The Witcher season 2 on Netflix, Release date, cast, plot and everything you need to know, The Witcher season 2 was greenlit weeks before the first was even released, such was Netflix’s confidence in the series.
And it turns out the media giant’s intuition paid off, with the show storming to number two in the most-watched series of 2019.
Table Of Contents
- The Witcher season 2 on Netflix
- But enough of the past. What’s next for Geralt of Rivia?
- Has The Witcher been renewed for Season 2?
- When is Season 2 coming?
- Who will be in it?
- Will the timelines be all jumbled up again?
- Which book(s) will Season 2 be based on?
- Is there anything else Witcher-related out there so that I don’t go nuts waiting for Season 2?
- The Witcher’s Henry Cavill made one major change
- And you can expect more from Mimi Ndiweni.
- Watch this space.
- The Witcher season 2 plot: What will the second season be about?
- Which all sounds very exciting, doesn’t it?
- The Witcher boss reacts to that sexy bathtub meme
The Witcher season 2 on Netflix
But enough of the past. What’s next for Geralt of Rivia?
Whether you were a gamer, a book reader, or simply a lover of convoluted high fantasy television, chances are you, along with apparently 76 million other people (according to Netflix’s mighty suspicious new ratings report), deeply enjoyed the first season of The Witcher, the streaming service’s first big-budget fantasy series. Based on the Polish book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, which inspired three video games of increasing quality, Netflix’s The Witcher starred Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a travelling monster hunter who spends his days just trying to make a living in a scary, bizarre world. Relatable. Eight episodes of something like this is simply not enough to slake our thirst for burly armed creature beheadings and intricate magical politics, so for those of you searching the four winds for any hint of more, we’ve got you covered.
Has The Witcher been renewed for Season 2?
Yes! The show was actually renewed before the first season even aired in December 2019. Considering it’s one of Netflix’s most-watched shows ever, it seemed like a no-brainer. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich will return to helm the second season, which also rules because it’s not every day we get to see high-budget fantasy TV directed by women!
When is Season 2 coming?
Netflix started filming Season 2 in London early in 2020, with a planned release sometime in 2021. However, like pretty much every other show and movie out there, production has been delayed because of the coronavirus-one new member of the cast, Kristofer Hivju, actually tested positive. The Witcher had to shut down production back in March 2020, but, luckily, the show’s official Twitter account announced (in character as a certain fan favourite bard) that they’d officially start back up again on August 17, 2020.
To pass the time in quarantine, all the extremely bored members of the cast and crew had been tagging each other in the “Great Witcher Bake Off,” forcing their costars to bake bread or cake and post it online. It all started with the show’s casting director Sophie Holland, who posted a brag on her Twitter of her delicious-looking bread and tagged new cast member Paul Bullion, who kicked it up a notch with some cinnamon rolls in response and a video of the process that is honestly sick. There’s a sword involved. Next, Paul Bullion, who plays the King of the Elves, tapped himself in with an incredible beef Wellington, Jeremy Crawford responded with a dwarven apple pie and an axe (he plays dwarf warrior Yarpen Zigrin), Adele Oni (Zerrikanian warrior Téa) made chili-chocolate bites with a sword, and it kept going from there. Joey Batey, who plays the bard Jaskier, made a YouTube channel and uploaded an extremely chaotic video wherein he “tries” to bake a cake. You did your best. Henry Cavill, on the other hand, has been busy making “isolation meals” and painting Warhammer figurines and building a custom PC gamer rig like a nerd while waiting out his quarantine.
Who will be in it?
We can expect everyone alive at the end of Season 1 to be back-this includes Henry Cavill; Anya Chalotra, who plays the sorceress Yennefer; and Freya Allan, who plays Ciri. Oh, and Geralt’s bard buddy Jaskier (Joey Batey), of “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher” fame, will return as well, hopefully with more bangers to share with the world.
Aside from the core cast, a bunch of secondary humans and sorcerers will return as well, including Lars Mikkelsen as the scheming warlock Stregobor and MyAnna Buring as head sorceress Tissaia. Also returning are Tom Canton as the elf Filavandrel, Lilly Cooper as Murta, Jeremy Crawford as dragon hunter Yarpen Zigrin, Eamon Farren as the terrifying black knight Cahir, Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz, Terence Maynard as Artorius, Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierreson as Istredd, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte as Dara, Anna Shaffer as the sorceress Triss Merigold, and Therica Wilson Read as Sabrina.
But that’s not all: The new members of the cast have been announced, and you may recognize one very, very familiar face. Kristofer Hivju, who played the wildling Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones, is arriving on the Continent, and will be playing a character named Nivellen, whose story in the books is modelled after the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast. Killing Eve fans will be thrilled to see Kim Bodnia appear in the new season as Vesemir, a fellow witcher and mentor to Geralt. We’ll also be seeing Yasen Atour as Coen, Agnes Bjorn as Vereena, Paul Bullion (Billy Kitchen on Peaky Blinders) as Lambert, Thue Ersted Rasmussen as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia, and newcomer Mecia Simson as Francesca.
Bridgerton‘s Adjoa Andoh has also been cast as the priestess Nenneke, a sort of motherly figure towards Geralt and Jaskier; Cassie Clare as Phillippa Eilhart, a sorceress who can transform into an owl; Liz Carr (The OA, Devs) as a gender-flipped Jacob Fenn, a mysterious legal expert, and Simon Callow as Fenn’s accomplice Codringher; Graham McTavish (The Hobbit, Outlander) as Dijkstra, a spy and head of Redanian Intelligence; Kevin Doyle as Ba’lian; and Chris Fulton as Rience, a mage tasked with hunting down Ciri.
Will the timelines be all jumbled up again?
Probably not. The first season of the show was based on the first two books in the Witcher series, The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, which are actually not in the main series, but collections of short stories that show the characters’ backstories. Elements from these books were taken to adapt the show, but now that [SPOILER ALERT] Geralt and Ciri have finally found each other, it’s likely that the show may start hewing closer to the main series.
Showrunner Hissrich even confirmed to The Wrap that Season 2 will be a lot more linear: “What we’ll see in Season 2 is that all of our characters are existing on the same timeline. What that allows us to do storywise though is to play with time in slightly different ways. We get to do flashbacks, we get to do flash-forwards, we get to actually integrate time in a completely different way that we weren’t able to do in Season 1.”
Which book(s) will Season 2 be based on?
Netflix hasn’t announced as much, but with all the characters having converged by the end of the first season, it’s likely that Season 2 will draw from the next book, which is Blood of Elves-officially the first book in The Witcher Saga. You can almost think of Season 1 as a kind of prequel series, while in Season 2 we’ll finally get the ball rolling on what is up with Ciri and her powerful screams.
How many times will Geralt say “Hmm”?
A lot of times.
There will be! Netflix also announced that it has commissioned a Witcher anime film from Schmidt Hissrich and show writer Beau DeMayo, with animation from Studio Mir, the Korean studio that worked on The Legend of Korra and Voltron: Legendary Defender. We don’t know what it will be about, though, or whether the show’s main cast will voice any of the characters, but if any fantasy series is suited to the anime treatment, it’s The Witcher.
Netflix has also announced a Witcher prequel miniseries, The Witcher: Blood Origin, which will depict the beginnings of the very first Witcher, during the catastrophic Conjunction of the Spheres which brought elves, magic, and monsters into the world of humans.
There’s also been a steady stream of Witcher content popping up on Netflix’s YouTube channel for the past few months, from Joey Batey reading passages from the Witcher books to Henry Cavill talking about all of his swords. It’s like they know all we want is more Witcher.
The Witcher’s Henry Cavill made one major change
Triss (Anna Shaffer), Jaskier (Joey Batey), Cahir (Eamon Farren), Tissaia (MyAnna Buring), Stregobor (Lars Mikkelson), Artorius (Terence Maynard), Filavandrel (Tom Canton), Murta (Lilly Cooper), Sabrina (Therica Wilson Read), Yarpen Zigrin (Jeremy Crawford), and Istredd (Royce Pierreson) will all be back.
And you can expect more from Mimi Ndiweni.
“Fringilla is one of those characters that we’re going to delve into even more,” Hissrich said (via Vulture). “One of the things that I did hear is that she seems like a fanatic or a zealot, which is interesting. I’ve never seen her that way, perhaps because, even by the time that we were putting it on the air, I knew where we were going with season two. We’re digging deeper into her past and how she ended up at Nilfgaard, who she is as a person, and how she and Yennefer ended up on such different paths. She gets to do a lot more. I’m so excited. Mimi Ndiweni did such a fantastic job portraying her.”
Aside from the usual CGI monsters and nameless orgy participants, Netflix has now announced a number of new casting additions, including alumni from Peaky Blinders and Game of Thrones.
New cast members include Yasen Atour (Young Wallander) as Coën, Agnes Bjorn (Monster) as Vereena, Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders) as Lambert, Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9) as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl) as Lydia, Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) as Nivellen, and recent graduate Mecia Simson as Francesca.
Hivju tested positive for That Thing We’re Trying Not To Think About Constantly, which resulted in a deep clean of the set. But he’s now fighting fit and back to full health.
Sadly, the delays caused by coronavirus have had another unexpected impact on the show, with resulting scheduling conflicts leading to one of the key roles listed above being recast.
Thue Ersted Rasmussen had filmed scenes as Geralt’s fellow Witcher Eskel earlier this year, but announced on Instagram that he won’t be able to return to filming.
“It’s heartbreaking, of course, but I mostly feel happy and grateful for the days I got to spend on set earlier this year,” he wrote to followers on Instagram.
27-year-old Swiss star Basil Eidenbenz has already been cast as Rasmussen’s replacement, and if you want to get an early glimpse at his acting chops, he can be seen alongside Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman in Victoria.
Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia will also join the show as witcher trainer Vesemir.
Carmel Laniado (Dolittle) will play “Violet, a young girl whose playful and whimsical demeanour is a front for a smarter and more sadistic character”, according to Deadline.
Chatting to Pure Fandom, Hissrich said: “Without spoilers, I will say that there’s a crop of new monsters, a new cost to magic, and new and unexpected pairings of our favourite characters.”
Redanian Intelligence also reported that an audition tape surfaced featuring Nina Yndis as Queen Mabel, a “codename” for Queen Meve of Lyria and Rivia. In it, she is “searching for a girl by the name of Princess Serene, which is a codename for Ciri”.
Watch this space.
And according to Hissrich, we can expect to see some queer representation next season as well. After denying there were any homoerotic undertones in season one, The Witcher boss promised during a Reddit AMA that this would be rectified ready for season two:
“One of my favourite things about the books is that they are full of subversion. Yes, we’re gonna represent.”
The petition for Geralt and Jaskier to realise their true feelings for each other in season two starts here.
The Witcher season 2 plot: What will the second season be about?
We’ve had some firmer details about season two’s plot, direct from Netflix:
“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,” its synopsis reads.
“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.”
Which all sounds very exciting, doesn’t it?
In an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, Hissrich promised a “more intense” second season:
“What I would say is that season one is very much about building blocks. It’s about constructing the world, and setting up these characters, and putting them on paths, and knocking those dominoes over.
The Witcher boss reacts to that sexy bathtub meme
“When you get to season two, all of those things start to come to play, which is that characters start meeting each other – sometimes getting along, sometimes not. All those things that we set up – Geralt and Yennefer, Geralt and Ciri, Yennefer and Ciri – all of the different kingdoms that you just barely hear about in season one, start rising to the surface in season two.
“So the storytelling is a little more intense in a way, and maybe a little more focused and driven in the journeys that we’re telling in season two.”
And here’s hoping that the overall timeline will be less confusing in the future.
Speaking on Reddit, The Witcher boss explained: “The narrative structure was put in place so that we could tell Geralt’s short stories (the foundation of the whole Witcher world, in my opinion), while Ciri and Yennefer could also be a part of the action.
“Their stories don’t happen simultaneously, so we knew we needed to play with time a bit. This will definitely change in season two, as their stories have begun to converge.”
“The stories will be told in a much more linear fashion,” Hissrich told Vulture. “They won’t all be one story. It’s not like all three are together and happy all the time. But, I do want to employ some different ways to look at time series-wide. I think that there is a lot that we couldn’t fit into season one. There are different short stories that I would love to highlight and focus on. We may end up doing those in the future, via flashback, for instance. But no, we won’t have things happening across 100 years at the same time anymore.”
“We already know the stories we’re telling [for season two], but I want to make sure that we have the time to tell them appropriately. One of the biggest changes we’ve made is to make sure that the scripts aren’t too long. It’s a terrible thing when you shoot a story that you’re proud of, and then it’s 95 minutes long and you’re trying to fit it into 60 minutes of television.
“You end up cutting stuff that you know would be great, or would be important. Viewers are going to find that because we’re not trying to push as much story, and we’re not trying to constantly introduce new characters all the time, and new worlds, and new kingdoms, and increase the politics, sometimes we just get to sit with characters and learn about them a little bit more. And that’s probably the thing I’m most excited for people to see.”