The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s hit drama series based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel, is set in the future, dystopian world of “Gilead,” which has replaced the former United States. But what part of the U.S. does the Republic of Gilead encompass?
Atwood’s book and the Hulu series both makes reference to parts of New England and the East Coast, including Boston, Washington D.C. and Canada, among other areas. Certain landmarks in New York City and the city of Chicago have also been mentioned, although Chicago was referred to as a war zone, so it doesn’t appear that Chicago is fully part of the Republic of Gilead just yet, at least according to the Hulu series.
Twitter user Bill Geerhart shared a few photos of a map of Gilead below, including some specific stats of where the Colonies (the atomic wasteland), Rebel-Occupied Areas, and Conflict Borders were located during season 2. According to Geerhart, the map was a decorative prop on display at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre during the season 2 finale premiere last year. The blue highlighted areas on the map represent different districts of Gilead, which has taken over most of the Eastern, Northeastern, and Midwestern parts of the country, according to the season 2 map.
According to the Handmaid’s Tale Wiki page, anti-Gilead/pro-US forces have “retained control of the entire West Coast and the Gulf Coast including most of Texas and all of Florida,” based on the map above. Rebel forces also control territory along the Canadian border and northern Michigan, along with areas around Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York state.
The Wiki page also states that the states making up the Republic of Gilead include: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
It should be noted that Atwood herself never released a map of her fictional world, but fans have taken it upon themselves to create their own, based on information from the book and Hulu series. According to the Alternate Timelines, the above map is based solely off the television series, and not the book. Another fan-created map of Gilead can be found here, which was created by user Medibee on AlternateHistory.com, although the user has mentioned on her page that the map was based on the book, and didn’t have significant backing from the novel when it was created.
Tonight’s season 3 finale of the Hulu Original series will feature plenty of action from June, who has finally taken control of Operation Mayday and is attempting to smuggle 52 children out of Gilead to safety. The promo above shows a hardened, determined June who won’t let Commander Lawrence stop her from carrying out her mission and who is rallying the Marthas of her district to bring her children to smuggle out of the country, although she does run into some trouble along the way.
Be sure to check back on this author’s page from time to time throughout Tuesday and Wednesday (August 13 and 14, 2019) for more Handmaid’s Tale coverage, and tune in Wednesday at 12 a.m. ET, 11 p.m. CT to catch the season 3 finale of the show. You can also read a detailed recap of last week’s episode 12, titled “Sacrifice,” here.