BBC Confirms Return of 'Wolf Hall' for a Second Season

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell looking like a painting in 'Wolf Hall'

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in 'Wolf Hall'

Ed Miller/Playground & Company Pictures for Masterpiece/BBC

Here’s a piece of news most Anglophiles probably thought they’d never hear: Wolf Hall is coming back.

Yes, you read that right. After nearly five years, a second run of the Thomas Cromwell-focused period drama will be heading back to our screens. Sometime. We don’t know exactly when it might run, who will be involved in producing it or even who might actually star in it.

But we do, finally, have official confirmation that Wolf Hall Season 2 is officially happening. At some point. 

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Director of Content, told the Radio Times that a sequel to the award-winning 2015 original series is officially in the works.

The first two novels in author Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy – Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies – were combined into the original six part series. It follows the story of Cromwell’s rise from a mere blacksmith’s son to one of the most powerful figures in the court of King Henry VIII. He was – among many other things - one of the primary architects of the Protestant Reformation in England, and largely responsible for the dissolution of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. (If you're a little fuzzy on what, exactly, happened during the first season of Wolf Hall, we've got recaps of every episode here.)


The sequel will adapt the series’ final novel, The Mirror and the Light. The story will pick up following Anne Boleyn’s death, and continue to Cromwell’s own execution in 1540.           

A sequel to Wolf Hall has been in the planning stages for some time, but was generally considered to be on hold while Mantel finished her third novel. It was recently announced that The Mirror and the Light will finally be published in March of 2020.

BIG. NEWS. We can confirm that #TheMirrorandtheLight – the triumphant conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy – will publish in March 2020. Find out more here:

— 4th Estate Books (@4thEstateBooks) May 22, 2019

Unfortunately, however, Moore was unable to tell the Radio Times whether or not award-winner Mark Rylance would return to reprise his role as Cromwell. This is likely due to the fact that so much time has passed since the original series’ production, and its cast has all naturally moved on to other things.

Rylance’s performance was so singular, however, that one has to hope that the BBC is busy working behind the scenes to see if he can come back to finish the story. Or that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

What about you? Are you excited at the thought of a conclusion to Cromwell’s story? Would you watch more Wolf Hall – with or without Rylance in the lead role? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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