‘The White Lotus’: The Opening Credits Symbolize Each Character Perfectly After Watching that Ending

Like Mare of Easttown, the new HBO comedy-drama series, The White Lotus, has Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout the series and even in the opening credits. Next to each actor’s name is an image that somehow relates to their character in the limited series. Now that the six-episode run is over, Showbiz Cheatsheet analyzed the opening sequence and how it relates to each character.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from The White Lotus Episode 6, “Departures.”]

The White Lotus key art poster of the full cast
‘The White Lotus’ Key Art Poster | HBO

‘The White Lotus’ Steve Zahn and the opening credits

Perhaps the most effortless reference to spot in the opening credits of The White Lotus is the phallic fruit next to Steve Zahn‘s name. In the series, he portrays Mark Mossbacher, who worries about testicular cancer in the opening episode. In the first episode, viewers see a full frontal view of Mark’s testicles. So, it does seem intentional that the actor’s name during the opening credits of The White Lotus is next to fruit that resembles male genitalia.

Sydney Sweeney’s name is next to a snake

In The White Lotus opening credits, Sydney Sweeney‘s name is next to a serpent or a snake. Olivia Mossbacher’s character might be the most hated in the series for her deception and fake wokeness. 

“If I have something of my own, she wants it,” Paula (Brittany O’Grady) explained about her friend.

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Viewers know that Olivia once stole a guy from Paula, and she tried to do it again with Kai (Kekoa Scott Kekumano). Her character fits the snake image perfectly.

‘The White Lotus’ opening credits: Murray Bartlett

Greenery and palms surround Murray Bartlett’s name in The White Lotus opening credits. He plays the resort manager, Armond, who ends up with a bag full of cannabis and other drugs. Could it be a coincidence that hemp leaves look similar to the palm leaves in the credits? Later in the series, he ends up partaking in various other drugs. Or, could the symbolization be the fact that he dies and returns to the earth? Both fit.

Is Paula the sleeping cheetah?

Brittany O’Grady’s name appears next to a sleeping cheetah in the opening credits of The White Lotus. Sadly, it might symbolize the moment that Paula chose not to act in episode 5. She knew that Kai was robbing the Mossbachers, and as the couple headed back to the suite, Paula froze. The cheetah is a fast animal that stalks its prey, which Paula did slyly by giving Kai the code to the Mossbacher safe. However, it looks like she fell asleep on the job like her cheetah in the opening credits.

‘The White Lotus’: Connie Britton and the opening credits

The White Lotus Episode 2 Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher raising a glass.
‘The White Lotus’ Episode 2: Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher | HBO

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Connie Britton’s name appears with a red bird that resembles a Hawaiian’ I’iwi (also known as a honeycreeper) in the opening credits of The White Lotus. According to ABC Birds, the bird is nearly extinct due to the loss of its habitat. This symbolism could reflect the colonialism that Britton’s character, Nicole, doesn’t care about. She’s shocked to hear that Paula didn’t appreciate the Hawaiians dancing for the guests at the resort. Nicole commented that they probably enjoyed dancing for the rich white people.  

Jennifer Coolidge is a monkey

Jennifer Coolidge’s name is next to a monkey with a flower in her ear. In The White Lotus Episode 3, titled “Mysterious Monkeys,” viewers hear a monkey when Tanya McQuoid wakes up from a dream on her lounge chair. However, it’s more likely that the monkey symbolizes how she brings laughter into every scene.

The newlyweds in the opening credits of ‘The White Lotus

In the opening credits of The White Lotus, red lotuses surround Alexandra Daddario’s name, which stands for love and compassion. She portrayed Rachel, and in the end, she remained with her husband. So, she chose to stay with Shane (Jake Lacy), although he has no regard for her feelings. Lacy’s name appears next to a chameleon, changing colors. Although his personality did not change throughout the limited series, he did kill Armond. 

Shane felt that his privilege and wealth entitled him to whatever he wanted. However, throughout the series, he was a lawful rule follower — insisting he gets the room his mother purchased for him. So, killing Armond was a slight change in his character since he broke the law. In the end, though, it was self-defense. Another theory that makes more sense is that Jake Lacy typically plays the nice guy in films and TV shows. However, his role in The White Lotus is a stark change from nice guy Pete in The Office or Clyde in High Fidelity — a changing chameleon. 

All six episodes of The White Lotus are currently available for streaming on HBO and HBO Max.