The Witcher season 2 is heading to Netflix this December. But a release date is far from the only thing fans should be getting excited about before we make a return trip to the Continent.
WitcherCon has showered us with treats: a first full Witcher trailer, a handful of new images (including an aged-up Jaskier) and more deep dives into Geralt and company before we reach Kaer Morhen later this year.
It sounds like a lot. Frankly, it is a lot, but we've condensed everything down to the pure essentials on our whistlestop tour of The Witcher season 2. That even includes a full look at all the new cast members that are sure to annoy Geralt in some way later this year...
The Witcher season 2 release date: December 17, 2021
The Witcher season 2 release date has finally been confirmed during WitcherCon. It's arriving on December 17, 2021. Woo!
It may be two years between seasons by the time it drops, but the larger gap between shouldn't concern fans. Hissrich explained that the added time was only good for the show, saying she wants to "make sure that everyone on our team gets the time to do their job and do it to the best of their ability. So we’re making sure we have a lot of built-in cushion time for Season 2 so we don’t cram anything in at the last minute."
The Witcher season 2 trailer: your first look at the new season
Netflix's Geeked week may have offered up a handful of mini-teasers but, now, we've got the real thing.
The first full Witcher season 2 trailer (which you can see above) charts Ciri's latest journey having been reunited with Henry Cavill's Geralt. The Child of Surprise is headed to Kaer Morhen to help hone her skills alongside other Witchers, including newcomer Lambert.
Much of what made the first season such a success remains: the sound of swords clanging and monsters lurking in the shadows will be enough to draw most fans back into the fold. Happily, Yennefer is back too. Her disappearance at the Battle of Sodden Hill, thankfully, wasn't fatal. But it's not quite clear if her path will cross with Geralt once more now we're only on one single timeline.
The Witcher season 2 has wrapped filming
As well as the behind-the-scenes video, there's also an Instagram post from The Witcher's official page to confirm filming is complete. Previously, The Witcher season 2 was shut down again in October but was given the all-clear to restart production in November. Lead Henry Cavill also reportedly had to take a break after being injured on-set, but later said he's undergoing rehab "before his work day," apparently confirming his return.
The Witcher season 2 official images and set photos
Along with the new, trailer, behind the scenes videos and Instagram posts confirming filming has wrapped, there have been other glimpses at season 2.
Some of the main characters from The Witcher Netflix series not only find themselves in new situations in season 2, but also have different looks.
Geralt has a shiny new piece of armour to show off, Ciri is training in what could be Kaer Morhen, and Yennefer is looking worse for wear after The Battle of Sodden Hill. See the three main images below.
There's even a shot of director Stephen Surjik finishing up work on-set of The Witcher season 2. No real clues here, but the setup behind him looks very complicated...
It’s my last day on set with @SSurjik. I didn’t expect his 2 episodes to span a global pandemic. But they did, and I couldn’t have had a better partner by my side. Grateful for his vision, leadership, spirit, and friendship. @witchernetflix S2 is back and better than ever. ♥️⚔️🐺 pic.twitter.com/xBMRCydQoXSeptember 16, 2020
Fresh off of the presses of WitcherCon is a trio of new images from The Witcher season 2. One is of Geralt's trusty steed, Roach, in a wintry setting. There's another of Jaskier looking older, but not exactly wiser. Let's hope he's got a follow-up to Toss a Coin to Your Witcher in his song sheet. Rounding out the new images is Lambert facing down Ciri.
The Witcher season 2 cast: several new characters
The Witcher season 2 cast been confirmed, including a whole batch of new characters to get excited about.
Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), and Ciri (Freya Allan) all return, as does the incomparable Jaskier (Joey Batey). Also back are MyAnna Buring as Tissaia, Tom Canton as Filavandrel, Lilly Cooper as Murta, Jeremy Crawford as Yarpin Zigrin, Eamon Farren as Cahir, Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz, Terence Maynard as Artorius, Lars Mikkelsen as Stregobor, Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierreson as Istredd, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte as Dara, Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold, and Therica Wilson Read as Sabrina.
But the new additions are potentially the most important. The most recognisable face is certainly Kristofer Hivju, best known as Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones. He'll be playing man-turned-into-a-monster, Nivellen. Here's who else will be joining him on The Continent.
- Yasen Atour as Coen
- Agnes Bjorn as Vereena
- Paul Bullion as Lambert
- Basil Eidenbenz as Eskel
- Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia
- Mecia Simson as Francesca
- Kim Bodnia as Vesemir
Those who are versed in all things Witcher might notice a new name there. Thue Ersted Rasmussen is out as Eskel due to scheduling conflicts and Basil Eidenbenz is in as Geralt's fellow witcher.
For a primer on those, check out our guide on the new characters coming to The Witcher. Intriguingly, Deadline is reporting that Carmel Landiado will play the character of Violet who is "a young girl whose playful and whimsical demeanour is a front for a smarter and more sadistic character."
Violet has no basis in either the books or the games and Laniado's casting has not been confirmed. That's one to keep an eye on, for sure.
We also know that Philippa Eilhart will be joining the lineup for The Witcher season 2, played by Cassie Clare. Philippa is an important political figure in the source material, and has a bit of an antagonistic relationship with Yennefer.
Some additional cast members and characters have also been announced: Phillipa will be joined by Geralt's mother-figure Nenneke, portrayed by Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh, as well as spymaster Dijkstra, played by The Hobbit's Graham McTavish. We'll also be seeing Liz Carr as Fenn, Simon Dallow as Codringher, Kevin Doyle as Ba'lian, and Chris Fenton as Rience.
Vesemir is arguably the most important addition of the new batch: the character is set to be introduced in a pre-Witcher season 2 animated film. Nightmare of the Wolf is due to air in August, so that's a good a place as any to learn about Geralt's mentor before he makes his live-action bow.
The Witcher season 2 story: new characters, new monsters
The Witcher's first season ended with things being brought back to the present-day, stories converging, and Geralt reuniting with Ciri. What next?
Details are scarce, but the underlying mantra behind The Witcher season 2 story appears to be making things leaner, tighter, and a lot more straightforward.
In the behind the scenes video, Hissrich says season 2 will "dig into The Blood of Elves, and beyond." That's the third book in the Witcher series, but, as you'll see below, that's not the only book season 2 could be taking inspiration from.
Hissrich teased the upcoming season (and its interactions) in an interview with GamesRadar+, saying: “What’s great about season two, I can tell you, is that, in what we’ve written, the story becomes much more focused. There’s a stronger drive in the story, because all of the relationships that we’ve been setting up in season one, actually start to come into fruition in season two.”
Hissrich added: “Characters start meeting and interacting more. That goes well sometimes. It doesn’t go well sometimes. But it’s kind of like, all of those building blocks that we set up for the world, finally start to come together into something a little more concrete.”
While the first season roughly covered the majority of The Last Wish collection of short stories by Andrzej Sapkowski, a report by Redanian Intelligence suggests that The Witcher season 2 story will at least draw from A Grain of Truth, another series of tales by the Polish author. We won't go into major spoiler territory here, but that focuses on Geralt's dealings with the man-turned-monsters Nivellen, who is confirmed to show up in the second season. However, those who already know the book cover-to-cover might want to hold fire on thinking they know the meat of The Witcher season 2 story.
That’s because both Geralt and Ciri will apparently be travelling to Kaer Morhen, the ancestral home of the witchers, as they do in The Blood of Elves.
More recently, Hissrich has teased out some more season 2 story details, specifically with how that pertains to two of the more villainous characters from last year. “I can’t wait to dig deeper into Cahir and Fringilla in [The Witcher season 2], who they are, why Nilfgaard is important, and where they’ll go from here.” Hissrich said on Twitter. “It’s one of my favourite parts of the new season."
Netflix has even released a single page from the script, which teases a monster haunting a poor merchant and his family. Geralt, it seems, is talking to the figure in a voiceover. In fact, we can expect Geralt to do a whole lot more talking this season. That is, according to Henry Cavill.
If you want to know more about the source material (which might just clue you in on The Witcher season 2 story), here's our guide on The Witcher books, including the suggested reading order and how they compare to the Netflix series as well as the games.
The Witcher season 2 timeline: "much more focused"
One of the biggest talking points to come out of The Witcher Netflix series in 2019 was the use of a non-linear narrative. Over the course of a handful of decades, we saw the origins of Yennefer’s story, as well as how Geralt came to look after Ciri thanks to his presence at the Cintran royal court and his call for the Law of Surprise. The stories flitted back and forth between past and present throughout, often at multiple times in the same episode.
However, that understandably confused some viewers – the show didn’t always make it clear when we were watching certain scenes.
The biggest culprit was Jaskier, who seemingly didn’t age despite crossing paths with Geralt over several years – and that’s despite Yennefer making reference to the baby-faced bard’s “crow’s feet.”
The Witcher season 2 should change that. Hissrich held her hands up during the aforementioned Reddit AMA: “We dropped the ball on aging [Jaskier] up over the course of the show. It's hard to show the passage of time when everyone looks the same, so we'll be approaching that differently in [season 2].”
However, we can probably expect a more straightforward A-to-B story this time around. That’s not to say there definitely won’t be flashbacks or time jumps, but the language used by Hissrich in interviews so far sounds fairly definitive.
“Obviously, it was one of the most controversial parts of Season 1 and I didn’t expect it to be as controversial as it was,” Hissrich told The Wrap. “What’s great though is they have intersected now. So what we’ll see in Season 2 is that all of our characters are existing on the same timeline.”
There have already been references to a more linear approach to the story as far back as December, with Hissrich telling GamesRadar+ that the story next time around is “much more focused.” That sounds like a far less convoluted timeline to the one we eventually got used to in season 1.
For a detailed look at the timey-wimey shenanigans of the first season, check out our very own complete Witcher timeline.
The Witcher season 2 episode count and episode titles
There is also confirmation that The Witcher season 2 episode count is set at eight episodes, the same total as the first season. Stephen Surjik, Sarah O'Gorman, Ed Bazalgette, Geeta V. Patel will each be directing two episodes apiece.
There's even a sneak peek at seven of the eight episode titles. We can't quite chart out the whole season using them, but expect Kaer Morhen to be introduced early, while the monstrous events of A Grain of Truth could similarly feature in the opening half of 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: TBA
Beyond The Witcher season 2: Netflix prequels and spinoffs
You thought The Witcher season 2 was the only thing coming from The Continent? Netflix has a prequel series called Blood Origin on the way, with Sophia Brown and Michelle Yeoh among those cast. It's set 1,200 years before Geralt's time. Slightly closer to home is Vesemir animated film Nightmare of the Wolf. Expect that to have an 80-minute runtime and it's releasing in August.