RedanianIntelligence returns for their recap of all the October 2020 news regarding Netflix’s The Witcher and some new snippets of information for The Witcher season 2 coming in 2021.
During the month of October, the leading cast members of Netflix’s The Witcher (including Superman Henry Cavill) have been filming across the beautiful countryside of Northern England.
Other than Cavill, who plays Geralt, we were able to find the show’s female stars Anya Chalotra (Yennefer) and Freya Allan (Ciri) on location. Also on set were our favorite Nilfgaardians Eamon Farren (Cahir) and Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), who were seen sporting completely new Nilfgaardian costumes, a change from season one’s controversial design.
Lastly, we got our first look at new cast member Mecia Simson (the powerful elven sorceress Francesca), who appears to be involved in a storyline that is very different from the novels. For a summary of the scenes filmed (with pictures), as well as an introduction to season two’s newest director, read our roundup below.
This article contains MILD SPOILERS for season two of The Witcher. If you wish to watch the season with no prior knowledge, you may prefer to avoid these pictures from the set. Read on at your own discretion.
Topics covered in part 1 of November 2020’s roundup:
- Henry Cavill’s Geralt spotted filming with Roach and a lot of blood
- Yennefer and Ciri unite for filming at Low Force Waterfall
- The Witcher season two adds director Louise Hooper
- Introducing the new Nilfgaardian armor: Cahir and Fringilla on set at Fountains Abbey
- Our first look at sorceress Francesca Findabair shows a significant departure from the novels
Henry Cavill’s Geralt spotted filming with Roach and a lot of blood
Towards the end of October, Henry Cavill was captured on camera at Plumpton Rocks in Yorkshire. Cavill was filming alongside his trusted equine companion Zeus, better known to fans as Roach. Curiously, an onlooker noticed the crew cleaning fake blood off of Zeus once filming was completed, and this suggests that Geralt was fighting on horseback. We sure hope that isn’t Roach’s blood! This wasn’t the first time onlookers caught Cavill on camera, as the same thing happened the week before.
It was only a couple of months ago that The Witcher season two resumed production following a five-month COVID hiatus. Since then, film and television productions around the world faced the challenge of filming during the pandemic, including masks and periodic virus tests. It’s good to see that even series star Henry Cavill is following these guidelines, as can be seen in his second picture from filming in the Yorkshire Dales.
COVID-19 is a different kind of monster than the Kikkimoras and Strigas Geralt is used to, but we’re certain the witcher will manage just fine. Filming in the Yorkshire Dales was centered around the town of Malham, specifically near the limestone cliffs at Gordale Scar and the waterfall of Janet’s Foss. The scenes filmed there apparently involved both Geralt and Ciri.
Before filming in the Dales, The Witcher spent several days in the nearby Lake District, where Cavill was seen across three locations. The beautiful lake of Blea Tarn was graced with the presence of not only Cavill and Allan but also the horse Zeus who portrays Roach in the show. Meanwhile, another sequence was filmed in the caverns of Hodge Close Quarry, this time involving Geralt, his witcher brother Lambert (Paul Bullion), and at least one wolf. Your guess is as good as ours regarding the scene in question.
Yennefer and Ciri unite for filming at Low Force Waterfall
Season one of The Witcher ended with Geralt and Ciri finally finding each other, but it was clear from the beginning that the Witcher family remains incomplete without the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg, beautifully portrayed by Anya Chalotra in the show. Even Freya Allan’s Ciri was aware of this, as the first season’s final line was: “Who’s Yennefer?” And so, it should come as no surprise that season two will answer Ciri’s question.
Chalotra and Allan were seen filming together on location at the Low Force Waterfall in County Durham, and were captured in pictures by photographer Terry Blackburn (via Daily Mail and Just Jared). This appears to be a scene from one of the later episodes of season two, in which Yennefer and Ciri are traveling across the countryside. It seems that the sorceress and her ward were hoping to cross a river, only to find that the bridge had collapsed. Naturally, that wouldn’t stop Yennefer of Vengerberg or her fierce adoptive daughter Ciri, as it seems they will be using magic to restore the bridge and allow safe crossing.
The developing relationship between Yennefer and Ciri is considered one of the highlights of the novel Blood of Elves, which the show is adapting in season two. Indeed, we’re excited to see these characters sharing scenes. It’s also great to see that new costume designer Lucinda Wright is able to capture the spirit of the characters in their season two outfits. For the gallery of pictures from Low Force Waterfall, take a look at the full Redanian Report.
The Witcher season two adds director Louise Hooper
Before the pandemic took the world by storm and rearranged everyone’s schedules, The Witcher season two had already settled on four directors. Among them were Umbrella Academy’s Stephen Surjik, The Last Kingdom’s Sarah O’Gorman and Ed Bazalgette, and The Magicians’ Geeta Patel. However, it seems that the COVID hiatus forced Netflix to replace Patel with a new director.
Louise Hooper has previously directed episodes for Holby City and Doctors as well as several mini-series (most recently Fresh and Blood). Hooper was first seen filming The Witcher with Henry Cavill in the Lake District’s Rydal Cave, and her name later appeared in a list of directors for the show on a reliable industry website.
Assuming Hooper has taken over Patel’s episodes, the new director will be in charge of the sixth and seventh episodes of season two, and she was likely filming the Yennefer and Ciri scene mentioned above among others.
Introducing the new Nilfgaardian armor: Cahir and Fringilla on set at Fountains Abbey
Perhaps the most controversial element of The Witcher’s first season is the curious design choice of the Nilfgaardian armor, worn by Eamon Farren’s knight Cahir and many, many extras. The black, wrinkled armor was criticized by large sections of the fandom, and the controversy grew so large that showrunner Lauren Hissrich decided to give the Nilfgaardians a significant makeover in season two. With new costume designer Lucinda Wright at the helm, we finally have our first look at the new Nilfgaardian armor.
A few months ago, Redanian Intelligence reported that The Witcher will be filming in one of England’s most beautiful ruins: Fountains Abbey. Thankfully, the rumor was confirmed towards the end of October with a casting call for elven extras and a listing on the Abbey’s website. It was in the Abbey’s beautiful water gardens that photographer Terry Blackburn managed to capture Nilfgaardian cast members Eamon Farren and Mimi Ndiweni (who plays the magnetic sorceress Fringilla Vigo).
You vs. the Vicovarian she told you not to worry about pic.twitter.com/QA0l4dXORv
— Redanian Intelligence (@RedanianIntel) October 28, 2020
Moreover, another key character was captured in the Fountains Abbey Water Gardens, a powerful elven sorceress who will be introduced in season two: Francesca Findabair.
Our first great look at sorceress Francesca Findabair reveals a significant departure from the novels
Back in February, Netflix announced a list of new cast members who would be joining Cavill, Chalotra, and Allan in The Witcher’s second season. Perhaps the most important name on that list was Francesca, who will be portrayed by actress and model Mecia Simson.
Simson’s character is a resourceful elven sorceress and an important political figure in Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels. It appears that her character will be further explored in the show as she has been described as a “lead role”. Francesca will be joined by season one’s elven king Filavandrel (Tom Canton) as well as a rebel army of elves known to book readers as the Scoia’tael (the Squirrels). These guerilla fighters are very important to future events in Sapkowski’s saga.
From Terry Blackburn’s photos, it’s clear that Netflix has retained Francesca’s other-worldly beauty (for instance, her dress is inlaid with peacock feathers), yet one major deviation from the novel stands out: Francesca appears to be pregnant. This isn’t the first time we hear of Francesca becoming a mother in the show, as the new storyline was alluded to in a leak by insider Daniel Richtman earlier this year. Besides her pregnancy, Netflix is also adding an original character called Gage (Kaine Zajaz) who will play Francesca’s brother.
Take a look at the full Redanian report for many more pictures of filming at the Abbey, which involved a curious meeting between elves and Nilfgaardians.
And that’ll be all for November’s recap of Witcher news. It has certainly been a busy month, with pictures of all of the show’s main characters (barring Joey Batey’s bard Jaskier) reaching us from various locations in Northern England. Filming in Fountains Abbey is expected to continue in the first week of November, after which the production will once again take to the secretive headquarters at Arborfield Studios with a targeted release in Summer 2021.
Follow Redanian Intelligence on our Twitter account for the latest news on The Witcher and its spinoffs.