In case it wasn’t clear enough from the actual song, the old Taylor is dead. We repeat: THE OLD TAYLOR SWIFT IS DEAD.
Taylor really made a point of making this the focus of her music video. It starts in a graveyard, where the tombstone reads ‘Here lies Taylor Swift’s reputation’ (no joke).
Snakes feature heavily in the clip, which isn’t surprising, since Taylor used snakes to announce — and pretty much set the tone for — her new music.
There are so many different parts to the music video that seem to borrow elements from clips we’ve seen before, like a giant gold birdcage referencing Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed” music video, and the dance scene referencing Beyoncé’s “Formation” video.
But the real kicker is right at the end: when the ~new Taylor~ sits atop a pile of old Taylors, and basically squishes them like someone stepping on an anthill.
Then a group of old Taylors have a conversation where they reference things that have been said about Taylor in the media in the past. “Stop making that surprised face — it’s so annoying,” Zombie Taylor says to Surprised Taylor.
“Oh stop acting like you’re all nice — you are so fake,” Ringmaster Taylor says to Innocent Country Crooner Taylor.
It’s so meta. And even after watching it about 13 times, we still don’t know what everyone made Taylor do.
You need to watch it so you can make your mind up about it for yourself.