Who Dies In 'The White Lotus' Season 2? | Clues and Theories – Harper's BAZAAR

We’re keeping track of who’s mostly likely to end up in the Ionian Sea.
The second season of The White Lotus began with a new murder mystery. While the Emmy-winning dramedy has returned with a mostly-new cast in a stunning Sicilian hotel, the premiere started off with a familiar trope, as hotel guest Daphne (Meghann Fahy) discovered a dead body floating off the coast. In addition to a PR crisis for the fictional hotel chain, this tragedy brings another chance for fans to spend the seven-episode season guessing which hotel guest (or employee) will end up leaving in a different type of baggage.
The question also doubles this time around, as the opener revealed that multiple characters will end up in the sea by the season finale. Read on for our theories on who dies this season, in order of most to least likely following Episode 5. Spoilers for seasons 1 and 2 ahead.
Daphne’s husband Cameron remains the top spot on our list, partly because it would be interesting to see whether this season’s iteration of the douchebag guest (a.k.a. season 1’s Shane) becomes the victim. So far this season, Cameron has near-completely antagonized our audience surrogate Harper (though there’s still a bit of dangerous flirtation). He and Ethan are completely at odds, since Ethan has spilled to Harper about the night of partying with Lucia and Mia (Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò). There’s also the matter of him owing Lucia the rest of the fee for the night, because of course he’s trying to wiggle out of the debt. There’s a lot of people who could want him gone.
Then there’s the matter of Daphne herself, who has become more complex throughout the season as Harper, and the audience, learn more about her. In Episode 5, Harper tries to tell the stay-at-home mom about Cameron’s infidelity, but Daphne insists that it wasn’t a big deal. She also says, "And if anything ever did happen, just do what you have to do to make yourself feel better about it," before eerily hinting that she may have had an affair and a child with her blond, blue-eyed trainer. It’s a truly eerie moment, and the vibe hints that the true-crime obsessed wife is someone to watch out for. The question is, would she be a threat to Cameron, or Harper herself?

Harper and Ethan are having a horrible vacation. The joint vacation between the two ill-matched couples started off awkward, and now, the only member of the foursome who isn’t pissed at all the rest is Daphne. Ethan’s lost much of his wife’s trust and he’s pissed off Cameron, which could put him in his fake friend’s crosshairs. Meanwhile, Harper is furious and seems to be leaning toward self-sabotaging behaviors, since she’s not shutting down Cameron’s flirtation. There’s definitely a possibility where Ethan, Harper, and Cameron end up dying in some combination or all together, as all their built-up anger leads one or all of them to explode.
There’s another theory that would be absolutely fascinating, pitting Daphne and Harper directly against each other after Harper sleeps with Cameron. For this to work, Daphne would likely have to catch them together, in an act of infidelity that she cannot ignore or brush away. That could push her over the edge, where instead of finding some outside outlet to "make herself feel better about it," she goes after either Cameron or Harper. There’s even a chance that the man comforting Daphne in the premiere flash-forward could be Ethan, comforting her before he realizes that Harper is one of the bodies. Wilder things have happened in the world of The White Lotus.
Quentin and his "nephew" Jack seemed innocuous when they entered the spotlight in Episode 4, but their actions in Episode 5 brought them way up this ranking (even before that huge, possibly incestuous twist). Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) quickly fell in with the pair, even traveling with their group to stay at Quentin’s lavish villa in Palermo. Portia also got to flaunt her flirtation with the Essex boy in front of Albie, which made me concerned for the himbo, but the former flames seemed to be on good terms the morning after.
While Portia and Jack went out for a romantic night of dining and dashing in Palermo, Quentin brought Tanya to the opera, and their conversations were filled with several creepy details. The mysterious man keeps referring to Tanya as a tragic figure, and he tells her his own sad tale about falling in love with a straight American cowboy years ago. He even asks whether Tanya would "die for beauty." That question seems a lot more ominous after Tanya sees something she shouldn’t have: Quentin and Jack’s clandestine hook-up.
All we really know about Quentin is that he owns this extremely grand villa and that he leads his group of gays and his "nephew" Jack around Italy. We don’t even know why he would befriend someone like Tanya, besides his admiration of her style. After seeing the villa, Tanya thinks that she doesn’t have to worry about Quentin just befriending her for her money, but Daphne just pointed out in Noto that the owners of those grand villas are often broke and rent them out. (Or I may have gotten that detail from Netflix’s From Scratch). Our beloved Tanya may have fallen just into the ploy for her money that she feared.

Ok, hear me out. I initially had Greg on this list as part of the suspect class of "guys who are cheating/have cheated on their wives" get top billing. It will be the ultimate subversion if a philandering spouse doesn’t end up dead at this point, as the testa di moro motif is one of the season’s most powerful themes (more on that later). I still think that Greg could return to Sicily and fall into some fatal danger, and now we have a popular fan theory on just what that could be.
Many readers are reading into Quentin’s sinister nature and wondering just why he would go after Tanya, especially if he has a premeditated scheme. What is the connection between the villa owner in Palermo and the regular White Lotus guest in San Francisco? Maybe it’s the straight American cowboy that Quentin loved when he was young. Maybe they stayed in touch or reconnected, and the cowboy (or park ranger) told him about his problems with his new, heiress wife. If Greg and Quentin are working together to scam Tanya out of her money and maybe even kill her, that still wouldn’t be the wildest twist of the show so far. (Yes, it would still be the end of Episode 5.)
After all that theorizing about Quentin and maybe Greg having nefarious plots against Tanya, I still think that if those theories came true, the two men would be more likely to die than Tanya herself (or Portia by extension). It may be because I want her to stay as our slightly frantic guide through the White Lotus resorts, but I can’t imagine these secondary characters winning over the star of the series. Also, the idea that Tanya kind of floats through life without consequence would be a significant continuing thread of the character, especially after she briefly brings up Belinda this episode. A more likely outcome (which I would love to watch) is if Quentin’s plans get revealed ahead of time and he meets his demise. After all, there is that story of the villa that was opened to the public after its wealthy owner was murdered. Maybe Quentin’s palace will soon be left vacant.
As for Portia, there is still a bit of danger that she’ll get wrapped up in something regarding Albie, but her entire purpose on the trip is being in close proximity to Tanya. Both she and her boss will likely leave Sicily unscathed, with the assistant either feeling mortified or having an ultimate party anecdote.
Creator Mike White told Deadline that this season will focus on "sexual politics," and the multi-generational Di Grasso family gives armchair therapists a lot of material. While Bert grossly hits on every woman he meets (when he’s not taking a tumble poolside), his son Dominic has become estranged from his wife and daughter due to his cheating. Grandson Albie is playing the peacekeeper during the trip, but he slowly becomes more disillusioned when Dominic asks him to vouch for him to Albie’s mother. These dynamics are enough to keep the trio near the top of the list, even before sex worker Lucia gets involved with both Dominic and Albie.
As of Episode 5, the Dominic-Lucia-Albie connection is still unknown and hangs over the Di Grassos as an impending threat. Albie also has a lot to deal with in Episode 5, since he’s both now indebted to Lucia and worried about her sex work, especially after seeing her rough encounter with Alessio. Even before these developments, the Stanford grad and innocuous "good guy" was most likely character to fill a mild-mannered-man-who-snaps murder trope, with characters like Lucia and Portia possibly getting caught in the crosshairs. Now he’s not only heading toward an impending blow-up with his father, but also building himself up as Lucia’s protector. He could get involved with one of Lucia’s conflicts and end up going overboard against one of her enemies, very likely Cameron.
Hopefully season 2 won’t go this route, but the two locals are in a precarious position by the end of Episode 5. Lucia keeps racking up enemies, from Dominic’s anger at her befriending his son, to Cameron’s annoyance at her (rightful) demands for her full pay, to Albie possibly going from friend to foe. There are hints that Lucia is manipulating him, from her morning-after reveal that their night together was on the clock to her mysterious "fight" with Alessio. It’s still unclear whether Lucia’s actually the conflicted woman that she’s presenting herself as to Albie, or she’s playing his savior complex and even roping in a friend to help. (She and Alessio seemed fairly friendly when they exchanged greetings in the premiere.)
Between all those men, Lucia has several building conflicts that could come to a head in the final two episodes. Meanwhile, Mia has come into her power and unintentionally cleared a path to landing a paying singing gig, so the girl who now has what she wanted most is now primed for a fall. During their comedown after leaving Cameron early in the episode, Lucia tells her friend, "All whores are punished in the end." I still deeply hope that the social satire won’t fall into such a harmful trope during a season that aims to examine sex and power dynamics, but it’s not looking great for the pair.
There’s still a chance that the friends could be the cause of the season’s deaths. The premiere includes a mention of testa di moro, a legend about a Sicilian girl who was seduced by a Moorish man and, upon discovering that her lover already had a wife and children, cut off his head. Also, of Albie does end up as this season’s murderer, there’s a good chance his actions will happen in defense of Lucia. This hints that the Sicilian girls running around the hotel could be the instigators of the mystery.
This is another theory that I really hope doesn’t pan out to anything because another hotel employee’s death would be very depressing, but Valentina’s crush on her subordinate puts Isabella in a bit of danger if the show takes an extreme twist and makes the manager the killer. The pairing is one of the of the season’s subplots examining sexual power dynamics, with Valentina even moving her rival Rocco from the front desk to the beach to get him away from Isabella. Also, Isabella is the only employee we know by name who isn’t mentioned or seen in the season opener. (Valentina, Rocco, and his replacement Salvatore are all confirmed as alive.) Again, hopefully nothing happens to her, but she’s the most obvious hotel employee to wind up in the sea.
Giuseppe (Federico Scribani)
I previously noted the hotel bar pianist as a possible victim after his proposition to Mia in Episode 3, but his brush with death came earlier than I theorized. After her wild night with Lucia, Cameron, and Ethan, Mia decides to take Giuseppe on his offer with the hope that she can move her career forward. However, thanks to some pills that definitely weren’t Viagra, the musician ends up collapsing during his set, and he’s wheeled away in an ambulance in Episode 4, likely to never be seen again. Sure, he somehow recovers quickly, wanders back to the resort, and gets into a fight with one of a guests within the season’s remaining three episodes, but I think we’ve seen the last of Giuseppe this season.
There are only two characters who we know will make it to the finale alive: stay-at-home mom Daphne and the high-strung manager Valentina, who arrives at the beach after the bodies are found. Even if she hadn’t appeared at the scene, it’s very unlikely that season 2 would include another staff death (R.I.P. Armond).

Quinci LeGardye is an LA-based freelance writer who covers culture, politics, and mental health through a Black feminist lens. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.

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