It's been something of a rough ride for the second season of The Witcher, Netflix's unexpectedly good (and popular) series about the adventures of a sexy monster hunter and his weird pals. Production was paused in March (opens in new tab) because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and after resuming in August was halted again (opens in new tab) because of another outbreak.
Then, after a second restart, the shooting schedule was thrown into disarray when Henry Cavill—the sexy monster hunter at the heart of the whole thing—was injured (opens in new tab) while filming. The good news is that he didn't require an ambulance, but a hurt leg will knock him out of filming for a time, which is obviously a complicating factor.
Still, the show must (and will) go on, and to reassure fans that the wheels are in fact turning, Netflix shared a trio of teaser images today on Twitter.
What do these images mean—what stories do they tell? The central sword in the first picture could be a Witcher's steel sword, although the silhouette doesn't quite match up with Geralt's in season one, while the banner in the second is vaguely reminiscent of the Scoia'tael's crossed-arrow heraldry. That's a bit of a stretch maybe, but it has a dinstinctly elven look to it to my eye, particularly given that it's hanging in a forest.
The medallion that's most clearly visible in the third image is from the Wolf School, presumably Geralt's, but it's the presence of the others that's really interesting. My guess is that it's a reference to the arrival of other Witchers in the series—Vesemir (opens in new tab), Lambert, and Eskel are all joining the show in season two, as will Coen, a Griffin School Witcher from the books. But it could also be symbolic of Geralt's increasing entanglement with the forces shaping the world: Showrunner Lauren Hissrich said in April that season two will "dig deeper (opens in new tab)" into Cahir and Fringilla, the show's nominal villains, including "who they are, why Nilfgaard is important to them, and where they'll go from here."
Netflix will no doubt continue to tease out information about the next season of The Witcher over the next several days: These images were shared as part of the Six Days of Witchmas, which began yesterday and runs until December 21. Each day fans are given the opportunity to vote for a "sincere" gift or the Law of Surprise (opens in new tab), an ancient tradition of debt repayment. The Law of Surprise (in not quite its traditional form) has won out over the first two days, and has a very solid lead for tomorrow, too.
Fun trivia time: As told in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Lambert became a Witcher through the Law of Surprise, after it was invoked by a Witcher who saved his father's life.
The surprise for the first day of Witchmas, by the way, was a photo gallery of Jaskier.
Oh, these old photographs? Handsome, right? pic.twitter.com/gJl5fTSc1CDecember 17, 2020
The one bit of information we still don't have is when The Witcher season 2 (opens in new tab) will air. It's currently expected to arrive sometime in 2021, but a more specific date hasn't been announced yet.