How The White Lotus' Season 2 Opening Credits Are Already Giving Viewers Hints About Everything

Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries on The White Lotus.
(Image credit: HBO)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of The White Lotus, so consider yourself warned.

The White Lotus surprised HBO viewers last year with its smart and satirical take on privilege, unraveling the mystery of who among the resort’s guests (or staff) would wind up dead by the end of the lavish weeklong vacation. Now the Emmy-winning anthology series has returned for Season 2, with a different White Lotus resort, new guests and possibly multiple fatalities by the time we reach the finale. With the premiere, “Ciao,” viewers were introduced to the dark comedy's new ensemble and, even though the story has just begun, creator Mike White says the elaborate opening credit sequence provides hints of what’s to come in The White Lotus Season 2.

Mike White worked with Katrina Crawford and Mark Bashore from Plains of Yonder, a film studio and creative consultancy, on the credit sequence. They spoke to TV Insider about the clues that fans can pick up, with Crawford noting that the animals are a big throughline. Bashore added:  

Nothing is in there by mistake. So whether it’s a lamb sitting alone in a field, fighting birds, a boar hunt, or monkeys, the animals are doing a lot of the work to talk about people in a way that even a dog lifting its leg says more than you could with an image of a person.

Let’s take a look at some of the images from the opening credits and see what clues we might be able to pick up on: 

Opening credits for The White Lotus Season 2.

(Image credit: HBO)

The dog lifting its leg, as mentioned in the above quote, is shown while Theo James’ name is on the screen. We learned in the premiere that his character, Cameron Babcock, may have ulterior motives for inviting Harper and Ethan to vacation with him and his wife. Will we see Cameron marking his territory in some way this season? He did already (unknowingly?) expose himself to Aubrey Plaza’s Harper in “Ciao.”  

Opening credits of The White Lotus Season 2.

(Image credit: HBO)

Speaking of Aubrey Plaza, her name is shown next to an image of a bird pecking at the wings of another bird. Could this be a statement on the relationship between Harper and her husband? Or about Harper's outlook on the world in general?

Opening credits in The White Lotus Season 2.

(Image credit: HBO)

Meghann Fahy’s Daphne is the only character who we're probably safe to say survives the week in Sicily, as she is the one who discovers the body floating in the water. Could Fahy’s name next to these cherubs point to her innocence, or is there something more?

Opening credits for The White Lotus Season 2.

(Image credit: HBO)

Beloved TV and film actress Jennifer Coolidge is the only Season 1 character to reprise her role, as the great Tanya McQuoid arrives at the White Lotus. While we previously saw her grieving the death of her mother, now we see that she’s married to Greg Hunt (Jon Gries), who appears to be a real piece of shit. He makes constant comments about her weight while taking secret phone calls in the bathroom. I feel like the donkey breaking the fourth wall next to Gries’ name is trying to tell us something, particularly with the man and woman riding it somewhat mirroring the image (at top) of Tanya holding onto Greg as they ride their Vespa. 

Opening credits of The White Lotus Season 2.

(Image credit: HBO)

We were also introduced to the Di Grosso family, with F. Murray Abraham’s Bert traveling with his son and grandson. It was well-established in the first episode that Bert likes to flirt, which is depicted next to the actor’s name in the title sequence, but who is that spying on them from around the corner?

Other images from the opening credits show part of a building engulfed in flames, a man falling backward down some stairs after being stabbed by a woman, and plenty of sex, including what appears to be a man being fellated and two rams doing their thing. Katrina Crawford said that as the season progresses, the meaning behind the things shown in the opening credits will make more sense, but it definitely looks like we’re in for another wild “week” of seaside drama. New episodes of The White Lotus air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and are available for streaming with an HBO Max subscription.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.