The Best Theories About Taylor Swift's New Song, "The Archer," From Jake Gyllenhaal To Swift Herself

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If there's one thing that pop culture enthusiasts love to analyze, it's details about Taylor Swift's upcoming music. Swift encourages such sleuthing by dropping clues, codes, and other blink-and-you-may-miss-it tidbits. The title of her upcoming seventh album Lover, for example, was featured prominently in the music video for the album's first single "ME!" before it was announced. Yet it's not Swift who spilled the tea on the title of her third Lover single, but iTunes, who shared that Swift's single "The Archer" — fifth on the track list — is coming soon. Fortunately, fans can still sleuth — because, well, what the heck does "The Archer" even mean?
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Fans will know soon enough, but let's take a moment to do what Swift definitely wants us to: analyze the hell our of this song title.
What does "archer" mean?
An archer is a person who shoots with a bow and arrow. Does Swift have any new hobbies we should know about? She did tease this Easter egg on social media, and said she would address it during Tuesday's livestream.
What else can "The Archer" mean?
It can also refer to the Zodiac sign Sagittarius...which seems most relevant here.
What's the connection between Swift and Sagittarius?
Swift, who was born on December 13, is a Sagittarius — and she seems to take the Zodiac relatively seriously. She was spotted wearing a ring with a symbol for her boyfriend Joe Alwyn's Zodiac sign (he's a Pisces, obviously) back in 2017. She also mentioned her sign in a song off her 2012 album Red...which could be a big clue.
What song also mentions the Zodiac?
In Swift's song "State of Grace," she sings of a relationship in which the parties are "twin fire signs" with "four blue eyes." Sagittarius is a fire sign, along with Aries and Leo. The song is widely believed to be about her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, who is — you guessed it! — a Sagittarius. His birthday is December 19.
So...Taylor Swift wrote a song about Gyllenhaal?
It's possible but seems fairly unlikely — her relationship with Gyllenhaal was years and many albums ago. Still, Swift did say her new album would be "romantic" in nature, which could suggest that she's reminiscing on her past boyfriends.
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Could this song be a follow-up to "All Too Well," Swift's best song ever?
"All Too Well," also famously rumored to be about Gyllenhaal, is widely recognized as one of Swift's best, most poetic songs to date — despite the fact that it was never a single. For the uninitiated, it's the song that features the line: "You call me up again just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel in the name of being honest."
More evidence that Swift might be connecting "The Archer" to "All Too Well" is the number each inhabit on the track list. "All Too Well" and "The Archer" are both the fifth song on their respective albums.
Any chance it's actually about Alwyn?
Swift's romance with Alwyn seems serious and like the real deal, so maybe this song is about how "the Archer" (Swift) found "the Fishes" (Alwyn). Swift did wear that Pisces ring, after all! A song titled "The Fishes" is very unappealing, though.
Hmm, okay. Any more theories about Alwyn?
Yes! In Swift's song "Delicate" (thought to be about her early days with Alwyn) she sings "dive bar on the east side where you at?" Fans on social media quickly deduced that there is a dive bar on the east side of London called The Archer.
So this could actually be a follow-up to "Delicate" instead?
Yeeeees! And there is a lot of evidence to suggest it. Like "All Too Well," "Delicate" is the fifth song off of its respective album. There is also graffiti that reads "Track 5" within the video, perhaps implying that the next track five will be its follow-up.
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Also, at the end of "Delicate," Swift reads a note that we never actually see, but is important to Swift. Perhaps "The Archer" will answer exactly what was in that note.
Some fans think that maybe the music video for "The Archer" will feature Alwyn. He is an actor, after all!
What other possibilities are there?
"The Archer" could refer to Swift herself. Given that Swift's album utilizes symbols of metamorphosis (a snake turning into a butterfly, a la Swift's reputation era transforming into her Lover age) perhaps Swift is reflecting on how she, "the Archer," has changed over the years.
Want to find out what "The Archer" means? Listen yourself below.
This post has been updated.
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