Warning: This spoiler contains minor spoilers for The Testaments and major spoilers from The Handmaid’s Tale season three.
Fans of the popular Margaret Atwood novel got a treat they never thought would come yesterday as the seminal author released a follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale.
As The Testaments hit book shops across the nation, fans of the dystopian series were keen to see where she would pick up her feminist classic.
In a twist, it was leaked in the press before the book’s release that beloved and hated in equal measure Aunt Lydia (played by Ann Dowd in the TV series) would feature heavily. Gone is June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) and her radical methods of tearing down Gilead and enter three very unique and different viewpoints.
While I won’t ruin the identities of the other two narrators in this story - a delicious twist should never be spoiled - it’s safe to say Atwood has been in close contact with the series.
The choice to bring in three different characters was very much planned, as Atwood explained she couldn’t further June’s story any more. Speaking to press at a recent press conference at the British Library, the author said: “I decided that although I could not continue with the story of Offred, I could continue with three other people and tell the story of the beginning of the end, We know from The Handmaid’s Tale that Gilead vanishes, it’s no longer present 200 years later because we’re having a symposium on it… So how did it collapse? How do these kinds of regimes disappear? I was interested in exploring that and also what it would be like for the second generation.”
It’s a valid manifesto to follow, but what does it mean for the Channel 4 and Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale?
The Testaments is set roughly 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale ends (excluding the time jump symposium). We meet an Aunt Lydia who is not only jaded, but has become part of the resistance. Fans of the original series know Gilead falls, but they never knew how, or why.
Given the time jump, it appears June wasn’t the sole person to bring down the regime, despite how much of a hero she’s being made out to be in the television adaptation.
The series sits itself in between the middle of both books now; in uncharted territory. Fans were concerned when the show went astray from Atwoods’ novel, but thankfully, it seems she has had a big say in the development of her world.
READ MORE: The Handmaid’s Tale: Gilead to be destroyed as Margaret Atwood drops huge bombshell
The Handmaid’s Tale’s future saved by Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments (Image: HULU • GETTY)
The Handmaid’s Tale sequel The Testaments was released yesterday (Image: PENGUIN)
Throughout the opening of The Testaments, a huge motif has been made about missing baby Nichole. Fans will recall she is the child of Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena Joy