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Yellowjackets: Tawny Cypress Shoots Down The 'Taissa Is The Antler Queen' Theory

The "Yellowjackets" Season 2 premiere, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen," attracted nearly 2 million viewers the weekend it aired, making it Showtime's most-streamed series premiere of all time, topping fan favorites like "Dexter" and "Shameless." The enduring "Yellowjackets" buzz is in part due to the scores of fan theories that it inspires, from the outlandish (Jackie is a time traveler!) to the more plausible (was Travis' death connected to Lottie's cult?).

One theory that has grabbed fans by the horns concerns the identity of the Antler Queen — a mysterious character who, as depicted in the pilot, seems to be the leader of the Yellowjackets' cannibal sect. In a video for ELLE, Tawny Cypress responded to a theory that Taissa is the Antler Queen, based on the character's natural leadership and political aspirations. "Taissa is falling apart, and I don't think she's in any capacity to lead anything," said the actress about her sleep-deprived character. Indeed, Cypress doesn't put much stock in the Antler Queen lore, seeing as it's a fan creation.

Cypress points out that the Antler Queen was invented on Reddit

The Antler Queen, as she's been dubbed, was first seen in the pilot donning antlers and an identity-sealing shroud decorated with strands of hair. As such, the figure has become a subject of intense scrutiny, especially in "Yellowjackets" subreddits. It was there that fans gave the character the name "Antler Queen."

Tawny Cypress is well aware of the Antler Queen's online origins, so she's not particularly concerned about any half-baked theorizing. "As far as the Antler Queen goes, look man, first of all, I know that term was created on freakin' Reddit," Cypress said in the ELLE video. "So I understand that that is a fan term that we have embraced." Indeed, the Antler Queen imagery holds no more weight than any other wilderness totem, even if it's fun to ponder over.

In that spirit, Cypress admitted that the overall symbolism of the Antler Queen, and the idea of submitting to the power of the wilderness, is something that isn't necessarily limited to a single character. "I think that the Antler Queen can be all of us, maybe."

The "Yellowjackets" showrunners are similarly wary of giving too much power to wild fan theories, as much as they're appreciated. As Jonathan Lisco told The Hollywood Reporter, "To create a cohesive narrative with Ashley [Lyle] and Bart [Nickerson] and our team of writers, we really need to cut out the noise sometimes and make sure that we know what we want to do."