‘Euphoria’: Theories About Nate’s Relationships With Maddy and Cassie in Season 2

Nate (Jacob Elordi) is in a love triangle with his ex-girlfriend Maddy (Alexa Demie) and Cassie (Sydney Sweeney), who he is secretly dating in Euphoria Season 2. He is simultaneously juggling the emotions of both girls, which is starting to confuse some fans of the HBO series. Find out what fans have to say about Nate’s love triangle in the sophomore season of the teen drama. Plus Elordi’s approach to playing Nate’s relationships with Maddy and Cassie in the series.

Jacob Elordi as Nate Jacobs talking to Maddy (Alexa Demie) as Cassie (Sydney Sweeney) descends the stairs in an episode of 'Euphoria' Season 2
Jacob Elordi & Alexa Demie | Eddy Chen/HBO

Nate wants different things from Maddy and Cassie, ‘Euphoria’ fans theorize

Nate exudes toxic masculinity in Euphoria. And yet Cassie and Maddy are both extremely into him.

“Why does Nate treat Maddy like s**t but wants her back, but he cheats on her [with] Cassie, but then dumps Cassie and now wants Maddy back!” said a fan in the Euphoria Reddit thread. “[Is] this routine teen drama and [confusing] feelings or is [there] another layer that I am not able to see?”

Some fans in the thread justified Nate’s relationships in the show. “He doesn’t love either of them,” said one Reddit user. “He likes the way they make him feel.”

Still, another Euphoria fan thinks Nate doesn’t know what he wants. “Even Cal says it one moment, ‘I don’t even know who you are,'” they pointed out in another comment. “He’s just super secretive, manipulative, and angry. He doesn’t know what is good for him. He doesn’t know what he wants.”

“I do know that Nate genuinely loves control,” says another fan in the thread. “And hypothetically, he could control Maddie, Cassie, and Jules.”

Jacob Elordi treated scenes with Maddy differently from those with Cassie in ‘Euphoria’ Season 2

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Elordi broke down Nate’s relationships with Cassie and Maddy in Euphoria. When performing scenes with Sweeney, Elordi treated them like he was working on a “romance film.” 

“I needed to have something different in my eyes in the way that I looked at her,” he told the outlet. “Whereas when I was working with Alexa last season, it was like a drama. Everything was combative; everything was always on edge, everything was always worried — I needed to play every scene like it was a battle.” 

In Elordi’s opinion, Nate doesn’t truly know what love is. On the one hand, Nate’s relationship with Maddy could be engrained in his DNA and harder to get rid of.

He elaborated, “Especially for someone like Nate who, on top of that, is so controlling, and does have something that he needs, and has no idea if he loves who he loves. I think that has so much to do with it.”

On the other hand, Elordi thinks Nate struggles with this daydream of being with Cassie. “This is a good girl,” he said of Nate’s thoughts and desires. “She loves me. I have full control over her. This must be what love is.” 

‘Euphoria’ theory: Nate only cares about himself 

At the end of Euphoria Season 1, Maddy took one of the sex tapes from Nate’s room. What’s on that sex tape remains unclear — is it the footage of Cal (Eric Dane) having sex with Jules (Hunter Schafer)?

Or is it the sexually-explicit images Nate prepared to blackmail Jules? Either way, several Euphoria fans think Nate is playing mind games with both girls to get what he wants and protect himself at the same time. 

Watch Euphoria on HBO Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. 

RELATED: ‘Euphoria’ Recap: Rue’s Funeral, Cassie and Cal’s Mental Breakdowns in Season 2, Episode 4