One of the most successful German originals in recent years has been the period drama series, The Empress. After several weeks of streaming, Netflix gave the new series a swift renewal for a second season. Below, we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know about the second season of The Empress on Netflix.
The Empress is a German Netflix Original historical romantic drama series written by Katharina Eyssen and based on the early life and romance of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The series was co-written by Bernd Lange, Janna Maria Nandzik, and Lena Stahl. Florian Cossen and Katrin Gebbe are the co-directors of the series.
At the tender age of sixteen, Elisabeth Wittlebach marries Franz Joseph, the Emporer of Austria. At odds with life in court, and with her mother-in-law, Elisabeth must fight for her voice in court and become the figurehead of a struggling empire.
When was The Empress Renewed for Season 2?
Official Netflix Renewal Status: Renewed (Last Updated: 09/11/2022)
It took a little over six weeks after its initial release, but Netflix announced its renewal of The Empress for a second season on November 9th, 2022.
In a statement on Instagram around the time of renewal, the showrunner of the series, Katharina Eyssen, said:
“I am incredibly grateful that we were able to touch so many different people in Germany and around the world with our series. The story of Elisabeth’s life is a story of the power of love, but also the courage to be different and the hope for a better future. And that’s what we need right now. And that’s why we’re very happy that we can continue to tell this story.”
The Empress got off to a strong start on Netflix. Within the first two weeks of its release, the series had amassed over 106 million hours viewed and, for at least a week, was the most-watched non-English language series on Netflix.
In total, the show picked up 159.8 million hours across five weeks.
What could we expect from the second season of The Empress?
*SEASON 2 SPOILER WARNING*
We’ve only seen a fraction of the interesting life of Empress Elisabeth, and there are many decades yet to explore.
Now with child, Elisabeth will give birth to her first of four children, Archduchess Sophie of Austria. However, while the birth of her first child was one of the happiest moments of Elisabeth’s life, it also put her at odds with her mother-in-law, Princess Sophie, who was convinced that the Empress was too young to raise the children, and took it upon herself to rear the children of the Empress.
After many months of protest, Elisabeth was finally able to convince her husband, Emporer Franz, that she would be allowed to take her children on her travels. Sadly, while traveling in Hungary, her daughter, Archduchess Sophie, died of a high fever.
The death of Archduchess Sophie only increased the resolve of her grandmother, Princess Sophie, that she should rear the grandchildren of the Emperor instead of the Empress.
All of the surviving children of Elisabeth would grow up with a distant mother, who may not have been cruel to them, but was certainly “unmotherly.”
As for Emporer Franz, the birth of his first child, and the actions taken by his wife, helped to reduce nationalist and revolutionary sentiment. However, tensions in Europe will eventually lead to Austria going to war.
The second season is likely to explore the pregnancy of Elisabeth, and the first couple of years of life as a mother until the tragic death of her firstborn child.
Speaking to TVMovie.de, some of the actors teased the upcoming season.
Philip Froissant, who plays Emporer Franz said (translated from German to English):
“In season one we see that Franz emancipates himself more and more from his mother and begins to chart his own path as a ruler. I would like to see this journey followed in season two. He has children. Being a father will change him. There are wars coming up – lots of domestic and foreign policy issues that are super exciting. I want to see what this does to the relationship between Elisabeth and Franz.”
Melika Foroutan, who plays Archduchess Sophie, speculated:
“Since the Archduchess has had a lot of influence on the upbringing of her grandchildren, I think there will continue to be tensions between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. I would like to see the aspect of the approaching loss of power due to the increasing emancipation of the son, Emperor Franz Joseph, given even more space in a second season.”
When could we expect to see season 2 of The Empress on Netflix?
Unfortunately, we will be waiting a significant period of time before the second season arrives. At the earliest, we would expect to see the second season of The Empress sometime in 2024.
Production on the series got underway in Fall 2023, with Netflix DE confirming that cameras were rolling as of September 27th:
Which cast members will return?
We can expect to see the following cast members return for the second season;
- Devrim Lingnau as Elisabeth von Wittelsbach
- Philip Froissant as Franz Joseph I of Austria
- Melika Foroutan as Princess Sophie of Bavaria,
- Johannes Nussbaum as Archduke Maximilian
- Elisa Schlott as Duchess Helene in Bavaria
- Jördis Triebel as Princess Ludovika of Bavaria
- Almila Bagriacik as Countess Leontine von Apafi
- Hanna Hilsdorf as Countess Amalia von Salm Reifferscheidt.
- Runa Greiner as Countess Charlotte von Stubenberg
- Svenja Jung as Countess Louise Gundemann
- Andreas Döhler as Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria
- Wiebke Puls as Countess Sophie Esterházy
- Michael Fuith as Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
- Felix Nölle as Archduke Ludwig Viktor of Austria
- Martin Butzke as Gustav, Prince of Vasa
Can The Empress become the successor to The Crown?
It will be hard for any period drama to become the successor of Netflix’s incredibly successful original series, The Crown. However, The Empress certainly can become the non-English language equivalent.
With many decades of Elisabeth’s life to explore, there could be many seasons of The Empress to look forward to in the future.
Would you like to see a second season of The Empress on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!