After another bloody good season of Kingdom, fans will be even more ravenous to see the Korean horror series return for a third. We’re still waiting for Netflix to confirm that a third season is happening, but we can look forward to the one-hour special episode “Ashin of the North” which arrives July 2021.
Kingdom is a Netflix Original South Korean horror series written by Kim Eun-hee. The series is based on the book Land of the Gods, which was also written by Kim Eun-hee. First arriving in 2019, the horror series has since become one of the most popular non-English titles available to stream on Netflix.
Has Kingdom been renewed for season three?
Official Netflix Renewal Status: Pending (Last Updated: 04/06/2021)
We’re over a year on since the release of Kingdom season two on Netflix, and sadly we’re still yet to hear any news that the series has been renewed for season three.
Our confidence that Kingdom will be returning has greatly increased after the confirmation that the series will be returning with a special bonus episode, exploring the character of Gianna Jun, portrayed by Jun Ji-hyun. It has been confirmed that Kingdom: Ashin of the North will be coming to Netflix on July 23rd, 2021.
Despite the lack of renewal, we’re still confident that the series will be returning for a third season. Our confidence has only been bolstered more since screenwriter Kim Eun-hee and director Park in-je were interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter.
When asked about the amount of story and number she had left, Kim Eun-hee had the following to say:
Strangely enough, Kingdom is a series that gives me more energy the more I write it. The cast and crew all have great chemistry, and there’s so much more to tell. If viewers allow, I would love to see it develop even up to season 10.
The last we’ve heard from Kim Eun-hee was her discussing what role Jun Ji Hyun may have to play in season three:
I think Jun Ji Hyun will become a central role alongside the main characters from season one and two.
Fans, and indeed ourselves, are delighted to read how enthusiastic Kim Eun-hee is about the future of Kingdom. Ten seasons is incredibly ambitious, but considering how popular the horror series has become, who’s to say it couldn’t reach double figures?
What to expect from season three of Kingdom
Below we’ll be discussing what we can expect to see from the third season of Kingdom.
*Spoilers for Kingdom season two*
Outbreak in the North
After seven years and three months since Prince Chang faked his death, we learned from Young-Shin, in a reunion with Cho Beom-Pal, that his royal highness had been investigating the resurrection plant, hunting it all over Korea. We learned that the resurrection plant had been growing in regions all over Korea, and a mysterious seller from the Chinese/Korean border had been selling it to the common folk.
Taking Prince Chang, Seobi, and his guard north, they discovered an abandoned village. Upon investigating, they soon discovered that the village had become infected. After dispatching one of the undead, the further ringing of bells amongst the trees indicated, even more, infected were on the way.
With only three trained fighters among them, from what we saw, it’s highly likely that Prince Chang may need to retreat from the north. Without the relevant number of soldiers to take down zombies, there could be another outbreak in the north.
Who is the plant seller?
Tracking the mysterious seller north, it was finally revealed the person trying to spread the plague was a woman. Her motives are unclear at this point, but as one of the peasants revealed he had purchased the resurrection plant from the border between China and Korea, so she could be working for the Ming Dynasty.
The intention could be to annihilate the population of Korea, then allow Chinese forces to conquer with ease.
Alternatively, she may just want to watch the world burn.
The new undead prince?
Despite removing the worms from the young Prince as a baby, of at least one of the parasites remained in his system, laying dormant until his brain had developed enough for it to take over.
For now, all we know is that the worm carrying the infection has spread to the Prince’s brain. Taking into consideration it has been lying dormant for seven years, it may impact the young royal differently to other victims.
Personally, it would be too easy for infection to claim the prince, turning him into a mindless monster and spreading the plague within the palace walls. It’s likely we’ll see a new form of contamination, one that may corrupt his mind until eventually turning him into a smarter and even deadlier zombie.
Will a cure ever be found?
Seobi had spent the better part of seven years trying to discover a cure for the undead plague. Other than the discovery that submerging a victim in water destroys the worms, very little progress had been made.
In her research, Seobi was able to round up all that we knew about the virus;
- The worms are affected by weather, favoring colder temperatures over warmth, but are highly volatile when exposed to extreme heat.
- The undead lay dormant during the months of Spring and Summer
- In Autumn and Winter, the undead are only active during the night when temperatures drop
- After the Winter solstice until the first day of Spring the dead remain active day and night.
- Submerging the victims in water before infection takes hold will destroy the worms inside of the body
Sadly, Seobi had been mistaken about newborns immunity, as the worms laid dormant within the prince even after submerging his wounds.
Seobi’s research has been left in the hands of Cho Beom-Pal, in case of another outbreak, which may arrive sooner than anyone would have expected.
Kim Eun-hee’s update
In the same discussion where screenwriter Kim Eun-hee spoke of Jun Ji Hyun’s role in Kingdom, she revealed a little of what we can expect from the third season:
Season one told the story of hunger and season two told the story of blood. If Netflix agrees, I want season three to tell the story of resentment. Season two brought attention to the concept of ‘temperature’ and I think if the story were to travel north, the different ecosystem in the North would act as a hint.
Casting news for Kingdom Season three
We said goodbye to plenty of cast members in the second season, many sadly falling victim to the undead plague.
One cast member we’ll definitely be seeing more of for the third season will be Jun Ji Hyun. While that may name be unfamiliar for some, the South Korean actress was seen in the dying seconds of Kingdom season two, revealing her to be the culprit spreading the resurrection flower around Korea.
It was revealed in late 2019 that Jun Ji Hyun had been cast, but her role had been kept a fiercely guarded secret. We can now understand why, because her being cast all but confirms a third season of Kingdom.
Cast members, we’re expecting to see returning for season three are:
|Role||Actor/Actress||Where have I seen/heard them before?|
|Crown Prince Chang||Ju Ji-Hoon||Asure: The City of Madness | Antique | The Spy Gone North|
|Seo-Bi||Bae Doo-Na||Sense8 | Cloud Atlas | The Host|
|Young-Shin||Kim Sung-Kyu||The Outlaws | Tunnel | The Accidental Detective|
|Jo Beom-Pal||Jun Suk-Ho||Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon | Intruders | Lucid Dream|
|Moo Young’s Wife||Ahn Eun Jin||Hospital Playlist | Stranger From Hell | The Crowned Clown|
We’ll ensure to catch you up on all the latest news and information for the third season of Kingdom.
When can we expect filming to begin for the third season of Kingdom?
The global pandemic was the biggest hinderance to the future of the Original, as it was to multiple Netflix Originals that saw delays like Grace and Frankie, or cancellation like GLOW.
With no news confirmed that Kingdom is returning for a season 3 it’s hard to speculate when we can expect the filming to begin.
When can we expect to see Kingdom season three on Netflix?
As we’ve speculated above, Covid-19 could greatly impact the production of the third season, which means we could see the series delayed by of least a few months.
It’s becoming increasingly less likely we’ll see Kingdom return in any capacity in 2021. The earliest we could hope to expect the series to return to Netflix now is 2022.
How many episodes will season three feature?
We’ve always known that Kingdom had been pushed from eight episodes to twelve, but plans for a third season may not have been considered if it wasn’t for the overwhelming popularity.
Now that we’re in uncharted territory, we could see even more episodes of Kingdom. We’d certainly like to see more, but the cost of making Kingdom is extremely expensive. Netflix can often be strict with the number of episodes in an Original, so don’t be surprised to see the series return with another six episodes.
While we would love to see more than six episodes of Kingdom in season three, just having more of the zombie horror is more than good enough for us.
Would you like to see a third season of Kingdom? Do you have any theories you’d love to share? let us know in the comments below!