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Extremists take over Gilead in a coup
How could it possibly be worse than what was shown in DC? Extremists who don’t believe Gilead is “hardline enough.” They force the mouth wiring practice to become standard for all females. They also demand all women wear full body coverings. June is spared from getting her mouth wired shut, because Lawrence first fakes it, and then when the full body coverings are implemented, as long as she isn’t heard talking, nobody can tell.

Commander Waterford puts up mild resistance, but eventually gives in, leading to Serena getting her mouth locked. This benefits June in some ways because it ends the dispute over baby Nichole and ends her fights with Serena. Eventually, Serena does commit suicide. Aunt Lydia finally hits her tolerance threshold, but is quickly gunned down in the streets by a guard.

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Gilead finally starts forcing the hands of other nations by invading them. This winds up putting both June and her real husband dangerously close to the frontlines of their respective sides.

The Commander’s and Serena’s appeal to retrieve baby Nicole is going to backfire
Gilead has only marginal trading power, and the other countries are much more likely to be further along in solving the fertility crises, because they haven’t put so many restraints on thought-freedoms.

By making the request for baby Nicole public, they are going to force a referendum, making the Canadian government take an official stance on extraditing refugees. The Canadian people are going to make their opinion on the matter very clearly in favor of refugee rights.

If Gilead loses Canada as a trading partner, their best hope for not starving is Mexico. If Gilead can’t feed its population, its government will destabilize unless it begins a population cull. Its kind of doing this already to its female population, but when food becomes scarce, it will get significantly worse.

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Once they get desperate enough, they’ll start saber rattling. This too will start backfiring when it becomes clear their military tech stopped advancing after their takeover.

  • It does backfire, but no war yet.
Emily brings Gilead crashing down
Gilead is only able to keep existing because its able to trade its handmaids. Emily will get hit by some form of inspiration while going through her medical checkups. This will cause her to conduct research, and develop treatments to help bring back fertility to the general population. No longer dependent on rare fertile women to boost their numbers, all of Gilead’s partners drop trade agreements, causing Gilead’s economy to tank. Their government destabilizes and the free United States is able to rapidly re-acquire territory.
  • Alternatively, she succeeds, and Gilead also uses her research to try and export their ideology through having a baby-boom.
  • Alternate, alternatively, Emily gets “put on the bus” and we never hear from her again.
Commander Lawrence is trying to undermine Gilead’s stability and not die in the process
The guy is obviously firing on all six mental cylinders. He knows once his wife told Emily he created the whole system, she would kill him. However, she doesn’t. Whatever conversations she had with him offscreen, was enough to stay her retribution.

His 180-turn into misogyny with June is because the Marthas and Handmaids in the house are getting reckless. He pulls back on the freedoms because they nearly got everyone killed, trying to save a lost cause. If they worry about him, they don’t have time to / feel safe enough to make the same offers behind his back.

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He also needs to vet everyone who enters the house in case they could be a spy. While the show hasn’t really presented any female double agents, the government is really just one threatened child away from having one.

He’s trying to get June to consider the big picture before acting. There’s no way he wouldn’t figure out the skillsets of the women she selected for rescue. June is realizing she can’t “end the horror” while selecting women on a purely emotional level.

Luke leads the Americans in Exile back to the United States with June's insurgency
Luke gets tired of sitting around, waiting for things to happen and doing nothing. The American Government (or even the Canadians) conveniently point out some weapons that fell off the back of a truck and pull a Bay-of-Pigs invasion of the Northeast. Gilead can't stop them because they've sent all their best soldiers to complete the siege of Chicago, and June's resistance movement creates too much chaos on the home front.
Serena gets sent to the colonies, and dies before the fall of Gilead
When you combine her absurdly predictable stupidity, penchant for attracting attention, her husband’s desire to get rid of her, and the fact she’s going to help June’s rebellion, she’s pretty much guaranteed to get caught.Gilead doesn’t support divorce, but her actions would be enough to get her sent to the colonies. Her husband gives the “all-clear” for such a punishment just to get rid of her. Considering she’s nowhere near as strong as the other female characters and hasn’t even experienced a tenth of the horrors the other characters survived, she winds up succumbing to the poisons and labor quickly.
Eventually Gilead males launch their own insurgency
Between the executions, limited legal relations, gender segregation, and from Commander Lawrence’s scenes, outright gendercide... the majority of Gilead’s population is likely to go their whole lives without ever having a relationship. There’s no way the average foot soldier is so pious, this doesn’t become a problem.
Serena Joy
In the Hulu series, given that the "before" Gilead time is closer to present day, rather than the the 80s when the book was written, and Serena Joy is significantly younger in the series than in the book, Serena Joy's backstory will be less Tammy Faye Baker-style televangelist and closer to a Fox News Channel talking head, in the vein of Kellyanne Conway, Tomi Lahren or Megyn Kelly.

When they get to Jezebels...
Waterford will make June and Moira have sex while he watches.
  • Jossed, though oddly enough, he seems to anticipate the notion by setting up their meeting and is disappointed to learn they're not friends "in that way."

Janine
On the tv show Janine is much more defiant than in the book, and her psychosis is tinged with more potential violence. So when they want to send her away from Charlotte/Angela, she'll decide that if she can't have her baby, no one can, and smother the baby.
  • Half-jossed. She does try to take her child to death with her, but changes her mind about it.
  • Prediction for Season 2: Janine, Emily, and Ofglen 2 will end up at Jezebel's.
    • Jossed. Janine and Emily end up working in the clean-up colonies and the Second Ofglen dies in a bombing.

Luke
Once read a fan theory that the reason that Luke and June's escape failed was that Luke let the border guards know they were coming, and sold out his wife and daughter to save his own skin. In the show, we hear the gunshot that June assumes killed him, but we don't see his body. So I think the TV show's going in this direction ,and will reveal this scene in a parallel with Nick (who once was a believer, but is horrified at what he's supported) giving up his life to help June escape.
  • Jossed. We see what happens to Luke; he was shot by Gilead Eyes. They attempted to nurse him back to health in an ambulance for some reason; the ambulance hits an icy patch and flips over, killing the driver and medic but leaving Luke alive. He gets picked up by some rebels and makes it to Canada.
    • They might well have left him alive because it has been established that he can sire healthy children. Whether they intended to utilize him for artificial insemination or stud him out to Wives (moral and Biblical handwaving to make it "acceptable in Gilead" aside), he would still have some value alive.
    • Or they just wanted him alive so they could question/torture him for information about his attempted escape. They would want to know who helped him, how, when, was there anyone else with him, stuff like that.

the second season will reintroduce the white supremacy in the book.
It's mentioned in the novel that Gilead got more extreme towards its end, and it would be a good way to up the stakes.
  • Seconded, as the showrunners seem to agree with popular opinion about the show's lack of attention to race. We'll have to see.
    • Jossed as of right now. Might come up in season 3 but season 2 made no major mention of race.

The second season will have a feminist uprising
But it will only end up benefiting the wives, allowing them to have the same rights as the Commanders, paralleling the unequal benefits that feminism has had across race and class in real life.
  • Pretty close actually! The finale of season 2 has Serena and the other wives propose that girls also be allowed to read, but only the bible, and this rule would only apply to Daughters of Commanders. Unfortunately, she reads from Eden's old bible to prove a point and it results in her pinky being removed.

Gilead's "Middle Period"
In the book's epilogue, which takes place 200 years after the events of the "early period," Professor Piexito notes that the early Commanders, including Fred Waterford, were brought down in purges, for not following their own rules. The first season seems to be hinting that Fred's headed for a fall.

Aunt Lydia
Aunt Lydia used to be an all girls boarding school principal or teacher. The way she interacts with the Handmaids feels very much like this.
  • She was probably abusing the girls, which is how she got the attention of the Sons of Jacob.

The Handmaid's Tale is a Stealth Prequel to If This Goes On—
The Handmaid's Tale obviously being set many years before the revolt depicted in If This Goes On. It is likely the "Early Gilead" period was the period during which Nehemiah Scudder, the First Prophet, was in power.

Season 2, Episode 5
The Youtube clip shows Nick getting married to someone with their face fully covered...maybe someone we've already seen in the series? First name that pops to mind is Luke's first wife
  • Its more likely to be a teen girl as in the books the "brides" are the children who were taken away from their families.
    • Yeah, you're probably right.
      • Confirmed, his wife is 15 and her name is Eden, though she was not taken from her family, but was rased by her biological parents.

Border conflict
when Gilead invades Canada, Moira's going to join the army and be on the front lines

Alternatively, Gilead's going to call off the invasion in exchange for Canada agreeing to send refugees back over the border...including Moira, Erin and Luke.

  • The second theory has, for all intents and purposes right now, been jossed. There was a meeting in season 2 between Commander Waterford and the Canadian government. It doesn't go well.

Luke's first wife will turn up again.
She'll likely be a Martha, or maybe another Handmaid. (That is, if the writers can resist the cruel irony of making her a Wife.)
  • Personally, I think it'd be a really interesting turn of events if she turned out to be an ally or even friend to June. After all, there's nothing to indicate she would've been okay with what Gilead is doing. Perhaps, under this evil regime, she'll be willing to make peace with June so they can both survive.
    • Both possibly Jossed and Confirmed. Annie appeared in "Other Women" and she seemed quite religious, as she didn't want to divorce Luke for marrying him in a church, and called June a "whore" for it.
    • She also might be one of econo-women or has a position of daughter if her father is still alive.

Isaac and Eden are the pair seen drowning in a preview.
Eden is obviously frustrated that Nick doesn't seem interested in her, and Isaac gave her attention and validation right off the bat. They'll either get caught and be killed or, more likely, drown themselves since they can't be together.
  • Sadly, confirmed as of, "Postpartum".

Isaac and Eden are executed for adultery via hanging.
Eden is suspicious as to why Nick is always cold to her and ignores her as much as possible, while Isaac is nice to her. She already thinks that Nick might be gay, and she might make more trouble down the line. To keep her from going after him and June, he'll use his status as an Eye to get her off his back by reporting Isaac and Eden in for adultery. And since the punishments seem to be quite arbitrary and full of Disproportionate Retribution, they'll inevitably find them guilty. Only, while Eden is likely infertile, as she hasn't been pregnant yet, they can't use her as a Handmaid, they'll be executed. This will act as a Moral Even Horizon for Nick, especially now that he's a father.
  • Slightly confirmed. Executed by drowning.

The bombing of the new Rachel and Leah Center was a planned coup by Commander Cushing to seize power.
I mean, just as Ofglen 2 is running toward Waterford , detonating the bomb, the camera is panning on Ray Cushing's oddly passive expression toward the ordeal. I'm not saying that he's a part of the Resistance, because Serena Joy explains that Ray Cushing and his wife were a part of the Sons of Jacob pre-Gilead and vacationed together. Cushing wanted Pryce's job for his own sadistic power trip.

Mayday doesn't exist. Emily made it all up
Because she knows she can no longer see her son or wife again, Emily is experiencing a Despair Event Horizon. To cope, she's living out an extensive spy game, where she's an agent for Mayday, an organization that will eventually rescue her and reunite her with Sylvia and her son. However, she became so involved in "Mayday" she thinks that it really exists, which is why she tried to recruit June in the first episode. After her cliterectomy, she remedies the reason she wasn't rescued was because she was arrested, and they can't use her anymore. That's the reason she decided to run over the Guardian: she wanted to help Mayday one last time. Or...
  • Pretty much jossed. We've seen several other members of Mayday including a male nurse, all the people that helped June escape, and Ofrobert.

Mayday is part of some elaborate spy game between the Handmaids and June is the only one not involved
Think about it like the theory that Codename Kids Next Door is one big imaginary game. Throughout the first season, it seems a little weird how all the Handmaids know what is going on, how to stop their Commanders, and June is pretty much the only one who isn't. The only explanation for this is simple: it's part of a spy game that somehow became real. It started as a way for the Handmaids to not go crazy, only for the movement to become real, and the other Handmaids either don't trust June or don't like June enough to include her. Some other Handmaids, such as Ofglen 2 or Janine, can't be included because they're so sycophantic, so they'll give them away. Or...
  • Also jossed for the same reason above.

Janine is a member of Mayday
Or she will be. She's just so broken that they either don't use her or she stopped working for them.

The show will reveal that Serena Joy was a pen name
The books mention that Serena's real name is Thelma Waterford (June thinks it's Pam, though) and that "Serena Joy" was the name she used as a televangelist, not unlike Alecia Moore being better known as P!nk to most people. The show will eventually reveal that "Serena Joy" was a pen name for a woman named Thelma, but because of her writing career and activism, became effectively Serena Joy.

Eden's family was part of the Quiverfull movement
For those of you who don't know, the Quiverfull movement promotes zero birth control, reasoning that the end is nigh, and more children are needed to fight in the name of Christ. Think about the Duggar family, where it is highly oppressive, and encourages marriage as early as possible, as its their duty to God. Eden's family lived on a farm, and her mother's lessons basically consisted of saying "marry and make babies." Eden is also 15, but Gilead has only existed for at most, five years at this point, meaning she was ten when Gilead came to be. She could've been homeschooled, which could account for her illieratecy, or only having basic reading skills and nothing more. As for their religion, the Spencers just happened to get lucky.
  • Doubtful. Eden's parents have only two children (unless they couldn't conceive more). Their family's values are likely a result of Gilead indoctrination.
    • Also, Eden wasn't illiterate. It's shown in the last episode that she kept a bible secretly and wrote notes in it. It's still possible that her family was Duggar-esque before, though. We know that the fatality rates for infants was high in city hospitals, it tends to be much higher in places where people opt for home-births a la religiously conservative communities.

Aunt Lydia sent Janine to the Colonies
Janine acts like a Morality Pet to Aunt Lydia, due to her sycophancy and damaged mental state. Moira previously mentioned that because of her looks and her unruly state, she was given the choice between Jezebel's and the Colonies, and chose the former. I imagine the same went for Emily, and she just chose Colonies. As an Aunt, it is not out of the realm of possibility that she knows of the existence of Jezebel's and what it entails. Janine is also deficient, and wouldn't bode well at Jezebel's, unlike Moira did. So, she decided to grant her mercy the best she could, and quietly sent her to the Colonies where she could die in peace.
  • Confirmed. Janine is shown arriving in the Colonies at the end of, "Unwomen"

Aunt Lydia was in some way responsible for the death of her nephew
When she is asked by June if someone ever made her a godmother she revealed that she was to her sister's son. And then she says he died when he was four days old, then she says that it wasn't her fault. I honestly feel she must feel guilty about his death otherwise why would she even feel the need to say that she wasn't responsible.

The Return to Washington in Season 3 will show the coup of Gilead had help from politicians
The coup that topples the U.S. government and imposed Gilead's rule had to have had some help from the remnants of the state. Senators, Representatives, State Governors, or even military officers were in on the coup from the get-go and helped position the conspiracy to take over after a period of chaos and wrangling for control, much like how the Russian Revolution turned an interim government into the Soviet Union after just a few months of chaos and a flood of followers poured into the capital city and created chaos.

June kills a number of Gilead politicians via a communicable disease
During the episode Heroic June searches a sharps container in a hospital for anything she can use as a weapon, only to get graphically hurt from a needle. We have no idea who that needle was used on or what diseases they might have been carrying. It'll be revealed that June is now carrying some kind of dangerous STD that Gilead has a vested, religious interest not to treat- like HIV. The Commanders she is forced to have sex with can't seek treatment without being put to death and start to die off from keeping the secret for fear of being labeled a "gender traitor" in public and sent to execution.

Canada will free Fred after Gilead threatens to invade
Having (loyalist) American troops arrest Fred on Canadian soil is probably a big no-no under international law (if such a thing still exists). Whoever rises to a leadership position in Gilead after Winslow's death will threaten to invade Canada if he isn't returned. The Canadians can't fight off Gilead's soldiers even with the loyalist American support, buckle, and release Fred.

Lawrence is June's dad
Because how can we miss an opportunity to create more misery? Grandma Holly seems like the kind of person who would get inseminated with donor-sperm rather than deal with an actual man, especially since we know she was raped. Lawrence didn't want to help the Marthas because "I don't know these people", so he must have some connection to June. He could have donated sperm at some point in his youth. Then after taking over America and creating Giliad, he is handed the records from the fertility clinic he donated to. He sees the record, realizes he has a daughter, and that she's a handmaid, but he doesn't actually know June, so he decides to forget about it... Until she comes to his attention again, and this time he goes quite far to try and help her. Consider this exchange in season 3, episode 2:June: "You helped me. You don't know me."Lawrence: "Is that what you think?"It adds another layer to the episode "Bear Witness", where Lawrence is forced to have sex with June. He took June into his house to subtly protect her, and after avoiding all contact with his previous 3 handmaids, he didn't expect to be forced into a corner. He gives June contraceptives, because it's bad enough that he had to commit incest, without it resulting in a baby too.

June does not survive to the fourth season, or dies early on from her injuries.
In the epilogue of the book, professors are discussing the tapes she left behind- Offred herself isn't present because it takes place 200 years later, and seemingly left no other record behind even though in the show the American, Canadian, and Gilead governments all know who she is and what she's been up to, and other Gilead refugees can easily back up her claims, yet some of the professors don't believe her. It's never stated whether or not she actually escaped Gilead, which collapsed after seven years, anyway. It's entirely possible that book!Offred ended up dying either before or during the fall of Gilead. It's all but stated in the show that June is recording her experiences in Gilead and she's shown recording at least one tape for Luke. Perhaps, in the next season, Commander Lawrence will find June's tapes after her death or while she's "missing" and pass the tapes on to Canada via the network of Marthas. The tapes may or may not be used as evidence in the Waterfords' trials, but they'll certainly be released to the public and be absolutely damning.

Also, that scene where the barely-conscious June is being carried away on her cloak by six other Handmaids is awfully reminiscent of a coffin being carried by 6 pallbearers. June has been in the woods all night and into the morning alone with no medical treatment for a serious wound; the wound would have been survivable with prompt medical treatment but may have resulted in a rather slow, painful death for June.

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The Waterfords had more than one Martha, but Rita's the only one who actually survived their household.
In the novels, Marthas are practically a status symbol; the more Marthas a household has speaks to how much wealth and power they have. Yet the Waterfords, who are an extremely high-ranking couple in Gilead and basically its architects, only have one Martha in the show and two Marthas in the books while other households have three or more. So... what gives? Did Fred and Serena narrowly survive a purge and lose enough wealth to only be able to afford one Martha? Or do they just not see the point in having more than one Martha when the household consists of a childless couple and their driver who appears to be just fine cleaning his own bachelor pad?

or... did Fred and Serena have two or more Marthas who realized how terribly dysfunctional they were, and got rid of the ones who actually tried to report it to Aunt Lydia? Was the Martha purge related to the death of their first Handmaid, who finally took her own life when the only people she could trust were transferred (in the best case scenario, we *are* talking about Gilead here)?

And where does Rita fall into all this? There must have been a fairly significant amount of time between the death of the first Offred and the arrival of our Offred. Rita was already working for the Waterfords by the time Offred I died, but perhaps not always. She may have been new enough that Offred I couldn't trust her let alone befriend her like June did. And Rita still feels guilty about it, and it plays into her guilt about Eden's death in season 2.

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