How Carnival Row's Finale Sets Up Season 2

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Amazon's Carnival Row, streaming now.

Amazon's Carnival Row blends several influences into its political fantasy world consisting of several creatures known as the Fae, or to the upper-class, the Critch.

By the time the first season ends, the Republic of Burgue is experiencing political upheaval. That's due to the government being upended by Jonah Breakspear (Arty Froushan) and Sophie Longerbane (Caroline Ford), who turn the nation into a military union, forcing the Fae into concentration camps.

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However, with Philo (Orlando Bloom) embracing his half-blood lineage as the son of a dead faerie and staying in the Row -- a ghetto that's now being used for internment -- Season 2 sets up the former Burgue soldier as a resistance leader ready to shake up the status quo, as well as a few other intriguing storylines.


Philo was a revered soldier for the Burgue, fighting off their war-thirsty rivals known as the Pact as they battled for the mystical land of Tirnanoc. This led to the Fae seeking refuge in the Burgue only to be treated as lower-class citizens, forced into prostitution and menial jobs. However, after being part of a political conspiracy which killed his faerie mom and those close to him, Philo has had enough of the oppression.

He wants to protect his lover, Vignette (Cara Delevingne), from this new regime, and Philo, known for shadow ops work, has various factions at his disposal. Vignette worked for the criminal Pixie organization known as the Black Raven, and there's also the extremist religious Puck cult known as the Cabal as potential soldiers.

While it may be seen as treason, Philo also has a personal connection with Runyan (Simon McBurney), Jonah's new aide, who he could tempt to be a spy as he was close to Philo's mom years ago and stands against xenophobia.


We didn't see much of this nation and its human army this season, but we do know the Pact is a brutal nation intent on conquering. We glimpsed their airships and soldiers committing genocide against a Burgue-Fae union, and we do known their forces are growing across the continent.

If the Burgue continues to be plagued by internal strife, this is the perfect opportunity to strike as the Republic will be at its weakest.

It'll be a win-win as the Pact will get to kill two birds with one stone, and judging from how they've been swarming nearby nations, hints have been dropped their legions have grown larger.

This sets up a Game of Thrones-like scenario for the Pact to swoop on the Burgue like King's Landing, because under Jonah and Sophie's new political dynasty, there's only chaos and division. The Burgue don't have the machinery or manpower for such a fight, so this civil war leaves Philo's country susceptible for invasion.


Ezra (Andrew Gower) lost his standing in the Burgue aristocracy when his sister Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) ran away with a wealthy Puck, Agreus (David Gyasi) aboard the latter's luxury liner. However, the season ends with him hunting the duo via a smaller ship, clearly suggesting Ezra may well be paying a crew with the remaining money he has to go hunting.

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He felt disrespected and is now the subject of scorn by high society, so chasing them down could see the trio heading to locations such as New Freehold, where it's been said more mythical creatures exist.

The show's map also has other places such as Witchveldt and the Bay of Monsters to explore so there's potential to bring to light other beings and societies next season as the show continues to meld magic and science to create unique cultures.


Sophie kickstarted the murder conspiracy in Season 1, tricking Jonah's mom, Piety (Indira Varma), into summoning the beast known as the Darkasher to remove the evidence of Philo actually being Jonah's older brother.

This would give Philo the rightful claim to the chancellor's position, even though he doesn't want it in the wake of the death of their dad, Absolom (Jared Harris). Coincidentally, Sophie wants all this kept hush as she and Jonah are actually siblings, sired by Absolom's political rival, because with both politicians dead, they got their parents' seats in Parliament to form this new regime.

If news emerges of Philo's lineage, though, he'd take over as chancellor and overrule Sophie, who merely leads the opposition.

This storyline has potential to turn Philo into the ruler who doesn't want the throne, but it's clear he might have to consider putting duty first as he's a military genius and, also, as half-Fae he'd be perfect to unite the people of the Burgue.

Philo's been viewed as a soldier so far, but Season 2 can now shift him into a political role for the greater good.


After Vignette stabbed and killed Piety in the Burgue catacombs to stop the Darkasher (as their life-forces were both connected), she and Philo returned to the surface to escape, not knowing they'd be meeting concentration camps. Fans thought Piety's body would be found eventually, but when Jonah's asked about her whereabouts, he admits she's still missing.

Theories are running wild she's still alive due to her witch powers. We don't know if she belonged to a coven or perfected immortality, but she's clearly someone who would require more than a knife wound to stay dead. We did see her mentor, the Haruspex, coming over from the afterlife, so Piety might have had a failsafe in case she died.

If that's so, expect other monsters besides the Darkasher, as she knows how to summon werewolves as well, with further clues suggesting vampires might also be in her conjuring arsenal.

Carnival Row, starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne, David Gyasi, Tamzin Merchant, Andrew Gower, Karla Crome, Artemas Froushan, Caroline Ford, Indira Varma, Jared Harris and Simon McBurney, is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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