The Handmaid’s Tale is almost at the end of the line — and showrunner Bruce Miller is more than ready for it. “I’ve been thinking about the end since the beginning,” Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve been thinking about the end of this story since I read The Handmaid’s Tale the first time. It’s one of those books that when you finish reading it, all you think about is the end.” He added that though they’ve taken a lot of liberties with Margaret Atwood’s original novel, they’ve stayed “pretty close” to what they initially planned out for the show.
Following the election of Donald Trump, the dystopian series proved to be wildly successful when it debuted in 2017, quickly becoming Hulu’s flagship series. The show has since won eight Primetime Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama. Unsurprisingly, ahead of the premiere of Season 5, Hulu gave the green light for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6, which will also be its last.
“It has been a true honor to tell the story of Margaret Atwood’s groundbreaking novel and chillingly relevant world, and we are thrilled to bring viewers a sixth and final season of The Handmaid’s Tale,” Miller said in September, per Variety. “We are grateful to Hulu and MGM for allowing us to tell this story, which unfortunately has remained as relevant as ever throughout its run, and are in awe of our incredible fans for their unwavering support, and without whom we never would have gotten to this point.”
Here’s everything else we know so far about the final season.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 Premiere Date
The Handmaid’s Tale usually debuted in April and took a year in between seasons. The only season to really break from this mold was Season 5, which began airing in September 2022 after a year-and-a-half break. Based on this, the final season could potentially air in September 2023, but if it takes longer to produce, it could return sometime in spring 2024.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 Cast
We can guess that Season 6 will likely see the return of the core cast: Elisabeth Moss as June, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence, Yvonne Strahovski as Serena, Max Minghella as Nick, and Samira Wiley as Moira.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 Plot
Season 6 will likely wrap up June’s story, though it’s hard to tell what that will look like. The show has added a lot to Atwood’s original novel. The book technically ends with the events seen in Season 1: June is put into a van and taken to an unknown fate. It then jumps to the “Twelfth Symposium on Gileadean Studies” in the year 2195. They’re discussing the merits — and truth — of June’s story, which was captured on tape, though June herself is never named. We learn that Gilead fell many years ago and society seems to have reverted to the way it was, but we never actually learn what happened to June.
It’s possible we’ll get a similar flash forward while hinting at what happens to June. As of the penultimate episode of Season 5, it looks like it’s becoming harder for June, Luke, Moira, and Nichole to stay safely in Canada. After their military raid on Hannah’s school ended in tragedy, their memorial service for the pilots was disrupted by anti-refugee protests, putting June in the crossfire.
The Handmaid’s Tale Spinoff Series
It’s unlikely we’ll fully see the fall of Gilead in Season 6 due to the plans for a sequel show. Miller told The Hollywood Reporter that the show is “not the June Osborne Tale, it’s The Handmaid’s Tale and a certain time of her life when she identified a certain way.” He said that when that time ends, they’ll move on to their planned The Handmaid’s Tale spin-off, titled The Testaments, “which June’s story is a part of but not central to.” Hulu has not yet announced if Moss will star in The Testaments. That story is set 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale and is narrated by Aunt Lydia (played by Ann Dowd in the show); Agnes, aka June’s daughter Hannah, a young woman living in Gilead; and Daisy, a young woman living in Canada.
This post will be updated as more information about The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 becomes available.