You cannot outrun destiny – and for Netflix’s The Witcher, that destiny is another season.
The Witcher was renewed for a second season before its formal premiere on December 20, 2019. The Witcher is based on Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels and short stories, which were adapted into a video game series supported by CD Projekt Red. The Lauren Schmidt Hissrich-created action-adventure series is set in a medieval world within a realm known as the Continent and follows the lives of three distinct but interconnected characters:
Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, a silver-haired monster hunter known as a “witcher” who underwent arduous training and underwent extensive gene-altering to become who he is; Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer of Vengerberg, The first season’s eight episodes demonstrated how the three was shaped by their unique experiences before meeting — and the Witcher season 1 finale closed with Ciri inquiring, “Who is Yennefer?”
With The Witcher season 1 concluding on such a deliciously cliffhanger-y note, fans are understandably salivating for any information regarding season 2. Though facts are scarce at the moment, here is everything we know about The Witcher’s second season.
When Will the Witcher Season 2 Be Released?
Season 2 of The Witcher does not yet have a set release date. When the series’ renewal was announced, it was reported that filming for the new season would begin in early 2020 in London in preparation for a 2021 premiere. The Witcher season 2 start date was not given for 2021, but it’s most likely that viewers will not see more of the show until the middle of that year at the earliest.
Having said that, the production timeline for The Witcher season 1 indicates a 31-month gap between the project’s confirmation in May 2017 and its Netflix debut in December 2019. While it is unlikely that fans will have to wait long for The Witcher season 2, production was suspended in the spring of 2020 (as is the case with nearly every film and television project), and just as production was resuming, star Henry Cavill was injured on set, resulting in yet another delay.
Cavill appears to be doing well and has resumed work, but this setback has pushed the release date even further into question.
The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich said in January 2020 that the series is aiming for a 2021 return, although no month or day has been fixed in stone. In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, she remarked, “We do not currently have a target launch date for S2, but it will likely be after 2021. We are not in a hurry to complete the product. That serves no one.”
What Is the Witcher Season 2’s Plot?
When Netflix confirmed the renewal of The Witcher for a second season, creator-showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich stated that the show’s team was excited to “continue telling the stories of Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri.” According to Hissrich, the upcoming collection of episodes will revolve around the series’ main triad — which makes perfect sense considering that Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri are the fundamental trio of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels and short stories, on which the Netflix program is based.
The Witcher’s first eight episodes adapted stories from Sapkowski’s The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, two short story collections that precede the main Witcher narrative. Ciri is first introduced in Sword of Destiny, which is chronologically second but was released before The Last Wish and details significant events such as the fall of the Cintra Kingdom.
Unsurprisingly, Geralt is the man who bears Sword of Destiny’s frame tale, which is built of different shorts focusing on flashbacks to Geralt’s life. Season 2 of The Witcher is likely to center on the first few novels of the main Witcher narrative, including 1994’s Blood of Elves, 1995’s Time of Contempt, and/or 1996’s Baptism of Fire.
The truth is that no one associated with The Witcher has stated explicitly what the plot of the series’ upcoming second season will be. All we know is that the Witcher creative team was “extremely, extremely selective” about which stories to tell in season 1 and that what fans have already seen is only the beginning of where the show will go next, as season 1 planted “all of the future seeds” necessary to tell stories in subsequent seasons.
Netflix Announces New Additions to the Cast of the Witcher Season 2
While the majority of the actors from season 1 will remain for the second season of The Witcher, a Netflix press release acquired by also revealed a slew of new cast members. A few rumors have been proven, and The Witcher’s second season will feature some known personalities from other shows.
Several additional witches have been cast to join Henry Cavill’s Geralt. Coen, the witcher who taught Ciri how to sword fight, will be played by Yasen Atour (2018’s Robin Hood, Young Wallander). Lambert, one of the last witchers trained in Kaer Morhen, will be played by Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders). Finally, Thue Posted Rasmussen (F9) will portray Eskel, a close friend and ally of Geralt.
However, new witchers are not the only additions to the cast! Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) will portray Nivellen, the cursed aristocrat, while Agnes Bjorn will portray his lover, Verena. Lydia, Vilgefortz’s secretary, will be played by Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl), while Media Simson, a newbie, will play Francesca Findabair, the queen of the Dol Blathanna elves. Additionally, Iranian Intelligence reports that Edward Rowe has been cast as King Henselt, which is a pleasant addition for fans of the video game The Witcher 2.
Season 2 of The Witcher Features a Vesemir – and It Isn’t Played by Mark Hamill
One significant figure who was absent from The Witcher’s first season was Vesemir, the school’s senior Witcher and one of the few survivors of the attack that nearly destroyed the institution. The season finale featured a fleeting, blurry sight of the old Witcher, causing many to anticipate Vesemir will have a larger part in the second season.
There were numerous theories regarding who would play this character – Mark Hamill’s name was frequently mentioned, and both Mads Mikkelsen and Michael Keaton were offered the position. Netflix, on the other hand, announced a name that was almost unknown as the guy stepping into Vesemir’s shoes: Kim Bodnia.
Bodnia is a Danish actor best known for his portrayal of Konstantin on the television series Killing Eve. Apart from that successful show, Bodnia does not have many well-known parts in the United States. While some may be disappointed that we did not receive another mentor role for Luke Skywalker, we will give Bodnia the benefit of the doubt. Killing Eve is fantastic, and The Witcher’s casting has been fairly accurate thus far.
Each Episode of the Witcher Season 2 Will Be Directed by a Different Director
One prominent criticism leveled at The Witcher’s first season was that it was too brief. It lasted only eight episodes, and its convoluted, time-traveling plot left more than a few audience members perplexed. According to a recent Netflix press release announcing the directors for each episode of the second season, we’re back to that shortened season.
According to the press release, four directors will direct two episodes of season 2. Thus, unless Netflix is withholding a few episodes, it appears as season two will consist of eight episodes. The first two episodes will be directed by Stephen Surjik, who has directed episodes of other Netflix shows like Jessica Jones, Umbrella Academy, and Daredevil. Sarah O’Gorman will direct episodes three and four, in addition to directing a couple of of episodes of Cursed.
Geeta Patel (Superstore, The Magicians) will direct the sixth and seventh episodes, while Ed Bazalgette (Doctor Who, The Last Kingdom) will helm the fifth and final episode. Lauren Schmidt Hissrich remains showrunner for The Witcher, stating in a press release that “we’re delighted to see these fresh stories come to life in the hands of these skilled directors.”
The Showrunner of the Witcher Teases Season 2 and Beyond
Lauren Schmidt Hissrich teased CinemaBlend that The Witcher season 2 will only expand on the characters and plots introduced in season 1: “Naturally, this season carries a great deal of weight, as you’re setting the stage for the entire world. You need to establish all of the personalities, you need to establish the politics, and you need to begin to comprehend what a witcher is and what they do, as well as how that is altering the world’s dynamics. While the first season carries a lot of weight, we did a lot this season to set up events that we know will occur in season 2 and beyond.”
In a subsequent interview with GamesRadar, Hissrich reaffirmed similar remarks, stating that “all of the relationships that we’ve been building during season 1 begin to bear fruit in season 2.” Additionally, she stated, “What’s nice about season 2, I can tell you, is that the tale gets much more focused in what we’ve written. The tale has a more compelling motivation […] Characters begin to engage and interact more. That works occasionally. Occasionally, it does not go well. However, it’s as though all of the building blocks we’ve established for the planet have begun to coalesce into something a bit more tangible.”
Hissrich has also stated that she has seven seasons of the series planned, implying that there will be a lot more Witcher goodness to come… if Netflix so chooses.
The Witcher Crew Utilises Their Break to Scout for Fresh Cast Members
The coronavirus pandemic effectively brought all facets of society to a halt. Of course, film and television production have not been spared. Numerous projects were halted as a precaution or by legislation as the world implemented severe social distancing rules, but the second season of The Witcher was halted for much more direct reasons. Kristofer Hivju, who recently joined season 2 of The Witcher and is well known for his role as Tormund Giantsbane on Game of Thrones, was diagnosed with COVID-19 on site.
While this is a terrible scenario, The Witcher’s casting crew is making the best of it. They are utilizing this production delay to scout actors who they would not have access to otherwise via an internet platform called WeAudition. Sophie Holland, the casting director, told Deadline, “We’re genuinely having face-to-face meetings with actors from all over the world — folks we wouldn’t have access to otherwise… There have been some truly fascinating actors that I’ve met that I was unaware of previously. I’m certain our paths will cross again in the future.”
Hopefully, this implies that we’ll have lots of new faces for Geralt to ruthlessly murder in The Witcher’s second season.