The Witcher: With season 2 resuming production, here’s what to expect

The Witcher - Credit: Katalin Vermes
The Witcher - Credit: Katalin Vermes /

The Witcher season two got the green light to proceed with production. Here are all the details on the expected premiere, new cast members, those pesky timelines, and storyline specs.

Toss a coin to your Witcher, series fans, because we’ll soon get to see what mischief awaits Geralt of Rivia (the perfectly cast Henry Cavill, of course) along The Continent. After halting production due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic — and new cast member Kristofer Hivju testing positive for coronavirus — The Witcher’s second season will begin filming again on Aug. 17 in the U.K.

The announcement was made on the Netflix series’ official Twitter page in the form of a ballad from the Witcher’s bard himself.

With the fantasy epic clocking in a whopping 76 million viewers — and breaking Netflix’s record for the first season of any of its series — The Witcher is not only one of the biggest hits for streaming giant, but anticipation for the follow-up season is huge in the world of entertainment. This is despite initial reviews that mistakenly compared the series to Game of Thrones, which is really saying apples to oranges, without even watching some key episodes. (For the record, I gave it the excellent review it deserved at the outset.)

So what will a second season of The Witcher look like?

Those Pesky Timelines

One first-season criticism that struck a chord was those confusing timelines. For me, they added intriguing tension and fascinatingly built up the climactic conclusion when Geralt was united with his “law of surprise” ward Ciri (Freya Allan).

The fourth episode, “Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials” deftly sprinkles hints about the timelines, and represents the pinnacle of the first season IMO, when Geralt learns of his reward for saving Duny at the brothel of Pavetta. However, I can see how the numerous timelines proved confusing for some, most especially when the transformation of Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) fits in.

Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has promised cohesion and continuity when it comes to the apparently annoying timeline, which makes sense since all three of the main characters have caught up with each other.

"“What’s great though is they have intersected now,” said Hissrich, according to “So what we’ll see in season two is that all of our characters are existing on the same timeline. What that allows us to do storywise though is to play with time in slightly different ways. We get to do flashbacks, we get to do flash-forwards, we get to actually integrate time in a completely different way that we weren’t able to do in season one.Because, if you can imagine, if we were in three different timelines [in season one] and then flashed forward or flashed back, we would have been in four or five or six timelines — even I know that’s too much. So I think it will be a lot easier for the audience to follow and understand, especially a new audience coming in. But there are still going to be some fun challenges with time.”"

What Will the New Season Cover and When Can We Expect It?

In the past, The Witcher’s Hissrich had pointed to a vague date sometime in 2021. With four to five months of filming left to go, and with the delay in production, a likely air date would occur in the summer of 2021.

The second season will follow a linear timeline based on Andrzej Sapowski’s books Blood of Elves and Time of Contempt in The Witcher series. Whereas the first season outlined the original story for the main characters, the sophomore season will likely focus on world-building.

Casting News for Season 2

We know that main stars Cavill, Allan, and Chalotra are returning. But so are the following captivating characters that make this medieval-inspired world so richly complicated:

·        Our favorite annoying crooner, Jaskier (Joey Batey)

·        Triss (Anna Shaffer)

·        Stregobor (Lars Mikkelson)

·        Tissaia (MyAnna Buring)

·        Cahir (Eamon Farren)

·        Filavandrel (Tom Canton)

·        Artorius (Terence Maynard)

·        Murta (Lilly Cooper)

·        Sabrina (Therica Wilson Read)

·        Yarpen Zigrin (Jeremy Crawford)

·        Istredd (Royce Pierreson)

But there are some very exciting casting additions who Geralt, Yennefer, and Princess Ciri will meet on their adventures throughout The Continent. I’m particularly looking forward to Kristofer Hivju’s turn as a sort of Beauty and the Beast character, the cursed Nivellen. Other new faces include:

·        Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders) as Lambert

·        Agnes Bjorn (Monster) as Vereena

·        Yasen Atour as Coën

·        Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl) as Lydia

·        Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9) as Eskel

·        Carmel Laniad as Violet

·        Mecia Simson as Francesca

No Mark Hamill to take on the role of Vesemir. Although I was sorely disappointed by this news (Hamill would have been perfect), Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia is also a fitting choice for Vesemir, Geralt’s early mentor.

Eight episodes will comprise the second installment of The Witcher, with four directors helming two apiece. Those directors include Sara O’Gorman (Cursed), Stephen Surjik (Umbrella Academy), Geeta Patel (Meet The Patels), and Ed Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom).

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