There are some very committed fandoms out there, but few can compare to the Halo Bearers. Getting their name from those who gain power from the ancient artifact known as the Halo in Netflix’s Warrior Nun, this fandom seems to to have successfully petitioned for their beloved show to come back after its cancellation late last year.
Here’s how the fans of Warrior Nun made their voices heard and what this could mean for the future of television.
The Fan Campaign to Save the Show
Warrior Nun is a fantasy drama created by Simon Barry that’s in turn based on the 90s comic book series Warrior Nun Areala. It follows the story of a young woman who wakes up in a morgue to discover that she has been entrusted with a divine artifact (the Halo) and now must take part in an epic conflict against demonic forces.
The series has been praised for its ensemble cast of fierce women and has particularly developed an audience of queer fans.
Its cancellation after two seasons on Netflix promoted a massive outcry from the Halo Bearers who tweeted #SaveWarriorNun millions of times, organized fan petitions, and even purchased a billboard outside of Netflix headquarters.
When we spoke with Sylvia De Fanti (who plays Mother Superion on the show) in April, she called the fans responsible for the #SaveWarriorNun campaign “amazing” and said “if I could I would hire all these girls for their capacity and abilities and then also how they articulated their thoughts about the content of the show.”
A Show with Impact
The show’s representation and emotional complexity helped create a diehard level of support among the fans.
Ash, who tweets with the username sapphic_ash23, started an initiative known as The Halo Project where they collect stories from people who were most affected by Warrior Nun.
Among those who submitted stories were James Thompson, a civil rights attorney and former candidate for U.S. congress in Kansas, who wrote about how the show made him reflect on his faith and the legacy he would leave behind for his daughters in light of his cancer diagnosis.
Another participant, who goes by “S,” wrote how the show’s representation was so important amidst a growing anti-queer sentiment in our culture. They said, “A few months ago I was a millennial with a vegetable garden and no social media accounts and now I’ve become little more than a Twitter spambot for Warrior Nun.”
The cast and crew of the show seemed well aware of this impact. As De Fanti said, “I think it really gives a meaning to what we do. Because if we were able to empower even just one girl about her own life story, I think that’s amazing.”
It’s Returning… But How?
After months of campaigning, the Halo Bearers seemingly had a victory when the creator of the show Simon Barry tweeted on June 28th that Warrior Nun “will return and is going to be more EPIC than you could imagine.”
Fans celebrated in a big way, tweeting #WarriorNunSaved. As Ash stated to us, “Lately with everything happening in the world against queer folks, specifically against queer women, it felt like the first hard earned win in a long time. And watching the fandom come together and celebrate was such an incredible feeling.”
But despite this jubilance from fans, Barry’s statement gave few details about the nature of Warrior Nun’s return. Entertainment Weekly has since confirmed that the show will not come back to Netflix.
That leaves the path for Warrior Nun’s return in the hands of a different streaming service. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for a show to hop from one outlet to the other. Minx went from Max to STARZ and the family sitcom One Day at a Time went from Netflix to Pop TV, to name a couple of examples.
Indeed, sources to TVLine seemed to confirm as much, with the outlet reporting that “no deals are in place” but discussions are underway for a shortened revival season or movie.
Complicating things further is the ongoing WGA strike, which has put a hold on TV and film productions. There is also the possibility that the show could come back via a different form of media altogether. Various TV shows including Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Firefly have come back as comic books to continue their stories.
Where to Find Updates
It looks like it won’t be too long till Simon Barry spills more details, however. He tweeted a link to a website (https://warriornunsaved.com) that features a countdown clock for mid-August, when presumably more details will come.
You can sign up on their website to get updates. Here’s the reply email we received upon doing so:
In This Life or the Next
Shows and movies keep getting removed from streaming services as entertainment companies consolidate and try to reconfigure their business model. However Warrior Nun’s return manifests, cutting through this environment of cancellations and tax write-offs is a bit of a daring feat in and of itself.
The #SaveWarriorNun campaign might not be the first time fans have petitioned to bring back a show, but it can perhaps be a model for other fandoms who want more diverse representation in media.
As Ash said, “ I hope that if this story can survive it means other stories that represent us can survive, too.”