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The Witcher season 2 release date estimate, episode recaps, and more

Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher Netflix season 1

(Image credit: Netflix)

We went in skeptical, but season 1 of The Witcher on Netflix turned out to be one of our favorite shows of 2019, and Henry Cavill proved to be an excellent Geralt, nailing the softy-with-a-gruff-exterior act and swinging his swords around with convincing panache. If you enjoyed season 1 as much as we did, there's good news: The Witcher season 2 was confirmed before the first season released, and is currently in production. 

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, which is what makes the show relevant to us. Here's what we know about season 2, a comprehensive breakdown of the first season's eight episodes, and more about The Witcher's production and where it may be headed.

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

The last we heard, The Witcher season 2 was coming out sometime in 2021. According to Variety.

That said, these plans were made before the COVID-19 outbreak. Netflix made the wise decision to suspend production on all of its shows as it decides how to move forward while staying health-conscious. As of June, Netflix has confirmed that production on the show will resume August 17.

The latest news on The Witcher season 2

Season 2 will soon resume production

After postponing production due to COVID-19, production on The Witcher Season 2 will be back on track soon. Netflix announced over Twitter that production will officially resume on August 17.

Season 2 will have four more Witchers

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.

Season 2 will "dig deeper into Cahir and Fringilla"

That's according to Hissrich, who tweeted that the nominal bad guys will get some attention in the next season.

Which characters are new in The Witcher season 2?

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

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 - Thue Ersted Rasmussen
  • Lambert - Paul Bullion
  • Vereena - Bjorn
  • Coen Agnes - Yasen Atour

Season 2 will follow one timeline

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. That said, the simplier 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.

A beginner's guide to 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 season 1 episode recaps

Andy Kelly has recapped each episode from The Witcher's first season in case you need a refresher before season 2, or want to make sure you didn't miss anything:

  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

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. 

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Yennefer in The Witcher Netflix season 1

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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.

Henry Cavill is spending his quarantine painting miniatures

Everyone is feeling a little stir crazy during our 2020 quarantine, but it looks like Henry Cavill has his isolated hobbies in order while filming is on hold. In a recent Instagram post, Cavill expressed support for NHS works while painting Warhammer miniatures. In case it wasn't already clear, the guy's an actual nerd.

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.

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.

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.