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The Witcher season 2: Netflix release date, trailers, and episode recaps

Geralt in The Witcher season 2
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher season 2 is happening, and we can't wait to see more of what was one of our favourite TV shows of 2019. Henry Cavill turned out to be an inspired choice to play quietly spoken monster slayer Geralt, and he's back for another swing of the sword in season 2.

Despite some production delays caused by COVID-19, the show is on track to be finished and screened on Netflix this year. And Netflix has already ordered a third season, so this won't be the end of Geralt's TV adventures.

Here's everything we know about season 2 so far.

The Witcher season 2 will premiere in 2021

According to showrunner Lauren Hissrich's AMA with fans, season 2 will premiere sometime in 2021, but a more specific date hasn't been announced. Filming for season 2 wrapped at the beginning of April.

Production on The Witcher season 2 has had a couple brushes with the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, Netflix suspended production on all of its shows during the first several months of the coronavirus pandemic. The Witcher cast reunited on set starting on August 17th, 2020. More recently, filming has halted in November 2020 due to four crew members testing positive. AIn December 2020, Henry Cavill suffered a minor injury on set that impacted the filming schedule. So far as we know, production has been on track since then.

The Witcher Season 2 has wrapped filming

The Witcher Season 2 - Henry Cavill in costume as Geralt of Rivia posing with a clapboard on set.

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The Witcher season 2's cast have officially finished filming, the producers announced in early April. Now that the cast has made it off set, we'll just have to wait to hear about a release date at some point this year.

The Witcher season 2 cast: who's new?

Nivellin's actor Kristofer Hivju seen as Tormund Giantsbane in Game Of Thrones

More from the Witcher world

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(Image credit: CD PRojekt RED)

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Witcher 3 mods: Good hunting
Witcher 2 mods: Mods fit for a king
Witcher 1 mods: Quality of life for the classic

Four familiar witchers joining the cast for season 2, two of whom we know the casting choices for. Geralt's own grizzled old father figure Vesemir will make an appearance. His long-time witchering peer Eskel will join in as well. Sarcastic jerk witcher Lambert will be played by Paul Bullion and Coën, who trained Ciri in sword combat, will be played by Yasen Atour.

This familiar Witcher is being played by Kim Bodnia. He's the oldest and wisest living witcher in the world on top being the man who raised Geralt of Rivia at Kaer Morhen from a young age. He made Geralt the witcher he is today (literally).

Kristofer Hivju has been officially cast as Nivellin in The Witcher Season 2. Fans of the books may recognize that name from a fan favorite story in The Last Wish. Hivju, who played Tormund Giantsbane in Game of Thrones, is as close as it comes to perfect casting.

Here are some other new faces and the actors portraying them for season 2:

  • Philippa Eilhart - Cassie Clare
  • Dijkstra - Graham McTavish
  • Rience - Chris Fulton
  • Codringher - Simon Callow
  • Ba'lian - Kevin Doyle
  • Fenn - Liz Carr
  • Nenneke - Adjoa Andoh
  • Francesca - Mecia Simson
  • Lydia - Aisha Fabienne Ross
  • Eskel - Basil Eidenbenz
  • Lambert - Paul Bullion
  • Vereena - Bjorn
  • Coën Agnes - Yasen Atour
  • Queen Meve - Rebecca Hanssen
  • King Henselt - Edward Rowe

What's the plot of The Witcher season 2?

Netflix has released the teaser for The Witcher's season 2 plot. "Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside."

Based on some photos captured by Redanian Intelligence during filming, it sure looks like season 2 will include the wild hunt. Players of the videogames will know the Wild Hunt as the final enemies and subtitle of The Witcher 3, while readers of the novels will recognize them from their pursuit of Ciri beginning in the fourth book, Time of Contempt. We don't know just yet how large of an appearance these spooky riders will make.

According to showrunner Lauren Hissrich, season 2 will "dig deeper into Cahir and Fringilla", the nominal bad guys of the plot thus far.

If that's not sounding super familiar, Andy Kelly has recapped each episode from The Witcher's first season in case you need a refresher before season 2:

  1. The End's Beginning
  2. Four Marks
  3. Betrayer Moon
  4. Of Banquets, Bastards, and Burials
  5. Bottled Appetites
  6. Rare Species
  7. Before a Fall
  8. Much More

We've also been told that the plot of season 2 will be much more linear. Now that all of The Witcher's main characters are together in one place (and one time), Season 2's timeline will be much easier to follow Hissrich explains in her AMA with fans. That said, the simpler timeline lets the writers use time in a way they couldn't in Season 1. Season 2 will use flashbacks to explore Geralt's past, for instance.

Check out Geralt and Ciri's season 2 looks

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The Witcher season 2 - Ciri at Kaer Morhen Mor

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Geralt in The Witcher season 2

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Geralt has gotten some much chunkier armor for season 2. Ciri, on the other hand, is dressing down. She looks like she'll be doing a lot of growing up at Kaer Morhen.

Here are The Witcher season 2 teaser images

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The Witcher on Netflix

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Jaskier playing a lute

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In December, Netflix started revealing some teaser images relating to The Witcher season 2 with polls for fans to pick what should be shown. Somehow, instead of choosing to see a season 2 script page, the Law Of Surprise option won out. How appropriate. It got us a bunch of glamor shots of Jaskier, and yet people are still voting for the Law Of Surprise in the following polls. That's some Witchmas commitment. 

All told, here's what the week of Witchmas 2020 brought us in teasers for The Witcher season 2:

Season 3 is probably definitely confirmed

posting on the Writer's Guild of America database was spotted by fan blog Redanian Intelligence. That posting added "The Witcher Season 3 (2020-2021)" to executive-producer-writer-showrunner Lauren Hissrich's credits. The Writer's Guild of America is a very large union body, so it's pretty unlikely that they'd just make this up. Season 2 was confirmed before Season 1 aired as well, so it's pretty believable.

Where should I start with The Witcher?

Totally new to The Witcher, or just want a refresher before starting the show? Jody breaks down what you need to know in our beginner's guide to The Witcher. If the show has gotten you interested in the source material, we also have a guide to The Witcher books to help you sort out what order to read them in.

Semi-related, Jody also wrote a very serious assessment of Netflix's The Witcher vs the 2002 Polish TV show—which has some positive qualities of its own!

The Witcher's showrunner already has seven seasons mapped out

The Witcher series showrunner Lauren Hissrich is optimistic for the success of the show, and says she already has six more season mapped out if all goes well. "We don’t have a second season yet—God willing we will—but right now it’s just about, ‘How do you set up stories that really capture audiences for years at a time?’" Hissrich said (this was before the second season was confirmed). "The worst thing we could do is put all of our energies just into season one, and not be thinking about where these characters can grow to.” 

If the show does return for more than two seasons, there's a lot of material to pull from: six novels, two short story collections, and three video games with a wealth of excellent stories.

The Witcher show will not adapt the games, only the books

At least, that's all Hissrich is willing to commit to right now. Adapting the books is the extent of her current aspirations, according to a report by The Wrap.

"Extreme long vision is no, we will not start adapting the games," Hissrich replied. "I can only attack one season at a time, I'm so excited for this one, the rest kind of makes my mind explode right now. If someone says 'what happens in Season 7,' sure I have thoughts. Fingers crossed, we get there."

Hissrich also took to Twitter recently, patiently explaining to one user the show's choice to cast more diverse actors.  She cites a few reasons, among them the need to appeal to a global audience, the effect that the United States' relationship with racism has on media made here, and, most importantly, a desire to hold true to the spirit of the books more than the letter. "The Witcher is REALLY interesting when it comes to depicting racism because it’s about species, not skin color," Hissrich says. "What makes characters 'other' is the shape of their ears, height, etc. In the books, no one pays attention to skin color. In the series... no one does either."

Henry Cavill is a big fan of The Witcher

It turns out Cavill actually sought out The Witcher after finding out it was being produced.

"I played the games—they released a game called Witcher 3 about five years ago now. Played that game to death," he told Jimmy Kimmel. "Then I heard it was coming out—I met the showrunner, and that's when I learned there were books. Read the books and realized that I was missing out on a whole world of the stuff. Because I'd been into the fantasy genre since I was a kid—since before I could read, my dad was reading me fantasy books."

Following the release of season 1, Cavill spoke further about his love of PC gaming.

Where is The Witcher being filmed?

The first season of The Witcher on Netflix was filmed primarily in eastern Europe. 

"WE'LL BE SHOOTING IN EASTERN EUROPE. Yes!" tweeted Hissrich. "This show couldn't exist anyplace else. Period." Quite a bit of filming was done in Hungary, including Budapest and other locations. The crew also visited the Canary Islands in Spain and, naturally, a castle in Poland as well.

So far, it sounds like season 2 is being filmed in London and elsewhere within the UK.

The directors for season 2 have been revealed

The directors for each episode of The Witcher season 2 have been revealed. Episodes 1 and 2 are being directed by Stephen Surjik, who has previously directed episodes of The Umbrella Academy, Bates Model, Luke Cage, and The X-Files.

Episodes 2, 3, and 4 will be directed by Sarah O'Gorman, who has previously directed episodes of The Last Kingdom, Death in Paradise, and Jamestown.

Episodes 5 and 8 will be directed by Ed Bazalgette, whose previous directing work includes episodes of Doctor Who, Poldark, The Last Kingdom, and EastEnders, the long-running UK soap opera.

Episodes 6 and 7 will be directed by Louise Hooper, a director whose past work includes UK shows like Cold Feet, Casualty, Vera, and Doctors.

Here's the list in full, via Redanian Intelligence

Episode 1: Stephen Surjik
Episode 2: Stephen Surjik
Episode 3: Sarah O’Gorman
Episode 4: Sarah O’Gorman
Episode 5: Ed Bazalgette
Episode 6: Louise Hooper
Episode 7: Louise Hooper
Episode 8: Ed Bazalgette

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Yennefer in The Witcher Netflix season 1

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A Witcher anime film is coming to Netflix

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The Witcher show has been a great success for Netflix. So great, in fact, that another Witcher story is on the way to the service. The anime film, called The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf, is in the works from Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich and Studio Mir (the animation studio behind The Legend of Korra and the new Voltron show).

Netflix says the film will "take us back to a new threat facing the Continent." We don't know much more beyond that, but considering it's already in development, Nightmare of the Wolf likely to come out before The Witcher's second season. The Witcher already seems like a great fit for the dramatic action of anime. I can already imagine Geralt's flashy sword moves exaggerated in animation.

Prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin is in the works too

Yup, it sounds like continuing the Witcher series and working on an animated movie aren't enough. Netflix has also given the green light to a prequel series exploring the origins of the first Witcher.

"1200 years before Geralt of Rivia, the worlds of monsters, men and elves merged into one, and the first Witcher came to be," the announcement reads. The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich is co-creating it with Declan de Barra, who also wrote an episode in the first season. It will be a six-part series.

Blood Origin recently cast Jodie Turner-Smith as its lead character Éile who has left her life as an elite warrior to become a traveling musician. 

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Yes, there's a tub, and Geralt is in it

Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher on Netflix season 1

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Witchers get dirty, after all.