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The Witcher season 3: everything we know about the upcoming Netflix series

The Witcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 is on the way – though there's no release date just yet. Considering season 2 only just landed on Netflix, it might be a while until we see the return of Geralt and co. on our screens, especially considering the prequel Blood Origin is landing in 2022. 

That doesn't mean there's no information about the new season out there, though. In fact, there's quite a lot to pore over while we wait. For one thing, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has revealed which book in the series is next up for adaptation, and The Witcher season 2 ending left Ciri in some considerable danger, so there's plenty to speculate about. 

We've rounded up absolutely everything there is to know about the upcoming season right here, from casting details to release date speculation and much more besides. There's even got quotes from star Henry Cavill and Hissrich in our guide, too. Without further ado, scroll on to get up to speed on all things The Witcher season 3. 

The Witcher season 3 release date could be 2023 – depending on when it starts filming

The Witcher

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 release date hasn’t yet been announced, but The Witcher and The Witcher season 2 landed on Netflix in December 2019 and December 2021 respectively. A pattern has been set and, with prequel Blood Origin confirmed for a 2022 release window, it’s fairly likely that Geralt’s next live-action adventure will come in 2023.

That does, however, all hinge on when The Witcher season 3 begins filming. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich told TechRadar that they’re "almost done with the scripting phase," which hints at the series’ return still being at least 12 months away.

For reference, the second season’s production – which was halted by COVID shutdowns and an injury to lead Henry Cavill – began in February 2020 and ran until April 2021. The first season was far less spotty in its schedule, lasting from October 2018 to May 2019, before launching seven months later in December 2019.

A report from Redanian Intelligence claims filming will start in March 2022, and will probably wrap in August 2022, assuming no pandemic-induced disruption. That makes a 2023 release date very likely.

The Witcher season 3 cast: who’s likely to return

The Witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 3 cast will, obviously, feature the return of Geralt (Henry Cavill), Ciri (Freya Allan), and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra).

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), Rience (Chris Fulton), 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.

The Witcher season 3 story: what’s next and which books will be adapted?

The Witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

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 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. "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 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.

When can we expect a trailer for The Witcher season 3?

The Witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

In short, not for a while. Previous first looks at The Witcher’s upcoming season have both landed in July, five months before a December release date. To clue us in further, we’ll need to know the release date for season 3. Once that’s set in stone, be on the lookout for a trailer 4-6 months before release – and potentially at either a ComicCon or a Netflix streaming event.

So, we might have a long time to wait until The Witcher season 3 drops. In the meantime, check out some of the best Netflix shows and best Netflix movies you can watch right now on the streaming service.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.