Grab your Gwent cards and prepare to fight some monsters, The Witcher season two has been confirmed! Not only that, but showrunner Lauren Hissrich has also weighed in on the future of the series beyond season 2.
Netflix’s answer to Game of Thrones was given an early green light for a second run ahead of the first season’s premiere in December 2019, but what do we know so far about the continued adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books?
When is The Witcher season 2 on Netflix?
Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich first announced the return of the show and key characters on 13th November 2019, over a month before the launch of season one.
There’s no confirmed date for when we can expect the season to land on Netflix. Production on the show has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping over the entertainment industry, so it could be later than expected.
Speaking to IGN, Hissrich admitted considering a late 2020 release but then changed her mind, explaining, “The truth is, [The Witcher] is an enormous show and it takes a long time and we realized that in Season 1 we were smashing down a lot of the post-production process.
“And we want to make sure that everyone on our team gets the time to do their job and do it to the best of their ability. So we’re making sure we have a lot of built-in cushion time for Season 2 so we don’t cram anything in at the last minute.”
This makes sense, considering what Hissrich had told RadioTimes.com in the past:
“The scriptwriting process takes about 20 weeks, all in,” Hissrich said. “Now, what happens after that 20 weeks is, we have a draft of all of the episodes. But then you start to look back, and you have to leave room in the writing process for organic things to happen.
“So let’s say you start shooting, and you realise, ‘Oh, those two characters work even better together than I expected. And then we’ll make sure that down the line, we’re playing more into that storyline.’
“So all of the scripts are written,” she added. “It doesn’t mean they won’t be rewritten 100 times before someone sees them on the air for season two.”
Nonetheless, production on the series began in February 2020 – however, it’s now unlikely the series will air until 2021 at the earliest, later if coronavirus continues to affect the film and TV industries.
If you can’t bear to wait that long, you could listen to Netflix’s official The Witcher behind-the-scenes podcast, in which you can hear members of the cast and crew – including Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer – talk about what went down during filming and what could have been.
Hissrich also spoke to Collider about where the series could go beyond the second season, including where it might end:
“It’s a delicate dance because you have to be able to have a conceit of where you’re going. Your stories need an end point. They need a direction to aim towards.
“I’m sure, at some point, that I said I could write seven seasons but I’m also sure that I said I could write 20 seasons. I will continue writing this series, as long as it makes sense to write this series. That means taking, organically, from the books and allowing story to flow, but then also allowing the story to end when it needs to end.”
So, provided season 2 has the same success as the first series, there could be a lot more in store for Geralt and his crew.
What will happen in The Witcher season 2?
Henry Cavill in The Witcher (Netflix)
The first season is based on Sapkowski’s The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny collections of short stories (albeit not all of them), and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has confirmed that the next series will incorporate unused parts of those stories with first “Witcher saga” novel Blood of Elves.
“A lot of what we’ve set up in season one will come into play in season two,” Hissrich told RadioTimes.com.
“We will get into some stuff from Blood of Elves. But I also think there are things that we wanted to adapt from The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny that we didn’t have time to do.
“So to be blessed with a season two, and to know that we can go back and revisit some of those things, is really exciting. There will be a big mix of things.”
Blood of Elves sees Geralt take on the protection and training of Freya Allan’s Ciri, but given that some of Ciri’s storyline has already been depicted in season one it’s unlikely to be a direct adaptation of those events.
We do know that The Witcher season 2, much like season 1, will take place over various different timelines and delve deeper into why monsters and witchers are going extinct.
At the very least expect some monster hunting, sword-fighting, more on the war with Nilgaard and the elvish insurgence, as well as a likely focus on the prophecies and powers of Princess Ciri.
Who’s in the cast of The Witcher?
Unsurprisingly Superman’s alter ego Henry Cavill will return as titular Witcher Geralt of Rivia, with Freya Allan (The War of The Worlds) as the prophesied Princess Ciri. Anya Chalotra will play sorceress and love interest Yennefer and Jodhi May will reappear as Queen Calanthe.
It was announced by Deadline in February 2020 that Kim Bodnia would play experienced Golden Age Witcher, and Geralt’s father figure, Vesemir. Bodnia played Villanelle’s handler Konstantin in Killing Eve.
Speaking of the casting, Hissrich said: “I am so thrilled to welcome Kim Bodnia to the cast of The Witcher. I have admired his unique talents in shows like Killing Eve and The Bridge, and cannot wait for him to bring strength, tenacity, and warmth to the character of Vesemir, who is such an integral part of our upcoming season.”
There are also a number of new cast members set to feature in the second series. They include: Yasen Atour (Young Wallander) as Coen, Agnes Bjorn (Monster) as Vereena, Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders) as Lambert, Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9) as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl) as Lydia, Game of Throne’s Kristofer Hivju as Nivellen, and newcomer Mecia Simson, who will play Francesca.
The Witcher’s fight choreographer Vladimír Furdík, who played the Night King in Game of Thrones, won’t return for season 2.
“What’s great is that we’ve now set up all of the dominos for the world, right?” Hissrich told us.
“We have Geralt and his journey. We’ve introduced him to Yennefer. It hasn’t necessarily gone perfectly. We have everything. We have all the building blocks in place.
“And then in that place, we hit the domino and watch things knock over.”
And reports suggest that Dolitte star Carmel Laniado will be joining the cast for series 2, playing the supporting role of Violet.