(Photo by Netflix)
With its gruff hero, powerful sorceress, mysterious young heroine, and a bard with a catchy tune, Netflix’s production of The Witcher caught the attention of fans new and old as it adapted the tales of author Andrzej Sapkowski into something distinct from its source and the successful video game series while also amplifying the best elements of entire Witcher concept. But season 1 was, literally, just the beginning. Utilizing short stories detailing Geralt of Rivia’s (Henry Cavill) exploits before he was drawn into the Continent’s great political struggle, the second season will begin to drawn material direct from the long-form Witcher novels and offer more meaning to the title character’s meandering.
And now that we know when the second season will debut — December 17 cannot get here soon enough — we thought we would take a look at everything we know about the series and, perhaps, conjure up some ideas about its future.
(Photo by Netflix)
Clearly, there’s no Witcher without the Witcher, but Cavill will indeed return as the taciturn Geralt. And as seen in the first Witcher novel, he will be escorting Ciri (Freya Allan) to Kaer Morhen, where he was trained in the art of monster hunting. Allan will also return while Anya Chalotra continues on as Yennefer — the currently missing sorceress who no doubt has a price on her head after the events at Sodden Hill. Additionally, Joey Batey will return as Jaskier, but it remains to be seen if the bard can whip up another song as catchy as “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher.” We’re happy to see him try, though.
Other returning faces include MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold, Therica Wilson Read as Sabrina, and Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz – all of whom were in a bad way at the end of the first season, but seemingly regroup following Sodden Hill.
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) June 11, 2021
The Brotherhood is also represented by Terence Maynard as sorcerer Artorius Vigo, Lars Mikkelson as the Black Sun-obsessed Stregobor, Mimi Ndiweni as Nildgaard’s prominent mage Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierreson as the pragmatic Istredd, and Lilly Cooper as mage-in-training Murta.
Tom Canton will also return as elvish rebel Filavandrel, as will Eamon Farren as Cahir, while Jeremy Crawford returns as dwarven adventurer Yarpin Zigrin and Wilson Radjou-Pujalte as Dara, Ciri’s elven friend who left her path last season.
(Photo by Liam Daniel/Netflix)
New cast members revealed by THR in March 2021 include Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton’s Lady Danbury) as Nenneke, chief priestess at the Temple of Melitele; Cassie Clare (Brave New World) as Philippa Eilhart, leader of the Lodge of Sorceresses; Graham McTavish (Outlander) as Dijkstra, head of Redania’s special forces; and Chris Fulton (Bridgerton) as Rience, a mage instructed to find Ciri. Liz Carr (Silent Witness) and Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral) will also appear as Fenn and Codringher, a pair of lawyers who run a firm/detective agency in Dorian. Also, Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey) will play Ba’lian, a reportedly new character — although it is always possible the name is an alias.
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)
Previously announced cast include Game of Thrones’ favorite Wildling Kristofer Hivju, who joins up as Nivellen, a cursed man of Redania whose beastly nature may not necessarily make him a monster; Agnes Bjorn as Vereena, a person of some importance to Nivellen; Yasen Atour and Paul Bullion as Coen and Lambert, respectively, a pair of Witchers who train Ciri in the novels; Basil Eidenbenz as Eskel, a compatriot of Geralt’s time at Kaer Morhen who also participates in Ciri’s training; Aisha Fabienne Ross as Vilgefortz’s aide Lydia; Mecia Simson as Francesca, a member of the Chapter with an interesting lineage; Kim Bodnia as elder Witcher Vesemir; and Carmel Laniado as Violet, a young girl whose whimsical tendencies mask a sadistic side.
(Photo by The Witcher season 2 - Netflix)
Netflix’s season 2 synopsis: “Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside.”
During the recent WitcherCon online presentation, executive producer by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich said the story will focus on Geralt becoming a father figure to Ciri both as they journey to Kaer Morhen and once her training begins.
From WitcherCon, it is easy to think the series will continue on from the first season’s conclusion, but considering the program’s copious flashbacks, the second may begin well after the battle at Sodden Hill and Ciri’s meeting with Geralt. The first long-form Witcher novel, Blood of Elves, opens with Ciri already at Kaer Morhen and recalling many of the events she experienced in the first season of the television show. If the program continues to follow the established format, her training may form the narrative loop of her flashbacks, while she and Geralt leave Kaer Morhen for Temple School in Ellander in the “present day” story.
We know the first episode will revolve around their journey to the Witcher fortress. Also, the addition of Nivellen — who appeared in a Witcher short story predating the events of Blood of Elves — to the plot suggests Geralt will spend at least one episode doing his normal job. Perhaps Ciri is there for the experience.
On a more macro level, the Northern Kings will have either won the war against Nilfgaard or remained in a saber-rattling stance after witnessing the Battle of Sodden Hill from afar. Considering a second war with Nilfgaard breaks out in the narrative of the novels, we expect the television show may just turn the two conflicts into one – a war they can actually dramatize (budget permitting) as Ciri continues her training.
(Photo by The Witcher season 2 - Netflix)
Meanwhile, the trailer released at the end of WitcherCon seemingly resolved Yennefer’s disappearance. Nevertheless, her next move will no doubt inform the tensions outside Kaer Morhen. For one thing: the Brotherhood is still up for grabs, even if there is considerable support of Nilfgaard at this point.
Granted, all of this depends on how much material The Witcher plans to cover in a given season. Considering the first year covered many of the short stories and Ciri’s recollections of life on the run following the Nilfgaard attack, we can safely assume Season 2 will follow the shape of Blood of Elves — the new additions to the cast guarantee it.
But then again, events from the stories and novels have already been remixed and there is no guarantee we’ll see all of Ciri’s time at Kaer Morhen or the Temple School before season 2 concludes.
But no matter what map the series follows in its second year, one theme has been virtually guaranteed by Hissirch — the waning of monsters. As in the novels, fantastical creatures are becoming rarer as the Continent (a loosely European realm) marches closer to modernity. The disappearance of monsters also means Witchers are becoming fewer in number. And while referenced in passing during the first season, this change in the world will be addressed in the upcoming episodes.
(Photo by Katalin Vermes/Netflix)
As with season 1, the second year will consist of eight episodes — the seeming new standard for genre shows on streaming services. Directors include Umbrella Academy’s Stephen Surjik, Cursed’s Sarah O’Gorman, The Last Kindgom’s Ed Bazalgette, and Meet the Patel’s Geeta Patel. Hissrich remains the program’s showrunner and executive producer.
During WitcherCon, Netflix provided most of the episode names. Only the final title was held back, but the others suggest the timelines may be more or less aligned throughout the season.
Episode 1: “A Grain of Truth”
Episode 2: “Kaer Morhen”
Episode 3: “What Is Lost”
Episode 4: “Redanian Intelligence”
Episode 5: “Turn Your Back”
Episode 6: “Dear Friend”
Episode 7: “Voleth Meir”
Episode 8: “????”
Some of the titles, like “A Grain of Truth” “Kaer Morhen” and “Redanian Intelligence” are quite evocative for Witcher fans, while “What Is Lost” and “Turn Your Back” offer fewer clues in terms of plot. Splitting the difference, “Dear Friend” appears to be a pointed reference to Yennefer’s sarcastic use of the term following Geralt’s own use of it while writing a letter asking for her help training Ciri. “Voleth Meir” apparently refers to a new character who will reportedly play a big role in Ciri’s ongoing story. And the name of the finale? Feel free to guess.
(Photo by Netflix)
The long wait is nearly over. The Witcher returns December 17 on Netflix. It will feature more monsters, more intrigue, and more songs. But, according to Cavill, it will not have another bath scene like the one pictured above. He teased the season will have “more manflesh on display,” though.
(Photo by Netflix)
Netflix and CD Projet Red announced fan event WitcherCon, which brings together the worlds of The Witcher video games and the TV series. With the event planned for Friday, July 9, the season 2 premiere feels very, very close.
The full lineup includes several interactive panels, each of which will present exclusive surprises from Netflix’s The Witcher live-action series and forthcoming anime feature. The event, hosted by Julia Hardy, will also include special short-form content that will provide new insights into the production and creative processes behind the Witcher universe.
Here is the event schedule revealed in late June:
The Witcher Season 2: Deck of Destiny
Panel Guests: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, Mimî M Khayisa, Paul Bullion
Destinies collide when the cast and showrunner of Netflix’s The Witcher draw cards from an enigmatic deck of fan questions that will determine the path of the panel and the immediate fate of the guests. But these are no ordinary cards — prepare for surprise reveals, backstage insights, and a dash of chaos as our panelists take us through their journey of filming season 2.
CD PROJEKT RED’s Memories from the Path: Stories Behind The Witcher Games
For over 13 years, the Witcher series of games has captured the imagination of gamers worldwide. Now, the developers behind the games discuss how they brought their immersive stories to life — before revisiting old memories, uncovering forgotten artifacts, and reminiscing about their favorite moments from the franchise
Geralt of T-Rivia
Panel Guests: Błażej Augustynek, Philipp Weber, Declan De Barra, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
It’s a meeting of the Witcher masterminds as key creators of the Witcher games and The Witcher Netflix series team up to test their knowledge of the wider Witcher universe. In this pub quiz-style game, behind-the-scenes tidbits and spoilery sneak peeks are prized just as much as the correct answers.
CD PROJEKT RED’s The Witcher: Beyond Video Games
Panel Guests: Rafał Jaki, Bartosz Sztybor, Łukasz Woźniak
From detective noir to dark horror — all the way to the Old World and beyond, prepare to experience The Witcher’s expanded universe with the latest details on the upcoming comic books and board game inspired by the franchise!
Tales from the White Wolf: A Spotlight Conversation with Henry Cavill, hosted by Josh Horowitz
To close out WitcherCon, fans will hear from Geralt of Rivia himself, Henry Cavill, who will sit down with moderator Josh Horowitz (MTV & Comedy Central host) for an in-depth conversation about fantasy, destiny, and the wider Witcher Universe. The White Wolf may even have a surprise or two in store…
Available on both Twitch and YouTube, WitcherCon will first air on July 9 at 1 p.m. EDT. Fans will be able to watch WitcherCon across two separate streams, with each one containing exclusive content. The second stream, which also airs on Twitch and YouTube, will begin at 9 p.m. EDT on July 9. More details about the contents of each of the streams are available at WitcherCon.com.