Netflix debuted the first-ever WitcherCon on Friday – a livestream event dedicated to everything Witcher (show, video games, and books). And like other livestream comic-con alternatives, it was a lot of content. But we’ve parsed the day’s panels for some key takeaways.
(Photo by Susie Allnut/Netflix)
Settling what feels like years of wonder, Netflix announced the second season of The Witcher will debut December 17, 2021. According to executive producer by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the story will focus on Geralt (Henry Cavill) becoming a father figure to Ciri (Freya Allan). Although, that transformation from lone Witcher to guardian will not be easy.
“It was really fun to start season 2 with how they grow to be a family,” Hissrich said. “They’re uncertain with how to be together. We wanted to make that an authentic relationship.”
“Ciri has struggles with trusting people,” Allan added. “It’s that dynamic of Geralt trying to understand this girl, but he goes the wrong way about it.”
In a subsequent filmed interview, Cavill said: “It’s going to be a different turn for him, but he’s wise. He’s 70 and he’s interacted with people who are far more difficult (than Ciri). I wanted him to be warm … [and to have] a caring nature. But also tough.”
(Photo by Jay Maidment/Netflix)
Family becomes a big theme as Geralt and Ciri’s travels bring them to Caer Morhen, the training fortress of the witchers. There, viewers will discover the dynamic between Geralt and his “brothers,” like Lambert, a new addition to the series played by Paul Bullion (pictured with Allan above).
“They’re like a band of Navy Seals,” Bullion said of the vibe at Caer Morhen.
“They are a small group of people,” Cavill added later. “They do have a kinship, but not the same way I may have with my brothers.”
Hissrich further explained this military family vibe, saying, “You never know if your brothers are coming home or not, but when they return every winter, they all celebrate.” That celebration includes constant teasing among the group in a “light and fun” way.
Additionally, the producer teased Vesemir (Kim Bodnia), Geralt’s own surrogate father at Kaer Morhen, as one of her favorite season 2 additions to the story.
“It’s important to me who his father figure was,” she said. “He shaped Geralt into the man we know.”
“Vesemir was always an important one to me,” Cavill said, although he was reticent to say which of the new characters is his favorite addition. “Kim and I worked with each other to create a bond between the two that’s sensitive,” he continued. “Real men are very sensitive. They are capable of love and being caring and we wanted to make that a core element of their relationship.”
Training to be a witcher will be brutal for Ciri — “I’m the only girl amongst these guys,” Allan noted — but that training is something the actor believes will be beneficial for Ciri in the long run, especially since it means she will come to terms with her powers via working with the witchers.
“It becomes one of her main drives,” Allan said, adding that Geralt does hold Ciri back to some extent, however.
(Photo by Jay Maidment/Netflix)
Perhaps that tension leads to another key moment coming in the second season: the first meeting between Ciri and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra). Chalotra mentioned it was a great relief to finally work with Allan in a scene after getting to know her during the first season’s production. Neither actor offered more story details of their meeting, but we know from the books and games that Ciri’s relationship with Yennefer is nearly as important as her bond with Geralt.
Other season 2 details teased included Mimi Ndiweni’s dismay about Fringilla’s upcoming choices, Lambert assisting in Ciri’s training, and a new monster joining the Continent: a Leshy. Although, it typical Netflix fashion, we only saw its wood-like arm.
Jasiker actor Joey Batey suggested there may be “a small amount of hat” in the troubador’s future before revealing new look for the character he described as “a bit rock n roll.”
Also, Cavill revealed that while there will not be another scene of Geralt in the bath, there will be “plenty of manflesh” on display and that fans of Geralt and Yennefer’s story are in for a lot of surprises.
Following the first cast panel, Netflix also unleashed a video revealing all but one of the second season’s episode titles. Take a look and start your guesses as to what will occur in each installment:
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: “????”
Also, as the episode-specific logos form a secret all their own, take a close look at the video at unlock its hidden truth.
(Photo by Netflix)
Vesemir, as fans of the books and video games know, is the oldest witcher and is a father figure to Geralt and his brethren. Danish actor Bodnia, who appeared as assassin wrangler Konstantin in Killing Eve, will voice the wise old mutant in Nightmare of the Wolf, which sets up season 2 in which Bodnia inhabits the character in the flesh.
(Photo by CD Projeckt Red)
A long presentation consisted of video game developer CD Projekt Red’s memories of building The Witcher video game series from something less connected to the books to a series squarely focused on Geralt. They also recalled their debut at the E3 video game conference and the time former US president Barack Obama offered kind words about The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
Sadly, their stroll down memory lane did not come with an announcement for a fourth mainline Witcher game. There will be a fourth game in the fullness of time, but not in the immediate future. In the meantime, the company is engaged in updating a spinoff focusing on the Gwent card game. Also, The Witcher III is getting a next-gen upgrade for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S with some new DLC featuring Geralt’s costume from the Netflix series.
The Witcher: Monster Slayer hopes to take Witcher fans outside. Using your phone, you’ll be able to become your own Witcher, facing monsters, including a cursed Striga. The augmented-reality exploration game arrives July 21 on Android and iOS platforms.
(Photo by courtesy of Netflix)
Despite The Witcher: Blood Origin showrunner Declan de Barra proving he knows his stuff during the trivia contest — and taking a halberd as his prize — the series itself was a no-show at WitcherCon. That’s reasonable as it is still casting key roles. Just this week, both Michelle Yeoh (pictured) and Laurence O’Fuarain were said to be joining the limited series with Sophia Brown reportedly taking over the lead role Éile from Jodie Turner-Smith.
Set 1200 years prior to Geralt’s journeys across the Continent, Blood Origin will tell the story of the Conjunction of the Spheres and the first prototype Witcher.
(Photo by Netflix)
Since destiny is a big theme of The Witcher — the word even comes up in the Season 2 teaser — Cavill admitted to his own belief in it: “Everyone has a destiny.” In his concept of destiny, however, it is something one must train for.
“Everyone has to unlock certain skills before using that skill tree,” he continued. “I had to do certain things to be Geralt. I pursued it very hard, and I got the opportunity to do it.”
His pursuit of the role certainly has the ring of destiny. Cavill credits his father reading him fantasy stories as a child with creating a life-long interest in genre material.
“Fantasy is what I read,” he said. “When I have free time, it’s fantasy books.”
He also said his father got him into computer games — a pastime which led to him becoming aware of The Witcher in the first place. Although, he admitted his attempt to play The Witcher II was thwarted by his day job. He was able to commit more time to The Witcher III.
“The world-building is just fantastic. I’ve been playing it [again recently] on my [GeForce RTX] 3090,” he said. “The detail was extraordinary … and all from Sapkowski’s amazing work … it is an ode to that world.”
That interest in the game led him to pursue the lead role in the television series once he became aware that it was a possibility.
“There’s something about having a hobby — and a major part of that hobby was playing Witcher III, specifically — and getting to play one of those characters does makes it more personal and something I fight long and hard for,” he said. Granted, he didn’t get the role at first. But then destiny called.
Going into the second season, Cavill wanted to bring Geralt as close to the books “as the plot will allow.” From his reading of the novels and stories, he saw Geralt as “a man more verbose with a philosophical leaning” than the grunting traveler seen in season 1.
“He’s a nice guy despite moments of unpleasantness and extraordinary violence. His intentions are pure. I wanted to reflect that as much as possible,” Cavill said. Thankfully, the plot will bring him to Kaer Morhen, a place where he is comfortable and more willing to share his thoughts. There, viewers will discover he’s “not just a white-haired brute.”
The Witcher season 2 launches on December 17 on Netflix.