According to 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford, Hannah Baker will be very different when the show returns for season 2. The controversial teen drama first premiered last spring, tracing the months leading up to Hannah's suicide through a series of tapes she left behind. Despite some pushback for its candid depictions of topics like bullying, suicide, and sexual assault, it fast became a runaway hit, and though initially billed as a limited series, landed a renewal from Netflix in response.
This raised a lot of questions about what, exactly, a second season would look like. The first was adapted from Jay Asher's YA novel of the same name, and by the finale, had covered the entirety of his book. Continuing the series, then, would mean drafting fresh material, as well as figuring out how Langford might fit in. Hannah's tapes had finished, and with the character dead, so had her story.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly discussing her recent Golden Globe nomination, Langford addressed some of these factors, explaining that the narrative will broaden to include the other students at Liberty High. She told the outlet:
“This season has been really interesting for a lot of reasons. It’s a different story than season 1 and I think that’s a good thing. This season we get to explore a lot more of the other characters and their journeys, which I’m excited about. As sad as it is, there is life after Hannah, and this season we get to see the effects it had on the people around her a lot more.”
That also means fans might see Hannah in a different light. The first season was told entirely through her perspective, but in season 2, 13 Reasons Why has the freedom to explore things from new angles. Langford continued:
“You see a very different Hannah in season 2. I would prepare fans not to expect the Hannah from season 1 for a multitude of reasons.” But is it the last we’ll see of Hannah? "It’s funny because I just wrapped [filming] and I think a lot of this season for me is about letting Hannah go.”
This might reveal new details about Hannah's life viewers weren't privy to before, or could delve further into the aftermath of trauma. Hannah's peers were deeply affected by her death, and when the show left off, many of them were still grappling with their feelings. There are also a few major cliffhangers to explore, as well as the ongoing lawsuit launched to investigate the troubling details shared on Hannah's tapes. For a "limited series," there was a lot left hanging in the balance, and though Hannah will no longer be the central focus, it sounds like she'll still be a very present force in 13 Reasons Why, and perhaps even gain some closure to her story.
13 Reasons Why season 1 is available for streaming now on Netflix; season 2 is scheduled to arrive in 2018.