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‘Heartstopper’ Season 3 Promises Love Confessions, the End of a Character, and a Darker Tone

After a yearlong wait, Heartstopper fans finally got to live out the next chapter of Nick and Charlie’s relationship when season two of the adorable romance dropped on Netflix on August 3. But the show’s runtime is seriously lacking: with only eight 30-minute episodes per season, Heartstopper is dangerously easy to binge. Luckily, the show’s third season is already confirmed, and there’s plenty for fans to anticipate. (Beware: spoilers for Volume 4 of Hearstopper below!)

For anyone too impatient to wait a full year for more of Nick, Charlie, and all their friends, the graphic novel series Hearstopper is based on can provide a glimpse of the future. Season 1 of Heartstopper was based on the first two volumes of series, while season 2 covered the events of Volume 3. Season 3 will cover the events of Volume 4, which fans of the graphic novel series know is particularly dark. 

As season 2 started to explore, Charlie (Joe Locke) has struggles with his mental health, including self harm and disordered eating. The season’s final scene between him and Nick (Kit Connor) saw the two truly open up on these topics, with Charlie promising to let Nick know if his mental illness ever gets that “bad” again, resulting in near confessions of love from both boys.

“It is a really big, bomb-drop moment,” writer and executive producer Alice Oseman recently told Netflix. “I wanted the viewers to feel like that hadn’t come out of nowhere and that we had felt that journey through the season.”

Those themes of mental health will likely be explored in greater depth in season 3, as Charlie and Nick continue to balance a relationship with the pressures of reality. Their mutual confessions of love will come to fruition, too — it’s only a matter of how. If the show sticks to recreating scenes from the graphic novels, we should see Kit Connor as Nick bolting from the shower after a poorly timed “I love you” from Charlie, which will no doubt be GIFed to oblivion.

Those threads will be tied up, but not all storylines from season 2 will continue. For example, the character of Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft) is officially not returning to the series after a final confrontation between him and Charlie. As Oseman told Netflix, “Ben’s role in Heartstopper is now complete.”

“We were in constant debate about finding the line between Ben being unrealistically demonic and too sympathetic. I feel we found that line and I am so proud and honored that Sebastian has been a part of Heartstopper,” Oseman continued. “I know that he’ll go on to do incredible things, and I will be cheering from the sidelines all the way.”

The rest of the main series cast will be returning, so expect more of the burgeoning relationship between Elle (Yasmin Finney) and Tao (William Gao), the next steps in Isaac (Tobie Donovan) exploring his asexuality, and the ongoing love story of Tara (Corinna Brown) and Darcy (Kizzy Edgell). There may be another sapphic Heartstopper couple on the horizon, too; fans picked up on foreshadowing that Imogen (Rhea Norwood), despite being the gang’s token “ally,” may be developing an attraction to season 2 newcomer Sahar (Leila Khan), who is confirmed to be bisexual. The character of Imogen wasn’t in the comics, so exactly how her story will unfold is anyone’s guess. No matter what, the entire cast of characters is sure to pull on our heartstrings.

Season 3 doesn’t yet have a release date, but given the release dates of the first two seasons, we can expect more Heartstopper around late summer of 2024. Until then, we have the first two seasons to watch on repeat.

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