Redanian Intelligence is back with a complete roundup on all The Witcher Netflix news. There’s lots to cover including a brand new trailer for season 2.
With The Witcher’s second season releasing next month, Netflix has begun marketing the fantasy series in full force. Beginning with a panel at Italy’s Lucca Comics and Games convention, with showrunner Lauren Hissrich and stars Kim Bodnia (Vesemir) and Joey Batey (Jaskier) in attendance, Netflix has finally released an official trailer for season two.
In the meantime, another Witcher production is being filmed, and we’ve learned of a key detail that connects it to the main series.
Though we have already seen a lengthy teaser trailer, various sneak peeks and clips, and a “Road to Season 2” feature, Netflix was reluctant to release a proper, full-length trailer for the second season of The Witcher – until now.
During the Witcher panel at Italy’s Lucca Comics and Games convention, showrunner Lauren Hissrich joined costume designer Lucinda Wright and production designer Andrew Laws on the stage, where they discussed season two and even teased future seasons of the Netflix series (including the now confirmed third season). The second season was also discussed by Joey Batey and Kim Bodnia, who are the stars of Jaskier and Vesemir. However, the most thrilling moment of the panel was when the trailer for the second season's first episode was revealed.
This trailer has action, lots of monsters, and some interesting developments. It is not at all like the Blood of Elves novel, which is the basis of season 2. We looked at every frame of the trailer, and speculated on what season 2 might look like. If you don’t mind the possible spoiler, go read our frame-by-frame analysis.
Kim Bodnia, Vesemir's actor, shared a lot about his time with Henry Cavill (Geralt), and Freya Allen (Ciri) as well as the ways he was absorbed in the games which his sons love so much.
“When the first game came out, my son wanted it, and it was special, very well-made! So when Lauren called me in and I told my family that I have to be Vesemir, their faces were like…” Kim Bodnia made a funny face as if to suggest that this blew their minds.
On Henry Cavill, the actor said: “So I spend a lot of time trying to work with Henry talking about feelings sense and feelings. I found out that Vesemir is kind of a father for him because Vesemir ‘created’ Geralt and of course I don’t want to disappoint you guys, but to disappoint my own ‘son’! You know it was hard sometimes, but we all want to win. We want to believe we’re badasses. So sometimes I had to cry a whole day in front of him, just to make him fill a tear.”
On Freya Allan: “I can tell you she’s so lovely and funny! To see her developing her character from the first season from this young child to grow into this new person and all that she’s discovering inside herself… Wow! That’s gonna be fun.”
Joey Batey played the role of Jaskier on the stage. On his arc in season two, Batey said: “I think Jaskier has evolved, he’s a bit more ‘rock ‘n’ roll’. He felt more free with the new costume design. He feels a little bit more comfortable in his skin and is on a path to discover who he is.”
And what about the question on everyone’s minds? When asked whether season two will feature another hit Jaskier song like “Toss a Coin for a Witcher”, he said: “No idea, but you can assume he’s gonna keep singing. This is the difficult second album.”
You can read the recap to see more details about Vesemir Jaskier and the actor quotes.
Netflix officially confirms that Season Three is in development. Information is beginning to leak about this third season. Production Weekly has confirmed that season 3 will begin shooting in the first quarter 2022. This means the time frame between seasons 2 and 3 is likely to be less than the two previous seasons.
During the Lucca Comics and Games panel, Lauren Hissrich spoke out about the third season. “We didn’t know if anyone was gonna watch [Season 1] and it turns out some people did and we got to do a Season 2, and so sure there’s a responsibility because we owe it to the fans that we get to do a Season 2 and Season 3 and hopefully a Season 4 and 5, I could keep going!”
Production designer Andrew Laws then chimed in saying: “Lauren forgot to mention Season 6, Season 7, Season 8 and Season 9.” It was a joke, of course. It was a joke, though.
Lauren teased more details about the third season later. “We keep using the word bigger, though I’m a little scared at this point. Season 3 follows a particular book very closely, it has a lot of action, some depth, some death…” Andrew Laws then added: “And monsters.”
Lucinda Wright (costume designer) spoke on replacing Nilfgaardian armour and provided details about production for the second season. Our recap includes the entire panel that featured Wright, Laws, and Hissrich.
Other than the Netflix season 2, several Witcher series are in production. The first is The Witcher Blood Origin which features live action and limited programming. This story takes place 1200 years prior to the main series.
We were therefore quite shocked to learn that Joey Batey would reprise the role of Jaskier from the prequel series.
Is this a sign that Jaskier is eternal? No. Jaskier will likely play the role of storyteller or narrator in the prequel series. We don’t know exactly how large his role will be. It’s possible he will be narrating the entire story, but it’s equally possible that he’ll cameo briefly at the beginning and end of the story.
It’s also notable that Joey Batey appeared in his full Jaskier hair and facial hair at Lucca because he needs it that way for shooting Blood Origin scenes.
Blood Origin has begun filming in Britain. We also know that Lucinda Wright, the second season's costume designer for Season 2, is returning to the series. We haven’t seen much of her work on Blood Origin as yet, but we do have one behind-the-scenes paparazzi screenshot of British actor Lenny Henry in-costume in the role of the druid Balor, as well as the various costumes we’ve seen in the trailers for the second season.
One of the most controversial aspects of the trilogy of Witcher video games among readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels is the games’ focus on the character of Triss Merrigold, specifically her romantic relationship with Geralt.
It is said that Triss used a concoction or spell on Geralt to get him to fall in love with her. This happened during Geralt's romantic relationship. Geralt and Triss were both disappointed by the decision of Yennefer, as you can imagine. But, as far as their romantic relationship goes in the novels, that’s is all it ever was – an embarrassing event in the past. For this reason, hardcore fans of the novels do not appreciate the fact that the games seem to favor Triss over Yennefer as Geralt’s love interest.
As expected, the show decided to exclude the novels’ insinuation that Triss essentially rapes Geralt, but now it seems that they’re not completely ignoring this particular romance. Recently, we learned that Triss will be sharing a sexual scene with Geralt in season 2. It’s likely that, in the show, this will be completely consensual and less shady, but one must remember that Geralt believes that Yennefer is dead, and will likely not have done this if he knew she was alive.
This is a rather controversial topic in the fandom, so we’re interested to see how the Netflix series will handle it.
We’ve already heard in the past that Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, who first introduced the witcher Geralt of Rivia to the pages of Fantastyka magazine over twenty years ago, does not like to interfere with the creative process when it comes to the adaptations of his work. He was therefore not part of either the original videogame trilogy nor the premiere season on Netflix. However, it seems that his position has slightly changed between the first season and the second.
In an interview published on YouTube and held in Polish, producer Tomek Baginski explained the author’s role in the show: “Andrzej strongly believes in the freedom and autonomy of people who adapt his stories, so he’d rather give us freedom. To ensure that there is no surprise, he wants to know what's happening. He must also be kept informed from a formal perspective. But he gives us a lot of freedom and that’s very cool.”
The fact that Sapkowski wants to be informed about the show is a slight change from his stance in the previous season, which showrunner Lauren Hissrich described as follows: “Sapkowski doesn’t want to see ingredients to the soup, he wants to taste the soup. He has access to the scripts and dailies but doesn’t want to see them.”
One of the most mysterious elements in the novels is the fate of Ciri’s parents, Duny and Pavetta, who we’ve met in the first season. In episode seven of the first season, we’re told that Duny and Pavetta died in a storm at sea, but readers of the novels and players of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt know that there’s a bit more to this story. If you haven’t read the books or played the game, it’s best to avoid this section as it contains major book spoilers.
Towards the end of The Lady of the Lake, the last novel in Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga, we discover that the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Emhyr var Emreis, who has been chasing Ciri throughout the story with hopes to marry her and fulfill an ancient prophecy, is actually Ciri’s father Duny. We’ll spare the details of how and why this happens, but it’s safe to say this is one of the most shocking, twisted reveals in the saga. Much to the detriment of the Netflix series, however, this reveal was undercut by the video game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which featured Ciri’s father in the role of Emhyr as a central character. This means that many gamers are already aware of the twist, and that’s not the only reason the writers have for bringing the twist forward.
Given that the show is a visual medium, and given the fact that the production has chosen to use the same cast members even after many years pass (case in point: Jaskier, who is played by Joey Batey across a couple of decades of Continent time), it’s quite likely that Emperor Emhyr will be portrayed by the same actor who played Duny in season one (Bart Edwards). Bart Edwards, along with a couple of other Cintra characters, was confirmed as appearing in the second season a while back. Now our sources have confirmed that Emhyr will not only appear in flashbacks, but will also be introduced to the viewers in the second season – which means the Lady of the Lake twist is happening much earlier than it does in the novels.
The second season is based largely on Blood of Elves. However, like the first, it will take many liberties with its adaptation of the story. If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that this season will feature an adaption of the short story A Grain of Truth, which happens many years before Ciri was born in the novels, while the Netflix adaption of the story will include Ciri. We now know of another change that the show will make in season 2. This is just one of many small and large changes. These are major spoilers for season two, which will also surprise readers of books.
Kaer Morhen will be a key location, just like in the books. The show is expected to bring to life Ciri’s witcher training as it was depicted in the novel Blood of Elves, including sword training, the pendulum, and more. This story is being expanded by the show with two fight scenes taking place in the ruined witcher castle. They will occur at the end and beginning of each season.
The first big fight in Kaer Morhen will happen during Ciri’s first night in the stronghold and will pit the witchers against a leshen. From the various details we’ve heard and other evidence, we’ve deduced that this will be a special kind of leshen that is able to “infect” one of the witcher characters. This is a major change from the novels, so we’re going to give another spoiler warning here. The witcher character who will be “infected” by the leshen is none other than Eskel, and we also know that he will not survive this fight scene. In a previous leak, we heard that Eskel’s body will be fed to wolves, and this most likely happens after the fight.
The second big fight at Kaer Morhen is one we know very little about, but there’s quite a lot of frames from it in the new trailer. According to our sources, the fight will take place at the finale of season. This means that the show will take Geralt and Ciri back to Kaer Morhen after Ciri’s time in the Temple of Melitele (which also appeared in the trailer, and also includes a big fight scene between Geralt and Rience with the Michelet Brothers which happens elsewhere in the books). Triss, Jaskier and others are also present in this fight trailer. They can be seen behind a few shots in the trailer. We don’t yet know for sure who they are fighting, but the leading guess is that Rience will attack the witchers at Kaer Morhen, and a second possibility involves the mysterious original character Voleth Meir, who is described as a demon who roams the land.
Showrunner Lauren Hissrich has said in the past that though the show is abandoning the timeline structure of season one, we will “go back and forth” in Ciri’s storyline, so it’s possible the return to Kaer Morhen is some form of a flashback. These additions make Kaer Morhen central to season 2, and allow us to spend more time with Vesemir and Lambert (but not Eskel).
That’s all for our November Witcher news recap.
The second season will be released on December 17th, which is just over a month from now.
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