Everything We Know About Season 2 of HBO's 'Euphoria'

It's supposed to be even darker than Season 1.

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Zendaya as Rue in 'Euphoria' | HBO
Zendaya as Rue in 'Euphoria' | HBO

In summer 2019, HBO enamored audiences—and prompted viewers to wonder if Gen-Z is OK—with the release of Euphoria. The show, from Sam Levinson, son of Barry Levinson, and executive produced by Drake (among others), became an instant hit, praised for its young ensemble cast, led by Zendaya in an Emmy-winning performance as recovering addict Rue Bennett, and raw, unsentimental portrayal of youth culture, addiction, and trauma. Once people got past the pre-release controversy—you know, that now-infamous 30-dick scene—and tapped into the experiences of the classmates in Rue's network, viewers were hooked (and invested in the teens' well-being). 

Rue, Jules (Hunter Schafer), and their peers have been through a lot in a short amount of time, but there's clearly more to their stories. Since Euphoria was picked up for a second season back in July 2019 before the first season was even through, below we take a look at where the show stands going forward. Here's everything we know about Season 2 so far; check back for updates as we learn more.

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When will Euphoria Season 2 be released?

It's definitely been much longer than fans originally anticipated to check in with the kids of East Highland again, but you should be able to pull yourself out of the angsty pit of despair that is waiting for more Euphoria soon. According to a casting call from February 2021, filming began in early April and the cast and crew were still at it in May. It seems likely that filming should wrap up sometime soon, if it hasn't already, making for new episodes potentially hitting HBO sometime at the very end of 2021, or early 2022 at the latest. 

How many episodes will there be in Euphoria Season 2?

An episode count hasn't been announced, but given Season 1 featured eight installments, that number seems likely for Season 2.

Is there a trailer for Euphoria Season 2? 

The first look at Euphoria Season 2 dropped in mid-June on the two year anniversary of when the series first premiered. Unfortunately, it's not a full-length trailer, nor does it preview much of what's to come in the new season, but it's enough to preemptively turn fans into an emotional mess. The brief, silent teaser shows Jules emerging in a spotlight in a dark school hallway and Rue grinning ear to ear at her from down the hall. With their classmates passing by around them and Rue locking her eyes on Jules, it looks as if time has stopped and they're the only two in the room. Because of the way Rue is smiling, does this mean she's forgiven Jules and they're in a better place in their relationship now? Or, is it just a fantasy? Jules does look a little more detached, and further away, than Rue. It's a short clip, but theorizing is definitely in order. 

Who in the cast is returning for Season 2?

All of the East Highlanders you know and love (or hate) should be back for more melodrama in Season 2. Zendaya leads the cast as Rue and her narration guides viewers through the lives of her classmates, so obviously she'll be reprising her role. Plus, since the show is so reliant on its large ensemble cast, and there's definitely more to everybody's story, expect to see: Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer), Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi), Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), Fezco (Angus Cloud), Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira), Cassie Howard (Sydney Sweeney), Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie), Chris McKay (Algee Smith), Gia Bennett (Storm Reid), Ethan Lewis (Austin Abrams), and Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane).

Eddy Chen/Euphoria

Will there be any new characters in Euphoria Season 2? 

In early 2020, the series put out a casting call for a handful of new characters. Right now, there's no word on who landed any of the following roles, but here's who they were looking to fill, which gives a little insight into what's coming next season: 

"Darian: Male. 18+ to play 17. Any ethnicity. An outsider. Sensitive. Vulnerable. Mischievous. Could struggle with addiction. Definitely not the cool kid at school but one of the more interesting kids."

"Ray: Male. 18+ to play 17. Any ethnicity. Attractive in a real and accessible way. Working class. Pure heart. Might be going nowhere in life but has a smile so genuine it's not depressing. Scrappy but a fighter. Not verbose or educated—has all the words he needs."

"Ami: Female. 18-20s. Drug addict. Stripper. Hates her boyfriend. Talks shit. Can't read a room. Can make a bad situation worse."

"Serena: Female. 50s+, Caucasian. Sassy and tough. A real character. The kind of woman who partied her whole life and attended every Whitesnake concert and now she has several different hustles just to make a living."

According to Collider, one new addition has been confirmed: Kelvin Harrison Jr. It's unclear who the rising actor is set to play—be it one of the roles above or someone else entirely—but given he's got a few other A24 roles under his belt (Waves, It Comes At Night) and appeared in showrunner Sam Levinson's Assassination Nation, it seems like he'll fit right in.

More recently, another casting call went out for Euphoria Season 2 in February 2021. A couple other new characters include Jamieson and Bruce. Jamieson is even set to be a lead, and they're described as a "mischievous, funny, unafraid, sensitive" teenage boy or non-binary person who is also an "outsider who might have a drug problem." As for Bruce, he's said to be a recurring character in his 30-50s and a "hot-headed man on probation with a history of crime." Again, there's no word on who will be taking on these roles yet, but with the larger cast, it sounds like Euphoria is expanding its world even more.

In terms of the showrunners, who will be back for Season 2?

Creator Sam Levinson is largely at the helm of the show—writing, executive producing, and directing much of the first season based on his own life experiences—so he'll be on for round two. Drake, who interestingly executive produced Season 1, will also be back. The show will see even more contributions from buzzy writer Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play, Zola), who has been upped from consultant to co-producer, as reported by Variety. As for who else will be writing/producing/directing the upcoming season, most everything is still unannounced, although it's possible that Hunter Schafer, who co-wrote Jules' special episode "Fuck Anyone Who's Not A Seablob," may have additional writing credits going forward.

What will Season 2 be about? 

Euphoria reached a high in its Season 1 finale—but since highs don't last forever, it only made sense that the episode arrived at the most inevitable conclusion for Rue when she relapsed. The finale left a lot of questions unanswered, though, but thankfully the two standalone specials released in late 2020/early 2021, which meant to bridge the gap between Seasons 1 and 2, did give a bit of insight into some of those loose ends.

Primarily, it seems as though the direction for Season 2 is to further explore Rue's relapse and struggle with addition, as well as the ripple effect it has on others. Her special, "Trouble Don't Last Always," showed just how abandoned she felt when Jules ran off to the city, causing her to use again and putting her in a particularly dark place. We might see her going back to rehab—but it likely won't be an easy journey to get her there because of how much her addiction has clouded her faith in herself. She even went so far as to say no drug made her feel as good as Jules did, so it seems like not only will Rue have to work towards her recovery, she'll have to learn how to feel secure on her own. Regardless, the series definitely seems like it's heading towards following Rue's path towards recovery, and how detrimental addiction is, more closely.

In "Fuck Anyone Who's Not a Sea Blob," though, Jules' perspective on their relationship finally took the stage. The special revealed that, although Jules did love Rue, one of the reasons she retreated from them being together and ran away was because of the parallels between Rue's behavior as an addict with her mother's. We saw just how much that weighed on Jules, especially because, unbeknownst to Rue and Euphoria fans until the release of the special, Jules was dealing with her mother's alcoholism at the same time as the events of Season 1. While the end of Jules' special shows her and Rue briefly trying to reconcile their friendship, with Jules apologizing and Rue seemingly desperate to work things out, it might not be easy for things to return to how they once were. It may be understood that the two both care a great deal about one another, but it's possible Jules might need to be vulnerable and explain to Rue her own experience loving an addict, and Rue accepting how tough that can be, or learning to be stronger on her own.

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Eric Dane and Jacob Elordi as Cal and Nate Jacobs | Eddy Chen/HBO

Of course, Rue and Jules aren't the only characters on Euphoria. Nate Jacobs, for one, is a character with a lot of questions swirling around him. As shown by the Jules special, she still has complicated feelings for "Tyler," the fantasy of a person she attached to Nate's online profile Shyguy118 that he catfished her with—but it's unclear if their communication was solely for blackmail or if there were secret feelings on his end too. He's a complicated character for sure, and his relationship with his father is at the root of a lot of his volatile behavior. As you may recall, Season 1 ended with (a newly single) Maddy seeing what was almost definitely the graphic video of Cal Jacobs and Jules. Both Cal and Nate went to extreme lengths to protect their reputations, so now that Maddy has the upper hand, it's hard to say whether the truth will come out and what that means for the father and son. Knowing those two, it's unlikely they would react casually.

In an interview with EW, Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate, spoke to this and his problematic character's possible fate. "I want him to have a life and I want it to be honest," he explained. "I truly don't have any qualms about which direction it goes. I mean, obviously, it would be a lovely story if he turned out to be a real sunflower and lit up the world. But I definitely want it to be just true and real to his experience and I want it to kind of make sense. And I'm not sure what that looks like."

Similarly, fan favorite character Fezco might be headed down a darker path into the second season. He's now turning to even more criminal activity to make up for where he was short to pay back Mouse, so he might spiral into an even deeper life of crime or get caught for the crimes he's already committed.

Even Barbie Ferreira, who plays cam girl Kat, anticipates more "bad decision"-making in the future—at least that's what she told The New York Times she thinks her character might get into. While Ferreira wasn't able to offer many plot details, she did say she at least hopes for more queer storylines. "I feel like in my personal life I've been gay as hell," she said. "I think Kat's a little queer, but that might be my perspective." Neither of these ideas feel out of the scope of where the show could be headed. And wherever it's headed, in typical, unpredictable Euphoria fashion, it's supposed to be even darker and more surprising than fans could imagine. Sydney Sweeney told ET, "You won’t be able to guess what’s coming… I couldn’t even guess it. …I mean, everything with life as a teenager is shocking, so you never know what to expect."

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She's on Twitter at @mssadiebell.
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