All the Easter Eggs in Taylor Swift’s Cinematic ‘Fortnight’ Music Video

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The music video for “Fortnight,” the first from Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Department era, has arrived. The visuals for this Post Malone collab are black and white, cinematic, and full of period costumes and typewriters. But of course, there’s always more to Swift’s symbolism than set dressing might suggest.

Swift teased that the music video was full of Easter eggs. “When I was writing the ‘Fortnight’ music video, I wanted to show you the worlds I saw in my head that served as the backdrop for making this music,” she wrote on Instagram. “Pretty much everything in it is a metaphor or a reference to one corner of the album or another. For me, this video turned out to be the perfect visual representation of this record and the stories I tell in it. @postmalone blew me away on set as our tortured tragic hero, and I’m so grateful to him for everything he put into this collaboration. I’m still laughing from getting to work with the coolest guys on earth, @ethanhawke and @mrjoshcharles (tortured poets, meet your colleagues from down the hall, the dead poets). I still can’t believe I get to work with the unfathomably brilliant @rpstam on cinematography and my team of dream collaborators.”

“Fortnight” marks the opening song and lead single to Swift’s latest album, which details past relationships with lines like, “And I love you it’s ruining my life / I touched you for only a fortnight.”

Let’s break down a few key references embedded in the video.

The Typewriter

The typewriter, of course, is an ongoing motif in the TPD era and album promotion. And the first verse of the title track (believed to be about Matty Healy) contains the lines: “You left your typewriter at my apartment / Straight from the tortured poets department.”

The Wardrobe

Based on the Victorian outfits in the “Fortnight” video alone, fans began drawing immediate comparisons to the 2023 film Poor Things, which starred Swift’s good friend (and Joe Alwyn’s co-star) Emma Stone, who won a Best Actress Oscar for the role. When she won the award at the Golden Globes, Swift and fellow pal Jennifer Lawrence were seen celebrating ecstatically from their seats.

The Dress

In one scene, Swift wears a draped white strapless dress by Australian designer Toni Matičevski, which appears to reference the Schiaparelli couture gown the singer wore to the Grammys earlier this year. (At the time, she accessorized with velvet opera gloves and a watch choker necklace.) This was also the same night she announced the release of The Tortured Poets Department.

The Dead Poets

Actors Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles appear as scientists in the music video, paying tribute to their film The Dead Poets Society, which came out in Swift’s birth year, 1989.

Hawke thanked Swift for the opportunity on Instagram and joked about how she elevated their original film roles. “‘Todd’ & ‘Knox’ from DEAD POETS SOCIETY are now PhDs in THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT. It’s quite an honor,” he wrote. “Thank you @taylorswift for the opportunity to be in the music video for your song FORTNIGHT feat. @postmalone. carpe diem!”

The Black Dog

A black dog appears in the music video, symbolizing the Tortured Poets song of the same name. The term “black dog” can also refer to depression.

The Blank Space

In the music video, when Swift types, “I love you, it’s ruining my life,” on her typewriter, there’s a couple blank spaces between letters on the page. These are a reference to “Blank Space,” Swift’s famous 1989 single.

taylor swift's typewriter

YouTube

The Face Tattoos

Swift’s fake face tattoos in “Fortnight” match Post Malone’s in real life, a sweet nod to her collaborator on the single.

taylor swift fortnight video

Courtesy Taylor Swift
post malone

Greg Doherty//Getty Images

The Cats

The title card in the music video has cats in every corner. Swift, of course, has three cats in real life:

taylor swift's title card

YouTube

The Miracle Move-On Drug

Swift nods to the two key breakups that inspired The Tortured Poets Department when she takes “forget him” pills while singing, “Took the miracle move-on drug, its effects were temporary.” She also sang about acting as if she wasn’t going through heartbreak in the TPD track “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.”

taylor swift's pill bottle

YouTube

The 1

Fans noted Swift’s typewriter is missing the number one key. This seems to be a reference to “the 1,” her folklore song about life after losing a partner who had initially seemed an endgame partner. Swift switched her Joe Alwyn love song, “invisible string,” for “the 1” days before news of their breakup broke in her Eras Tour set list.

taylor swift's typewriter missing the 1

YouTube

The Us Book

In one moment from the “Fortnight” video, Swift rests beside Post Malone while clutching a book that reads, simply, “Us.” This seems both a reference to Swift’s Speak Now track “The Story of Us,” as well as a nod to the “Us” book featured in her TPD Spotify pop-up library in Los Angeles.

taylor swift and post malone in the fortnight music video

YouTube

The Blue Haze

Malone plays Swift’s love interest in the music video. At one point, blue haze comes out of his laptop. That color choice could reference the “blue” Swift has often used to describe her ex-partner and the feeling he gave her. “Blue” appears in song lyrics from Reputation (“Ocean blue eyes looking in mine / I feel like I might sink and drown and die” in “Gorgeous”) to The Tortured Poets Department itself. In TPD track “So Long, London,”Swift sang, “You swore that you loved me, but where were the clues? / I died on the altar waiting for the proof / You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days.”

a man sitting at a desk with a machine

YouTube
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