The Witcher season 3 is on its way, marking the final time we will see Henry Cavill donning his blonde wig as Geralt of Rivia. When Netflix confirmed a fourth season of the show, the streamer announced that The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth will be taking over as the monster hunter.
Filming has already wrapped on season 3 of The Witcher, and we know it will be coming out in Summer 2023. This time around, the show will be focusing on the Time of Contempt, as Geralt and Yennefer do their best to keep Ciri safe from the growing dangers around the Continent.
But despite these tidbits, there's still a lot unknown about the popular series' Netflix return. We don't know how exactly things will end with Cavill's Geralt, nor do we have a confirmed release date. So to help you navigate all the latest updates, we've taken a deep dive into everything released so far, as well as all of the theories and rumors surrounding The Witcher season 3.
The Witcher season 3 release date set for summer 2023
The Witcher season 3 is releasing in summer 2023. While we don't have a narrower window to work from, that now means the next instalment of the Netflix saga should arrive between June-August 2023.
Filming has now wrapped on the season. Henry Cavill has even written a message to mark the occasion. All being well, the series will now enter post-production and we should get a further release date announcement next year, potentially bundled with the first trailer.
I call this “We’re Almost Done and I’ve Lost the Will for Salads and Meditation Give Me Donuts and Drugs.” #TheWitcher pic.twitter.com/9j0XznFgTiAugust 26, 2022
The Witcher season 3 cast
The Witcher season 3 cast will, obviously, feature the return of Geralt (Henry Cavill), Ciri (Freya Allan), and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra). It's officially Cavill's last season as Geralt, however. Liam Hemsworth will take over in the fourth season.
After the finale, we can expect the likes of Vesemir (Kim Bodnia), Lambert (Paul Bullion), and Coen (Yasen Atour) to show up in season 3.
Other series regulars Jaskier (Joey Batey), Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni), Cahir (Eamon Farren) will likely have a part to play – as will Francesca (Mecia Simson), Filavandrel (Tom Canton), Triss (Anna Shaffer), Tissaia (MyAnna Buring), Dara (Wilson Mbomio), Istredd (Royce Pierreson), Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), and Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen).
There are also a handful of characters introduced in the second season that are in line for a comeback. They include Dijkstra (Graham McTavish), Phillipa (Cassie Clare), and Lydia (Aisha Fabienne Ross). Plus, let’s not forget the re-emergence of Duny, now known as Nilfgaardian Emperor Emhyr (Bart Edwards).
Hissrich also told GamesRadar+ that Codringher (Simon Callow) and Fenn (Lizz Carr) would return for the third season.
Four new actors are also joining the line-up. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' Meng'er Zhang will play Milva, "a human adopted by the dryads of Brokilon Forest." She’s also described as a "fierce and talented huntress."
Robbie Amell is playing "born fighter" Gallatin. He "leads an army of guerrilla Scoia'tael fighting on behalf of Nilfgaard."
Hugh Skinner is Radovid, "Royal playboy and younger brother to King Vizimir." He "finds himself suddenly a man on the inside of the Redanian Intelligence."
Christelle Elwin plays Mistle, a member of The Rats. They're "a gang of misfit teenagers who steal from the rich and give to themselves – and sometimes the poor."
One person who doesn't know if they'll be back, though, is Adjoa Andoh, who plays Nenneke. "Yeah, I don't know. We'll see," Andoh told Radio Times (opens in new tab). "The books are so huge. And they've gone so many different ways in the stories. Nenneke is in the books a lot. But it depends what they want to do with, you know, this version of it."
According to Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab), one of season 2's major villains has also been recast. Chris Fulton, who previously played Rience, has seemingly left the show. According to set photos, the mage will now by played by The Crown's Sam Woolf.
The Witcher season 3 story: what’s next and which books will be adapted?
Netflix has released an official plot summary for The Witcher season 3, which reads: "As monarchs, mages, and beasts of the Continent compete to capture her, Geralt takes Ciri of Cintra into hiding, determined to protect his newly reunited family against those who threaten to destroy it. Entrusted with Ciri's magical training, Yennefer leads them to the protected fortress of Aretuza, where she hopes to discover more about the girl's untapped powers; instead, they discover they've landed in a battlefield of political corruption, dark magic, and treachery. They must fight back, put everything on the line – or risk losing each other forever."
The Witcher season 3 story will pick up where the second season left off: the net is closing in on Ciri, with Nilfgaard, Redania, and the Northern kings all wanting to capture – or, worse, kill – the Lion Cub of Cintra. Francesca and the remaining elves also have Ciri in her sights, who is now under the protection of Geralt and Yennefer. Those warring parties and factions will almost certainly be the driving force of the upcoming season.
Betrayal could be the name of the game in The Witcher season 3, too. Aretuza and its mages are seemingly divided on who they should serve, while Jaskier is in the pocket of Dijkstra and Redania. That spells trouble for Yennefer and Geralt respectively.
The Wild Hunt also showed up during the season 2 finale as Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer were briefly teleported to another realm. They might be set up as the show’s endgame villains, though may yet have a minor presence in the upcoming season.
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has revealed on Twitter (opens in new tab) that the upcoming season will adapt Andrzej Sapkowski's 'Time of Contempt.' The first season adapted aspects of The Last Wish, while the second season focused on A Grain of Truth and the majority of A Blood of Elves. We’re not going into heavy book spoilers here, especially as the show is keen to divert from certain aspects of the source material. In short, however, expect one of Geralt's most brutal fight scenes, an odyssey for Ciri, and the introduction of the criminal group The Rats. If you want to pick up where the story left off, be sure to check out the reading order in our guide to The Witcher books.
But will season 3 have multiple timelines? "Our seasons as a whole are really guided by the stories that we want to tell," Hissrich told TheWrap (opens in new tab). "So structure is a great example. In season 2, there wasn't a reason to do non-linear storylines. So we took a very linear approach, which allowed us to play with some different aspects of visions or flashbacks, for instance, that we wouldn't be able to do if we were doing timelines. Season 3 I think is really great. It's based on 'The Time of Contempt,' and that actually to me is a very easily adaptable book. There's tons of action, there's tons of things that are just jaw dropping when you get to them. So we're really letting that lead our storytelling. Season 3, for instance, takes place on a very, very small time line. Not a lot of time passes, because it doesn't need to."
On season 3 specifics, Geralt actor Henry Cavill said during Netflix’s Unlocked show (opens in new tab) that "there is a chance to explore the Nenneke relationship a little further. Of course, I would love to work with the Witchers some more… but it’s about making sure that story happens without too much in the way of diversions [from the books]."
Cavill added that Geralt’s fraught relationship with Yennefer is "going to take some real work and nuance and complexity" to overcome.
Also on the Unlocked show, Hissrich offered up vague hints and teased a deeper dive into Vilgefortz’s secret history, connections to Lara Dorren, a larger look at the kingdom of Redania, and – of course – that Emhyr reveal.
"We’re going to lean into the suspense… how and when are our characters going to figure it out?" Hissrich said, while suggesting that Emhyr/Duny has a "new partner" in season 3. Expect his search for his daughter, Ciri, to form the crux of the season's narrative tensions.
Executive producer Steve Gaub has also given a tease on the next season's scope, along with a picture of an interior set. "We definitely won’t be going smaller in season 3," he wrote. It sounds like next season will be bigger than ever, then.
When can we expect a trailer for The Witcher season 3?
In short, it could be coming soon. Previous first looks at The Witcher’s upcoming season have both landed in July, five months before a December release date. With the Summer 2023 window now confirmed, we can expect a season 3 trailer at the end of 2022 at the earliest.
The Witcher spin-off series Blood Origin will be released this December 25, so could coincide with some more insight into season 3. After all, we got our first teaser for that during the post-credits of The Witcher season 2.
In the meantime, though, there are photos from location scouting to tide you over. Check them out below.