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True Detective: understand the meaning of the spiral in Night Land

Last Sunday (21), the second episode of True Detective: Nightland, what the fourth season of the anthology series is called. The episode marked the return of the famous crooked spiral, a crucial point in the plot of the first season. However, many fans were unsure about how the narratives connect — if at all.

True Detective is one of the main investigation, horror and suspense series, being recognized for its unique style. The first season aired in 2014, starring the duo Woody Harrelson, as Martin Hart, and Matthew McConaughey, who played the iconic Rust Cohle. In the plot, the detectives had to deal with the investigation of a mystical murder — in addition to their own personal demons.

The fourth season features another pair of detectives, this time starring Jodie Foster, as Liz Danvers, and Kali Reis, as Evangeline Navarro. Isolated in Ennis, a small Alaskan town, they must put their differences aside to deal with a merciless investigation. The plot involves not only mysterious crimes, but the entire impact that the frozen environment and climate imposes on the residents.

The spiral appeared camouflaged in the first episode of True Detective: Night Land.Source: HBO Max

But, after all, how does the spiral appear in history? What is its relevance and how does it connect the seasons? Understand everything in the article below;

ATTENTION! The text contains spoilers of the 1st and 4th seasons of True Detective!

What does the spiral mean?

Rust and Marty first discover the spiral on the back of a woman, the victim of an enigmatic killer. In the first season, the symbol is directly linked to the cult of the Yellow King and, consequently, the terrible and powerful Tuttle family — which was behind the crimes and a large pedophilia scheme.

Rust Cohle (Matthew Mcconaughey) finds the spiral in the back of the victim from the first season of True Detective.Rust Cohle (Matthew Mcconaughey) finds the spiral in the back of the victim from the first season of True Detective.Source: HBO Max

In the fourth season, she appears in a brutally murdered young indigenous woman who has her tongue ripped out. Navarro is the detective responsible for the case and was never able to complete the investigation. Danvers is responsible for the case of a group of scientists who mysteriously disappeared and reappeared in an unconventional situation. Danvers discovers the spiral on the forehead of one of them and then that one of the scientists had a similar tattoo on his chest.

Thus, they realize that their cases are interconnected. The crooked spiral also appears on the ceiling of the trailer where the young woman and the scientist were. In addition to other suspicious drawings, they find a straw doll, which was mentioned in the third season as the “symbol of a group of pedophiles”.

Appearances of the crooked spiral in True Detective: Nightland.Appearances of the crooked spiral in True Detective: Nightland.Source: HBO Max

Considering that the NGO that sponsored the scientists was the Tuttle family, everything seems to go back to the cult of the Yellow King from the first season. Although they never explicitly explained the reason for the symbol, the series made a point of demonstrating its mystical power — from when Rust sees the spiral in a formation of birds, to when Rose responds to Navarro that the symbol is “older than ice ”.

It is worth mentioning that the Yellow King was mentioned for the first time in literature in 1895, as part of a collection of fantastic horror stories. In the series, it is mentioned that everyone who consumed the tale became obsessed with the mystical figure and its symbols.

Rust sees the crooked spiral in a bird formation in season one.Rust sees the crooked spiral in a bird formation in season one.Source: HBO Max

Another detail that many may have missed is Rose's (Fiona Show) connection with the story of one of the detectives from the first season. She mentions that her romantic partner — the ghostly figure who helped find the scientists —, Travis Cohle, suffered from chemotherapy.

In the first season, Rust Cohle even commented that his father's name was Travis, he lived in Alaska and suffered from terminal cancer, in the episode “Who Goes There?”. So, in addition to spirals, deer antlers, and straw dolls, it's possible that the seasons actually take place in the same universe.

So, what do you expect from the new season of True Detective? Don't miss any news from the world of entertainment and follow us on social media My Series!

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