The Winter King Season 2: Is Winter Coming… Again?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 30, 2023 (Last updated: March 20, 2024)
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The Winter King Season 2
The Winter King Season 1 | Image via MGM+

The Winter King, adapted from Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles by Sony Pictures Television and Bad Wolf Studios, has been a solid hit for MGM+. The blend of Arthurian myth and real-world Dark Ages history has scratched a very particular itch caused by the absence of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, and, given there are two more (finished!) books in the series, anticipation for Season 2 of the show is expectedly high.

All streaming platforms seem to need a good, lightly fantastical epic these days, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if MGM wanted to keep this one going. Fans are certainly banking on a renewal, and it seems the showrunners are too since there’s still two-thirds of a trilogy to adapt. However, the streaming landscape is a fickle, tumultuous one, and the future of all shows is in many ways determined by a kind of arcane sorcery, knowable only to studio executives and utterly incomprehensible to everyone else. Anyway, we’ll do the best we can.

Will there be a Season 2 of The Winter King?

Official Renewal Status: TBC

In answer to the most essential question, we can reveal that there are no official plans to renew The Winter King at the time of writing. This isn’t altogether surprising or unusual, since these days it’s common practice for studios to assess performance before they commit resources to a potential bust.

Early signs are definitely positive, though. There are two more books to adapt — Enemy of God and Excalibur — and the first season only barely manages to get through one of them. With an enthusiastic fanbase and a solid cast, there’s certainly potential here for more of the same.

And, as mentioned above, the genre makes for prime thumbnail real estate. There isn’t much competition out there at the moment in this regard, with other big sort-of-fantasy epics on other platforms — such as Rings of Power on Prime Video and See on Apple TV+ and The Last Kingdom (itself a Cornwell adaptation) on Netflix — having run their course. MGM+ will likely see this as a vital feather in their cap.

How has The Winter King performed?

Since streaming platforms keep their viewership figures very close to their chest, there aren’t very many resources to help us get a clear sense of exactly how well a show is performing in terms of raw numbers. However, Television Stats currently lists The Winter King as the number one show on MGM+, and within the top 100 most popular shows online.

The graph charting the show’s engagement score over time shows a clear uptick as the first season has progressed, with some obvious lulls probably stemming from MGM trying to get cute with the release schedule. Both Episode 3 and Episode 6 were delayed, prompting a lot of angry fans in comments threatening to cancel their subscriptions (many of which had been activated on a free trial basis that should have carried them through to the show’s end — a highly suspect coincidence.)

Critically, The Winter King has done very well. At the time of writing its Rotten Tomatoes score is an impressive 82%, though the audience score is an oddly low 41%. This tracks with a similarly low IMDb rating of 5.8. What’s going on there?

Since I’m dedicated, I waded into the murk of the user reviews to figure out what people were complaining about. Many seem upset with the faithfulness of the adaptation, and many are also very upset — this being the internet, after all — at Merlin being played by a Black actor. So, you know, the usual.

The Winter King Season 2 Potential Release Date

Whether The Winter King is renewed or not, don’t expect to see it any time soon. Without official confirmation, there’s certainly no chance of an official release date, though we can make some logical predictions.

The first season debuted a year after being announced in 2022, which could provide a clue. However, the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike will likely complicate any efforts to get production underway if a second season is announced soon.

Conservatively, we’d predict a release date in 2025, though if the stars align we could see a second season as early as 2024. Either way, we’ll update this article with any new information as soon as we have it.


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