“What To Expect From Carnival Row Season 2”
Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Amazon’s steampunk fantasy series Carnival Row is returning for season 2, and here’s what we know so far about the next chapter of Philo and Vignette’s story. Created by Travis Beacham and René Echevarria, Carnival Row is set in a Victorian-era style called The Burgue, where fae refugees fleeing from a war in their homeland are treated with hatred and suspicion by the human population.
Cara Delevingne stars as Vignette Stonemoss, a faerie who was aiding refugees in escaping from Tirnanoc until one day a shipwreck landed her on the shores of The Burgue. Orlando Bloom plays Rycroft Philostrate, a former soldier in the Burguish army who met and fell in love with Vignette during the war. Now, as an inspector with The Burgue’s constabulary, he finds himself reunited with his old flame in a city filled with rising political tensions, where a mysterious series of violent murders have been taking place. Carnival Row season 1’s cast also includes Indira Varma, Jared Harris, Andrew Gower, Tamzin Merchant, and Karla Crome, although it remains to be seen who exactly from that list will return for Carnival Row season 2.
Many steampunk fantasy fans are delighted to have a new big-budget mainstream TV show to watch that blends a grimy neo-noir plot with troubled romance and magical creatures. For those looking forward to Carnival Row season 2, here’s everything we know so far about its potential release date, and what the story could be.
Amazon is heavily invested in Carnival Row, eager to step in and fill the gap that Game of Thrones left behind, so it’s little wonder that Carnival Row season 2 was announced alongside the release of the first season on August 30, 2019. The renewal was announced on social media, along with the tease that “We know you’ll want more. The story is just beginning.” The streaming platform has been working on building its library of original content since 2013, but Carnival Row is Amazon’s first fantasy series.
A TV show is a big operation, especially a complex, fantastical story such as Carnival Row. It’s important to have a consistent guiding hand pointing the creative way on such a project, but in October 2019, it was revealed that co-creator Travis Beacham won’t return for Carnival Row season 2, citing creative differences. Season 1 showrunner Marc Guggenheim is also out, and has been replaced by Daredevil veteran Erik Oleson. It remains to be seen how this behind the scenes upheaval will effect Carnival Row season 2’s quality.
Unlike traditional TV networks, streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon don’t tend to premiere new seasons of shows at the same time every year. For example, The Man in the High Castle premiered in January 2015, but the second season wasn’t released until December 2016, and the third released in October 2018. While some Amazon series have a faster turnaround, Carnival Row is ambitious and big-budget enough that we’re likely looking at a similar wait of around 18 months to two years for season 2. So, expect to see Philo and Vignette back on your screens around summer 2021. Filming on Carnival Row season 2 officially began in November 2019.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Carnival Row season 1.
Two major plot points of Carnival Row season 1 were the Darkasher killings that Philo was investigating and the mystery of Philo’s origins, which turned out to be connected when it was revealed that Piety Breakspear was behind the killings, and Chancellor Absalom Breakspear was Philo’s father. As a half-fae, half-human, Philo found himself torn between two worlds and forced to hide his true nature. However, when Jonah Breakspear took his father’s place as Chancellor and declared war on non-humans, the inhabitants of Carnival Row found themselves corralled into what is now effectively a concentration camp within The Burgue. Seeing Vignette on the other side of the barricade, Philo declared “I am critch,” and joined Vignette and his fellow fae in Carnival Row.
It’s safe to assume that Carnival Row season 2 will focus on the fae’s fight for liberation against the formidable new alliance of Jonah Breakspear and Sophie Longerbane. Meanwhile, star-crossed lovers Imogen Spurnrose and Agreus Astrayon find themselves on the run after a violent altercation with Imogen’s brother, Ezra, and will have to deal with the fallout of that and the new war on the fae. It will be interesting to see whether the show retains its crime mystery elements amid all this uproar and introduces a new case for Philo and Vignette to solve in Carnival Row season 2.
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