After graffitiing popular culture with cartoon squigglies and launching the careers of various new British queeros, Heartstopper returned with its sophomore season this year to universal critical acclaim.
For those who somehow don’t know: the Netflix series is based on Alice Oseman’s beloved webcomic of the same name and follows the charming romance between high schoolers Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), while also exploring the lives of their close-knit circle: Tao (William Gao), Elle (Yasmin Finney), Tara (Corinna Brown) and Darcy (Kizzy Edgell).
Season two continued to receive praise for its unwavering focus on love, joy and acceptance, while breaking new ground for queer representation on the small-screen, as well as the young-adult genre.
While we wait with bated breath for more official announcements, from casting news to plot points, we’ve compiled a list of everything we know about the third season of Heartstopper below.
When will it be released?
The release date of Heartstopper’s third season hasn’t been announced yet, but if it follows the same pattern as the first two seasons, which respectively launched in April 2022 and August 2023, then it should premiere within the next… erm… 12 months? Let’s go with that.
Who is returning from the second season?
The cast is yet to be confirmed, but we’re fully expecting the main players to return.
This includes Joe Locke as Charlie, Kit Connor as Nick, Yasmin Finney as Elle, William Gao as Tao, Corinna Brown as Tara, Kizzy Edgell as Darcy and Tobie Donovan as Isaac.
More star power incoming: Jenny Walser as Tori, Cormac Hyde-Corrin as Harry, Rhea Norwood as Imogen, Fisayo Akinade as Nathan, Chetna Pandya as Coach Singh, Bradley Riches as James and Olivia Colman as Nick’s mother.
Season two introduced a plethora of new characters: Jack Barton as David, Leila Khan as Sahar, Nima Taleghani as Youssef, Bel Priestly as Naomi and Ash Self as Felix.
Again, we’re expecting them to all reprise their roles.
The only main cast member who won’t be back is Sebastian Croft as Ben, the toxic ex-lover of Charlie. Oseman told Netflix’s companion site Tudum that the character’s “role in Heartstopper is now complete” following his arc in season two.
Croft added that both he and Oseman “felt strongly” about the character not having redemption, with Oseman adding: “Ben can become a better person, but Charlie should not have to witness that, endorse it, or offer any forgiveness. And so he won’t.”
What is the plot?
Season two was slightly heavier than its predecessor, exploring sensitive topics such as coming out, mental health and self-harm.
Additionally, Heartstopper continued to give a voice to some of the most marginalised identities under the LGBTQ+ umbrella with the revelation that Isaac is asexual, whilst introducing a new trans character in the form of Naomi. For a show such as Heartstopper, one that’s tailored to LGBTQ+ youth, to do all of the above is, undeniably, groundbreaking.
Speaking with Metro, Oseman said mental health will continue to be a “big element” in season three: “We’re going to continue to look at that in a big way and explore how that affects Nick and Charlie’s relationship, and all of the other friendships in the show.
“So people who’ve read volume four will have a little bit of an idea of what is coming. I’m really excited to take the show into that new place.”
As well as Charlie’s struggles with mental health and his eating order, other crucial storylines that we can expect are as follows: Darcy’s toxic relationship with her homophobic mum; Elle attending the Lambert School of Art; Nick being a proud bicon; and Imogen’s untouchable status as the greatest ally in history.
Heartstopper season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.