The Red Centre

The beds stretch as far as the eye can see as the Aunts parade between them, keeping watch over the helpless and horror-stricken new Handmaids.

The Handmaid's Tale The Red Centre

Meeting Serena Joy, the Commander's wife

In their first meeting, Serena Joy is determined to show Offred who is in charge. Like Atwood, Nault portrays her as an older woman, where in the TV series Yvonne Strahovsky shows her as more of a contemporary of Offred’s. 

The Handmaid's Tale Serena Joy and Offred

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

This phrase has become synonymous with The Handmaid’s Tale and female resistance. Here, Offred discovers the message scratched into the wall by her predecessor and begins to hope. 

The Handmaid's Tale Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum

The ceremony

This is the central moment in the lives of Gilead’s Commanders, their Wives and the Handmaids. As in the novel and the TV series, Nault doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the scene. The close-ups of their faces say so much here.

The Handmaid's Tale the Ceremony


Gilead forbids women to read or write. (In the second series of the TV Serena Joy has her little finger cut off for daring to read from the Bible.) But Commander Waterford invites Offred into his study to play Scrabble and it becomes not just a game of words but a game of power. The words that appear on the board are ripe with significance. 

The Handmaid's Tale - the Commander and Offred play scrabble


In Gilead, sex is purely functional, not for pleasure. Jezebel’s shouldn’t exist but, just as the Handmaids have their secret Mayday network, so the Commanders have their illicit entertainment and, as their relationship develops, Commander Waterford decides to show Offred this hidden world.

The Handmaid's Tale - at Jezebel's

Traitor! Traitor?

Towards the end of the novel, the Handmaids are tricked into thinking that one of the Guardians is a rapist. In fact, he was part of the resistance. But the Handmaids are pawns in this story, and this scene shows how they are manipulated by the constant threat of death – or worse.

The Handmaid's Tale - traitor?
  • The Handmaid's Tale

  • Provocative, startling, prophetic, and more relevant than ever, The Handmaid's Tale has become a global phenomenon. Now, in this stunning graphic novel edition of Margaret Atwood's modern classic, the terrifying reality of Gilead is brought to vivid life like never before.

    "Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us." Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, ecause in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if they are fertile. But Offred remembers the years before Gilead, when she was an independent woman who had a job, a family, and a name of her own. Now, her memories and her will to survive are acts of rebellion.

    The Handmaid's Tale and its iconic images - the red of the Handmaids, the blue of the Wives, the looming Gileadean Eye - have been adapted into a film, an opera, a ballet, and multi-award-winning TV series. This groundbreaking new graphic novel edition, adapted and featuring arresting artwork by Renée Nault, is destined to become a classic in its own right.

  • Buy the book

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