Redanian Intelligence is here to go deep into the third season of The Witcher coming soon to Netflix. They’ll be looking at everything you need to know about season 3 of The Witcher including production updates, what to expect from the story, who’s working behind the scenes and more.
It has now been over two months since the second season of Henry Cavill’s hit fantasy season was released on Netflix, and though talk about the series has been declining lately, Netflix has quietly accelerated pre-production on season 3.
This means that the show’s crew has been hard at work preparing the sets, scouting locations and casting new key roles for the third season, which will begin filming very soon. We’ll cover all that and more in our report.
The Witcher Season 3 Netflix Renewal Status
Official Netflix Renewal Status: Renewed
Even before the release of the second season of The Witcher Netflix announced ahead of time that the series was renewed for a third season.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering The Witcher is one of the biggest shows in Netflix’s lineup of original programming. Not to mention Netflix has already begun expanding upon the world of The Witcher with the release of the animated movie Nightmare of the Wolf, and the upcoming prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin.
What’s on Netflix has covered all of the individual The Witcher projects coming soon here.
Toss a coin to our growing Witcher universe! We can officially announce The Witcher Season 3, along with a second anime feature film, and a new Kids and Family series set in the world of The Witcher. pic.twitter.com/E032fDAXYx
— The Witcher (@witchernetflix) September 25, 2021
When will Season 3 of The Witcher be released on Netflix?
As of now, Netflix has not revealed the release date of The Witcher’s third season, and it’s not likely to be revealed any time soon. However, an educated estimate can be made based on the production schedules of the previous seasons.
Production of The Witcher’s first season lasted a total of seven months and was followed by an additional seven months of post-production.
Season 2 would have been similar had it not been for Covid and Henry Cavill’s on-set injury, which forced the production to halt multiple times. The net amount of filming (excluding these unplanned breaks) was 159 days, which would translate approximately to seven months of filming, and that was followed by eight months of post-production before season two finally dropped on Netflix. With that in mind, we can guess that season 3 will require approximately seven months of filming and seven or eight months of post-production.
As of December 3rd, 2021, the showrunner of the series Lauren Hissrich revealed that it was their last week in the writer’s room, and they are close to finishing the scripting phase.
“This is our last week [December 3] in the writers’ room. We’re almost done with the scripting phase, and it’s amazing.
The creative process is now really just starting. We have the scripts, and now we’ll bring directors on, the actors back in, and really start delving in deeper and reflecting back and making sure that it’s the perfect season.”
When will filming begin for season 3? From what our sources tell us, very soon. Though delays are still possible, filming is expected to kick off this March. If we add the expected fourteen months of production and post-production, that means season 3 will likely forfeit The Witcher’s usual December launch for a Summer 2023 release.
The Witcher Season 3 Story
The Witcher’s third season will be an adaption of the second proper novel in the Witcher Saga, titled Time of Contempt. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has recognized that season two was very different from the books, but has stated on Twitter that the third season will adapt the source material much more closely. With that in mind, we have a pretty good idea where the story is headed.
First things first: the Witcher family. The last time we’ve seen Yennefer, Geralt and Ciri, they had just defeated the Baba Yaga-like elven witch Voleth Meir. The confrontation has opened many wounds in their relationships which season 3 will have to heal. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has hinted on Twitter that, despite the troublesome beginning, Yennefer, Geralt and Ciri’s relationship will converge with that of the books. This includes Yennefer training Ciri to use her magical powers, which we have begun to see in season two, and Geralt and Yennefer continuing their stormy yet loving interactions. If you’ve read the books and are wondering if the “Dear Friend” letter has been replaced with that short interaction in season two, the showrunner has said: “Be patient.”
Besides the center family dynamic, season two has set up a series of antagonists, all of whom are in pursuit of Ciri. The most notable is her father Duny, who was revealed to be Emperor Emhyr of Nilfgaard in the very last scene of season two. According to the showrunner, season 3 will delve deeper into Emhyr, and fans can expect to hear a lot more about how Duny became the White Flame and what he actually wants to do with Ciri.
Another key character introduced towards the end of the season is Philippa Eilhart, a sorceress that often takes the form of an owl. Along with the spymaster Dijkstra, she is the de-facto ruler of Redania, who’s king is often too busy pursuing his own desires to notice. Philippa and Dijkstra are a true force to be reckoned with, and in season 3 they will set major plans into motion. Besides Philippa, there are many more mages in Aretuza, including Tissaia and Vilgefortz, who have set their sights on Ciri, so expect this to be a central storyline in season 3.
The elves are another major faction that was explored in season two, and we will be seeing much more of them going forward. After flirting with a peaceful resolution and watching their last hope killed by humans, Francesca and her elves are now bent on revenge. They will fight dirty to achieve their goals: a free elven kingdom in Dol Balthana, the Valley of Flowers. If season 3 follows the books, the elves will be establishing a guerilla army called the Scoia’tael (or Squirrels, in the Common Tongue) which is going to ravage the Northern Kingdoms. The writers were planning to tease the Squirrels in the season two finale, but the plans were scratched.
The Scoia’tael also factor into a storyline from the novel Blood of Elves that was removed from season two, which involved Yarpen Zigrin and his caravan of dwarven warriors. It’s possible that this sequence will be pushed forward into season 3 as the showrunner has suggested we will be seeing more of Yarpen.
Last but not least are the newly introduced Wild Hunt. We’ve only just met them in season two, and there’s a lot of mystery surrounding them at this stage. Some of that mystery will be addressed in the prequel series Blood Origin, which is expected to release this year on Netflix. The Wild Hunt will surely make an appearance in season 3, but we doubt that they will have a major role in the story as that only happens towards the end of the novels.
And what of everyone’s favorite bard? According to the showrunner, Jaskier will be in season 3 from the beginning, rather than joining in the middle like he did in season two. Interestingly, the showrunner has also teased that Jaskier will share scenes with Ciri, and we’re excited to see how that plays out. In the books, one interaction between Jaskier and Ciri comes to mind which we hope to see in season 3.
But that’s not all. Besides picking up on existing storylines, season 3 is set to introduce a number of new characters as well, including one Maria Barring also known as Milva.
Who is Milva, and what other new characters will be introduced in Season 3?
Maria Barring, also known as Milva, is a character introduced in the third proper Witcher novel in the Saga, Baptism of Fire. Without getting into spoilers, Milva is a bow-wielding warrior with a very rich vocabulary (specifically involving the F word). She’s the first recruit in a team later referred to as “the Hansa”, which is one of the most beloved aspects in the entire Witcher Saga.
Very recently, a casting report by Illuminerdi revealed that Netflix is looking to cast a character codenamed “Marylebone” who was described as follows: “Marylebone possesses not only a razor sharp wit but a quick blade as well. Her age belies her experience, for she has been forced to mature quickly and learn to survive in a cruel world.” When we first read this description, we couldn’t help but think of Milva, though it also seems to fit the character Mistle, who is part of a group of brigands called The Rats. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has already hinted that the Rats are coming.
Regardless of whether Marylebone is Milva, Mistle, or someone else entirely, we asked our sources and they have confirmed that Milva will indeed appear in season 3, and by the end of the season she will be interacting with Geralt of Rivia.
Here’s the comprehensive list of all currently known new characters that will be introduced in season 3, some coming from the previously mentioned Illuminerdi article and others from Redanian Intelligence reports.
- “Marylebone” who is most likely Milva or Mistle: Her description reads: “Marylebone possesses not only a razor sharp wit but a quick blade as well. Her age belies her experience, for she has been forced to mature quickly and learn to survive in a cruel world.” Netflix is interested in casting an LGBT actress for the role. Though we already confirmed Milva will appear in season 3, it’s possible that Marylebone is another character (for instance Mistle, who is an LGBT character).
- The Professor: One of the many thugs Geralt will fight in season 3, this one is slightly more educated and pretentious, hence the name. This character was uncovered in a now deleted audition video, and you can read the transcript of the audition scene in the full Redanian Intelligence report.
- “Picadilly”: The brother of a king, described as “a man who is second in line to the throne but seems more prone to a player lifestyle than to a political one. Though he gives off a carefree air, underneath it all he’s rather shrewd at strategy and impassive to boot.” Additionally, Illuminerdi mentioned that Netflix is looking to cast an LGBT actor in the role. Picadilly is very likely the same character for whom we uncovered another audition, in which he seems to be flirting with Jaskier. Read the transcript of the audition scene in the full Redanian Intelligence report.
- Aplegatt: A messenger delivering important information between the kings of the Northern Realms, Aplegatt has a brief but memorable appearance in Time of Contempt. Though the character was codenamed “Angel”, the description leaves no doubt that this is indeed Aplegatt: “A royal messenger, played by someone who will need to know his way around a horse. This middle-aged gentleman was tired of his life and the horrors he’d witnessed on the job until he heard something that revolutionized his outlook from that moment on.”
- “Maida-Vale”, who is probably Margarita Laux-Antille: This is almost surely the sorceress Margarita, who is a fan favorite among book readers. In the novels, she inherits the role of Rectoress of Aretuza from Tissaia. If not Margarita, she may be the sorceress Marti. Either way, the showrunner has teased more sorceresses are coming in season 3. The character is described as: “Plus-sized and powerful, she is a member of a particular group of women you don’t want to cross. Vivacious and self-confident, she’s sure to be a match for anyone she meets in The Witcher.”
- “Parsons” who is most likely Fake Ciri: Fake Ciri is a character involved with the political aspect of the novels. Any details about her will spoil the series, so we will leave them out, but it’s a safe guess as the description matches the role and the showrunner has hinted that Fake Ciri may yet appear. In the Illuminerdi report, Parsons is described as follows: “A teenage girl convinced she is someone else in order to become a political pawn.” Another description from Recapped reads: “a student that is brainwashed into believing they’re someone else”.
- Greenwich who may be Giselher: The description reads as follows: “A brave and loyal soldier, portrayed by an actor in his 20s, who feels his fervor fade slightly when he realizes his comrades are not as committed as he is.” If the Rats will indeed be introduced towards the end of season 3, it’s likely Giselher will be cast and this description does fit his character. This may also be an original character.
- Hampstead who may be Hedwig of Malleore: A character described as “a middle-aged married woman trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who is more like her child than her husband. Though she inhabits courtly life, her opinions more often than not fall on deaf ears.” It’s likely she is King Vizimir’s wife and the Queen of Redania, Hedwig.
- Euston: An original character described as “a ladies’ maid, played by an actress in her 20s, whose shy and timid appearance is hiding a lethal wildcard ready to put the hurt on those who stand in her way.”
- Victoria: Another original character, described as follows: “a gorgeous free spirit who is hot-blooded but kind-hearted.”
- Richmond: Another original character. She is described as “a musician who sells instruments for a living and is done with customers thinking they can walk all over her.” She is likely to interact with Jaskier, who is in need for a new lute after Rience smashed his old one in season two. This has also been teased by the showrunner.
Who are the writers and directors behind The Witcher season 3?
Now that we’ve covered the plot and new characters of season 3, it’s time to discuss an equally important matter: the key crew members that will adapt the show from Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels and bring it to life on the small screen.
As expected, showrunner Lauren Hissrich will reprise her role, as will many of the writers in her team: Haily Hall who wrote the sixth episode of season one (“Endangered Species”) and the fifth episode of season two (“Turn Your Back”); Mike Ostrowski who wrote the seventh episodes of season one and season two (“Before A Fall” and “Voleth Meir” respectively); Matthew D’Ambrosio who wrote the sixth episode of season two (“Dear Friend”); Clare Higgins who wrote the third episode of season two (“What Is Lost”), and Rae Benjamin who was also a member of the season two writers room. Joining them are Troy Dangerfield who served as writers assistant on the upcoming Witcher prequel series Blood Origin and two writers new to The Witcher: Tania Lotia who wrote episodes of Carnival Row and Swamp Thing, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach who has written for Lost, The Shannara Chronicles and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
So far, only two of season 3’s directors have been revealed. It’s possible they will each film four of the season’s eight episodes, but so far both the seasons of the show employed four directors, each helming two episodes, and that’s likely the case this time as well.
The first of two directors uncovered recently by Redanian Intelligence is Stephen Surjik who directed the first two episodes of season two (including the fan favorite “Grain of Truth” and the controversial “Kaer Morhen”). Before joining The Witcher, Surjik directed episodes of The Umbrella Academy and Daredevil. The second director is new to The Witcher. Having helmed episodes of horror and action-oriented shows including American Horror Story, Banshee, and Warrior (as well as Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) and being the co-founder of a visual effects studio, Loni Peristere seems to a promising addition to season 3.
Apart from the writers and directors, much of the crew behind The Witcher season two will return for the third season. This includes production designer Andrew Laws, casting director Sophie Holland, costume designer Lucinda Wright, and many of the lesser known yet no less hard-working crew members in charge of makeup, props, costumes, prosthetics, set design, locations, lighting and camera work. Expect to see season 3 once again improve in its production values as the show continues to grow and succeed.
When will we know more about The Witcher season 3?
With filming likely to begin next month, it’s likely we’ll hear much more about The Witcher season 3 in the coming weeks. From official (or unofficial) casting announcements for the aforementioned new characters, to pictures and teases from the set, to leaks and spoiler reports, we will very soon have an influx of news ahead of the estimated Summer 2023 release.
If that still feels like a long way off, remember that The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel show following the elves before the Conjunction of the Spheres, is coming to Netflix before season 3 with a likely release date in the second half of 2022.
That’s all we know of season three at this point, but make sure to check up with What’s on Netflix and Redanian Intelligence in the coming months, as we’re certain that much more news is on the horizon.