Hell hath no fury like a group of fans scorned. Just ask fans of The Expanse, who contracted an airplane to fly over Amazon Studios with a banner reading #SaveTheExpanse, or fans of Friday Night Lights, who mailed light bulbs to NBC to save their favorite series. If you’re a fan of The Queen’s Gambit, Netflix’s stylish new drama about mid-century chess champion Beth Harmon, you may want to start mailing chess pieces to Netflix, because a second season for this smash hit currently looks unlikely. Here's everything you need to know about the fate of a possible season two.
Is The Queen’s Gambit Season Two Happening?
Netflix has yet to renew The Queen’s Gambit for a second season. Given that the show is billed as a limited series, with the creative team hinting that the story has concluded, a renewal looks unlikely. Even with the fanfare from the series' Golden Globe nominations, it would take some very particular reworking to take the series from limited status to recurring.
“We’ve had a lot of fun talking about what happens tomorrow,” executive producer William Horberg said. “The last scene feels like a beautiful note to end the show on, so I’m not sure if we want to go on and answer that question. Maybe we can just let the audience imagine what comes next.”
That said, plenty of shows have come back from the brink of death due to outsized interest and campaigning from fans. With The Queen’s Gambit spending days in the coveted “#1 on Netflix” spot, it’s well-poised to secure a second season against all odds. It’s also worth noting that the show’s cast members, including leading lady Anya Taylor-Joy, who portrays Beth, are on board for whatever comes next.
“If I've learned anything from being in this industry, it's never say never,” Taylor-Joy said. “I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I was asked to, but I do think we leave Beth in a good place. I think the rest of her life will surely be an adventure as well, but in the quest that she goes on in this to find some form of peace, just some form of being able to be happy with who she is. I think it ends in a nice place."
Harry Melling, who plays Harry Beltik, Beth’s onetime rival, friend, and sometimes-paramour, shares Taylor-Joy’s spirit of open-mindedness.
"It’d be good, right, a Queen’s Gambit part two?” Melling said. “The place we end in the limited series is the place we end in the book. I don’t know if there can be another one, but stranger things have happened."
When Would The Queen’s Gambit Season Two Hit Netflix?
Even if The Queen’s Gambit is picked up for another season, it will likely take years for new episodes to hit Netflix. Netflix will need to consult with the estate of Walter Tevis, who wrote the same-titled novel on which the series is based, to secure their blessing for continuing the story. Scott Frank, the writer and director who spent years bringing the series to Netflix, would likely need years more to pen a second season. That’s all to say: even if the show is renewed, don’t expect to mark your calendar for season two anytime soon.
What Could The Queen’s Gambit Season Two Be About?
As the cast and creative crew have commented, season one leaves Beth in a place where she’s overcome her demons and defeated her greatest rival, allowing her to reach a measure of hard-won self-love. As for Beth’s career, what heights are there yet to ascend when Beth has already unseated the number one chess player in the world? It may seem like a professional dead end, but to continue the story, the series could look inward.
The Queen’s Gambit is peppered with flashbacks to Beth’s traumatic childhood with her mother, who suffered from mental illness and ultimately committed suicide. After she was adopted from the orphanage as a young teenager, Beth’s cruel adoptive father walked out on the family, while her adoptive mother died suddenly and tragically a mere handful of years later. All in all, it’s a lot of loss for a young person to experience, and as we’ve yet to see Beth cry over any of it, she may still have psychological grappling left to do.
There also remains the matter of Beth’s love life, with her former rivals turned former flames seemingly still carrying a candle for her. Beth and Harry Beltik parted on bad terms when she responded cruelly to his urgent plea that she stop drinking, but they mended fences when Harry came to Beth’s aid during the adjournment of her final match. As for Benny Watts, his and Beth’s sexual encounter ended in disconnect and disappointment, but their friendship and chemistry endured to the end of the series.
There’s also the matter of Townes, Beth’s longtime crush, who made a surprise appearance at the Moscow invitational. In their youth, Beth and Townes had an awkward moment when Townes’ boyfriend walked in on them during a romantically charged chess match, leading Beth to flee in embarrassment and assume that her crush was misplaced. However, in Moscow, Townes confessed that his feelings for Beth were more complicated than she had fully understood, saying, "I will admit I was a little confused. You really are something. But what I really wanted was for us to be friends, and you kind of broke my heart."
Some fans have speculated that Townes is in fact bisexual, and that a romantic future with him could still be possible for Beth. Whether Beth pursues one of her existing suitors or meets someone new, there’s still plenty of story to explore about her love life.
Watch this space for updates as we continue to learn more.
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