It’s Official — The Handmaid's Tale Will Finish With Season 6
June's battle with Gilead is coming to an end.
Since The Handmaid’s Tale began, June has endured being a handmaid for the horrible Commander Waterford and Serena Joy, joined the resistance against Gilead, and finally made her way to the relative safety of Canada. Although, as fans are already seeing in Season 5, Gilead still haunts June and the others who escaped — ironically, one of her biggest struggles to date has been trying to figure out how to leave Gilead in the past. But in Season 6, she and the show will face their biggest challenge yet: bringing June’s story to a satisfying conclusion. Hulu has announced The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 will be the show’s final season, leading to plenty of speculation about how the dark but timely series will end.
The show’s fifth season kicked off on Sept. 14, so there’s still plenty of story to get through before fans say goodbye to June for good. First up, viewers will have to see how Serena Joy deals with the fallout of her husband’s murder, how Alexis Bledel’s Emily will be written out of the story, and what June’s plan is now that she’s dispatched Commander Waterford for good.
Whatever happens next, The Handmaid’s Tale creator Bruce Miller is grateful to have helmed such a powerful series. “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 a press release. “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.”
Read on for everything you need to know about the final season of The Handmaid’s Tale.
When will The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 premiere?
Since Season 5 just debuted, there’s no official premiere date for Season 6 just yet. Although, given the timeline for past seasons, it’s likely viewers will be watching the final episodes around fall 2023 or winter 2024.
What will Season 6 be about?
The arc of Season 6 is unlikely to become apparent until after the Season 5 finale. For now, June is on a collision course with Serena Joy. Both women have plenty to lose as they fight to take each other down, but from June’s perspective, Gilead can never truly fall until its architect is taken out for good.
In more troubling news, there are hints that Gilead’s control may be creeping into Canada as well. This may leave June and Luke with no choice but to head back into the heart of the conflict to finally free their daughter, Hannah. With so many storylines still in play, The Handmaid’s Tale has plenty of plotlines to wrap up as it heads into its final stretch.
If the show follows Atwood’s lead in the book, then Gilead will be destroyed by the time the final credits roll. For fans who have stuck with the series since its grim first season, nothing would be more satisfying than watching the regime crumble and knowing June’s daughters will have a better future to live in.
Who will star in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6?
No one is ever truly safe in The Handmaid’s Tale. Over the years, several main characters have either died or departed the show, and there’s no reason to believe Season 5 will be any different. However, it seems safe to say Elisabeth Moss will return as June, and Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy will almost certainly make it to the final season, too.
Meanwhile, original cast-member Bledel made the decision to step back from the series at the end of Season 4. However, Miller recently told Entertainment Tonight that the door has been left open for the character’s return if the actor is up for it. “That character was not at the end of her journey as far as we were concerned,” Miller said. “We’re mindful of that, from a practical standpoint, to [leave] that door open.”
Is Season 6 really the end of The Handmaid’s Tale?
The Handmaid’s Tale is ending, but Hulu isn’t finished with Gilead just yet. As revealed in a press release from Hulu, Miller is busy developing a follow-up series called The Testaments, based on Atwood’s 2019 novel of the same name. The story picks up 15 years after the events of the original book and follows three characters — one of whom is Aunt Lydia (who is played by Ann Dowd in the series).
The show hasn’t been officially picked up to series, but there’s a strong possibility that the world of The Handmaid’s Tale will continue even after June’s story comes to a close.