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The long-awaited second season of Trollhunters has finally been released on Netflix to tell more of the tales of Jim, his friends, and a whole bunch of trolls around the town of Arcadia. The Emmy-winning animated series comes from the minds of Guillermo del Toro as well as Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim. The voice cast boasts the likes of Kelsey Grammer, the late Anton Yelchin, Clancy Brown, Steven Yeun, and (new to Season 2) Mark Hamill himself. I spoke to Trollhunters executive producer Marc Guggenheim all about the series, so read on for our reasons why you need to watch Trollhunters and what Guggenheim had to say about Season 2! Mild spoilers ahead for Trollhunters Season 2.
The Darklands Look Amazing
Trollhunters Season 1 established the existence of a dark realm separate from Arcadia and filled with all kinds of horrors. The legendary bad guy Gunmar was imprisoned and exiled in the Darklands along with his army of trolls. The series kept out of the Darklands almost entirely in Season 1, but Season 2 takes the action into the Darklands, and the realm looks truly amazing. Marc Guggenheim explained what it took to craft the Darklands in animation for Season 2, saying this:
Enormous challenges [building the Darklands]. The biggest challenge is we didn't have the money for it [in Season 1]. We were not budgeted for the Darklands. We had already spent all the asset money on other things. Our original plan was like, okay, well let's try to get away with 'It's called the Darklands! So we'll hide a lot of it in darkness and we'll only build one corridor and repurpose that corridor a bunch of times!' Very quickly it dawned that that was just not going to be satisfying. We'd been hearing about the Darklands for 26 episodes practically, and the payoff of it has to be satisfying. You got a glimpse of the Darklands at the end of Season 1, but you'd really only seen the tip of the iceberg. The design work that's gone in to create the Darklands and light it and show the expansive scope of it is incredibly impressive. In my mind, it makes Trollmarket look small in comparison.
The Darklands could have been decidedly unimpressive if the Trollhunters team had delved into them in Season 1. Luckily, the delay of the Darklands into Season 2 makes for a fabulously creepy arc.
Season 2 Is A Payoff Of Season 1
Season 1 ended on a pretty exciting cliffhanger, and fans have been waiting almost a full year to find out what happens next for Jim and Co. If Season 2 had kicked off in a way that failed to pay off on the promise of that cliffhanger, the new batch of episodes would have undoubtedly gotten off to an underwhelming start.
Fortunately, Season 2 not only continues the story as it was kicked off in Season 1, but it also addresses some of the questions that went unanswered at the end of Season 1. Whether you've already watched the first season or haven't tried the series just yet, you can trust that Season 2 does pay off on what Season 1 had to offer.
It's Really Funny
Despite the fact that the show does venture into the Darklands and the payoff of the Season 1 cliffhanger is necessarily rather dark, Trollhunters is funnier than ever in Season 2. In fact, Marc Guggenheim has explained that the writers were inspired by the balance of darkness and humor of The Empire Strikes Back in crafting the second season, and the balance is truly rewarding throughout Season 2. Sure, Season 1 was funny, but Season 2 really mines what worked to deliver the laughs the first time around and delivers a lot more.
There's one particular partnership in the second season that few viewers will probably see coming and it may go down as one of the most popular and entertaining twists of the entire saga. Seriously, Season 2 is worth watching just to see these two characters teaming up.
There's An Intriguing Cliffhanger
Trollhunters was recently renewed for a third (and final) season on Netflix, so the story isn't even close to being done. Season 2 ends on a cliffhanger that sets the stage for a season that could potentially even eclipse the first two in scale and scope. There's no sense of a letdown by the end of the final episode. Marc Guggenheim explained how the Trollhunters team worked out the cliffhanger:
We had to top last year's. We had to top the cliffhangers of Season 1. Some of that, the very last moment in Season 2 was actually a little bit of a last minute addition that Guillermo had this amazing idea after the episodes had even been animated. He had this awesome notion that we went back in and reopened the episode and added on this cliffhanger tag that is pretty cool.
You may need to rewind bits of the final episode of Season 2 just to really appreciate what the show managed to pull off. While it would definitely be convenient to already have a third season to start as soon as the second season finale is over, the episode will give plenty to talk about during the next hiatus.
The Stakes Are Higher
While Trollhunters spent the first season raising the stakes higher and higher for Jim and Co., Season 2 really goes above and beyond. The whole gang will face threats they couldn't even conceive during their early adventures in Trollmarket. The combination of humor and tension as the heroes face off against their most formidable foes to date makes for a compelling arc from start to finisht
Of course, the stakes aren't only higher on the Trollmarket/Darklands front. The humans also face new trials and challenges on the home front, and there's more of the teenagers being teenagers in ways that serve to fill out their characters and build suspense when they're endangeredde. New varieties of trolls and a new big bad only make the action better.
It'll Remind You Of Stranger Things
If none of this was enough to convince you that Trollhunters is worth the watch, know this: there are elements of the series that will totally remind you of Stranger Things. The second season of Stranger Things hit Netflix this fall, and there's no saying how long we'll be waiting for Season 3. Trollhunters can provide kids on bikes, adventures with strange creatures, oblivious parents, and even a dark realm that the kids have to visit. Marc Guggenheim commented on the similarities between the two shows:
There's a strange parallel between Trollhunters and Stranger Things because obviously, this being animation, we were working well ahead of even the first season of Stranger Things, but I think because both Stranger Things and Trollhunters drew a lot of inspiration from the Amblin movies of the 80s that there are these fun, weird, wonderful parallels between the two shows. The Darklands and the Upside Down I've also noticed those parallels completely accidental because we were obviously working so independent of each other. The parallels between the two shows were such that I think Netflix actually cut together and released a trailer taking the Trollhunters footage and recutting it into a Stranger Things parody. There are worse things in the world than to be compared to Stranger Things.
Trollhunters won't give you Eleven taking out demo-dogs or Steve Harrington whacking Upside Down creatures with his nail-bat, but it will deliver adventures that will totally remind you of Stranger Things, and that's definitely not a bad thing.