Scripts for the third season of Netflix's The Witcher are nearly finished, according to showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who spoke to our friends at TechRadar ahead of today's release of The Witcher season 2.
"We're almost done with the scripting phase, and it's amazing," Hissrich said. "I'm really thrilled with how the season is shaping up because it's based on my favorite book in the saga, which is The Time of Contempt."
Time of Contempt is the second Witcher novel, and was preceded by Blood of Elves and two short story collections, the source material for the show's first two seasons. (Our guide to The Witcher books breaks down the reading order.)
"I feel like seasons 1 and 2 have been laying the playing field for everything huge that's about to happen," Hissrich told TechRadar. "But the creative process is now really just starting. We have the scripts, and now we'll bring directors on, the actors back in, and really start delving in deeper and reflecting back and making sure that it's the perfect season."
Season 1 of The Witcher released on Netflix in December 2019. Filming of the second season started in early 2020, but was suspended just after the start of the pandemic that March and didn't resume until August 2020. A few months later, a Covid-19 outbreak on set caused a second delay, and an injury sustained by leading witcher Henry Cavill (a torn hamstring, we learned recently) also slowed down the shoot. Principal photography finally wrapped this April, and seven months later, The Witcher season 2 is here.
If the third season begins filming in early 2022 and isn't immediately delayed, it's possible that it could show up on Netflix faster than the second season did. But with the creative process "just starting" and Covid still a factor, I'd bet on another two-year production and promotion cycle, which would put season 3 in December 2023. That's just speculation for now, but with prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin scheduled to release in 2022, it feels like a good guess that Netflix will let the main series rest until 2023.
Then again, Hissrich has a seven-season plan for The Witcher, and Cavill has said that he'll "absolutely" play Geralt for that many seasons if Netflix continues to renew the show. If the two-year cycles continue, a hypothetical seventh season would start filming in 2030 and release in 2031. That would put 12 years between The Witcher's first season and its seventh and final season. For comparison, Game of Thrones ran for eight seasons across eight years, from 2011 to 2019, and at least I was getting pretty tired of it by the end. If The Witcher is really going to go the distance, things might speed up.
For now, all we know for sure about the future of the show is that the third season is scripted. As for the present, here's our review of The Witcher season 2—it features some good dad energy—and if you want a refresher before watching, check out our recap of The Witcher season 1.