Widows wear all black, including black veils, in mourning. In the television series, some widows wear dark hues of other colors, such as Pamela, who wears mulberry.
Aside from mourning, the role of Widows in Gilead is largely unknown. In the novel, Offred considers that Widows are becoming a less common sight in Gilead. This could imply that Widows are either killed or sent to the Colonies once they are no longer of use in society. According to Olivia Winslow, Widows with young children are likely to have them taken away, unable to raise them alone.
Known Widows Edit
In the NovelsEdit
Paula Saunders - The widow of Commander Saunders, who was infamously killed in his study - supposedly by their Handmaid, who used a kitchen skewer. In reality, Paula was the murderer. She was restored to being a Wife when she remarried to Commander Kyle, who she had been having an affair with.
In the TV seriesEdit
Widow of Commander Roy - Once the Wife of Commander Roy, she is widowed after her husband suffers a fatal heart attack.
Pamela - The widowed mother of Serena Waterford, Pamela is able to maintain an estate even after the death of her husband. She takes in Serena during her separation from Fred Waterford, but is scathingly disapproving towards her daughter, noting that a woman in Gilead is nothing without her husband.
Olivia Winslow - Wife of High Commander Winslow. She becomes a Widow after her husband is killed at Jezebel's by June. She is not publicly a Widow, with High Commander Winslow currently classified as missing rather than deceased by the authorities.