Toby Regbo and Adelaide Kane

Get ready for a lot of pretty people with bloody open sores on Reign.

The CW series returns this fall after the death of the Darkness, who was keeping the Black Plague at bay through his sacrifices. "The plague is coming and lands at the castle with a vengeance," executive producerLaurie McCarthy said at the CW drama's Comic-Con panel on Thursday. "Not everyone will survive it... but the plague will pass and it will be followed by famine." She added that Queen Mary (Adalaide Kane) and King Francis (Toby Regbo) will have to learn what it's like to "inherit a nation that is in fact burning... and out of their control."

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Sounds pretty grim, eh? Beyond the bigger picture, McCarthy teased more turmoil. "Season 2 is the haunted season... they're haunted by the things they've done and scarred by things very personal to them."

Check out what else to expect:

Marriage woes: 
The royal couple isn't exactly made for each other, but ruling a country has its responsibilities and Season 2 will be an exploration of what it is to be married as two young royals. For starters, they are trying for a baby, and therefore Mary's fertility will be the subject of "much gossip and speculation." You see, her child would not only be an heir for Scotland and France, but potentially England as well. "Their marriage is going well so far," Kane said, but she added that Francis getting her best friend Lola (Anna Popplewell) pregnant is "always awkward." In fact, he goes off to be with Lola and the baby, the latter of which Comic-Con attendees got to see in a teaser trailer for the new season.

Francis' future: 
Although the history books tell us that Francis dies after a very brief reign, don't expect to lose him from the show just yet. McCarthy acknowledges that the show sped up the timeline in Season 1 to get the two young kids on the throne, but she says time will slow in order to explore how they are as rulers. "In order for me to stay alive, the [time] jumps have to get smaller," Regbo acknowledged. Also, keeping the secret that he was involved in his dear old dad's death will be one of his "major struggles" for Francis this season. "I really want to get it off my chest, but I can't tell everyone," said Regbo. 

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Bash in the friend zone: Kane doesn't give much hope for fans who want to see Mary and Bash (Torrance Coombs) together. "[Bash] will always have a special place in her heart," she said. "They will always have a special relationship. They just won't bang."

A Bash bromance: Meanwhile, expect Bash and his half brother Francis' relationship to improve. "Family counts for a lot in this world," Regbo said. Megan Follows, who plays Queen Catherine, added that there may be a more practical reason for the brothers staying friendly. "It's good to know where theyr'e at, to have them on your team," she said. "Francis already learned how dangerous his brother can be to him."

The former queen: Speaking of, Catherine has now been deposed and has the title of Queen Mother, "which she's going to hate," according to McCarthy. Because she's been marginalized, expect to see her more "scrappy and dangerous." But it's not all grim political maneuvering for the Queen Mother. "She's going to have future lovers, absolutely," McCarthy said.

The bigger picture: "Season 2 is very much about what goes on beyond the castle walls," McCarthy explained and added that many nobles have been waiting to be heard. 

Reign premieres its second season on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c  on The CW. Missed last season? Catch it here.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)

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