Surprise hit The Empress took Netflix viewers by storm when it first debuted earlier this year, with fans of other popular period dramas such as The Crown and Bridgerton falling head over heels for the German historical series.
The first season told the story of Elisabeth, also called Sisi (played by Devrim Lingnau), and fans have been crying out for a follow-up season following the end to season 1, which saw Sisi fall pregnant with her first child.
It's clear that there's still a lot more of the tale that could be explored, but will the series be back for more, and if so, when will the new episodes debut and who will be in the cast?
Read on for everything you need to know about The Empress season 2.
Has The Empress been renewed for season 2?
It has! Netflix confirmed on Tuesday 8th November 2022 that the series would be returning for a second season, with showrunner Katharina Eyssen saying: "I am incredibly grateful that we were able to touch so many different people in Germany and all over the world with our series.
"The story of Elisabeth’s life is a story of the power of love, but also of the courage to be different, and of hope for a better future, and that is what we need at this time. That’s why we are very happy to be able to continue telling this exciting story."
It has not yet been confirmed how long we will have to wait to see the new episodes, but while fans wait there's always the show's companion novel to keep them occupied, in which author Gigi Griffis has adapted the original Katharina Eyssen scripts to focus more on the early life of Sisi.
Publishing editor Caoilnn Douglass said the following to Netflix's TUDUM: "I really like the idea of meeting this very famous woman before she becomes empress and not following her into that era that you think you know. That's another way that we build on the show and create a companion piece. It's her before the hype. Who was she really, and what did her earlier days look like?"
It also gives fans the opportunity to inhabit the heads of the characters they've been watching on-screen, he explained.
"When you watch the series, you're inherently kind of in the third person. You're not able to be in their heads. We were mirroring the series, the same things had to happen, but what we could do was kind of play around with their thought processes and get to those battles they were having internally."
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The Empress season 2 cast: Who will return?
It's been confirmed that the following cast members will all be returning for season 2:
- Devrim Lingnau as Elisabeth von Wittelsbach
- Philip Froissant as Franz Joseph I of Austria
- Melika Foroutan as Sophie, Archduchess of Austria
- Johannes Nussbaum as Archduke Maximilian
- Almila Bagriacik as Countess Leontine von Apafi
- Jördis Triebel as Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria
Another cast member we would also expect to be back, but whose return has yet to be confirmed, is Elisa Schlott as Duchess Helene in Bavaria, Elisabeth's sister.
When it comes to other characters there are of course a whole wealth of new figures from that period of history could also feature. We might also see more of the soon-to-be Nicholas II of Russia, who wants to abolish serfdom, and no doubt still harbours offence at being shown up by the Empress on a hunting trip.
The Empress season 2 plot: What will it be about?
We don't yet know exactly what the story holds for The Empress season 2, but we could make some informed guesses. For instance, there's the constant looming threat of war in Europe, as well as the ever-shifting plans for industrialisation and the impending birth of Elisabeth's first child.
Only time will tell if we'll see any of that play out. Watch this space for updates.
Is there a trailer available for The Empress season 2?
There isn't a trailer available for The Empress season 2 just yet but we'll make sure to keep this page updated as soon as any new footage becomes available.
For now you can rewatch the trailer for season 1 right here.