After a couple of vexing teasers featuring her maddened and muddied up and floating in a dreamy sea, Taylor Swift finally dropped the music video for “Out of the Woods” late on New Year’s Eve, giving her the official last word of 2015, entertainment-wise.
In the cinematic video, Taylor endures a series of environmental hazards, including some creepy “Harry Potter” Devil’s Snare-esque vines, a pack of hungry werewolves, wildfire, one vicious thunderstorm, a rough sea plunge, the vast empty desert — you name it, she weathers it.
Given the empowering postscript message that follows the narrative — “She lost him, but she found herself, and somehow that was everything” — this serves as a clear metaphor for her very public relationship history and how she transformed each conflict into her own personal victories, one in particular.
“Out of the Woods,” which was co-written by Jack Antonoff for 1989, is widely thought to be Swift’s homage to the heartbreak she experienced from her split with One Direction’s Harry Styles. She admitted that the song was inspired by a relationship that felt “fragile” and “tentative” to her, so it’s probably no coincidence that their split reportedly took place on a picturesque island, just like the one in her video.
Meanwhile, the snowy bits might speak to the snowmobile accident she also claimed inspired the tune — specifically, the lyrics “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/ Twenty stitches in a hospital room.”
Way to usher in the New Year in style, Tay!