WARNING: This article contains spoilers that some readers may wish to avoid
Since before the pilot aired, HBO’s new teen drama Euphoria has garnered much controversy. While many have praised the show’s honest approach to issues drug use, sexual identity and other facets of the Gen-Z zeitgeist, others have deemed it as marketing “graphic adult content” toward teenagers.
On Euphoria, the show’s main character, a recovering drug addict named Rue Bennett (Zendaya Coleman) quickly befriends a trans girl named Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) when she moves to town. Rue and Jules have a deep connection and throughout the four episodes that have aired so far, it is heavily implied that Rue is in love with Jules.
With each episode that airs, fans have theorized that Rue has actually been dead the whole time and is narrating from beyond the grave. While many of the fans’ “Rue is dead” theories make sense, it also makes sense that Jules may actually be dead, and that Rue is narrating the events that lead to her death.
While the idea of any of the characters being dead is disheartening, below are four reasons why it is possible that Jules may actually see her demise by the season finale of Euphoria.
Jules has demonstrated several reckless behaviors
In Euphoria’s pilot, Jules meets up with an older man (Eric Dane) from Grindr-esque app in a motel. She lies to the man about her age and has sex with him. She later decides to leave the motel and go to a party hosted by Chris McKay (Algee Smith). At the party, she gets into an argument with Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), before slicing her arm and proclaiming “I am fucking invincible.”
By episode four, “Shook Ones, Pt. II,” she learns that the older man is Cal Jacobs, father of Nate. She later provokes Cal at a carnival, before later realizing that she had also been messaging Nate on the app, who was using the pseudonym Tyler. She risks being killed when she impugns Nate’s masculinity and sexuality. Was this a one-off scare, or foreshadowing of something much more gruesome?
She has previously struggled with self-harm
In “Shook Ones, Pt. II,” we get a closer look at Jules’ childhood. We learn that as a child, she was sent to live in a psychiatric ward, where we see that she injures herself with a soda can. As a child, Jules suffered from body dysphoria.
“She hated her body,” says Rue in a voiceover, “not every part, just her shoulders, and her arms, also her chest, her stomach, her thighs. Her knees were the worst. Plus her ankles, and her big, fucking, stupid feet. She hated her life, not because it was bad, but because when you hate your brain and your body, it’s hard to enjoy the rest.”
While she seems to live a carefree life at 17, Jules may simply just be searching for joy to compensate for the fact that she didn’t get a chance at a normal childhood as a girl. It is not unlikely that the demons she faced when she was younger may return, and it’s also not unlikely that these demons will drive her to end her life.
The writers may want to demonstrate the issues trans women face
While the “kill off the LGBTQ+ characters” TV trope is tired, Euphoria aims to provide an honest look into today’s cultural landscape. In 2018, at least 26 trans people died by some form of violence. This year so far, at least 11 trans people have died by some form of violence.
The idea of a trans girl being murdered at 17-years-old is disturbing, but unfortunately, the fear of dying by violence is the reality for members of the LGBTQ+ community. And at this point, nothing is off-limits for Euphoria.
It wouldn’t make sense for Rue to be narrating from beyond the grave
While the theory of Rue being an “all-seeing narrator” after death is entertaining, it just doesn’t make much sense that Euphoria, a show marketed as a realistic depiction of gen-z culture, would delve into the paranormal. It would make more sense that Rue would be recounting the events to someone like Ali (Colman Domingo), her friend from N.A. Plus, if it were revealed that Rue had been dead, it would change the format of the show, should it be renewed for a second season.
If Jules (or, really, any of the other characters) dies by the end of season one, it will raise many questions, that will set the plots for season two. How will Rue handle the death? Will she seek help? Will she overdose again?
Euphoria airs every Sunday night at 10:00 P.M. EST / 9:00 P.M. CST