The first season of the critically-acclaimed TV adaptation, The Handmaid’s Tale, wrapped up its first season earlier this month, leaving fans wondering what comes next. Can’t wait to find out what happens in The Handmaid’s Tale season 2? Neither can we! Here’s what we know about the next season of the Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will take us into uncharted territory as we discover the fate of Offred/June after she’s whisked away from the Waterford house. In Atwood’s novel, the story ends at this point, so season 2 will take the plot in a new direction as we discover who is driving the van — and whether or not it’s someone helping her escape her life as a handmaid.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated November 14 to include new information from Entertainment Weekly.
Will Offred have another baby?
By the end of the first season, Offred (played by Elisabeth Moss) glimpsed her daughter, Hannah, in a gut-wrenching scene. It’s probable that this next season will focus on Offred trying to get back to Hannah. Since Offred is also pregnant by her lover Nick (Max Minghella), it’s possible that she may give birth to another child in the second season.
Moss, who will serve both as the star and as an executive producer in season 2, told The Hollywood Reporter that future episodes will revolve around motherhood:
“Gilead is all about fertility and having a baby. June has a child she’s trying to get back. It all kind of centers around this idea of motherhood.”
According to showrunner Bruce Miller, Offred’s mother, who was present in the novel, will play a bigger role in this upcoming season. “June’s mother is a big character in the book and representative of an interesting kind of feminism that was seemingly more of that time,” he said in an interview.
What will become of Offred’s relationships with Nick and Luke?
There’s also the question of what part Nick plays in her possible escape and whether or not the two will reunite. In the novel, their affair didn’t continue after Offred learned her husband may still be alive. Yet in the TV adaptation, it does — will it grow to something more?
“It’s part of the reason that I’m really excited about a season 2, she’s in this position where she might be in love with two people,” Moss told Elle. “Honestly I think she does love Nick — if I can speak for her — but I don’t know if she knows that she does, yet.”
In another departure from the book, the first season episode “The Other Side” focused on the perspective of Offred’s husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle), who escaped to Canada. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller explained why they switched from Offred’s point of view for this episode:
“In the book you’re very strictly in Offred’s world, and her point of view and her timeline as she flashes back and moves forward through the Waterford house. We were looking to expand the world in ways that we were curious about and one of the things that Offred is very curious about in the book is what happened to Luke.”
What will happen to the other women of Gilead?
We also saw snippets of her best friend Moira (Samira Wiley), who escaped Gilead to join Luke and the other allies of the Mayday resistance group in Canada. The second season may bring us more glimpses of the resistance up north, in addition to the story of Gilead. Plus, there are even rumors of Atwood writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale that focuses on Mayday.
There are also other lingering questions about what will happen to the other women in Gilead. Before she was taken to the van, Offred gave a batch of letters written by other handmaids to Rita (Amanda Brugel), but it’s unclear what she’ll do with them. We’re also waiting to learn the fate of Ofglen (Alexis Bledel), who killed a guard in the first season. Finally, is Janine (Madeline Brewer) — whom the other handmaids refuse to stone to death — still alive?
How far will season 2 deviate from the book?
For those who love the novel, Miller assures fans that TV series will stay faithful to the core of the book:
“We’re making a television series out of the book, we’re adapting the book to TV, and when we do things that aren’t explicitly in the book we very much try to stay in the spirit of the world and the things we do know about that situation. I don’t look at it in terms of me putting my mark on the book, I look at it as bringing the book to life in all its corners and edges and even expanding it out.”
What cast members are returning?
Great news for those who love the actors playing these characters: announcements of cast members continuing in season 2 are coming in, including Bledel as Ofglen/Emily. Lead Moss is thrilled to be involved in the series in the deeper role of executive producer this year, especially since she’s a huge fan of Atwood’s novel. “It’s one of my favorite books in the world now, even after having read it nine million times,” she said.
When will season 2 premiere?
Though an official date hasn’t yet been set for the series’ return, production on The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 begins this fall and will hit screens in April 2018, according to Entertainment Weekly. It will also be longer than season one — 13 episodes versus 10. Wherever the show goes next, it’s bound to be exciting. “I’ve heard about episode one [of season 2] and it’s fantastic,” Moss said. “I had chills all over my body and my jaw dropped.”
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