Redanian Intelligence returns for a full roundup of all The Witcher Netflix news. There’s lots to cover including a brand new trailer for season 2.
With The Witcher’s second season releasing next month, Netflix has begun marketing the fantasy series in full force. Beginning with a panel at Italy’s Lucca Comics and Games convention, with showrunner Lauren Hissrich and stars Kim Bodnia (Vesemir) and Joey Batey (Jaskier) in attendance, Netflix has finally released an official trailer for season two.
In the meantime, another Witcher production is being filmed, and we’ve learned of a key detail that connects it to the main series.
The Witcher season two trailer was released during Lucca Comics and Games panel
Though we have already seen a lengthy teaser trailer, various sneak peeks and clips, and a “Road to Season 2” feature, Netflix was reluctant to release a proper, full-length trailer for the second season of The Witcher – until now.
During the Witcher panel at Italy’s Lucca Comics and Games convention, showrunner Lauren Hissrich joined costume designer Lucinda Wright and production designer Andrew Laws on the stage, where they discussed season two and even teased future seasons of the Netflix series (including the now confirmed third season). Later in the panel, the actors behind Vesemir and Jaskier, Kim Bodnia and Joey Batey respectively, also took to the stage and discussed the second season. The most exciting moment in the panel, however, was the reveal of the first full-length trailer of the second season.
The trailer is action-packed, full of monsters and interesting developments, many of which do not remind us of anything from the novel Blood of Elves, on which season two is based primarily. As usual, we broke down every frame in the trailer and speculated what it could mean for season two. If you don’t mind the possible spoiler, go read our frame-by-frame analysis.
How Vesemir and Geralt bonded behind the scenes, and more highlights from the panel at Lucca featuring Vesemir and Jaskier’s actors
When Vesemir actor Kim Bodnia took to the stage at the Lucca Comics and Games convention, he shared quite a lot of details about working with costars Henry Cavill (Geralt) and Freya Allan (Ciri), as well as how he immersed himself in the games, which his sons like very much.
“When the first game came out, my son wanted it, and it was special, very well-made! So when Lauren called me in and I told my family that I have to be Vesemir, their faces were like…” Kim Bodnia made a funny face as if to suggest that this blew their minds.
On Henry Cavill, the actor said: “So I spend a lot of time trying to work with Henry talking about feelings sense and feelings. I found out that Vesemir is kind of a father for him because Vesemir ‘created’ Geralt and of course I don’t want to disappoint you guys, but to disappoint my own ‘son’! It was so tough sometimes you know, because we want to be strong all the time, we want to fight. We want to believe we’re badasses. So sometimes I had to cry a whole day in front of him, just to make him fill a tear.”
On Freya Allan: “I can tell you she’s so lovely and funny! To see her developing her character from the first season from this young child to grow into this new person and all that she’s discovering inside herself… Wow! That’s gonna be fun.”
Also on the stage was Joey Batey, who plays the bard Jaskier. On his arc in season two, Batey said: “I think Jaskier has evolved, he’s a bit more ‘rock ‘n’ roll’. the new costume design gave a freedom to him. He feels a little bit more comfortable in his skin and is on a path to discover who he is.”
And what about the question on everyone’s minds? When asked whether season two will feature another hit Jaskier song like “Toss a Coin for a Witcher”, he said: “No idea, but you can assume he’s gonna keep singing. This is the difficult second album.”
For more Vesemir and Jaskier details from the panel and quotes from the actors, read our recap of their appearance in the panel.
The Witcher Season 3 to begin filming in the first quarter of 2022, and some Season 3 hints from the showrunner
Now that Netflix has officially confirmed that Season Three of The Witcher is being developed, information is starting to trickle out about the third season of the show. For one, an update on Production Weekly confirms that the season is currently scheduled to begin filming in the first quarter of 2022, which suggests the delay between season two and season three will be shorter than it was in the first two seasons.
Additionally, showrunner Lauren Hissrich mentioned the third season during the panel at Lucca Comics and Games. “We didn’t know if anyone was gonna watch [Season 1] and it turns out some people did and we got to do a Season 2, and so sure there’s a responsibility because we owe it to the fans that we get to do a Season 2 and Season 3 and hopefully a Season 4 and 5, I could keep going!”
Production designer Andrew Laws then chimed in saying: “Lauren forgot to mention Season 6, Season 7, Season 8 and Season 9.” It was a joke, of course. Or was it?
Later, Lauren did tease more about season three. “We keep using the word bigger, though I’m a little scared at this point. Season 3 follows a particular book very closely, it has a lot of action, some depth, some death…” Andrew Laws then added: “And monsters.”
The panel also included costume designer Lucinda Wright, who spoke about replacing the controversial Nilfgaardian armor, and more details about the production of the second season. For our full recap of the part of the panel featuring Hissrich, Laws and Wright, read our recap of the panel.
Jaskier to appear in The Witcher’s prequel series Blood Origin, season two costume designer to return
My presence is a present. Trick or treat! pic.twitter.com/FPncjZoJlt
— The Witcher (@witchernetflix) October 31, 2021
Besides season two of the Netflix series, several other Witcher productions are now in development, and the first among them is the live-action, limited series The Witcher: Blood Origin, a story set 1200 years before the main series.
For this reason, we were quite surprised when we discovered that Joey Batey will reprise his role of Jaskier in the prequel series.
Does this mean Jaskier is immortal? No. Instead, the prequel series is likely to use Jaskier in the role of the narrator or storyteller. We don’t know exactly how large his role will be. It’s possible he will be narrating the entire story, but it’s equally possible that he’ll cameo briefly at the beginning and end of the story.
It’s also notable that Joey Batey appeared in his full Jaskier hair and facial hair at Lucca because he needs it that way for shooting Blood Origin scenes.
Blood Origin is now filming in the United Kingdom, and we have also learned that season two costume designer Lucinda Wright has returned for the prequel series. We haven’t seen much of her work on Blood Origin as yet, but we do have one behind-the-scenes paparazzi screenshot of British actor Lenny Henry in-costume in the role of the druid Balor, as well as the various costumes we’ve seen in the trailers for the second season.
The Witcher season two will feature a romantic Geralt and Triss scene
One of the most controversial aspects of the trilogy of Witcher video games among readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels is the games’ focus on the character of Triss Merrigold, specifically her romantic relationship with Geralt.
In the novels, it is mentioned that Triss once used a spell or concoction on Geralt in order to convince him to make love to her, and this happened when Geralt and Yennefer were romantically involved. As you might imagine, Yennefer did not approve, and this led to some trouble for both Geralt and Triss. But, as far as their romantic relationship goes in the novels, that’s is all it ever was – an embarrassing event in the past. For this reason, hardcore fans of the novels do not appreciate the fact that the games seem to favor Triss over Yennefer as Geralt’s love interest.
As expected, the show decided to exclude the novels’ insinuation that Triss essentially rapes Geralt, but now it seems that they’re not completely ignoring this particular romance. We have recently learned that Triss and Geralt will share a romantic, sexual scene in the second season during her stay in Kaer Morhen. It’s likely that, in the show, this will be completely consensual and less shady, but one must remember that Geralt believes that Yennefer is dead, and will likely not have done this if he knew she was alive.
This is a rather controversial topic in the fandom, so we’re interested to see how the Netflix series will handle it.
The Witcher producer clarifies author Andrzej Sapkowski’s role in the show
We’ve already heard in the past that Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, who first introduced the witcher Geralt of Rivia to the pages of Fantastyka magazine over twenty years ago, does not like to interfere with the creative process when it comes to the adaptations of his work. For this reason, he was not involved in the video game trilogy or the first season of the Netflix show. It seems, however, that his stance has changed slightly between the first and second seasons.
In an interview published on YouTube and held in Polish, producer Tomek Baginski explained the author’s role in the show: “Andrzej strongly believes in the freedom and autonomy of people who adapt his stories, so he’d rather give us freedom. He wants to be informed about what is happening so that there are no surprises and he must be informed from the formal point of view. But he gives us a lot of freedom and that’s very cool.”
The fact that Sapkowski wants to be informed about the show is a slight change from his stance in the previous season, which showrunner Lauren Hissrich described as follows: “Sapkowski doesn’t want to see ingredients to the soup, he wants to taste the soup. He has access to the scripts and dailies but doesn’t want to see them.”
Spoiler report: Season 2 to bring forward a Nilfgaard reveal from the end of the novels
One of the most mysterious elements in the novels is the fate of Ciri’s parents, Duny and Pavetta, who we’ve met in the first season. In episode seven of the first season, we’re told that Duny and Pavetta died in a storm at sea, but readers of the novels and players of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt know that there’s a bit more to this story. If you haven’t read the books or played the game, it’s best to avoid this section as it contains major book spoilers.
Towards the end of The Lady of the Lake, the last novel in Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga, we discover that the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis, who has been chasing Ciri throughout the story with hopes to marry her and fulfill an ancient prophecy, is actually Ciri’s father Duny. We’ll spare the details of how and why this happens, but it’s safe to say this is one of the most shocking, twisted reveals in the saga. Much to the detriment of the Netflix series, however, this reveal was undercut by the video game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which featured Ciri’s father in the role of Emhyr as a central character. This means that many gamers are already aware of the twist, and that’s not the only reason the writers have for bringing the twist forward.
Given that the show is a visual medium, and given the fact that the production has chosen to use the same cast members even after many years pass (case in point: Jaskier, who is played by Joey Batey across a couple of decades of Continent time), it’s quite likely that Emperor Emhyr will be portrayed by the same actor who played Duny in season one (Bart Edwards). Coincidentally, Bart Edwards has already been confirmed to appear in season two many months ago, alongside a few other characters affiliated with Cintra. Now our sources have confirmed that Emhyr will not only appear in flashbacks, but will also be introduced to the viewers in the second season – which means the Lady of the Lake twist is happening much earlier than it does in the novels.
Spoiler report: Season 2 will deviate from the books to make Kaer Morhen a central location
Season two is primarily based on the novel Blood of Elves, but just like in the first season, the show will be taking many liberties in its adaption of the story. If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that this season will feature an adaption of the short story A Grain of Truth, which happens many years before Ciri was born in the novels, while the Netflix adaption of the story will include Ciri. This is only one of many smaller and larger changes the show will implement in season two, and now we have knowledge of another one. Keep in mind that these are MAJOR SPOILERS for the second season, and they will surprise book readers as well.
As in the novels, Kaer Morhen is set to become a central location. The show is expected to bring to life Ciri’s witcher training as it was depicted in the novel Blood of Elves, including sword training, the pendulum, and more. The show is adding quite a bit more to this story arc, however, with two major fight sequences occurring in the ruined witcher fortress. These will happen at the beginning and end of the season.
The first big fight in Kaer Morhen will happen during Ciri’s first night in the stronghold and will pit the witchers against a leshen. From the various details we’ve heard and other evidence, we’ve deduced that this will be a special kind of leshen that is able to “infect” one of the witcher characters. This is a major change from the novels, so we’re going to give another spoiler warning here. The witcher character who will be “infected” by the leshen is none other than Eskel, and we also know that he will not survive this fight scene. In a previous leak, we heard that Eskel’s body will be fed to wolves, and this most likely happens after the fight.
The second big fight at Kaer Morhen is one we know very little about, but there’s quite a lot of frames from it in the new trailer. From what our sources told us, this fight happens at the end of the season. This means that the show will take Geralt and Ciri back to Kaer Morhen after Ciri’s time in the Temple of Melitele (which also appeared in the trailer, and also includes a big fight scene between Geralt and Rience with the Michelet Brothers which happens elsewhere in the books). Also present for this fight per the trailer are Triss and Jaskier, as they can be seen in the background of a couple of shots in the trailer. We don’t yet know for sure who they are fighting, but the leading guess is that Rience will attack the witchers at Kaer Morhen, and a second possibility involves the mysterious original character Voleth Meir, who is described as a demon who roams the land.
Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has said in the past that though the show is abandoning the timeline structure of season one, we will “go back and forth” in Ciri’s storyline, so it’s possible the return to Kaer Morhen is some form of a flashback. In any case, these additions will make Kaer Morhen the central location of season two and give us more time with Vesemir, Lambert, and Coen (but not Eskel, for obvious reasons).
That’s all for our November Witcher news recap.
Season two is set for release on December 17, which is a little over a month away.