling is heard throughout. It is very reminiscent of Charlie's habit of making clicking noises. The film later reveals that Charlie was a vessel for Paimon ergo explaining the clicking. It is likely that if it isn't Paimon in this case, it very well could be any other ruler of Hell, possibly even Satan himself that is the central figure of this cult's worship.
  • The exact figures they worship are never explicitly stated, but the villagers' beliefs we get to learn seem to dislike the demonic, so this is unlikely.

A character from Hereditary will make a surprise appearance
Or at the least be referenced.
  • It would either be Annie or Peter.
  • Jossed.

This film is in the same universe as Hereditary
Come on. Cults, Ari Aster as director, A24.

Alternatively, this film is in the same universe as The Strange Thing About the Johnsons

Dani is related to the Grahams
And hearing about their death is what gets her so upset as seen in the second trailer.
  • Jossed. It's her discovery that her sister murdered her family and committed suicide, rather than anything linked to the Grahams.

This film and Hereditary are part of a series of pagan-related horror-drama films

     Other Theories 

There will be references to Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Purely as Actor Allusion to Will Poulter.

The leaked script is actually a cover-up
And the movie will be darker than anyone can expect.

The malformed woman we see in the trailers is actually Dani
And we've been spoiled of a possible Downer Ending.
  • Jossed. It's actually an inbred boy named Ruben.

The cult are involved in whatever personal tragedy happens to Dani
They either directly caused it or contributed to its occurrence.
  • Potentially?

The cult needs a certain amount of people of any gender to complete the main ritual
Hence the above theory - they need four men and one woman, and they found them (in the form of the main group), but the woman (Dani, obviously) is essentially about to leave due to her strained relationship with one of the men. By causing the tragedy, this keeps Dani in the group; the cult have the right people in time for the festivities.
  • Jossed, though they do need a specific number of people for the ritual.


     Post-Release Theories 

The cult is lying about the ritual happening "every ninety years" and always intended to kill everyone.
  • Bar Dani. If sacrifice is so important to the cult's mythos, why would they only do it every ninety years? Plus, Pelle mentioned that his parents died in a fire, like Josh dies. So, in fact the asshole behaviour for which the male characters are punished was always a (sort of) Red Herring. The intention was to purge everybody so they could have their own May Queen, who had lost everything. (Which made Dani the perfect candidate.) So, regardless of Josh taking pictures of the book or Christian not cheating on Dani, they all would've died because the cult needed to get rid of them.
    • partially Jossed by Aster, confirming the burning sacrifice is the ritual that occurs every 90 years, but also points out that there are nine days of rituals, and the movie doesn't take place over the entire time span.

Dani's mother was in the cult.
  • There was a crown of flowers in their home. It was her mother who appeared to Dani while the commune was congratulating her. Everyone says to her: "welcome back home". My guess is that her mother never came back from her "peregrination" once she turned 36. Also, it might explain why Dani had an instinctive connection with everyone there.

Ari Aster's next film will be a crossover between this film and Hereditary

Ari Aster’s next film will be about the events that led to Dani’s sister killing her family.
  • This seems terribly unlikely. Aster doesn't seem like the kind of creator to create sequels.
    • Or prequels, in this case

The Hårga cult isn't nearly as ancient as they claim.
Norse paganism was pretty much dead in Sweden by 1200AD, and most of the current-day practitioners go back to revivals as recently as the 1960s. Not to mention that modern-day midsummer celebrations were effectively codified in the late 1800s. If you assume that the 90 year cycle is bullshit (as many here do), and that the cult actually goes back to a hippie commune in 1968 or so, not only does the blatant Anachronism Stew of myths make more sense, but also their active missioneering mixed with secrecy. They function like a modern-day cult, not an isolated remnant of an older culture.
  • 72 as the age for ritual suicide supports this theory as the average life expectancy in Sweden was around 70-74 in the 1960s. Something else that hints at the modernity of the cult is Aster’s revelation that the community is racist. A cobbled together version of Norse paganism began to be adopted by white supremacists as early as the late 19th century and the movement saw a revitalization in the 1960s.
  • What if The Hårga are never caught because the Norse pagan beings they worship keep them safe?

The reason we never know about the previous May Queens is because they're the Final Sacrifice at the end of the festival. So Dani is basically screwed.
  • They wouldn't be alive though, Aster said this ceremony only happens every 90 years while the rest of the festival is more regular. Due to the Ättestupa ritual, they would kill themselves before the 90 years are up.
    • Jossed a million times. While Christian and Maja are "consummating", all the woman standing behind her are former May Queens.

The cult will have trouble getting away with this iteration of the ritual
Regardless of whether the ritual really takes place every 90 years or not, the ritual seen in the film would still be the first one performed in the Information Age. Despite bringing their sacrifices from far away places, there is still a massive trail leading right to the Härga: a) the Americans made no secret of their plans to go to Hälsingland, b) there are plane and customs records showing where they went, c) their electronic devices will have left a record of where they connected to local cellphone towers right up until the moment they left the coverage area, d) they will have families looking for them and e) the Swedish authorities are going to put 2 and 2 together and finds something fishy about a pair of Brits and 4 Americans vanishing after heading to the same place.
  • But The Hårga have shown to be adapted to the modern age too - at least Pelle has a phone. We've never seen any electrical outlets and there's no signal in the areas. And how did they make no secret of their plans to go to Sweden? The only scene where that happened was the party one and it was between themselves, it's a reach to assume they were overheard.
    • Remember, we've only seen so much of the Hårga. We know they're familiar with pop culture and have either cable or a DVD player, given that Dagny asks Pelle if he wants to watch Austin Powers with the children, so we don't know what other technology/skills they have that ensures their secrecy.

The guests are not actually brought in wanting to sacrifice them.
The ideal ending for the village is actually for none of the guests to break any of their rules and all of them to accept what they see so in the end the nine sacrifices can all be cultists (outside of the line used to breed their prophets) who've become too closely related to the rest of the cult to continue interbreeding, and they get nine fresh bloodlines added to the mix.


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