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Hulu’s electrifying dystopian series has followed the attempts of Handmaid June (played by Elisabeth Moss) to rebel against the oppressive state of Gilead. Now The Testaments has introduced new characters to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale, viewers want to know whether the events of the original TV series will line up.
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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood was released last year to rave reviews, including being announced as the joint winner of the Booker Prize alongside Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other.
Another stellar piece of feminist fiction from the iconic author, The Testaments was carefully written as to not contradict the events explored in Hulu’s adaptation of the series’ first novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Although Hulu have confirmed a new series based on The Testaments is currently in the works, fans have been speculating whether the new project will act as a direct sequel or a separate adaptation altogether.
Moreover, with hype for Margaret Atwood’s dystopian world higher than ever after the publication of the sequel in 2019, Hulu subscribers have theorised the events of The Testaments could begin as early as season four.
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Some fans took to Reddit to discuss the possibility of The Handmaid’s Tale upcoming fourth season skipping ahead to include sequences from the sequel.
One fan posted: “After reading the second book I wonder how closely they will follow it. For me what I liked about the show is it did not follow what a lot of conventional stories do.
“Evil triumphs over good and no one was coming to save them. I think this is more in line with the reality in the world as we see in history often no one comes to save the oppressed.”
In both the original text and Hulu’s acclaimed series, June manages to secure small victories over Gilead but fails to enact any permanent change to the oppressive regime.
While The Testaments alternates between three perspectives, much of the action takes place 15 years after the events of the original novel.
A decade and a half later, Gilead is still in place and new character Agnes discovers she is the daughter of a Handmaid.
After devouring Margeret Atwood’s sequel, readers and TV fans alike have been speculating when the series will make a similar jump to the future.
Another fan responded: “I wonder if there’s going to be a time jump at some point in order to follow the books more closely.”
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“But then again, they’d have to keep most familiar characters around in some way or people will lose interest.”
Although much of the sequel was inspired by Ann Dowd’s riveting performance as Aunt Lydia, current stars Elisabeth Moss, O.T. Fagbenle and Yvonne Strahovski would see severe cuts to their screen time if the sequel was adapted faithfully.
They continued: “Maybe the events in The Testaments just happen years before in the show’s universe and the characters in the book are substituted by some of the ones we’ve already seen.”
Seasons two and three of The Handmaid’s Tale have already taken significant liberties with the original text, adding in new backstories for characters and continuing events that weren’t seen in the novel.
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When The Testaments is finally adapted to television, this theory suggests the new series could take similar risks by incorporating the established characters into the events of the sequel.
However one fan argued there are still numerous plot threads to resolve from season three, so a time jump may not be seen for some time.
They added: “I think we then see a leap forward for season five to resolve the plot from the books.”
The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 is available on Hulu.
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