Amazon Prime’s compelling fantasy series makes its long-awaited return
Nearly four years after it first captivated viewers with its rich mythology, stunning visuals and gritty fantasy setting, Carnival Row is set to return to screens for its second and final season. If you’re hunting for your latest fantasy fix after polishing off HBO’s House of the Dragon and Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power, look no further than this neo-noir tale of warring lands and star-crossed lovers.
The much-anticipated revival has certainly kept fans waiting. Despite being given the green light by Amazon in July 2019 – shortly before the first season premiered – production on the second season didn’t wrap up until late 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing significant delays to filming.
For fans in the UK and the US, the first episode of Carnival Row, season 2 will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video on 17 February, with subsequent episodes dropping weekly on the streaming platform. That means if you missed out when the show first appeared, there’s more than enough time to catch up in preparation. Or, if you’re an existing fan, treat yourself to a rewatch and brush up on your lore.
What is Carnival Row about?
Based on an unproduced film script by co-creator Travis Beacham, the first season of Carnival Row introduced viewers to a dark fantasy steampunk world, full of grand quasi-Victorian architecture and populated with a mix of humans and human-like mythological creatures. We followed the characters as they navigated a precarious peace amidst murder, madness and the complications of love.
The plot of season 2 will centre around the half-fae half-human, Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) as he investigates a string of unsolved murders inflaming relations between the various factions living in the Burgue. Meanwhile, faerie Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevigne) – aided by the Black Raven vigilantes – is plotting revenge against the city’s human leaders for their treatment of the refugee population.
If the trailer and previous season are anything to go by – not to mention what Amazon served up in its Lord of the Rings prequel, The Rings of Power – expect to see some seriously impressive visual set pieces as the show reaches its conclusion.
Other notable names in supporting roles include Jared Harris (Chernobyl, The Terror) as Absalom Breakspear, Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) as Piety Breakspear, and David Gyasi (Interstellar) as Agreus.
How to watch season 2 of Carnival Row in the UK and US: Amazon Prime Video
Carnival Row is an Amazon Prime Video exclusive in the UK and US. If you’re based in the UK, a subscription to Prime Video costs £5.99/mth, or £8.99/mth if you want access to the complete Prime package, including unlimited premium delivery and unlimited music streaming. If you purchase a year-long subscription for £95 you’ll get a discounted rate (which works out to £7.91/mth).
For those of you in the US, an Amazon Prime Video subscription costs $8.99/mth. It’s $15/mth for the whole Prime package or $139 for a year-long subscription (equal to $12/mth).
If you opt for the year-long option, you’ll more than get your money’s worth. Carnival Row is part of a huge catalogue of hit shows including The Grand Tour, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, The Rings of Power, and Good Omens.
Amazon Prime Video got five stars and a recommended award from us in our full review. We praised its affordable pricing structure, large catalogue of shows and the convenience of being able to download content offline.
How to watch Carnival Row season 2 from anywhere in the world: A good VPN
If you’re travelling abroad you may find that access to Amazon Prime Video is restricted or blocked entirely. This is known as geoblocking and is employed by streaming services when they don’t have the appropriate licensing agreements or distribution rights to show content in a particular region.
To continue accessing streaming services you pay for while abroad, consider a Virtual Private Network (VPN). By rerouting your connection through a server in a different location, a VPN allows you to “spoof” your location – essentially fooling your ISP into thinking you’re somewhere that you’re not (ie. at home rather than on holiday).
Read more about how VPNs work in our What is a VPN? article and check out our Best VPN roundup for a comprehensive list of our top picks. Or, simply scroll down for a summary of two of our favourite VPNs.
ExpressVPN delivers almost everything you want from a VPN. Your privacy and security are protected by a zero-log policy and a kill switch at the client end, plus it’s been independently audited for extra peace of mind. There’s the potential for 4k streaming anywhere in the world, fast connections, and, crucially, impressive access to geo-blocked content. We gave it five stars and a recommended award in our ExpressVPN review.
While ExpressVPN is our top choice for accessing geo-blocked content, NordVPN is our favourite all-around VPN. Like ExpressVPN, it maintains a no-logs policy and has been independently audited, plus it comes with built-in malware blocking for extra security. It’s affordable, supremely fast, and allowed our UK-based reviewer to access US Netflix and Disney Plus content without issue. It got five stars and a Best Buy award in our NordVPN review.