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The Handmaid's Tale first hit screens in 2017, immediately becoming one of the most praised, talked about, and important television shows in recent history. Based on award-winning author Margaret Atwood's best-selling novel of the same title, Handmaid's has gone on to produce five groundbreaking seasons. Ahead of the Season 5 premiere last fall, it was announced that Season 6 of The Handmaid's Tale would be the last. Since this news, eager fans have been desperate to find out what the upcoming farewell season could entail.

Keep reading to find out everything we know so far about The Handmaid's Tale Season 6.

The Handmaid's Tale (2017 - )
Image via Hulu

RELATED: 'The Handmaid's Tale': 10 Rules That Must Be Followed In Gileadean Society

When and Where Is The Handmaid's Tale Season 6 Releasing?

In the short time since the announcement of Handmaid's Tale Season 6, the cast and crew have been unable to escape the one burning question to which everyone is keen to know the answer: when will we get to see it? In the 2022 New Year's Eve special of The Graham Norton Show, Madeline Brewer, who plays Janine, told Norton, "We have one more season, and that'll be coming 2024". It seems it'll be quite a while before we see new episodes of Handmaid's on our screens, but judging by previous seasons, we believe it'll be more than worth the wait. The Handmaid's Tale is a Hulu Original, and we can confirm the sixth and final season will be available on the Hulu platform when the time comes. All previous seasons of Handmaid's (as well as thousands of other shows) are available to stream now with plans starting at $7.99 per month.

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Fans in the United Kingdom will be able to watch Season 6 of Handmaid's Tale on Channel 4 (and its free on-demand platform All 4) and on Prime Video. All previous seasons are available to stream now on both of these platforms as well.

Is There a Trailer for The Handmaid's Tale Season 6?

Currently, there is no trailer for The Handmaid's Tale Season 6. However, based on the timings of previous seasons' trailer releases as well as the Season 6 production schedule, we can speculate that the much-anticipated video will be released sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. Don't forget to keep an eye on this page to be the first to know when the trailer drops.

In the meantime, if you're still in need of a refresher, watch the Season 5 trailer below:

What Is The Handmaid's Tale About?

The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian television series exploring themes such as oppression, religious fanaticism, feminism, and rebellion. Set in a not-so-distant future, the show follows protagonist June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) as she struggles to survive under Gilead's (formerly North America) brutal regime. In a world where fertility rates have dangerously declined due to environmental pollution and sexually transmitted diseases, an extremist group known as the Sons of Jacob slowly spread their new world order like poison across the depleting country. When the Sons of Jacob overthrew congress and thus gained full power, they began to "sort" women into a number of different roles. Our protagonist June is a Handmaid, and we first meet her when she is living in the household of Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife Serena (Yvonne Strahovski). As part of her duties as a Handmaid, June (as well as every other Handmaid across Gilead) must perform a monthly ceremony in which she and her Commander have sex in order to conceive a child for him and his wife.

Related:What Does The Handmaid's Tale Have to Say About Religion?

How Did The Handmaid's Tale Season 5 End?

Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello in The Handmaid's Tale Season 5.
Image via Hulu 

As any long-time fan of Handmaid's will know, the show's season finales often end in jaw-dropping cliffhangers and unresolved problems galore. Season 5 is no exception, leaving the eager audience to wonder what will possibly happen next.

The Season 5 finale begins with June suffering yet another brush with death, but this time not by Gilead's hand. Now claiming asylum in Canada, June and her loved ones have grown increasingly concerned about a violent anti-refugee movement - and it seems that concern is far from unwarranted. In an act of brutality, June is knocked down by a car outside of her home, resulting in her being rushed to the hospital. Her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) furiously takes it upon himself to seek vengeance, beating the perpetrator who later dies from his injuries. Luke becomes a wanted man and the pair, along with June's youngest daughter Nichole, attempt to escape Canada. However, Luke makes the heartbreaking decision to give himself up to the authorities so that June and Nichole can leave Canada without a target on their backs. As June boards the train said to be headed to Hawaii, she comes face-to-face with none other than Serena Joy Waterford.

Also in the episode, Nick's (Max Minghella) worry about June's safety reaches boiling point, and he finally agrees to be a Gilead mole in exchange for her protection. Not knowing who committed the latest attack on June, Nick blames Commander Lawrence (Bradley Whitford) and is arrested after challenging him on the subject. Nick's wife Rose (Carey Cox) - the daughter of an important Commander and very happy with her life in Gilead - tells Nick she is done with him due to his behavior. Mentally fragile Handmaid Janine (Madeline Brewer) is also arrested during this nail-biting season finale due to an outburst at the new Mrs. Lawrence, Naomi (Ever Carradine). As per the law regarding Handmaids, earlier in the series Janine was forced to give up her newborn daughter to Naomi, and the pair have despised each other ever since. Janine's years of pent-up anger finally come spilling out, and she is later arrested for speaking to a Wife in such a manner. As she is dragged from the Red Center, seemingly resigned to her fate, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) looks on, furiously and emotionally begging the Gilead soldiers to let Janine go.

It's fair to say that pretty much every character's fate is hanging in the balance at the conclusion of Season 5. With Season 6 set to be the last, the stakes are higher than ever and no one's safety is guaranteed.

What Do We Know About the Plot of The Handmaid's Tale Season 6?

At present, not much is known about the plot of the final season. However, we can speculate based on how the previous season ended and how the show might begin to bridge the gap between the events of the series and Atwood's sequel novel The Testaments (2019). Some spoilers for the book follow so be warned!

We left off with June and Serena on a train that is supposedly headed to Hawaii. It's important to remember, however, that Mark Tuello (Sam Jaeger) organized June's "escape" (and possibly Serena's, although it's unconfirmed at present how she ended up on the train). Would Tuello - who knows that these women have vital information regarding the inner workings of Gilead - really let his two most valuable assets move so far out of his reach? Or would he perhaps prefer to keep them closer to home, somewhere like Commander Lawrence's conveniently recent creation New Bethlehem, which upholds Gilead values but promises its citizens more freedom? Either way, wherever June and Serena end up, it'll be interesting to see how this newfound peace between them develops.

We can also expect to see the aftermath of Nick's and Luke's arrests. Nick has been pretty loyal to Gilead thus far, but in the Season 5 finale, we saw him finally agree to go undercover. We speculate that he'll manage to talk himself out of his tricky situation and be released from custody, but it's safe to say his new venture as Tuello's mole could result in fatal consequences. Luke, however, will likely have a much harder time in custody. A refugee locked in a Canadian prison as a result of killing a Canadian citizen, it's clear he won't be very popular with his fellow inmates. With both men's lives on the line, we suspect there's a very real possibility that both of June's children will be left without fathers by the conclusion of the series.

In Atwood's Testaments, we're introduced to a new role for the women of Gilead: Pearl Girls. The Pearls are entrusted to cross the Gilead border to Canada in order to recruit young women to go back with them to Gilead. We suspect Janine, after her sudden arrest at the end of Season 5, will undergo some Gilead "retraining" in order to serve as the first Pearl Girl. In The Testaments, Aunt Lydia is pivotal to Gilead's downfall, and we speculate that witnessing Janine's arrest was a turning point for her. We believe she will be the one to talk the Gilead Commanders out of giving Janine the death penalty and will be integral to the creation of the Pearl Girls. We only have speculation to go off at this point, but Handmaid's Season 6 - however it may end - is set to go out with an unforgettable bang.

RELATED: 'The Handmaid's Tale's Ann Dowd Teases Season 5 Consequences and The Testaments

Who Is in the Cast of The Handmaid's Tale Season 6?

Elisabeth Moss will, of course, return as our main protagonist, June Osborne. Based on how Season 5 ended, we can pretty much guarantee the following people will also return for Season 6: Yvonne Strahovski as Serena, O-T Fagbenle as Luke, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, and Max Minghella as Nick. Madeline Brewer and Bradley Whitford have already confirmed they will appear in the final season.

One person we're not going to see in Season 6 is Alexis Bledel, who played Doctor-turned-Handmaid Emily Malek. Months before Season 5, it was announced Bledel "felt [she] had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time". On-screen, it was explained that Emily had gone back to Gilead to fight from the inside, after struggling to adjust to a peaceful lifestyle in Canada. No guest stars have been announced for Season 6, but it's worth keeping an eye on this space to stay in the loop.

Who Are the Creators of The Handmaid's Tale?

Based on Margaret Atwood's best-selling dystopian novel of the same title, The Handmaid's Tale was created for television by Bruce Miller (The 100), who also serves as showrunner. Miller is joined by a team of executive producers including Warren Littlefield (Fargo), Elisabeth Moss, Daniel Wilson, Fran Sears, Yahlin Chang, Rachel Shukert, Sheila Hockin, John Weber, Frank Siracusa, Steve Stark, Kim Todd, and Eric Tuchman (Anastasia). The series is produced by MGM Television, with Hulu handling US distribution. It has already been confirmed that MGM and Hulu will be teaming up once more to develop Atwood's Handmaid's sequel, The Testaments, for television as well.

When Is The Handmaid's Tale Season 6 Filming?

In a February 2023 interview, Bradley Whitford, who plays the king of one-liners Commander Lawrence, was asked whether the show's final season had started production. He revealed he'd "just heard [filming will not start] until August". Previous seasons of the show have spent roughly five to six months in production, so we can probably expect a similar schedule for Season 6.