‘The Testaments’ Showrunner Warns Fans to Expect Changes From the Book

The Handmaid’s Tale is officially getting a prequel series called The Testaments, and fans should expect some changes from the book. Both shows are based on books of the same name by Margaret Atwood. It’s no secret that The Handmaid’s Tale diverged from the story told in Atwood’s book in many ways. Showrunner Bruce Miller recently warned fans to expect the same from The Testaments.

The Testaments fans should expect changes from the book. Hannah kneels by her bed and prays, wearing a purple nightgown.
Jordana Blake as Hannah in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ novel left June’s fate uncertain

The Handmaid’s Tale series doesn’t follow Margaret Atwood’s novel too closely, and it’s easy to understand the reason. The book is only a little over 300 pages, whereas the series will end with a total of 6 seasons. For this reason, the creative minds behind the series had to add many details to the world of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The book leaves off with Offred still in Gilead but being led into a van by the Eyes, unaware of what will happen to her next. She steps “into the darkness, within; or else the light.” In an interview with TIME, Atwood stated, “We will learn enough to know that it was more like the light than the darkness.”

The Testaments revealed that Offred survived and works underground with the resistance. She is suspected to be the mother of Agnes and Nichole, who form two-thirds of the book’s narration. Aunt Lydia is the final narrator.

Fans should respect ‘The Testaments’ series to change details from the book

Like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments won’t be a perfect replica of the book on which it’s based. “I’m working on The Testaments while I’m working on Season 6 of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s so lovely to have another book to go to,” showrunner Bruce Miller told Deadline.

“I think the people watch the TV show have to be comfortable with the fact that just like Handmaid’s didn’t follow the book, The Testaments is a sequel to this TV show. So I’m not necessarily shooting for those things the way that they are in The Testaments, but everybody is growing in those directions.”

Additionally, fans shouldn’t necessarily expect June to fall in line with where her book counterpart ends up in The Testaments. “Margaret [Atwood] and I had lots of conversations about the character [of June]. She watched some of the show before she even started to write The Testaments,” Miller continued.

“I think that the characters have a lot of similarities, which is wonderful—and they are definitely falling into place for The Testaments. But for June, I don’t feel an allegiance to wrap her up the way she’s wrapped up in The Testaments novel. I just want to follow the story and make sure it makes sense.”

Will Hannah escape Gilead before ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ ends?

If The Testaments followed the book exactly, it would mean that Hannah won’t get out of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale. In the book, Hannah (or Agnes as she is referred to) escapes when she is in her early 20s. However, some fans are hoping The Handmaid’s Tale series will change her fate and get her out of Gilead before the show ends.

All episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are currently streaming on Hulu.

RELATED: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 5 Explores the Rise of Gilead in Canada

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