Why Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina's Holiday Special Is A Must-Watch For Fans

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuted on Netflix just in time for Halloween 2018, and now the Spellman family is celebrating a whole other holiday: Winter Solstice. In the witch world, Winter Solstice is not only the longest night of the year. No, it's also the time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, and spirits aren't exactly going to pass up the chance to meddle with the mortal world.

Now, this holiday special -- called Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale -- may not sound too festive by mortal holiday standards, but I recently paid a visit to the Sabrina set, and members of the cast shared with CinemaBlend and other outlets some big reasons why fans need to check it out. Let's start with leading lady Kiernan Shipka!

The Witch World Meets The Mortal World

As much as Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is fundamentally about the witch world and the mortal world conflicting thanks to Sabrina's status as a half-mortal, A Midwinter's Tale can take advantage of the Winter Solstice and its thin spiritual veil to really combine the two. The holidays can also bring together characters from both sides who may not otherwise be inclined to spend time together. Here's how Kiernan Shipka describes the special:

The holiday special is really wonderful. Obviously, the show wouldn't be our show without some excitement and some demons... literally. It's action-packed and it's fun, but at the same time, there's a lot of heart and there's a lot of soul to it. A lot of the relationships develop in it really beautifully. I think it fuses the witch world and the mortal world in a really lovely way. It's truly a very, very special episode. It's, in so many ways, a standalone episode.

Although the special is a standalone and Season 2 may make sense with or without it, Kiernan Shipka indicates that there's a lot of heart as the witch world, the mortal world, and these characters meet as they otherwise might not. Now, onto what Miranda Otto, a.k.a. Zelda Spellman, had to say about A Midwinter's Tale!

Winter Solstice Is A Dangerous Time For All

Zelda ended the first season having abducted/rescued baby Letitia, knowing that Father Blackwood might dispose of his daughter when he already had a son. Although the Spellman sisters have raised a baby girl already and Sabrina turned out more or less okay, baby Letitia is in a delicate position at a risky time, and Zelda will be keenly aware of the danger posed by Winter Solstice. According to Miranda Otto:

For Zelda, the story is very much about the baby, and having a baby in the house, and her attachment to the baby. You see, because although people think that the holiday season is a fun time and all that, for witches, it is kind of a perilous time, because it's a time when they need extra protection. They have to keep the yule log burning so to protect themselves from spirits that could come into the house. And Zelda is particularly worried because of the baby in the house, and indeed someone does come to try to steal the baby, but Zelda finds herself very attached to baby Letitia.

Given the importance of keeping the yule log burning to protect the Spellman house from spirits, it's probably safe to say that the yule log will be going out at some point. Danger facing the Spellmans back when it was just Zelda, Hilda, Sabrina, and Ambrose was one thing; add in a baby, and the stakes are quite high. Now, onto what the other Spellman sister had to say!

The Spellmans (Mostly) Get Festive

The Spellman family may be members of the Church of Night, but that doesn't mean some of them aren't fans of Christmas! With one exception, the Spellmans are happy to celebrate the mortal holiday. Lucy Davis, who plays Hilda Spellman, shared how the Spellmans celebrate Christmas:

In the Spellman house, because of Sabrina and Ambrose and Hilda being all warm and fuzzy about mortal Christmas, it's not really Zelda's way, although Miranda has some great lines. Because I talk about presents, and she's all like that, and I go, 'Well, then how come most of the presents under the tree say Dear Zelda, From Zelda'? I'm quite sure Hilda has nothing under there for her... In the Spellman house, we're quite traditional in many ways, just because of the three of us vs. Zelda.

Should it come as a surprise to anybody that Zelda, devout to the Church of Night with few exceptions, isn't the jolliest about celebrating Christmas? And should we expect anything other than Hilda as a big fan of Christmas? Well, Zelda is apparently outnumbered among the Spellmans when it comes to Christmas, which can only be fun to see. Lachlan Watson, a.k.a. Susie Putnam, has thoughts of her own about A Midwinter's Tale.

It's Full Of Holiday Spirit And Nostalgia

Although A Midwinter's Tale is a standalone special in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Lachlan Watson promises that it will feel part of the world that fans have already come to love, and it could take viewers on a blast from the past to nostalgic days gone by. Lachlan Watson revealed her feelings about the holiday special:

It definitely lives within the same world. In my opinion, it has more of that nostalgic kind of feel to it. I grew up on Doctor Who, and they used to do holiday specials every single year, and it just made me so happy that it was just sort of this tradition every year, that it lived within the universe and it lived within the plot, but it was this standalone sort of traditional thing. It just brings me back to sitting around the fire and watching the holiday special with my family. It definitely lives within the same world and the same plot, but it just has that fantastic holiday feel to it, which I'm so excited for!

As if the nostalgia and holiday spirit weren't enough, Lachlan Watson teased a little bit about what to expect from Susie in the holiday special, and it's adorable:

I don't want to give away too much because you've got to watch it to see it, but I definitely get to run around in a little elf costume the whole time, which I am very happy about. Watch it just to see me in my little fuzzy hat, running around!

Susie may have fun running around in an elf costume, but given how Season 1 ended, Ross Lynch's gloomy words about what to expect from Harvey in A Midwinter's Tale may not surprise you.

chilling adventures of sabrina harvey kinkle ross lynch netflix

(Image credit: Image courtesy of Netflix)

The Latest On Harvey And Sabrina

For fans of Sabrina Spellman and Harvey Kinkle from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the dark twist to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Sabrina and Harvey leading to their breakup may have come as a shock. It's easy to see why a reanimated brother who didn't come back to life quite right and then needed to be put down might come between a pair of teenage lovebirds. Ross Lynch, who plays Harvey, talked about Sabrina and Harvey in A Midwinter's Tale:

Where we left off was Harvey and Sabrina's kiss goodbye, so we pick up where that leaves off in their relationship. There's not a lot for me in this particular episode because of those circumstances, but the episode itself is very, very just twisted Christmas. It's awesome... I'm there but it's pretty minimal. Purposefully because Harvey and Sabrina's relationship just isn't the same. So they're not spending as much time together. Harvey's not in it as much.

Sabrina and Harvey may not spend time under the mistletoe in A Midwinter's Tale after how they ended the Season 1 finale, and Ross Lynch's comments point toward fans needing to wait until Season 2 for more of Harvey in action. Harvey probably isn't going to be in the mood to hang out at the Spellman house any time soon!

You can find Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale streaming on Netflix now, along with the full first season. Season 2 won't premiere until next year, but there are plenty of viewing options in the midseason TV premiere schedule to keep you busy in the meantime. For when Sabrina Season 2 and other big streaming shows will become available, check out our 2019 Netflix premiere guide!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).