Why There Probably Won't Be a Second Season of 'The Queen's Gambit'

Netflix's hit chess-playing show was meant to be a limited series.

queen's gambit

The Queen's Gambit, Netflix's hit about a stylish chess prodigy, ends in the exact same place the book upon which it is based does. Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), having just defeated her Russian adversary Borgov, stops at a Soviet park to play a game with an old man. In the show, Beth is mobbed by fans. In the book, she isn't recognized. Still, Scott Frank's show reaches the same point as Walter Tevis' novel. 

And yet the question persists: Will there be another season? 

The short answer: Probably not. The Queen's Gambit was made as a limited series, and if there's any justice in the world, it will remain that way. Nothing ever good comes of extending a story that's not meant to be extended. Of course, in this television economy, it has happened before. (Looking at you, Big Little Lies.)

For those who have somehow missed the phenomenon, The Queen's Gambit follows Beth, an orphan with an incredible aptitude for chess and a penchant for downing tranquilizers , as she rises through the ranks of the chess world and battles addiction. It's been praised for its striking performances, specifically from Anya Taylor-Joy, who makes incredible use of her almost eerie gaze, as well as its impeccable production design. Could it single-handedly bring back wallpaper?

Taylor-Joy, for her part, is keeping the dream of more Queen's Gambit (slightly) alive by telling Town & Country: “If I've learned anything from being in this industry, it's never say never. I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I was asked to, but I do think we leave Beth in a good place. I think the rest of her life will surely be an adventure as well, but in the quest that she goes on in this to find some form of peace, just some form of being able to be happy with who she is. I think it ends in a nice place.”

Where would a Season 2 even go? Would it continue the saga of Beth and her fabulous clothes? Maybe it spends some time with Beth's adoring boys . Some fans have pitched a spinoff about Moses Ingram's Jolene, who has an amazing story of her own that barely gets any screen time. Now, that sounds good. But, if we're being frank, it's highly unlikely that Netflix will go forward with more. Sometimes it's best just to let good things be. 

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.