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

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

Netflix's Witcher adaptation turned out to be one of our favorite shows of 2019, and we're looking forward to season 2 of The Witcher. Henry Cavill absolutely nailed Geralt's softy-with-a-gruff-exterior act, and swung a sword around convincingly enough to succeed at the whole performance. The others in the cast excelled as well, and the disjointed timeline created some interesting juxtapositions. 

The series is based on the Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski, but naturally took a bit of unofficial inspiration from the CD Projekt RPG series. It seems like that will continue in season 2, which despite some Covid-19 delays is currently in production—and a third season is all but officially confirmed.

Here's what we know about season 2, all its new characters, the plot, and a breakdown of season 1 if you need a refresher.

What is the release date for The Witcher Season 2 on Netflix?

The Witcher season 2 will premiere sometime in 2021, according to showrunner Lauren Hissrich's AMA with fans, but a more specific date hasn't been chosen. 

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. More recently, filming has halted in November due to four crew members testing positive.

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

(Image credit: Netflix)

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.

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."

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.

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.

Here are some on set photos of season 2

Witcher-followers Redanian Intelligence have rounded up some new photos from season 2 filming including Yennefer and Ciri together on horseback and two elven characters.

Which characters are new in The Witcher season 2?

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

More from the Witcher world

(Image credit: CD PRojekt RED)

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The Witcher season 2: Release date, cast, and trailers

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 foreign-transplant witcher Coën will be played by Yasen Atour.

Vesemir
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).

Nivellin
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:

  • Francesca - Mecia Simson
  • Lydia - Aisha Fabienne Ross
  • Eskel - Basil Eidenbenz
  • Lambert - Paul Bullion
  • Vereena - Bjorn
  • Coen Agnes - Yasen Atour

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!

Henry Cavill breaks down what makes Geralt so cool

Henry says what we're all thinking in this Witcher featurette. Geralt is a stoic bastard with a genuinely good soul (though he'd never tell you that). He's the classic ronin/mysterious wanderer type that just wants to do his job and move on, though his moral compass often lands him in trouble. 

Netflix released some official production stills of The Witcher, showcasing Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer (Anya Cholatra), and Ciri (Freya Allan), and more scenes and characters from the first season.

The Witcher 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 on Netflix 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.

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Yennefer in The Witcher Netflix season 1

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A Witcher anime film is coming to Netflix

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.

And heck, there's a Witcher prequel series 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. 

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

Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher on Netflix season 1

(Image credit: Netflix)

Witchers get dirty, after all.