Elisabeth Moss as June in The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale's Final Season Won't Air Until 2025

The long wait continues...

by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 

When The Handmaid’s Tale premiered in 2017, most fans assumed it would be a limited series — a one-season-and-done show that portrayed the events in the eponymous Margaret Atwood novel it’s based on. The first season did, in fact, cover the majority of its source material... but then it was renewed for a second season, and then a third and fourth and fifth, sending the series in directions Atwood (and her readers) never envisioned. It hasn’t been super clear how the series would eventually conclude, but now, with The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 bringing the story to a close, there’s finally an end on the horizon.

Warning: Spoilers through The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5, and light spoilers for THT’s sequel, The Testaments, follow. Season 5 set The Handmaid’s Tale up for a dramatic and emotional final season. Although there are some stories still focused on Gilead’s political machinations via Nick and Commander Lawrence, the series has shifted to become primarily centered in Canada. June is no longer a handmaid; her story as of late has been about her attempts to heal from her trauma, affect change in Canada’s new political climate, and rescue her first daughter, Hannah, from afar. Season 5 also focused heavily on June and Serena Joy’s relationship, which has grown even more complicated outside of the place and circumstances that made them enemies.

All that said, the show still has a lot of ground to cover before it can end (more on that later). Here’s what to know so far about The Handmaid’s Tale’s Season 6 swan song.

Filming Will Start This Summer


On Sept. 8, 2022, a week before the premiere of Season 5, Hulu confirmed The Handmaid’s Tale Season 6 is coming — and this will be its last.

The season was supposed to begin filming in August 2023, but due to the Hollywood strikes happening during that time, the show — as well as all the other shows fans know and love — halted production.

At the start of 2024, Elisabeth Moss revealed that production is scheduled to begin in the summer.

It Won’t Premiere Until 2025

After Moss confirmed the filming window, she also said that the final season likely won’t air in 2024, but fans can look forward to seeing it next year.

Hulu confirmed the delayed release window a couple weeks after Moss’ comments. Disney Television Group President Craig Erwich told Deadline the final season will not drop in 2024, but is aiming for a release in 2025.


Your Faves Are Coming Back

Elisabeth Moss is the heart of The Handmaid’s Tale as the titular character, June. (She’s also an executive producer on the show.) Finishing her story is expected be the main focus of the final season. But The Handmaid’s Tale has always been bigger than June, and fans can expect to see many more cast members return (you know, at least the ones who survived to the end of Season 5).

Based on the video of the cast members announcing Season 6, additional returning actors likely include:

  • Yvonne Strahovski as Serena
  • O-T Fagbenle as Luke
  • Samira Wiley as Moira
  • Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello
  • Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence
  • Max Minghella as Nick Blaine
  • Amanda Brugel as Rita Blue
  • Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia

Plus, based on storylines alone, these actors are also expected to be part of the final season:

  • Madeline Brewer as Janine
  • Mckenna Grace as Esther Keyes
  • Ever Carradine as Naomi Putnam
  • Jordana Blake as Hannah Bankole/Agnes Mackenzie
  • Jason Butler Harner as Commander Mackenzie
  • Amy Landecker as Mrs. Mackenzie
  • Casey Cox as Nick’s wife, Rose

Season 6’s Plot Will Be A Wild Ride

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

There’s no official plot synopsis for Season 6, but there’s still a lot of info out there to make some good guesses as to what’s going to happen. That’s because Atwood published a sequel novel called The Testaments in 2019, which follows up on some of the characters 15 years after the events in THT. If that’s not enough, THT’s longtime showrunner Bruce Miller confirmed he’s developing The Testaments into a sequel series of its own, meaning THT will almost definitely need to end in a way that tees up the events that follow a decade and a half later.

Those who have read The Testaments know June’s story needs to be wrapped up before The Handmaid’s Tale ends, since she’s nowhere to be found in the follow-up story. They also know that — unless Hulu makes some drastic changes in adapting the novel — Hannah, Nichole, and Aunt Lydia all need to survive THT’s series finale, since they each play a large role in The Testaments. (If you want more intel on what happens in The Testaments while you wait for THT Season 6, you can read the book!)

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