In the film’s opening scene, Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is rescued and taken home by lighthouse keeper Thomas Curry (Temeura Morrison). Unused to human society, Atlanna’s startled by the television playing in the corner and throws her trident at it, destroying it on impact.
Presumably, not understanding the concept of television, Atlanna saw the submarine on screen and thought it was the attack from the world of man that her people have come to fear. In actual fact, though, it was a scene from classic 1960s puppet TV adventure series Stingray, from the creator of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet Gerry Anderson.
Stingray followed the adventures of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP) who do battle against the evil King Titan, who rules over an underwater kingdom and wishes to wage war on the surface world. Something about that scenario sounds familiar somehow…
There’s another easter egg hidden in this flashback scene that explains Arthur Curry’s (Jason Momoa) origins. On Thomas Curry’s coffee table, if you look under the snow globe that contains a little lighthouse, you can see a copy of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror.
Obviously, Lovecraft’s an appropriate literary name to drop in Aquaman as his tales of horrific giant creatures that dwell in the depths of the ocean have definitely fed into the mythology surrounding the character over the years. Specifically, the Karathen – the fearsome monster that guards the Trident of Atlan – is a very Lovecraftian creation.
However, The Dunwich Horror, in particular, has specific relevance to the Aquaman story. It’s about Wilbur Whateley, a half-human and half-underwater creature. Although, in Wilbur’s case, he’s freakishly disfigured as he’s the son of the terrible entity Yog-Sothoth. Still, its presence in the scene where Atlanna and Thomas fall in love and create their own “half-breed” – as Arthur is derogatorily called throughout the movie – must be deliberate.