The Witcher season 2 promises more monster hunting, political machinations and songs from Jaskier the bard on Netflix. The first season was a colossal success for the streaming service, ranking as one of its biggest shows of 2019 despite only releasing in December. Indeed, it’s one of the best Netflix shows around. The Witcher season 2 release date is currently targeted for 2021, though a more specific date is yet to be revealed.
If you found The Witcher’s time-hopping first season confusing, there’s good news: The Witcher season 2 won’t be set in different timeframes. Geralt of Rivia, Ciri, and Yennefer will journey together in the same time period, which should make the show nice and easy to follow this time around.
The Witcher season 2 began filming in early 2020, but it’s currently on hold. With this in mind, though, we may have an idea of when Netflix is intending to launch the second season – read on for more. Here’s everything we know about The Witcher season 2’s release date, cast, new characters, story, trailer and more.
The Witcher season 2 release date: August 2021?
The Witcher 2 season release date will be in 2021, but an official date hasn’t been revealed by Netflix yet – and won’t be for a long time. On the subject of release dates, Lauren S. Hissrich said in a Reddit AMA that “We don’t yet have a target launch date for season 2, past 2021,” but we may now be able to narrow it down, based on intel from Redanian Intelligence.
Still, the reason we could expect The Witcher season 2 release date to be August 2021 is based on a report by Platige Image, a special effects company behind season 1 and 2. The report from April 27 said its work on all eight episodes of The Witcher season 2 is due July 2021. Their work for season 1 was due November 2019, and the show launched a month later.
Still, that could change based on this year’s events. Filming for The Witcher season 2 started in February 2020 in London, Scotland, and parts of Eastern Europe, but it was put on hold as ex-Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju tested positive for Covid-19 – he’s now recovered, thankfully. The rest of the film and TV industry shut down shortly after, and it’s unclear when season 2 will resume filming.
2021 still feels like the best we can hope for on The Witcher season 2 release date, for now.
The Witcher season 2 cast: new and returning cast members, including Vesemir
Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer) and Freya Allan (Ciri) are all set to return for The Witcher season 2. The full cast for the show has now been revealed by Netflix, in fact.
Three new witchers are apparently joining the cast: Lambert, played by Paul Bullion, and Coën, played by Yasen Atour (Netflix only announced that both had joined the cast, while Redanian Intelligence reported they’re witchers). This has created the expectation that The Witcher season 2 will take us to Kaer Morhen, where witchers are trained. Could we see Ciri completing her training here, too?
In May 2020, Redanian Intelligence rumored the third new witcher coming in The Witcher season 2: Hemrik, played by Joel Adrian.
Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia plays witcher trainer, Vesemir and Kristofer Hivju – best known as Game of Thrones’ Tormund Giantsbane – will play Nivellen. Other new castings include Mecia Simson as Francesca, Thue Ersted Rasmussen as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia and Agnes Bjorn as Vereena. Deadline reports that Carmel Laniado has joined the cast as a young character called Violet for at least three episodes.
Returning characters from season one include – thank the heavens – Jaskier (Joey Batey) and Triss (Anna Shaffer). Eamon Farren will be back as Cahir, too. Other familiar faces from season one will include Tissaia (MyAnna Buring), Filavandrel (Tom Canton), Stregobor (Lars Mikkelson), Artorius (Terence Maynard), Sabrina (Therica Wilson Read), Murta (Lilly Cooper), Yarpen Zigrin (Jeremy Crawford) and Istredd (Royce Pierreson).
Characters from The Witcher games look like they’re destined for The Witcher season 2. Queen Meve of Lyria and Rivia, introduced in the game Thronebreaker: The Witcher tales, is reportedly part of the cast.
The Witcher season 2 will have entirely different directors to season one, which Netflix confirmed. Here’s who they are:
- Ed Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom, Doctor Who)
- Sarah O’Gorman (Jamestown, Cursed)
- Geeta Patel (Santa Clarita Diet, Meet the Patels)
- Stephen Surjik (Daredevil, The Umbrella Academy)
The Witcher season 2 trailer: is there one yet?
Sadly not. Since filming is still relatively early, don’t expect Netflix to release a trailer until 2021.
The Witcher season 2 story: what we know, and what happens in the books
A big talking point of season 1 was how it told stories in multiple places and across a non-linear timeline (though the now-released official Witcher map and Witcher timeline really help) resulting in a multi-tale anthology of sorts.
In an interview with Vulture, Hissrich said that while she believes she didn’t give the audience too much credit – “the audience is incredibly smart” – she had “misunderstood what everyone was looking for in their entertainment”. She said “I love to be challenged when I’m watching TV,” but conceded that that wasn’t the case for everyone.
However, season one’s climax brought all the separate threads together nicely, priming The Witcher season 2 for a simpler plot. Hissrich has confirmed that Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer exist in the same timeline now, so their stories will be told simultaneously.
“That’s where we ended season one. That’s absolutely where we will pick up in season two. The stories will be told in a much more linear fashion. They won’t all be one story. It’s not like all three are together and happy all the time. But, I do want to employ some different ways to look at time series-wide.”
That doesn’t mean we won’t see any of the episodic Geralt monster-hunting adventures that we loved in season 1. Hissrich will be mining “different short stories” for The Witcher season 2, and suggests the chance of flashback scenes.
Ciri will be “center stage” in season 2, apparently. In the books, Ciri’s story makes up the central plot of ‘the saga’. The saga covers five books, starting with Blood of Elves, and centers on Ciri, her importance as a magical royal with Elven heritage, her relationship with Geralt, her ongoing efforts to survive, and how all this shapes events on The Continent.
The setup for this has already begun, as the very start of Blood of Elves is covered in season 1 by the siege, the downfall of Cintra, and Ciri’s subsequent escape. Elsewhere, expect to see more of life under Nilfgaardian rule in season 2, as tensions between humans and non-humans rise.
The grand location of Kaer Morhen should appear prominently in The Witcher season 2 as well. This is the ancestral home and stronghold of the witchers, and Geralt is required to take Ciri to the fortress for protection and training. Here, he takes closer guardianship of Ciri, becoming a father figure. With the appearance of a mysterious, powerful wizard – also pursuing Ciri – some more war, prophecies, dark magic and, of course, monster hunting, in mind, season 2 begins to sound promising.
In terms of story specifics, Redania Intelligence claims that another short story from The Last Wish will appear. This short story, A Grain of Truth, features Geralt meeting the cursed man, Nivellen (who we now know is played by Hivju), who has been turned into a beast.
Asked by Pure Fandom for a teaser on season 2, Hissrich had this to say: “Without spoilers, I will say that there’s a crop of new monsters, a new cost to magic, and new and unexpected pairings of our favorite characters.”
Expect to see more from magical villainess Fringilla, too. When asked by Vulture, Hissrich confirmed that “you will absolutely get more Fringillla […] we’re digging deeper into her past and how she ended up at Nilfgaard, who she is as a person, and how she and Yennefer ended up on such different paths.” In other words, expect more metal mind-control earworms. Ugh.
#tbt one month ago on the set of @witchernetflix. The sun will rise again. Until then, stay home and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/1PbeUa9YaOApril 10, 2020
Clearly knowing these are the kinds of teases we need right now, Hissrich tweeted a picture of the second season’s set from mid-March, 2020, when it was still shooting. It seems to show off a familiar location, too. Is that the otherworldly Brokilon Forest, where Ciri fled to after the invasion of Cintra by Nilfgaard? If so, expect to see more from the Dryads next season.
The wrinkly Nilfgaardian armor, which some fans on the internet didn’t like, will be changed in season 2 as well. Hissrich told Flickering Myth’s Writer Experience podcast that, “the Nilfgaard armor will be totally different. You have that opportunity [in season two] to go back and course correct if you want to.
The Witcher season 2 will be accompanied by a Witcher animated movie
In addition to The Witcher season 2, an anime-style Witcher movie has been announced for Netflix called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. No release date has been set for that one yet, but we expect it before season 2 arrives.
It’ll be written by Beau DeMayo (who scripted episode 3 of season one), and it focuses on Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor. He’ll be familiar to anyone who knows the games and the books. It’ll be animated by Studio Mir, which was behind the acclaimed Legend of Korra series. The story will take us “back to a new threat facing the Continent.”
Now we know Kim Bodnia is playing Vesemir in season 2, it seems likely he’ll voice him here too.
An official synopsis was added to Netflix for Nightmare of the Wolf, which was later pulled. “Long before mentoring Geralt, Vesemir begins his own journey as a witcher after the mysterious Delgan claims him through the Law of Surprise.”
The Witcher season 3 looks likely, too
The Witcher could run on Netflix for a long time. Hissrich claims to have thought out ideas for a massive seven seasons. And we’re pretty certain there’s enough source material left for that to be viable.
We’ve got the entirety of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer’s stories to play out. It takes them across The Continent to a rich variety of locations, and introduces us to some of the best fantasy characters around. Ciri’s development is a great basis for future tales in The Witcher universe that combine themes of family and love, and mystery and magic.
The Witcher feels like it’s here to stay on Netflix
The first season of The Witcher shrugged off the idea that it was just here to replace Game of Thrones. It confidently told stories in its own way and presented a fantasy world that has already captures people’s imaginations. And, while we are unlikely to see much spillover from the games – they are not really canon according to Sapkowski but rather a “free adaptation containing elements of [his] work” – we know fans will enjoy various subtle references to the series, as they did in season 1.
Hissrich and company aren’t in the business of rushing this out. Hissrich said that the series would need time: “We don’t want to rush the product. That doesn’t benefit anyone.” If it’s as good as season 1, it’ll be worth the wait.
If it’ll help pass the time until season 2, you can listen to the official version of ‘Toss a Coin to your Witcher’ on Spotify.