A Discovery of Witches – The final season approaches

Tomorrow, season 3 (S03) of A Discovery of Witches will arrive in the UK, marking the beginning of the end as the season brings the show to its close. 

Just a few years ago, in 2018, the TV series first appeared on screens and I quickly became enthralled, soon after finding and reading the inspiring All Souls book series. When the show returns tomorrow, it will offer me another chance to see this story of daemons, vampires, and witches, magic and murder, forbidden romance and corrupt ruling systems, concluded once more. 

I loved the book series and, once I’ve seen the final season, I expect I’ll be able to say the same about the TV series in its entirety. Seasons 1 and 2 certainly weren’t disappointments and, in fact, I preferred certain aspects of the show compared to the books. Whether this positive trend continues or not, only time will tell.

Where S02 left off

Before I get into what I expect and am looking forward to in S03, let me recap some of S02 and how it ended.

Last season saw Diana and Matthew in the 16th Century, hiding from the Congregation, and searching for lost magical manuscript Ashmole 782 (aka The Book of Life). Diana was also getting the chance to learn about her magic and how to use it. While in the past, the two made something of a life for themselves, including by informally adopting a son, and got married, met each other’s fathers, and found then gave up Ashmole 782. This they did while dealing with the expected trouble that comes with being a time-travelling witch and vampire that shouldn’t be together – according to the status quo.

Come episode 10, Diana and Matthew finally decide to travel back to the present and “meet their future” without both their “son” and Ashmole 782. Diana will return not only better informed and skilled as a witch, but also newly expecting.

Presumably, arriving back at Sept Tours – as long as Diana’s time jumping is accurate – they will find several of their family members and friends assembled.

Sept Tours was where several characters in the present-day timeline found themselves hiding out as the threat of the Congregation grew. Ysabeau and Marcus were joined at the de Clermont ancestral home by Marcus’s new human partner Phoebe; de Clermont family friend and vampire Miriam; Diana’s aunts Emily and Sarah; the daemons Sophie and Nathan there to prevent their witch daughter Margaret being taken by the Congregation; and Nathan’s mother and not-so-loyal Congregation member Agatha Wilson. On the other hand, Baldwin de Clermont is elsewhere, probably still seething at his increasing loss of control over matters throughout the season.

Tragically, being on de Clermont territory wasn’t enough to protect Emily. Killed by Peter Knox, she became the latest casualty of the nefarious plans of certain Congregation members. Hopefully, the de Clermonts, Bishops, and company fair better as the fight continues next season. The fates of not only Diana and Matthew, but also the Wilson family, and anyone else that dares to oppose the current Congregation, the Covenant, and the segregation of creatures, depend on it.

S02 leaves open the mystery of outcast vampire Benjamin Fuchs, and just why he is so obsessed with Diana. Or Matthew’s witch, as he calls her. And, speaking of Fuchs, the reveal that he is Andrew Hubbard’s sire made for a nice mini cliffhanger as we wait to see whose side Hubbard is really on, and how Diana’s decision to join his family (to protect Jack) will affect characters in S03. We also have yet to find out the identity of the vampire assailant that’s been killing humans in the present and has some connection to Diana and Matthew’s. The questions around these S02 additions will, no doubt, be addressed in S03.

Before I get into what I expect and am looking forward to in S03, let me recap some of S02 and how it ended.

Last season saw Diana and Matthew in the 16th Century, hiding from the Congregation, and searching for lost magical manuscript Ashmole 782 (aka The Book of Life). Diana was also getting the chance to learn about her magic and how to use it. While in the past, the two made something of a life for themselves, including by informally adopting a son, and got married, met each other’s fathers, and found then gave up Ashmole 782. This they did while dealing with the expected trouble that comes with being a time-travelling witch and vampire that shouldn’t be together – according to the status quo.

Come episode 10 (E10), Diana and Matthew finally decide to travel back to the present and “meet their future” without both their “son” and Ashmole 782. Diana will return not only better informed and skilled as a witch, but also newly expecting.

Presumably, arriving back at Sept Tours – as long as Diana’s time jumping is accurate – they will find several of their family members and friends assembled.

Sept Tours was where several characters in the present-day timeline found themselves hiding out as the threat of the Congregation grew. Ysabeau and Marcus were joined at the de Clermont ancestral home by Marcus’s new human partner Phoebe; de Clermont family friend and vampire Miriam; Diana’s aunts Emily and Sarah; the daemons Sophie and Nathan there to prevent their witch daughter Margaret being taken by the Congregation; and Nathan’s mother and not-so-loyal Congregation member Agatha Wilson. On the other hand, Baldwin de Clermont is elsewhere, probably still seething at his increasing loss of control over matters throughout the season.

Tragically, being on de Clermont territory wasn’t enough to protect Emily. Killed by Peter Knox, she became the latest casualty of the nefarious plans of certain Congregation members. Hopefully, the de Clermonts, Bishops, and co. fair better as the fight continues next season. The fates of not only Diana and Matthew, but also the Wilson family, and anyone else that dares to oppose the current Congregation, the Covenant, and the segregation of creatures, depend on it.

S02 leaves open the mystery of outcast vampire Benjamin Fuchs, and just why he is so obsessed with Diana. Or Matthew’s witch, as he calls her. And, speaking of Fuchs, the reveal that he is Andrew Hubbard’s sire made for a nice mini cliffhanger as we wait to see whose side Hubbard is really on, and how Diana’s decision to join his family (to protect Jack) will affect characters in S03. We also have yet to find out the identity of the vampire assailant that’s been killing humans in the present and has some connection to Diana and Matthew’s. The questions around these S02 additions will, no doubt, be addressed in S03.

So, there’s plenty to expect from the upcoming season.

Coming in season 3

I’m certainly ready…for season 3

On reuniting in the present, Diana and Matthew, and co. will be picking up where they left off in the fight against the Congregation. More specifically against the alliance of Peter, Gerbert, Satu and, to a lesser extent, Domenico. And characters, both already introduced and yet-to-come, will likely add to the list of enemies for the extended Bishop/de Clermont clan and their allies. I expect that along with new foes, friends will also emerge to help in the fight against the Congregation. 

Where allies and enemies are concerned, I’m interested to see which Baldwin ends up being. After the way his arc progressed in S02, I’m wondering whether he’ll remain loyal to his family, or if he’s grown too bitter to do so.

But whatever side characters end up on, I’ll be happy as long as the character progression is done well, and the final battle is a thrilling one. The tension between the opposing sides of this fight has been building for years now (at least from the viewers perspective) and it deserves a satisfying culmination.

Also when it comes to characters, I’m looking forward to seeing characters introduced or further developed in S03. The former, especially in the case of Ransome, who I took a liking to in the book series. The latter, particularly where Fuchs, Hubbard, and the unnamed vampire killer are concerned. Though already introduced, enough questions about them and their motives still exist that they’re wildcards. If not entirely as far as their ultimate goals are concerned – because I have book knowledge that potentially removes some of the mystery – then certainly around how they’ll go about achieving them.

Another endeavour that I’m anticipating is the (re)finding of Ashmole 782, along with its missing pages. Like the conflict with the Congregation, the mysterious manuscript is a major aspect of the show’s plot, and my expectations around the power it’s revealed to have and the part it will play in the ending have built up quite a bit.

Other things to look forward to in S03 include the reactions to and explanations of Diana’s unexpected pregnancy, and the increased antagonism it will incite from the Congregation. Mostly though, I’m just excited for the possible glimpses of domestic family bliss that the pregnancy could lead to in S03.

Those are the upcoming highlights for me but, in general, I’m just really eager to see how the show ends. I’ve already said more than once that I read the book series that inspired the TV adaption, and therefore the book that corresponds to the final season. Still, I’m excited. Because, when it comes to adaption, as a reader it’s always nice to see what you only pictured before, in living colour. On top of that, the show could very well add new twists and turns that surprise me and veer the show in a different direction than I expect.

But, however loyal to the show remains to the books and whatever lies ahead, what’s most important to me is that S03 delivers a gratifying conclusion to the show. I have high hopes.

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