Last week Taylor Swift dropped the video for "...Ready For It?" — the second single to be released from the upcoming album Reputation.
The video is dramatic as hell, featuring a hooded Taylor confronting a naked, robot Taylor trapped inside a glass box. Eventually the hooded Taylor is destroyed, while the caged Taylor escapes and walks free.
Of course, as is the way with any Taylor Swift release, hundreds of fan theories spawned within hours of the video dropping. However, this one by Fearlesslove13 has stood out, being approved by both Taylor herself and the director of the video, Joseph Kahn.
Many theories surrounding the video suggest that the hooded Taylor is "evil," while the caged Taylor is "good," and that the latter's eventual escape from the box is therefore a fresh iteration of the good-defeating-evil tale we all know so well.
However, this theory is different and suggests that the two Taylors are representative of an inner turmoil between how she presents herself to the world vs who she really is – and the hooded Taylor is training caged Taylor to survive in the outside world, free of the ~reputation~ established thus far.
The theory suggests that when Taylor arrives in the room where caged Taylor is crouching inside her box, the aim isn't to mock her, but train her.
The theory states that all the different stances and formations caged Taylor adopts – from turning into a robot, to mounting a white horse – are part of a training routine that the two Taylors have been practicing for a while.
Caged Taylor then shows that the training is paying off, with her managing to control the blue light inside the box, and hooded Taylor looks visibly impressed.
Hooded Taylor then asks caged Taylor: "Are you ready for it?" meaning: "Are you ready to break free?"
Caged Taylor proves that she is by taking full control over the lightening in the box.
Hooded Taylor looks impressed again, and at this point, they put their hands on exactly the same spot on the glass. The theory suggests that this moment signifies their need to "become one in order for caged Taylor to escape."
And then the glass shatters, with caged Taylor looking "devastated" as she realises that her freedom comes at a cost: Hooded Taylor won't survive.
Hooded Taylor, however, looks at peace, as though she "knew this was going to happen." In other words, she knew she'd have to sacrifice herself once caged Taylor became strong enough to break free.
A single tear then falls down caged Taylor's face, as she realises too that hooded Taylor had to die for her to be free.
And here's where we reach the genius conclusion – that hooded Taylor represents all the "old Taylors," who've been created and controlled by the media and public's perception of her. The "Old Taylor" trained the caged Taylor so that she could be strong enough to escape, start afresh, be her true self, and survive.
"By sacrificing that version of herself to protect her," the theory states, "She gives the now freed Taylor the opportunity to start fresh, and maybe not end up the same way she did."
And it seems as though this theory is on the money. Taylor liked the post on Tumblr shortly after it was published.
And then someone else shared the theory with the director of the video, Joseph Kahn, who labelled it "interesting."
Oh, and as if your mind wasn't already blown, the idea of there being two Taylors – one people know, and the real one we don't – was actually on the cover of Reputation.