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Elle Fanning is set to return as Catherine the Great in season 2 of Hulu's 'The Great'. What can we expect to see in the new season of the stunning comedy?

When will ‘The Great’ season 2 grace our TV screens?

Hulu has given fans a taste of what they can expect from season 2 of The Great. Elle Fanning stars as Catherine the Great in the lead role, for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Also earning appreciation for their performance was Nicolas Hoult, who was nominated for multiple awards for his performance as Catherine’s husband Peter. 

The long-awaited follow-up to the first season of The Great hits Hulu on November 19th. The trailer for season 2 promises that the show will continue to bring its signature humor to this loose adaptation of real historical events & figures. 

The Great was devised by the brilliant Tony McNamara, who you may recognize as the co-writer of the superb movie The Favourite, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos & starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz. McNamara’s dark & raunchy humor contrasts splendidly with the formal, buttoned-up settings of previous eras.

Season 1

Season 1 starts with Catherine entering an arranged marriage with Peter III. Her dreams of romance are quickly dispelled by Peter’s brash & uncaring personality. Catherine is about to kill herself when her maid & confidant, Marial, informs her that in Russia, the crown goes to the empress in the case of no heirs to the emperor. The two decide to bring Orlo, one of Peter’s advisors, in on their plan to overthrow Peter. 

Peter tries to make Catherine happier by bringing in a lover for her, Leo. Though initially reluctant to trust Leo, Catherine begins an affair & quickly falls for him. Peter’s aunt Elizabeth supports Catherine, and murders Ivan, a child who poses a threat to Catherine’s shot at the throne. Peter is nearly killed by his best friend Grigor, who is driven mad by Peter’s affair with his wife. Peter survives the murder attempt. 

After nearly dying, Peter has a new outlook on his life & starts trying to make his marriage to Catherine work. Catherine attempts to take advantage of Peter’s change of heart to implement changes to Russia. Though the two share some moments, Catherine realizes that Peter will never be a good ruler, and furthermore will never respect her. She & her allies move forward with plans for a coup.

Season 1 ends with Catherine finding out she’s pregnant right before the coup is carried out. Peter’s last ploy is to threaten to have Leo killed if Catherine goes forward with her plan. She lets Leo die so that the coup will continue. Peter lives, and he & Catherine both believe that they will have the upper hand moving forward.

Season 2

The trailer for season 2 shows Catherine taking on the moniker for which the show was named: Catherine the Great. Gillian Anderson is shown as Catherine’s mother, who arrives to ask her daughter about her plans to take over control of the country from Peter. Catherine & Peter disagree over how Russia should be run, as Catherine insists that she can maintain power without spilling blood. 

Catherine & Peter’s rivalry continues, as the two bicker about who will win the political chess match they’re engaged in. Orlo continues to argue for killing Peter, whose stupidity masks the fact that he could actually be a threat to Catherine’s power. Certainly, the odds aren’t in Catherine’s favor, as a woman trying to take power from her husband who is literally the emperor of Russia. 

Catherine’s safety from Peter is also in question, but she insists that her pregnancy protects her from being killed until the baby is born. Aunt Elizabeth is still around, giving the couple advice & playing a bit on both sides. She advises Peter to try to strengthen his marriage to Catherine. A conversation with Gregor is shown that suggests that killing Catherine still isn’t off the table. 

Are you as excited as we are for season 2 of The Great? Do you think Peter will make it out of season 2 alive? Let us hear your predictions in the comments!

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