With “The Gilded Age” Season 2 finally on the horizon, fans have a sneak peek of what they can expect. Earlier this year, “The Gilded Age” creators have announced some new additions to the Season 2 cast, plus a few fan favorites that have been bumped up to season regulars.

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We finally have first looks at ‘The Gilded Age’ Season 2, plus a trailer — here’s what you can expect from the new season
‘The Gilded Age’ Season 2: The real-life people behind your favorite characters

What is the release date for Season 2 of ‘The Gilded Age’?

“The Gilded Age” Season 1 ended with opulence, drama, heartbreak and for some characters, more questions than answers. And the latest “The Gilded Age” Season 2 trailer promises even more high-stakes, over-the-top drama. The first episode was released on Max on Oct. 29, according to Vanity Fair.

As we continue to watch “The Gilded Age” Season 2, here’s what you should know about this season’s cast — from exits, new faces and more.

Who’s returning for “The Gilded Age” Season 2?

If you’re worried about your favorite characters, fear not — they’re most likely going to return for Season 2. The following series regulars will be returning for “The Gilded Age” Season 2:

  • Louisa Jacobson as Marian Brook.
  • Denée Benton as Peggy Scott.
  • Christine Baranski as Agnes Van Rhijn.
  • Cynthia Nixon as Ada Brook.
  • Carrie Coon as Bertha Russell.
  • Morgan Spector as George Russell.
  • Harry Richardson as Larry Russell.
  • Blake Ritson as Oscar Van Rhijn.
  • Taissa Farmiga as Gladys Russell.
  • Simon Jones as Bannister.
  • Jack Gilpin as Church.

With that said, 13 recurring characters were bumped up to series regulars, per Deadline:

  • Taylor Richardson as Bridget.
  • Donna Murphy as Mrs. Astor.
  • Debra Monk as Armstrong.
  • Celia Keenan-Bolger as Mrs. Bruce.
  • Erin Wilhelmi as Adelheid Weber.
  • Patrick Page as Richard Claym.
  • Kristine Nielsen as Mrs. Bauer.
  • Sullivan Jones as T. Thomas Fortune.
  • Ben Ahlers as Jack Trotter.
  • Kelley Curran as Turner.
  • Kelli O’Hara as Aurora Fane.
  • Douglas Sills as Baudin.
  • Michael Cerveris as Watson.

Who’s new to “The Gilded Age” Season 2?

“The Gilded Age” has added some big names to their Season 2 cast, including “House” actor Robert Sean Leonard and Tony award-winning actress Laura Benanti. Both actors are joining an already Tony-award winning cast, including actresses Baranski and McDonald.

According to Deadline, Leonard will be playing the Rev. Matthew Forte, described as “a jovial, congenial man” from Boston. It looks like the reverend is the new rector of the church that many of the main cast attend.

Benanti will play Susan Bane, a beautiful and glamorous widow who hires Larry Russell as the architect for her Newport home. Susan was recently widowed by her husband, who Deadline describes as “a rich, dull man many years her senior.”

Here are other additions to “The Gilded Age” Season 2 cast, according to Deadline:

  • Nicole Brydon Bloom as Caroline Stuyvesant: Described as a “beguiling socialite” who Oscar recognizes as “the perfect heiress for marriage.”
  • Michael Braugher as Booker T. Washington: The historical, “famed educator” who invites Peggy and Thomas to tour his new Tuskegee school.
  • Christopher Denham as Robert McNeil: Deadline describes Robert as “a wealthy, mainstream, somewhat uptight banker” who attempts to join New York’s elite society with his wife.
  • David Furr as Dashiell Montgomery: Agnes’ “wealthy, widowed” nephew, Dashiell is new to New York with his young daughter Frances.
  • Ben Lamb as The Duke of Buckingham: Described as “posh British nobleman recently arrived in New York,” Bertha immediately has her eye on him as a match for Gladys.
  • Matilda Lawler as Frances Montgomery: Frances is Dashiell Montgomery’s daughter, and is “innocent, naturally charming, endearing and well-bred with good manners.”
  • Dakin Matthews as Mr. Winterton: A rich widower who recently married a much younger wife, Deadline describes their courtship as “extremely short.” So short, in fact, that “she hadn’t yet met any of his society friends and he is unaware of her past.”
  • Rebecca Haden as Flora McNeil: Flora has apparently lived at the height of New York society. But, according to Deadline, she’s “been brought up to believe the lie that her father deserted her and her mother.”

Who isn’t returning to “The Gilded Age” Season 2?

If you were hoping to see more drama between Marian and Tom Raikes, you might disappointed. Thomas Cocquerel, who plays Tom, will not return for Season 2, according to Deadline.

This shouldn’t be surprising, considering how Tom and Marian’s story came to an end. Executive producer Sonja Warfield spoke to Deadline about Tom, saying, “What I will say is: trust what men do not what they say. I hope that’s Marian’s takeaway. This guy talked a big game but he wasn’t worth it.”

What is Season 2 of “The Gilded Age” about?

Here’s the official Season 2 plot description, per Deadline: “The Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and of fierce rivalry between old money and new.”

“Nowhere is that rivalry more apparent than on East 61st Street, where Marian Brook and her thoroughly old money aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook, live opposite the stupendously rich George and Bertha Russell. The Russells are both fiercely ambitious, he financially, she socially, and they are determined to reach the highest echelons of New York.”

“Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Marian’s friend and confidant Peggy Scott forges her own path in the world of the Black elite. In this glittering world on the brink of the modern age, will the established rules of society prevail, or will the game change entirely?”

Luckily for fans, with the announcement of HBO’s premiere date for “The Gilded Age” Season 2, we’ve gotten even more juicy tidbits of the upcoming season. According to Vanity Fair, much of this season’s drama will be wrapped around two competing opera houses: the Academy of Music and the new Metropolitan Opera.

As executive producer David Crockett told Vanity Fair, “The whole thread of (season two) is wrapped around this story of dueling opera houses.”

“The opening nights of the 1883 season—and the first ever opening night of the Met—fell on the same night,” Crockett continued. “So you have this very clear choice for all of New York society: Are you going to go the old money route, or the new money route? It’s a great engine for a classic clash.” 

According to executive producer Michael Engler, “The Gilded Age” Season 2 will grapple with the moral ambiguity of the rich and elite of New York society.

“They have moral choices,” Engler said, speaking of the New York elite. “As you watch them make [those choices], that’s how you determine their moral character and value. It’s not, We love the rich and we love watching them, so we don’t really care how they act. You see what it takes and what it costs people to behave a certain way.”

Per Vanity Fair, we’ll also get a closer look at Black society in Peggy’s stomping grounds of Brooklyn. She’ll likely have to navigate both politics and society while she continues to work for Agnes Van Rhijn (Christine Baranski).

And it looks like there’s romance in the air, but not for who’d you expect — according to Vanity Fair, “Ada, meanwhile, may finally be getting a love interest.”

Will there be a season 3 of “The Gilded Age”?

For now, it only looks like showrunners have only planned up to “The Gilded Age” Season 2. Since “The Gilded Age” Season 2 just premiered, it’s not likely that we’ll get news of a renewal anytime soon.

What’s “The Gilded Age” rated and why?

According to Common Sense Media, “The Gilded Age” is appropriate those aged 13 and up. The show contains the following:

  • Brief nudity.
  • Mild language.
  • Off-screen depictions of suicide.
  • Mild drinking.