'The Queen's Gambit': Why There Won't Be a Season 2 of the Netflix Show

The Queen's Gambit has been a massive hit for Netflix around the world. Per TV ratings aggregator FlixPatrol, the Anya Taylor-Joy chess drama has been the most-watched series on the streamer in the world for the past seven days, and there doesn't seem to be any chance of it leaving the charts any time soon.

At this point, a show's chances of getting a Season 2 would be fairly high, even in a climate where Netflix is canceling many of its shows early. However, we are still very unlikely to see a Season 2 of The Queen's Gambit.

We know this because of the different designation that Netflix and other TV networks give their series. Some shows are billed as regular series, which means that they might air over multiple seasons, while some are billed as "limited series" or "mini-series," which means they are telling a self-contained story, to be told over a limited number of episodes, usually over the course of one season.

As The Queen's Gambit is a limited series, this means that it is likely to be one and done on Netflix. There is a reason for this—the chess drama is an adaptation of a novel by Walter Tevis, and the series tells the entirety of the book. And, as Tevis died in 1984, there is no chance of a follow-up book that Season 2 could take its story from.

Queen's Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in "The Queens Gambit." Courtesy of Netflix

That said, the cast have expressed an openness to return for The Queen's Gambit Season 2, but in very non-committal terms. Lead actor Anya Taylor-Joy, for example, told Town & Country: "If I've learned anything from being in this industry, it's never say never. I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I was asked to, but I do think we leave Beth in a good place."

Though Taylor-Joy did say she might come back in the off-chance there is a Season 2, it is difficult to see when she would have time for it. The hard-working actor has five upcoming projects, including Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho (expected in Spring 2021), the Mad Max Imperator Furiosa spin-off and The Northman, her reunion with Robert Eggers, the director whose film The Witch made her a breakout star.

The Queen's Gambit executive producer, William Horberg, also seemed to rule out a second season in his Town & Country interview, in which he says: "The last scene feels like a beautiful note to end the show on, so I'm not sure if we want to go on and answer that question. Maybe we can just let the audience imagine what comes next."

The Queen's Gambit is streaming now on Netflix.