Handmaid's Tale season 2: Everything you need to know

Louise McCreesh
Photo credit: Hulu

From Digital Spy

Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Handmaid's Tale

Good news, The Handmaid's Tale fans. The Golden Globe and Emmy winning Hulu/Channel 4 series taking the world by storm is officially coming back for a second season.

And, according to star Elisabeth Moss in an interview with The Pool, "season two is going to be bad too, really dark – it's going to get worse".

Oh dear... but at least we now have the first full trailer:

Related: Elisabeth Moss says The Handmaid's Tale is a "feminist story"

Want to find out what else is in store for the ladies in red and blue alike?

Just put down those oranges, flip patriarchy the bird and take a quick gander at our pretty extensive list of everything you need to know about season two.

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 release date: When's it on?

Photo credit: Channel 4

Hulu has confirmed The Handmaid's Tale will return to Hulu with a double bill premiere on April 25.

No word yet on when the second series will premiere on Channel 4 in the UK, though.

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 cast: Who's in it?

Photo credit: Youtube/Hulu

In short, everyone. As well as some very welcome new additions.

Elisabeth Moss will of course be returning as Offred and Alexis Bledel has now confirmed she WILL be making an against-all-odds return as Ofglen, despite her penchant for decapitating Gilead soldiers in spur-of-the-moment joyrides.

And joining the cast this season will be Veep star Clea DuVall and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.

Photo credit: Michael Tran / Contributor / Getty Images
Photo credit: Roy Rochlin / Contributor / Getty Images

DuVall (who appeared next to Moss previously in Girl, Interrupted) joins the series as Ofglen's (Bledel) wife Sylvia in a guest-starring role, while Tomei will join the cast for a solo outing in the second episode, which will air back to back with the premiere episode on April 25.

Also confirmed to return are Moira (Samira Wiley) and the tragically-fated Janine (Madeline Brewer) after her fellow handmaids dropped their stones in the season finale.

Luke (OT Fagbenle), the Waterfords and the heavily eyebrowed but ever expressionless Nick (Max Minghella) are also a shoe-in for season 2.

Equally, we expect the return of June and Luke's daughter, Hannah and evil Aunt Lydia, because that woman's a cockroach and probably won't ever die.

Photo credit: Channel 4

Up-and-coming actress Sydney Sweeney has also joined the cast as a 15-year-old girl called Eden, who is part of a group that is loyal to the Gilead assembly and wants to become the Commander's wife.

The Handmaid's Tale season 2 plot: What's going to happen?

The opening scene is going to be VERY unexpected.

Ahead of the second season, Elizabeth Moss has teased fans by promising them they won't guess the opening scene of the first episode.

"Don't try to guess what happens in that first scene of episode one in season two," Moss told TV Guide. "You will never get it, and I mean that objectively as a viewer. You just won't guess, and I love that so much."

Expect big shocks and bizarre scenes, such as Offred being best friends with Serena Joy or even a trip to the colonies.

We're definitely going to see the colonies.

While only mentioned in novel and first series, the colonies - where infertile women and Gilead opposers are sent to clean up toxic waste - will definitely be explored in season 2, as showrunner Bruce Miller confirmed to Deadline.

Offred is going to get "rebellious".

Good news, Offred fans. Showrunner Bruce Miller has confirmed that The Handmaid's Tale will still be all about Offred and, this time, she's much more bad-ass.

Photo credit: Channel 4

Related: How The Handmaid's Tale created a new female hero

"Season two is what happens after you become a little rebellious," Miller told EW. "The things you are seeing blooming in Offred are not going to go away. Her spirit of rebellion and her careful march away from being a well-behaved handmaid and making some trouble is where the season is rolling towards."

Praise be.

There might be an Aunt Lydia back story.

Miller has also confirmed one of the show's most brilliant and brutal villains Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) may well get a back story of her very own.

"Aunt Lydia is one of my most fascinating characters," he told New York Times. "We would like to explore her back story, and what the lives of the aunts are like."

Offred's mum WILL be mentioned and may even make an appearance.

In the book, Offred refers to her mother several times, later learning she was sent to the colonies.

However, in the TV show, she is mentioned only in passing, when we learn she orchestrated Offred and Luke's attempted escape from Boston, giving fans reason to think her story would be included in the show's second season. And they were right, as showrunner Bruce Miller has now confirmed Offred's mother will be a part of season 2 and even beyond that, with an interest in her brand of feminism in particular.

Photo credit: Channel 4

"We've been thinking about her a lot," he told THR. "It's a story we want to tell - she was one of the most memorable characters."

Just spitballing here, but anyone else think a resistance group made up of primarily elderly/menopausal women and led by Offred's mum would be awesome?

As may the wider resistance.

Seeing as Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) will be coming back and Moira (Samira Wiley) is back on board with the rebellion and out of Jezebel's, it's likely we'll find out more about all the resistance groups, including Mayday, next season.

This theory was also supported by Elisabeth Moss, who previously hinted that the second run will help stitch up the "huge gap" between the book's cliffhanger ending and epilogue (which details Gilead's eventual downfall at the hands of a resistance group).

The fate of other countries will be explored.

In the first season of The Handmaid's Tale, we got a glimpse of what post-Gilead life was like in Canada and Mexico, with the Canadians at the forefront of the resistance while Mexico were looking to trade with Gilead for some Handmaid's of their own.

However, it looks like we'll get an even broader view of what the hell is going in other countries around the world this time around, as showrunner Bruce Miller told Deadline season two will be "expanding on the world created by Margaret Atwood." Woohoo!

And so will Gilead's race issue.

Photo credit: Channel 4

In Atwood's novel, Gilead is a white-worshipping patriarchal society, a detail that was crucially absent from season one. However, it looks like all that will change next season, as the issue of race finally comes to the fore.

"I've been fascinated by the conversations about race," showrunner Bruce Miller has revealed.

"The thoughtful conversations online really inspired a lot of thoughtful conversations in the writers' room about this. We're taking advantage of that [in season two]."

One of the handmaids is going to die.

Miller told EW that there will be a handmaid's funeral in season two. "These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy," he explained.