What can we expect from A Discovery of Witches season 3?

Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop - A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop - A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

The third and final season of A Discovery of Witchesthe critically acclaimed fantasy show starring Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode, has a lot in store for us. The British production is set to exceed expectations in its third year…somehow, since the bar was already set so high in previous seasons.

So what, exactly, should we be expecting? Here is everything you need to know about the new season of A Discovery of Witches.

If you need to refresh your memory about the show or have never watched it, you still have time! The first two seasons are only 18 episodes in total. And you can always read our Beginner’s Guide here.

When is A Discovery of Witches season 3 coming out?

The third season of A Discovery of Witches will premiere on Friday, January 7, 2022. It’s a safe to bet that the entire season will be released at once on Sky UK, closely followed by its US broadcasters. Sadly, we only have seven episodes to look forward to. Production had to shut down because of COVID, and events had to be condensed.

The plot of the third and final season of the show follows the events of the final book of the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness, The Book of Life. Despite its shortened length, we can also expect some events that are covered in the subsequent book Time’s Convert, especially when it comes to Marcus and Phoebe’s story.

How will the season open? Is there going to be a time jump?

Funny you should ask. While there is going to be a literal time jump, with Diana and Matthew coming back to our time, the action of season 3 will pick up only a couple of days after we left them in 1591. Season 2, you’ll remember, ended on a heart-breaking cliffhanger. The lead couple prepared to time-walk back the to present day, unaware of the tragedy that had befallen the family while they were gone. It’s only fair that it’s Emily Mather’s funeral that opens the trailer. The witch, Diana’s step-aunt who raised her along with her partner Sarah, was killed by Congregation member Peter Knox, a witch who opposes Diana and Matthew’s right to be together. This season, we will see how Emily’s murder galvanizes the Bishop-de Clermont extended family. Marcus, whom Matthew left in charge of the Knights of Lazarus, is finally ready to officially challenge the Congregation and the status quo to repel the Covenant.

It will be devastating to watch Diana as she arrives at Sept-Tours, eyes full of joy after having accomplished the colossal feat of time-walking back to the modern day and bristling at the prospect of telling the family that she is pregnant… only to be met with the news of her aunt’s passing. I expect shock, denial, and a breakdown all happening on the spot. Matthew, on the other hand, will seemingly keep a façade of calm, if only to tranquilize his wife. Really, he will be seething and wanting to exact revenge. Not that Diana will lack fury, but that will come in time.

What do we have to look forward to this season?

In the trailer, news of Diana’s pregnancy soon reaches the wrong side of the Congregation, upsetting them even more and sharpening their resolve to eliminate the couple. If a union between a witch and a vampire was deemed dangerous, imagine what their two children could do. It’s entirely unprecedented, and Knox and his allies need no other excuse to wage war. That worries the family and strengthens Diana’s resolve to decipher the Book of Life, where she hopes to find answers about the origins of creatures. But first she must find the missing pages and put them back together.

While I was a massive fan of the period drama feel last season, it will be lovely to see Diana in a modern library setting, in a nice throwback (and contrast) to season 1.

The trailer shows us a tender image of Matthew holding Diana, and I firmly believe it’s depicting the birth of their twins. If it’s anything like in the books, it will be a rollercoaster you don’t want to miss. I sincerely hope this line from The Book of Life makes it on screen: “In labor we blame absolutely everything on the husband. It keeps the mother from developing homicidal fantasies and reminds the men they aren’t the center of attention.”

Which ADOW characters are we going to see again?

One thing that seems to differ from the source material is Satu and Benjamin possibly making an alliance. We see a scene of the two of them talking in Venice. In the books, we have no notion of them ever meeting or coming in contact. I hope Satu refuses whatever his offer is, because that vamp is more trouble than anyone is prepared to handle.

Speaking of trouble, everyone’s favorite character Gallowglass de Clermont now sports short hair and colorful tattoos, but he is just as sassy as he was when we left him in Elizabethan London. He does not get to say a line in the trailer, but always stands close to Diana, his role as her protector unquestioned. If you loved him in season 2, you’re not ready for everything he’s about to bring to the table.

Someone else who the time jump made completely unrecognizable is Father Hubbard, whom we see a glimpse of in the trailer as Diana speaks to him. He may have aged 500 years, but he sure looks much younger!

In a tension-filled sequence in the trailer, we see the Congregation vote, Matthew threatening multiple people, and the Knights of Lazarus swearing fealty. This season we will see Marcus grapple with his responsibility as a leader even more. He will have to face uncomfortable truths and make hard calls.

Another character that is sure to enchant and terrorize is the matriarch of the de Clermont clan. As always, in true Ysabeau fashion, she shines with the one line she speaks in the trailer as she quietly whispers to Gertbert, “You have no dominion here.”

Who are the new characters in season 3 of ADOW?

We’ll make the acquaintance of many new characters this season. First among them is Fernando Goncalves (played by Olivier Huband), a vampire we will meet in Episode 1 who I’m sure will be present in nearly every episode. Fernando was Matthew’s oldest brother Hugh’s mate and is very fond of and loyal to Matthew. He and Diana have not yet met, but they will become fast friends, especially when the witch sees the friendship Fernando has developed with her aunt Sarah.

Fernando is technically Gallowglass’s stepfather, and Fernando knows Gallowglass more than any other creature alive. He is also a Knight, and we can expect to see more of the brotherhood gathering at Sept-Tours this season.

Another important new character is Christopher Roberts (played by Ivanno Jeremiah), Diana’s best friend. He’s a biology professor at Yale and he hasn’t heard from her in a very long time. Suffice it to say, Chris is very concerned for Diana and will not be happy to find out she has gone and gotten married without even telling him… let alone that she is a witch with a vampire for a husband. The trailer shows us a glimpse of Chris in a lab with Dr. Miriam Shephard.

If there is something Diana has learned in the past, it’s the importance of community. After running away from her peers in season 1, she now seeks and welcomes the opportunity to cooperate with fellow witches. We will meet witches from the Madison coven, headed by Vivian Harrison, as well as the London coven.

The trailer briefly shows us Matthew in a location we haven’t been yet: New Orleans. He and a few other characters will spend some time there this season, where we will meet Marcus’s unruly children. Of the dozens we will see, Ransome (Parker Sawyers) and Geraldine (Genesis Lynea) are characters worthy of notice.

Jack, the orphan boy Matthew and Diana adopted in 1590, is all grown-up now and played by none other than Toby Regbo (Reign, The Last Kingdom). I won’t spoil how or why, but Jack’s presence in season 3 will bring happiness and sadness in equal measure, love and rage, both for the characters and for us watching at home.

It’s impossible not to notice that the head of the de Clermont family, Baldwin Montclair, is also played by a new actor; Peter McDonald is replacing Trystan Gravelle, who was busy on set of Amazon’s Lord of The Rings show. The poor guy just arrives and is beat up by both Matthew and Diana at least twice in the trailer, not without reason. Things get out of control at the twins’ christening, which Baldwin crashes just like the evil stepmother in a fairytale. The brothers’ brawl is interrupted — and everyone’s fancy attire ruined — when Diana takes matters into her own hands and summons fire, showing everybody just how much she’s grown into her powers. Baldwin will need to decide what side he’s fighting for: will he side with his family or will he cling to power and ambition and help the Congregation kill his brother and sister?

An epic conclusion

“I am ready,” Diana says at the end of the trailer, clad in extremely elegant clothing, almost ceremonial, an outfit befitting her queenly mother-in-law. “Yes you are,” replies Matthew, pride and desire written in every line of his face. To face the Congregation, to protect her children, to finally step into her shoes as a witch and a weaver, and as the new matron of the family, Matthew’s general and Congregation representative.

And what a journey it’s been. What a journey it will be.

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