BROADCHURCH: What Do The Bluebells Mean?

The secrecy surrounding the new series of Broadchurch is so tight that hardly any information has been released ahead of tomorrow night's premiere. The story appears to follow on from the events of series one with teaser trailers indicating that both Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are contemplating their next moves following the devastating outcome of their last case. The trailer has also given a few hints, suggesting that there is more grief ahead for the Latimer family as Danny's killer comes to trial, and that there are new mysteries to be investigated and new faces in town.

However, one motif has recurred in most of the promotional material so far, that of the bluebell. They feature in the promo shot of the two detectives (above) and in the main cast photo on the beach, sprouting incongruously through the sand in a ring around Hardy and Miller:

In the series trailer, Ellie Miller opens a folded card to reveal a pressed bluebell:

The latest promo teaser from ITV shows Alec Hardy walking through a glade of the flowers:

So what are the bluebells exactly meant to mean? Why, from the glimpses available so far, do they appear to focus on Hardy and Miller? And can a look at what they symbolise in myth and legend point to what might be coming up in the new series of Broadchurch

Bluebells and disappearance: Bluebell woods were thought to be enchanted and anyone walking through one might be spirited away and never seen again. Children were supposed to be particularly vulnerable.

What it could mean:
The trailer for the new series mentions two missing girls and the disappearance of children hangs heavy over Alec Hardy. His last case before coming to Broadchurch revolved around the abduction of two girls in Sandbrook where Hardy failed to bring the perpetrator to justice. He already had his suspect - has new evidence arisen that could potentially help him close the case? Or is this a new crime altogether?  

Bluebells and concealment: Bluebells were thought to be the hiding place of magical beings. Witches were believed to turn themselves into hares to hide in the glades.

What it could mean:
Secrecy was a major theme of the last series of Broadchurch. Not only was Danny Latimer’s killer hiding in plain sight, most of the population of the small town seemed to have their own secrets, from Danny’s father to the mysterious woman in the caravans to DI Hardy himself. There’s no reason to doubt that secrets will feature as prominently in the new story and that individuals will have reason to hide their true nature from those around them.

Bluebells and death: Folklore says that anyone who hears a bluebell ring will soon die, or someone close to them will die.

What it could mean:
Series creator Chris Chibnall has already ruled out another murder investigation in the second series, saying that it would be unrealistic for a community as small as Broadchurch to experience a number of such crimes. However, a question mark still remains over the health of DI Alec Hardy. Last seen he was being medically retired from the police due to a heart condition that could kill him. In the new trailer he seems to be working again. Had he had surgery and returned to work, or is he defying medical advice and doing some investigating of his own and therefore putting his own life at risk?  

The second series of Broadchurch begins on ITV on Monday 5th January at 9pm GMT. David Tennant and Olivia Colman return as Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, with Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill. Joining the cast will be Charlotte Rampling, Eve Myles, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and James D'Arcy.