Despite the many challenges of filming during the Coronavirus pandemic, production of The Witcher’s second season has finally entered the final leg of filming, with director Ed Bazalgette now on set. We’ve collected this month’s greatest stories below. Warning: The last two sections contain major spoilers.
This article covers the following topics:
Before the Netflix production went on its Christmas break in December, we reported that Mission Impossible’s stunt choreographer Wolfgang Stegemann (who was also in charge of season 1’s Blaviken fight scene) was reunited with Henry Cavill on set. Since then, the two have spent many weeks training and filming what will most likely be another amazing set piece in The Witcher’s second episode.
This fight, which will include multiple witchers, will be held at Kaer Morhen. As previously reported. Henry Cavill will fight alongside Lambert (Paul Bullion), Eskel, Basil Eidenbenz and Vesemir (Kim Bodnia), as well as other witchers.
It was recently reported that Henry Cavill had been injured while working on The Witcher. We believe this occurred during filming this scene. Henry has been able to recover and returned to work since then. We are pleased to announce that the sequence is now complete and the production can move on to the next block.
Joey Batey had been absent for the last few months, but he was confirmed by the crew on February. Tom Canton, who plays Elven King Filavandrel, shared the news.
Canton, more than any cast member, has always taken his Elven role very seriously. He refuses to be a jerk even when he is on social media. In the past, Canton would tweet about his hatred for d’hoine (humans), but his newest tweet shows him flipping the middle finger at a certain bard’s trailer on set. It’s good to see that Jaskier is filming again, even if his role may be slightly smaller this time around. We’re interested to see if the Filavandrel-Jaskier rivalry will continue into season 2, or if Canton is still salty about “elf on a shelf”.
The Nilfgaardian armor design was the most controversial issue relating to The Witcher before its first season on Netflix. Many thought the costumes were too cheap and silly, even though the original design captured the frightening, alien threat of the Nilfgaardian empire. Several comparisons were drawn that can never be ignored.
The fandom was relieved that Lauren Hissrich, showrunner for season 2, confirmed that the armor would be redesign. We’ve already seen the new armor set, as worn by Eamon Farren’s Cahir and multiple extras, but now we have an even better look at it (including a closer look at the new helmets). This is a significant improvement, in our opinion.
One of our first reports on The Witcher’s second season was about a massive set being constructed in Arborfield Studios. The set would be a place that could represent many locations on the Continent in the future. With Covid restrictions and the extreme secrecy of the crew, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen or heard of this particular set. Redditor u/KajaSinis managed to capture a few photos of the set in February.
The massive green screen in these photos suggests that filming in the area has begun. Should season 2 follow the books, we’re likely to see Geralt travel to the Redanian city of Oxenfurt in the later episodes, and these scenes may be filming as we speak.
The original filming schedule for season 2 consisted of four blocks, with each Block being led by a different director. Stephen Surjik (Umbrella Academy) was in charge of the first two episodes, which include Kristofer Hivju’s guest role as Nivellen and the aforementioned fight at Kaer Morhen. Sara O’Gorman (Cursed) was in charge of episodes three and four, including the massive gathering filmed at Fountains Abbey. Louise Hooper (Flesh and Blood) has filmed scenes for episodes six and seven, some featuring Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer paired with Freya Allan’s Ciri. This leaves season 2’s final director, who will film episodes five and eight.
Ed Bazalgette is known for his work in The Last Kingdom, where he directed one of the show’s largest battle scenes. His addition to The Witcher’s second season suggests another explosive season finale, and new details from the set may confirm this. This is not unprecedented for the Netflix series, seeing as season 1’s final episode featured the Battle of Sodden, but there are no major battles in the novel Blood of Elves.
Some fans have speculated that season 2 will climax with what is generally considered the Saga’s most epic set piece on Thanedd Isle, but we don’t believe this is the case. It seems more likely that season 2 will end with new content. This new content may involve elves or mages. Extras and stunt actors have been busy filming an extensive sequence over the last few days.
Redanian Intelligence has more information, including details about the animals that were on-set, so make sure you read it all.
Warning! You should not have read this section if you want to see season 2. Major spoilers will follow, and the last section will come as a surprise even to those who’ve read the novels on which the show is based.
The central location in The Witcher season 1 was the Kingdom of Cintra, Ciri’s home. It was there that Geralt of Rivia first met the relentless Queen Calanthe, and it was there that his destiny was bound to Ciri’s. This happens in a massive feast, during which Ciri’s mother Pavetta is revealed to be pregnant with Duny’s baby, and Duny’s curse is healed. That was also the last time Ciri’s parents were seen in the show, as they died mysteriously off screen.
We can now confirm that Bart Edwards, (Duny), and Gaia Montdadori (Pavetta), have both returned to the set. They will film a scene together with Ed Bazalgette in the episode's fifth or eighth episodes. With them returning, presumably for a flashback or dream sequence, it is rather likely that other Cintran characters such as Jodhi May’s Calanthe will also return. Either way, we’re curious to see what these scenes will cover, particularly regarding Duny’s character. Perhaps a reveal from Sapkowski’s final Witcher novel will happen earlier than expected?
One more time, we urge you not to proceed unless you are ready and willing to spoil a major surprise from The Witcher’s early season 2 episodes. The context is lacking and this one is quite shocking. For reference, imagine hearing about season 1’s eels without the relevant backstory.
Our spoiler report this time focuses on Eskel. Various details have led us to believe that the character’s role will be smaller than some fans first hoped, and this was confirmed when we reached out to an old source. Many months ago, this source spotted The Witcher’s cast and crew filming at the caves of Hodge Close Quarry. According to our source, Henry Cavill was seen on-location as well as a wolf. We also reported that Paul Bullion’s Lambert was on location, though that may have been a misunderstanding as we now have new details of the filming of this scene.
Hodge Close featured a scene in which a body was being given to the wolves. Our source claims that this is Eskel's body. If Eskel will indeed be killed off in season 2, that is sure to disappoint the character’s fanbase, but it’s important to remember that he is a minor character in the novels and only appears in a couple of chapters.
How will Eskel die? We believe Eskel will be killed during the big Kaer Morhen fight scene that we discussed earlier. One early leak from season 2 confirmed that a witcher will be fighting a Leshy (known to gamers as Leshen), resulting in “major consequences”. We know that it is likely that several witchers will be fighting this Leshy at Kaer Morhen. However, not everyone will survive.
As for Eskel’s corpse being fed to the wolves… Well, we’re not quite sure what’s happening in this scene. This could be a ritual performed by Witchers of the School of the Wolf. We are open to your speculations.
This is our March 2021 Witcher Recap. With season 2 approaching the finish line at full speed, we’re sure to hear more about the second season in the coming weeks. We hope to soon confirm the casting of Rience, Nenneke and Dijkstra. Follow @RedanianIntel on Twitter for all the latest information about The Witcher, and any spinoffs.