Katherine Langford shot to national recognition last year in the role of Hannah Baker on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Playing the teenager who left classmates audio tapes explaining her reasons to commit suicide, Langford earned Golden Globe and Satellite Award nominations for her portrayal. With Season 2 of the show arriving on Netflix later this year, all hints have pointed at the storyline focusing on 13 Reasons Why's other teens rather than continuing Hannah's story. So, how will Hannah be in 13 Reasons Why Season 2?
Speaking to W Magazine recently, Langford teased the way Hannah will appear in new episodes. Although the first season was based on a 2007 book by Jay Asher, Season 2 is expected to introduce brand new storylines, which opens a world of possibility for how to handle Hannah's role in the series. For now, Langford seemed to emphasize that Hannah may not be as central to the plot as she was in Season 1:
The Hannah that we saw in Season 1, we were able to tell her story fully and she didn't really come back in the same capacity or sort of as the same Hannah. It's a different Hannah that you see in Season 2. But ultimately I'm super grateful to have been asked back, and I think we get to focus on some really important storylines this season of other characters.
Last December, amidst filming Season 2 of the series, Langford even explained to Entertainment Weekly that Hannah will take a backseat in upcoming episodes. Well, seeing as the character is dead and we've already seen so much of her story, that almost goes without saying:
This season we get to explore a lot more of the other characters and their journeys, which I’m excited about. As sad as it is, there is life after Hannah, and this season we get to see the effects it had on the people around her a lot more.
While much of Season 1 included scenes from Hannah's own perspective, perhaps Season 2 will revisit the same moments from other people's POV. This plot twist would explain Langford's comments about Season 2 closely exploring the effects her death had on others, and it fits her hints that fans will see a "different Hannah."
Dylan Minnette, who plays Hannah's friend Clay on the series, spilled some hints earlier this year about how his character will cope with the loss of Hannah. While we may see other aspects of Clay's life play out in Season 2, Minnette suggested that he may face inner turmoil thanks to his grief. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in January, he said:
You'll learn pretty quickly what happened between the two seasons. For Clay, I think that he definitely wants to move on from what happened in Season 1. Clearly the impact of the loss of Hannah is huge for him. Clay definitely has to move on from that, but I don't know how long it can last. Hannah will always be a part of Clay, no matter what. You'll definitely see more of that in Season 2, because Clay won't be able to shake the memory of her, I don't think, for a long time.
Based on Clay's reluctance to let Hannah go, I think some flashbacks of the two are definitely in store for next season. In addition to perhaps seeing Hannah from a different lens, maybe she'll even appear as a ghost in new storylines. No idea is too crazy for TV nowadays!
Later in her interview with W, Langford only furthered the speculation about Hannah having a ghostly presence in Season 2.
I think Season 2 was just challenging for different reasons than Season 1. Part of that was playing Hannah but not really playing Hannah. I think it was something that was figured out and changed along the way. I think ultimately it was challenging because it was something that changed and evolved over the course of shooting. It meant that I had to put a lot of trust, and sometimes complete trust, in the writers and the showrunner, Brian Yorkey, and also the directors. So I think that was challenging.
"Playing Hannah but not really playing Hannah?" Sounds like characters having visions of Hannah to me.
Netflix has yet to announce the release date of Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.