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Every Handmaid’s Tale Character Who Returns In The Testaments

The Testaments is an upcoming spin-off of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and the show will feature several returning characters from the original series. Based on the 2019 Margaret Atwood novel, The Testaments follows a handful of key characters from The Handmaid’s Tale 15 years after the events of the original book, with the story continuing and tying up several loose ends and unfinished storylines. Although Hulu’s The Testaments is still a while away (considering that The Handmaid’s Tale is still running), there are some characters and storylines that are already confirmed to appear in the spin-off.

Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale is often considered to be a literary classic, with the story being adapted into the popular Hulu show as well as a feature film. Despite this success, a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t written for decades, as the original novel mostly wrapped up Margaret Atwood’s story of Gilead, with Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale series having to expand on the original novel over the course of several seasons. However, Margaret Atwood eventually returned to the world of Gilead in 2019, releasing The Testaments. The Testaments is divided into the story of three returning characters, shedding more light on some familiar faces.

Related: Does Hannah Become A Wife? What We Know Of Her Handmaid’s Tale Future

Aunt Lydia
Aunt Lydia crying in a scene from the episode about her backstory in The Handmaid’s Tale
Aunt Lydia is one of the main characters in The Testaments, with the vicious leader of Offred and the Handmaids getting seen in a new light. Aunt Lydia has been a major focus of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale so far, having been there since the very beginning. Although she is undoubtedly one of The Handmaid’s Tale’s villains, Aunt Lydia has been changing as a person over the past few seasons, developing a love for Esther and Janine in season 5 and even beginning to change her perspective on Gilead, standing against some of the unjust aspects of Gileadean society. This proves that Aunt Lydia’s story in The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t over.

The Testament changes how audiences see Aunt Lydia, with the novel explaining much of her backstory. However, the show has already presented much of this narrative, with Aunt Lydia’s pre-Gilead life being a big focus in The Handmaid’s Tale season 3. In the book, Aunt Lydia publishes the manuscripts of her life story and her opinions of Gilead, with them gaining popularity inside and outside of Gilead. This gives Lydia more influence over Gilead, as she attempts to change Gilead for the better from the inside. Although Aunt Lydia is undoubtedly better than she was in The Handmaid’s Tale, she still has a lot to learn in Hulu’s The Testaments.

Aunt Lydia’s role in The Testaments is integral, and luckily, she’s already set to return in the Hulu series. Ann Dowd is set to reprise her role as Aunt Lydia, continuing her critically acclaimed performance as the cruel but powerful woman from The Handmaid’s Tale. Ann Dowd is the only actor confirmed to return in The Testaments yet, but there’s a possibility that more are on the way.

Hannah Bankole
Hannah in The Handmaids Tale Season 5 Episode 8
Hannah Bankole is the daughter of June and Luke in The Handmaid’s Tale, and while this version of the character doesn’t exactly exist in The Testaments, an incredibly similar counterpart does. In The Testaments, a crucial figure is Agnes, the adopted daughter of two high-ranking Gilead officials. Agnes attends a prestigious school and is being trained to be a wife – she even becomes Victoria later in the story. However, The Testaments reveals that Agnes is actually the biological daughter of a Handmaid that works for Mayday and lives in Canada, with Agnes also learning that she has a sister named Nichole.

Related: Does The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Connect To The Testaments?

The Testaments is a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale book and not the Hulu series, explaining why there are some inconsistencies between both versions of the story. However, since Hulu’s version of The Testaments will maintain continuity with the original series, some of these holes will be patched up. Hannah’s story matches up with Agnes’ story almost one for one, with Hannah being the daughter of June, sister of Nichole, and adopted daughter of MacKenzies. Since The Testaments takes place 15 years in the future, Hannah will likely be recast for the series, but she will undoubtedly be returning for the upcoming spin-off.

Nichole Osborne

Baby Nichole Osborne from The Handmaid’s Tale also returns in The Testaments, although at times she is also called Daisy and Jade. Nichole lives in Toronto with two adopted parents, where she advocates for social justice in Gilead. However, much like Agnes, Nichole doesn’t know her true origins. Nichole is also the daughter of the Mayday Handmaid that escaped to Canada, unknowingly making her the sister of Agnes. During The Testaments, Nichole meets various people from Gilead, becomes more radicalized against their systems of oppression, and learns more about her past bit by bit.

In The Testaments, Nichole is about 16 years old, although the novel tells stories from other parts of her life. Since Nichole is just a baby in The Handmaid’s Tale, the spin-off series will undoubtedly have to cast a new actress for the role. Nichole’s The Testaments story has already been set up, with her living in Gilead after being smuggled out by June. However, Nichole’s story in The Testaments involves her living with an adoptive family, meaning that (unless Hulu’s version changes something) June and Luke may have to meet a tragic ending. Nichole has been integral, so it’s good that she’ll play a bigger role in The Testaments.

Aunt Elizabeth
Aunt Elizabeth in the Handmaid’s Tale
While Aunt Lydia, Hannah, and Nichole are the main focuses of The Testaments, there’s actually one other character who returns from The Handmaid’s Tale. Aunt Elizabeth is one of the four founding Aunts of Gilead, and despite her importance, actress Edie Inksetter has only portrayed her in the background of a few scenes so far. Although it isn’t confirmed if Aunt Elizabeth will return for Hulu’s The Testaments, she does play a slightly bigger role in the novel than in the original story. While The Testaments may not feature a lot of returning characters from The Handmaid’s Tale, those that do return are given so much more depth.


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