Following the release of her 12th album last week, Taylor Swift revealed Midnights would be a visual album. She premiered the video for her first single, “Anti-Hero.” Just a few short days later, following an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she announced the imminent premiere of the video for “Bejeweled.”
Talking to Fallon, Swift explained that her fans like to tease her for the cryptic clues she leaves in her songs and music videos, admitting, “I think we’ve just stopped pretending it’s accidental at this point.” She went on to announce that the video for “Bejeweled” would drop later that night (at midnight, naturally), adding that she wanted to make a video that was just for the fans that like “certain things” like “glitter, and easter eggs, and lots of little cameos.” Apparently there are so many references, she needed a PDF to keep track.
The star-studded video is certainly a visual feast, and eagle-eyed Swifties have undoubtedly already got to work identifying all of Easter eggs hidden throughout the video. Having trouble finding them all? Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you.
Taylor’s very own Cinderella Story
Immediately, the references to the classic fairytale, Cinderella, are obvious, with Swift playing the titular character (sorry, “House Wench Taylor”), the Haim sisters hamming it up as her wicked stepsisters, and Laura Dern killing it as the wicked stepmother. Taylor, dressed in rags, is being made to scrub the floors as the sisters gloat and scheme and hype each other up, while also insulting Taylor, who eventually asks, “Do we honestly have to do this entire verbal abuse thing every time you leave the house?” In Taylor’s world, Cinderella bites back.
The video also stars Dita von Teese as Taylor’s “Fairy Goddess,” producer and pal Jack Antonoff as the Prince, and iconic makeup artist Pat McGrath as the Queen. Instead of a conventional makeover scene, Taylor performs in a giant martini glass alongside von Teese, looking absolutely stunning and like she’s having the time of her life. She adds another twist to the classic fairy tale by ghosting Prince Jack at the end after he finally proposed to her. Hit the road, Jack.
Haim’s “Hungover” song
On their way out the door, the Haim sisters can be heard singing, “I’m gonna be hungover, I’m gonna drink a bunch of different drinks, and I’m gonna be hungover.” This is a reference to a TikTok the band posted that went viral back in March of the sisters singing those words on their way to the Academy Awards. Clearly it’s now their theme song.
All of the folklore references
“You’ve been exiled here” and “Have fun being exiled, stinky,” are spoken by Laura Dern and Alana Haim’s characters to House Wench Taylor respectively, and they’re obviously references to the song “exile” featuring Bon Iver off 2020’s folklore, as is the stopwatch Taylor is seen holding.
Eagle-eyed fans have also noticed that the cabin Taylor used to record Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions can be seen at the end of the video. Since folklore isn’t in need of a Taylor’s Version update, these references are probably just cute nods to an excellent album, albeit one with similar themes of mythology and folktales.
An “End Game” throwback?
I don’t think this means anything; I just think Taylor likes sparkly black hoodies.
Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Taylor’s princess outfit at the end of the video is heavily influenced by Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette, which took the rococo style popular during Antoinette’s life and added a little spice.
All of the Speak Now references
Perhaps most exciting were all of the references to Swift’s third studio album, Speak Now, which was released in 2010 and has yet to receive the Taylor’s Version treatment. In fact, the “Bejeweled” video was released on Speak Now‘s 12th anniversary.
To start, throughout the first scene with Taylor as Cinderella, an instrumental version of “Enchanted” can be heard in the background. Not only does it suit the story being told in the video, but it’s the ninth track off Speak Now. During this scene, at one point Dern’s character tells Taylor to “Speak not!” rather than speak now. Cute.
Later, as Taylor is riding in the elevator, she presses a light purple button with the number “3” on it. Speak Now was her third album and is associated with the color purple because of Taylor’s dress and the text on the album cover. The buttons correspond to the colors her other albums are associated with and their release order—Red and Red (Taylor’s Version) at four and 11, Fearless and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) at two and 10 respectively, etc.
Just before the opulent and awe-inspiring finale, we see that the elevator has travelled to the 13th floor, represented by a dark purple colour.
The giant clock Taylor sits on during the spectacular final scene is set to 3 o’clock.
At the very end of the video, the camera pans out from Taylor on the balcony of her castle surveying her kingdom and shows three dragons—presumably the Haim sisters transformed—flying around as an instrumental version of “Long Live” plays in the background. In case you need a refresher, “Long Live” contains the line, “I’ve had the time of my life fighting dragons with you.” Very fitting music for Taylor’s twisted Cinderella story.
I’m only an amateur Swiftologist, but if you ask me, the sheer number of Speak Now references in this music video suggests that like many (okay, especially me) hoped, it will be the next album to receive the Taylor’s Version treatment. I’m fully prepared to eat my words if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. Taylor, please don’t let me down.