Okay so I was watching the new video & I noticed that his movements were kinda strange, especially towards the beginning of the video. I mean the choreography is already quite different but something was just bugging me. So I watched it over about 37 million times and then it hit me. It looked like he was moving backwards. So I decided to reverse the whole video and despite the lyrics sounding like some ancient satanic ritual, seriously creepy shit… It seemed to work.

So that got me thinking about what this video could possibly mean. Now this is completely out of my own brain sparked by a comment I read on youtube so I could be totally wrong about it but hey let’s do it anyway. Now most of the speculation about the story is that it symbolizes a rise to fame. Basically, and let me quote my homie Drizzy Drake on this, it’s a “started from the bottom now we’re here” type story. But what if it’s the opposite? Like a fall from fame.

The part towards the end, where he’s suspended in mid air could legitimately show that he’s falling down. Like I said before, his movements were always off, like they were being played in reverse. So what if the story is about someone who had fame & money and spent it all on extravagant things (big house, fancy clothes) and somehow messed up along the way and ended up on the streets. We know that Ed is a very practical and down to earth type so I figured this is him trying to show a diffent route he could have taken to fame but ultimately did not. Maybe this is his way of warning people of the dangers of fame or expose a different side of it.

 Most people view success and money as the ultimate win. And it’s great but “Success is nothing if you have no one left to share it with”. Thank you Mr Sheeran, you’ve taken the words right out of my mouth. Let us break it down, shall we? At the end, the guy is rich and has lots of stuff but did anyone else notice the lack of other human beings in the picture. He had no one. So what’s the point of having all that stuff? Hmm… Trick question. There really isn’t a point. Which is why he ends up a failure. 

Let’s move on to where he’s wearing the plaid, I think it’s kind of an in between stage. He’s not famous but he’s no longer, for lack of a better word, “normal”. He has to make a decision, about which side to choose, which is shown by him dancing on top of the fence. He is literally on the fence about the decision, he can pick the family and girl OR the fame. Ultimately he chooses fame. Which didn’t really work out.

Next we have the nike shoe stage, he finds them right as he walks into the family’s house so it shows that he regains some stability in his life. Presumably, he’s had some type of breakthrough in his career where he was able to find a place for himself in the industry, however small it may have been. He had a family and a girlfriend that he ultimately left behind later on when he became “famous”. & also when you play the video backwards, it looks like he goes back to his family but ultimately they shut him out the way he shut them out when he had all the success. 

The wifebeater stage, he’s trying to make a living. It can possibly be the equivalent of Ed gigging every night for a year type thing. He’s no longer living on scraps. He’s on the move; he’s fending for himself. And the choreography is more free and less choppy and robotic, symbolizing that he’s more himself. He’s found what he wants to do and is seeking out opportunities to succeed in his pursuits. 

 The shirtless stage is pretty much self-explanatory. I mean he’s rock bottom. Sleeping on a mattress outside a drunken guy’s shack.  His movements are irregular and erratic; it kind of reminded me of someone jerking a puppet around. So I’m thinking maybe it’s showing that he has no control over his life. Just doing what he has to do to survive (finding shelter, food).

So all this to say, that after his fall from fame, while he’s lying down on the shitty mattress, he’s looking back on his life and seeing where he went wrong. He pushed away the girl & family, he spent his money & in the end was left with nothing. When he’s in the suit suspended in the air, what if he literally falls? Tumbles through his life backwards.  And we’re just experiencing it with him.

 This is what I do on my Monday nights. Clearly I have a thriving social life.

For half of my childhood I was locked in a freezer, so being helpful is kind of a new thing for me.