Is Nat the Antler Queen in Yellowjackets?

Image Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

The Showtime series ‘Yellowjackets’ revolves around the members of a New Jersey high school girls’ soccer team who become stranded in the Ontario wilderness after their plane crashes on its way to the nationals in Seattle in 1996. Suddenly deprived of everything civilization afforded them, some survivors struggle to adapt to their circumstances while others thrive. Natalie “Nat” Scatorccio (Juliette Lewis as adult; Sophie Thatcher as teen) belongs to the latter group. Hailing from an abusive home, Nat witnessed her father accidentally killing himself while attacking her and her mother in an alcohol-fueled rage. Nat is a gifted soccer player, but as she is prone to taking drugs and drinking alcohol, others in her team think she is a burnout.

However, after the crash, Nat proves herself an indispensable part of the group because of her hunting skills. Teaming up with Travis (Kevin Alves), one of the three male survivors of the crash and the only other person who knows how to handle a gun, Nat secures food for the group until winter arrives and the resources become scarce. In the season 2 finale, a drastic shift happens among the survivors, completely changing the group dynamic. Here is everything you need to know about it. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Nat is the Antler Queen

Yes, Nat is the Antler Queen, at least for now. Introduced in the pilot episode, Antler Queen has been part of the narrative of the series since the beginning, and her identity has been one of the most significant mysteries of the series. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, the survivors build a community around them with their own laws and religion. They believe that the Wilderness around them is a powerful entity now controlling their lives. While the series delicately treads the line between realistic and supernatural, a thing to note here is that these ideas are propagated by Lottie (Simone Kessell as adult; Courtney Eaton as teen), a girl who seems to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. She only starts to have visions after her pills run out. There are voices of detractors, and Nat is among them, but they are drowned out as winter turns the landscape into a frozen wasteland.

Especially after Jackie’s death, but even before that, Lottie effectively becomes the leader of the group, convincing the others to join in her questionable actions. She is the one who leads the group when they, under the influence of a hallucinogenic mushroom, attack Travis. She is also a willing participant when the survivors feast on Jackie’s flesh.

However, Lottie undergoes a drastic change after she is severely beaten by Shauna while attempting to focus the other girl’s anger on herself and spends several days in bed. Meanwhile, unable to contain their hunger any longer, the other survivors decide to use a deck of cards to select the next person who will die so the rest can survive. When Lottie regains consciousness and hears what happened to Javi, she makes the decision to step down in favor of Nat, claiming that the other girl has been blessed by the Wilderness and effectively making her the Antler Queen. The revelation comes in the episode in which adult Nat dies after they perform their old ritual.

As the Antler Queen, Nat now has the job of enforcing the laws of their community. This includes the ones involving the deck of cards. It’s no wonder that adult Nat is so aggressive and volatile, seeking escape from her past deeds in drugs and alcohol. Asked when the creative team behind the show decided on Nat’s fate, Karyn Kusama, the director of the season 2 finale, told The Hollywood Reporter, “She was always meant to be a character who fulfilled a role that we’ve come to love in television, which is the transgressive, self-destructive, self-sabotaging… the s[expletive]-stirrer. The tension was always that we understood that people like to watch those characters, but the reality is that they literally or figuratively self-destruct.”

Image Credit: Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Kusama continued, “What I love about these past two seasons is that we’ve been given all the information about Natalie. We’ve been told over and over again that there’s a part of her that flirts with the death instinct in a pretty big way. Whether it’s her own addiction issues, whether it’s what she’s gone through in the past. We’ve watched this character cheat death, come close to death, be foiled in attempting her own suicide, and now that sense of inevitability is finally answered by this terrible mistake. Just like a messy, human mistake. Which is similar to the finale in season one with Jackie dying almost out of poor judgment. That’s something the show does really well in exploring. And I think that was something always intentional about Natalie’s arc.”

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