Scrounge a coin to toss: The Witcher season 2 is coming. The fantasy drama is "deep into post-production," according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich, after filming wrapped a few weeks ago. Netflix revealed that The Witcher season 2 will premiere by the end of the year. Until then, fans can pass the time and come up with theories based on teaser trailers, set photos and casting announcements.
The Witcher is based on the book and story series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Henry Cavill stars as Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, and the show also follows the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and princess-on-the-run Ciri (Freya Allan).
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At the end of the first season, Geralt and Ciri teamed up. In The Witcher season 2, we expect Geralt to train Ciri. And while Yennefer seemed to be in dire straits, she's much too powerful to be down for long.
Here’s everything we know about The Witcher season 2 including its release date, cast, plot, and more.
The Witcher season 2 latest news (updated May 11)
- Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich tweeted that the show is "deep into post-production."
- Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told investors that The Witcher season 2 release date will be sometime in Q4 2021.
- In a behind-the-scenes teaser video, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich revealed season 2 will adapt the book Blood of Elves
The Witcher season 2 release date on Netflix
The Witcher season 2 does not yet have a release date, but Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told investors that it will premiere in Q4 2021.
Netflix renewed the series for a second season in November 2019 — before the first season had even premiered. The eight-episode season began production in early 2020 in London for a planned debut in 2021. But all of that was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Witcher season 2, along with most film and TV productions, was put on hold. But filming resumed in August, following health and safety protocols.
The Witcher season 2 filming wrapped
Witcher hair and makeup artist Jacqueline Rathore recently revealed on her Instagram that filming on season 2 has concluded. Netflix followed up by confirming that filming has wrapped: "The White Wolf awaits you back on the Continent."
The Witcher requires quite a lot of special effects, which makes post-production a lengthy process. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich tweeted, "Back in London. Back in the (small dark loud) rooms where it happens. That's right, we're deep into post-production on #TheWitcher S2, and I'm so fucking excited."
The Witcher season 2 trailer
To mark the conclusion of The Witcher season 2 filming, the show released a behind-the-scenes teaser video hosted by showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. She outlined just how big season 2 will be — the crew of 1,200 people and 89 cast members spent 158 days shooting.
Hissrich also revealed that season 2 adapts Blood of Elves, the first full-length Witcher book. Blood of Elves chronicles Geralt's training time with Ciri at Kaer Morhen.
But when might we see another teaser or full-length trailer with footage from season 2? It's possible Netflix drops one as early as this summer.
The Witcher season 2 cast
Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan are all confirmed to return as the three main characters Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri.
Also confirmed to reprise their roles are:
- Joey Batey as traveling bard Jaskier
- MyAnna Buring as sorceress Tissaia de Vries, mentor to Yennefer
- Anna Shaffer as the court mage Triss Merigold
- Eamon Farron as Nilfgaard army commander Cahir
- Tom Canton as Filavandrel, king of the elves
- Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla Vigo, a sorceress who allies with the Nilfgaard
- Lilly Cooper as Murta
- Jeremy Crawford as Yarpin Zigrin
- Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz
- Terence Maynard as Artorius
- Lars Mikkelson as Stregobor
- Royce Pierreson as Istredd
- Wilson Radjou-Pujaltes Dara
- Therica Wilson Read as Sabrina
As for new cast members, Hissrich teased on Reddit that, "There’s a whole new set of fun characters coming in S2." That includes LGTBQ+ characters. "One of my favorite things about the books is that they are full of subversion," Hissrich said. "Yes, we’re gonna represent."
Netflix revealed some of those new cast members on Twitter on Feb. 21: Yasen Atour as Coen Agnes; Bjorn as Vereena; Paul Bullion as Lambert; Kristofer Hivju as Nivellen; Thue Ersted Rasmussen as Eskel; Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia; Mecia Simson as Francesca.
Fans will be especially excited to see Nivellen, a man cursed to turn into a beast who comes across Geralt in Sapkowski’s short story "A Grain of Truth." The character will be played by Kristofer Hivju, who played Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones.
Netflix also announced new cast member Kim Bodnia. This casting is great for fans of Killing Eve, but it's a bit of a downer for those who clamored for Star Wars legend Mark Hamill to play Vesemir.
Recently, Netflix revealed seven more cast members for The Witcher season 2. Here's the list and character descriptions, if the role is taken from the books"
- Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton) as Nenneke, the priestess of Melitele, and the head of the Temple of Melitele.
- Cassie Clare (Brave New World) as Philippa Eilhart, an advisor to Redania’s King Vizimir II and leader of the Lodge of Sorceresses.
- Liz Carr (Devs) as Fenn, a partner in a law firm and detective agency in Dorian.
- Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Codringher, Fenn's partner.
- Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey) as Ba’lian, a new character.
- Chris Fulton (Bridgerton) as Rience, a mage who was instructed to find Ciri after she disappeared during the slaughter of Cintra.
- Graham McTavish (Outlander) as Dijkstra, a master spy and head of special forces for the kingdom of Redania.
The fan site Redanian Intelligence reported that Alexander Squires and James Baxter have been cast as young Geralt and Vesemir, respectively. Tristan Ruggeri previously played a child Geralt in season 1, but Squires will be a slightly older version in season 2 flashbacks.
The Witcher season 2 Wild Hunt set photos
The hunt is on! Leaked photos from The Witcher season 2 set reveal that the show is filming the Wild Hunt.
The Daily Mail got the images, which seem to depict the Red Riders, some of the most fearsome enemies in the entire Witcher lore. The Wild Hunt takes place in Andrzej Sapkowski's second Witcher book, Time of Contempt.
The Witcher season 2 Henry Cavill photos
While Netflix has yet to release a trailer, the streamer did unveil a couple of images of Geralt in some brand-new armor. The first one is more of a close-up of the back of Geralt's head:
The second one is, as they say, quite a thirst trap.
The show also posted images of Ciri, seemingly learning how to fight under Geralt's tutelage. "Looks like somebody has been spending time with a witcher," the caption reads on Instagram. On Twitter, the post reads: "She gave tearful goodbyes on a most violent night. Now this child of surprise is preparing to fight."
Netflix also shared two photos of Yennefer, assuring fans, "Fear not, she's out there somewhere." That may be, but her face is bloody and her hands are tied up."
On Twitter, the show teased, "She used her full might, and the battlefield burned. Then she vanished from sight, But Yen will return."
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The Witcher season 2 plot
The Witcher season 2 will pick up where season 1 left: after Geralt and Ciri finally met.
Season 1 juggled a few different timelines. In the "past," Geralt and Yennefer crossed paths several times (and engaged in a torrid romance), all while Geralt knew Ciri was his "destiny" — even if they didn’t meet until the finale.
That finale also featured the Battle of Sodden Hill, in which Yennefer unleashed a massive force of magical power against the invading Nilfgaardian army — and then disappeared.
According to Netflix's official synopsis of season 2, "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."
Season 2 will also see Geralt help Ciri train in her mysterious powers. As for Yennefer, her status is unclear, but it’s safe to say she’ll reappear somehow, but she’ll be dealing with the aftermath of the battle.
As for the destined-to-meet duo, the showrunner teased, "You'll get to know where [Geralt] came from and why he is the person he is in season 1." Meanwhile, Ciri is "not looking backwards anymore or looking back at her family in Cintra anymore. She's trying to build a new family."
Hissrich has said that season 2 will draw from Sapkowski’s novel Blood of Elves, as well as unused parts of the stories in The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny.
In her Reddit AMA, the showrunner explained, “We’re approaching S2 in a similar way we did with S1: what are the stories Sapkowski was telling, and why? What building blocks do we need to set up future stories? Is there anything we missed from S1 that we want to include? And what will work on television? For instance — no one wants to see Triss have diarrhea for three episodes. So what are we trying to glean from that in the books, and how do we present that onscreen?”
One thing some viewers may feel relief over is that season 2’s storytelling will be more linear, with much less timeline-jumping, though Hissrich said, “We'll continue to use flashbacks when we need it, or other devices."
(For anyone who remains confused about when certain events happened, check out Netflix’s interactive Witcher map and timeline, which also contains a secret message in the Elder language that translates to, "When something ends, something begins.")
That map will expand and get more detailed as the show explores more of the mythology, history, culture, and politics. "We decided to save some tidbits of witcher lore until… you actually meet more witchers," Hissrich teased.
Another area the show will delve into is Nilfgaard, the powerful empire that attempts to invade Cintra in season 1.
"We felt like we needed to set up a 'bad guy' in S1 — but it’s our hope that we've added enough layers to Cahir and Fringilla that the audience thinks 'Wait, but THEY don’t seem insane. So what do they see in Nilfgaard? Maybe there's more there than meets the eye?'" Hissrich said.
"Perhaps we didn’t go far enough in S1, to see more behind Nilfgaard's curtain — but it will definitely be explored more thoroughly in S2."
The Witcher season 2 spinoff movie
Before The Witcher season 2 premieres, fans may get a treat in the form of a Witcher anime movie. Netflix announced that an animated spinoff film is in the works from Hissrich and writer Beau DeMayo. Learn more about The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.
The Witcher season 2 soundtrack
Count us among fans who are excited to listen to The Witcher season 2 soundtrack because season 1's soundtrack was so good. The track list runs 55 songs long (!) and includes the single "Toss a Coin."