Netflix announced that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be getting a holiday special this year. Starring Kiernan Shipka as the formidable teenage witch Sabrina Spellman, the show quickly became one of the most discussed TV topics online after it was released on Oct. 26. Netflix had early confidence in the series, as evidenced by the streamer initially ordering two seasons of the show. And, in fact, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season 2 is already filming. Now it appears that fans won’t have to wait until next Halloween to find out what happens next.
Following its announcement, it was uncertain how Chilling Adventures of Sabrina would be received by some fans. The project is led by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who’d already provided a successful TV recipe for a vastly darker version of a traditionally lighthearted comic universe by creating the CW’s Riverdale. The two shows are also confirmed to exist in shared universe, meaning that some fantastic crossover action could be not far down the road. On the other hand, it was made clear to fans of ’90s sitcom Sabrina The Teenage Witch that they would be getting a very different show, in which Salem the Cat (often the pivotal comic relief) doesn’t speak. Fans of the 2014 comic source material (also by Aguirre-Sacasa) rightfully expected not only a horror show, but one full of gore, satanic rituals, and dark magic. A holiday special, however, lends itself to the possibility of a more uplifting adventure in Greendale – although surely not without some grim twists and turns.
The holiday special titled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale is scheduled for release on Dec. 14. Aguirre-Sacasa took to Twitter to celebrate the news, and Netflix released a synopsis:
In the upcoming episode, the Church of Night, like all covens, celebrates the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year – when families gather around the Yule Fire to sing pagan carols and tell ghost stories. But the holidays are also a time for guests and visitors – both welcome and unwelcome – you never know what might come down the chimney…
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) November 12, 2018
Additionally, a teaser for number of Netflix’s upcoming holiday releases includes the first footage of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale holiday special. Take a look.
Episode 7 of the first season already introduced an integral holiday for the witches of Greendale: The Feast of Feasts. The Thanksgiving parallel commemorates a witch who sacrificed herself to be eaten by her coven so that they could survive the winter, by choosing an annual “Queen” to be eaten by the Church of Night. While the series has focused largely on satanic doctrine, a holiday special including different pagan traditions could spell out some clues about what the show has in store for Sabrina in the second season.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is rich with undertones about rejecting patriarchal control in religion, and making decisions without the coercion of the cultural institutions one was born into. Season 1 revolved around Sabrina herself, and her decision between the mortal world and her witch heritage. Her leaving Harvey and her friends behind to embrace her newly acquired social acceptance at the Academy of the Unseen Arts seals her decision to choose power over innocence, and fighting over hiding. If the holiday special is built around a family narrative, fans will have an opportunity to learn not only more about who Hilda, Zelda, Ambrose, and Sabrina are to one another, but also the true power and bond of the Spellman family. Praise Satan!