The legend of King Arthur and Camelot has been reinvented and retold for centuries, but never quite like Cursed. The Netflix TV series turns traditional Arthurian legend on its head, shifting the focus to Nimue, future Lady of the Lake, queen of the magical Fey, and wielder of a legendary Sword of Power.
Arthur’s there as well, of course, but in Cursed he’s more of a supporting player, a love interest for Nimue and a mercenary who comes into his own on the battlefield. We also get reimagined versions of other icons from Arthurian myth, including King Uther, a few future Knights of the Round Table, and legendary wizard Merlin.
With religious zealots the Red Paladins doing their best to eliminate the Fey, season 1 rose to a bloody crescendo before wrapping up with various cliffhangers – at least one of them literal. As speculation grows about a follow-up, we look ahead to a potential Cursed season 2, and what you can expect when it arrives. Spoilers for Cursed season 1 follow.
Cursed season 2 release date on Netflix
Netflix is yet to give an official greenlight to Cursed season 2, but if the streaming service follows past form, we’d expect a renewal announcement to come around a month after season 1’s debut. The show dropped on July 17, so we’d hope for news in mid-August.
Assuming the show does get picked up for a second season, it’s unlikely we’d see it before the second half of 2021. There’s usually around 18 months between seasons of Netflix shows – particularly those with production values as lavish as Cursed’s – and that’s before you factor in the coronavirus-related issues now in play. Once social distancing and travel restrictions come into the equation, chances of Cursed season 2 landing before 2022 seem slim.
Cut to the chase:
- What is it? The second season of Cursed, Netflix’s Nimue-centric retelling of the Arthurian legend based on Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller’s illustrated novel.
- Where can I watch it? Cursed season 1 is now available on Netflix all over the world, and the same would be true of season 2.
- When can I watch it? A new season is still TBC but if Netflix does magic one up, expect it to land in late 2021 at the earliest, more likely 2022.
Cursed season 2 trailer: is there one?
With a renewal yet to be announced, it’s too early for a Cursed season 2 trailer. Don’t bank on any significant footage revealed until much closer to release – though Netflix may treat us to some kind of teaser video to tie in with a new season announcement, as they did with Stranger Things season 4 (opens in new tab).
What we expect from Cursed season 2
With Wheeler and Miller (both executive producers on the TV show) having already displayed a willingness to play around with established Arthurian lore, what happens next is anyone’s guess – even if you’ve read La Morte d’Arthur, or watched Excalibur, Merlin and The Sword in the Stone.
We’d be very surprised, however, if we’ve seen the last of Nimue – even though she was last sighted tumbling into a mountain river after being shot with arrows by obsessed Red Paladin assassin Sister Iris. Not only is Nimue the focus of the show, we all know that rivers tend to find their way into larger bodies of water – remarkably convenient for a character who’s always been destined to become the Lady of the Lake. It seems likely that some kind of nature-driven magic will make sure she stays alive.
“Nimue comes from the world of magic,” said Miller in a 2019 interview with Barnes and Noble (opens in new tab). “Nimue is a creature of great power coming into her power. Her journey in the story is our journey. We follow her as we follow Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. She’s the alpha and the omega.” That doesn’t sound like the description of a character who’d be discarded after one season. It doesn’t look like Nimue actress Katherine Langford thinks she’s done with the role, either:
“I feel like [season 1] is really just the tip of the iceberg,” she told Elle (opens in new tab). “There’s a lot of talk about the sword this season, and I feel like it would be interesting to see just how deep Nimue’s powers go and what kind of untapped power she has within.”
With Merlin now revealed as Nimue’s father, his Cursed season 2 arc will presumably be driven by a quest to find his daughter. Now that he’s rediscovered his magical powers – and is the one brandishing the mythical Sword of Power – he’s bound to be an even more potent force this time out. You wouldn’t want to stand in his way.
Over the course of Cursed season 1, the mercenary Arthur gradually discovered a cause in the form of protecting the Fey. That’s surely a crucial first step in his inevitable journey towards becoming king – unless there are loads of people called Arthur in this world, and this one’s just a clever decoy.
He may also end up at one corner of a love triangle, because with Nimue seemingly out of the way, the path could be clear for a romance with Viking warrior the Red Spear. Why? While it’s not revealed in the show, the illustrated novel explains that her actual name is Guinevere, strongly hinting she’ll be Arthur’s queen one day.
We’ve also got a hunch that Arthur will join forces with the Fey-hunting Weeping Monk, now that he’s seemingly on the road to redemption after saving Squirrel in the season 1 finale. The most compelling evidence came when the Weeping Monk revealed his real name is Lancelot. With Squirrel also admitting he’s called Percival, a seat at Camelot’s famous Round Table is surely part of their future – monikers like that can't be a coincidence.
Meanwhile, there’s a vacancy at the head of the Red Paladins, following the death of Father Carden. Now that Sister Iris has (apparently) assassinated Nimue, and has been invited to join the Pope’s Trinity Guard, it seems likely she’ll become Cursed’s principal antagonist in season 2.
And then there’s one more crucial question of identity… Is the Sword of Power really Excalibur? It has to be, right?
Cursed season 2 cast: who we think will return
Having been slain by Nimue in the season 1 finale, Peter Mullan’s Father Carden looks set to be the most significant absentee in Cursed season 2 – unless he returns in flashback.
Beyond that, we suspect the cast list will be more or less the same as it has been in season 1, with Katherine Langford back as Nimue, Gustaf Skarsgård as Merlin, Devon Terrell as Arthur, Daniel Sharman as the Weeping Monk, Shalom Brune-Franklin as Morgana, Emily Coates as Sister Iris, Billy Jenkins as Squirrel, Bella Dayne as the Red Spear, Lily Newmark as Pym, Sebastian Armesto as Uther and Clive Francis as the Pope.
There may also be a way back for Gawain (Matt Stokoe). After Gawain’s death in the season 1 finale, Nimue used her magical powers to encase her friend in protective plants – an act that will maybe give the character a crucial lifeline. If Gawain does come back from the dead, however, we suspect he’ll be somewhat changed by the experience – maybe he really will become the “Green Knight” of legend.
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