The Witcher season 2, set to release on Friday, will bring one of Netflix's most popular series back to screens around the world. The popular monster hunter's adventures - popularised by three videogames from Polish game studio CD Projekt Red - have been adapted for the show from the source material, Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's short stories and novels. The Witcher's second instalment was expected to arrive last year, but production was delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and later again because of lead actor Henry Cavill's leg injury nearly a year ago.
Since the release of the first season, fans have also gotten a spin-off animated series on Netflix called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf which was released in August this year. It is centred around another character, Vesemir, the most experienced Witcher and Geralt's mentor in the original story. Vesemir is also a part of The Witcher season 2, played by Kim Bodnia.
This season, fans can expect to see the show follow the story in Sapkowski's 'Blood of Elves'. While the first season was based on both 'The Last Wish' and 'Sword of Destiny', those who have followed the Witcher saga will know that the monster hunter's story is just beginning. Blood of Elves is the first book in the main series, and all the characters have now been introduced in time for season 2.
Netflix recently gave audiences their first look at Sigismund Dijkstra, who is portrayed by Graham McTavish of The Hobbit and Outlander. Dijkstra, who is expected to play the Redanian Spymaster, the head of the continent's best spy network, could end up helping Geralt, or getting in his way.
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich previously revealed that viewers will see a more cohesive timeline, instead of the three different branches that they were dealing with in the first season. Fans can also expect to see Geralt's 'family' including the witchers Coen, Lambert, Eskel, and the wise Vesemir, who Geralt looks up to the most.
Hissrich also says that fans of the game can look forward to seeing more Easter eggs in season 2, just like the bathtub scene in the first season. "Obviously what we wanted to do is go back to the source material, not to do an adaptation of an adaptation. But it doesn't mean that we're not fans of the games ourselves, that we don't play them ourselves, and that we know that a huge part of our audience has only heard of The Witcher because of the video games. So we do, we want to pay homage to it, to them as often as possible. And also I've been to CD Projekt Red. I've met all of those really talented people there. And what they do is amazing. So if we can offer them a wink and a nod whenever we can, we will."
With that, here's everything you need to know about The Witcher season 2.
The Witcher season 2 release date, time
The Witcher season 2 arrives on December 17 at 12am PT/ 1:30pm IST. Unlike shows like the ongoing Marvel series Hawkeye, which releases one episode a week, all eight episodes of The Witcher will drop at the same time and users can binge-watch the series whenever they want.
The Witcher season 2 cast
The Witcher season 2 will be led by the aforementioned Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia. Cavill has said he was willing to be a long term cast member, in line with Hissrich's seven-season roadmap for the show. Hissrich revealed that Cavill wanted to play a more "intellectual" version of the monster slayer in the upcoming season and even sent her notes about what he wanted Geralt to say.
"A lot of the notes he was sending to me [after season one] were about Geralt's dialogue - could he, first of all, say more," Hissrich said. "Everybody came out of season one laughing and loving Geralt's fuming. But Henry was saying that when you read the books you spend a lot of time in Geralt's head. So how can we put that on the page? Meanwhile, I wanted to tell the story of him becoming a father figure to Ciri. So those two things coalesced wonderfully. He opens up to get Ciri to trust him, by speaking his mind and his heart more."
Speaking of Ciri, Freya Allan is set to reprise the role of the young Child of Surprise, bound to Geralt by destiny. Ciri travels far and suffers several setbacks (including the fall of her kingdom and death of her relatives, plus losing a friend) before she finally meets Geralt, and Allan recently said that what happens in the first episode will drive her fear for the rest of the coming season. "When she sees him, Allan says. It's just that sense of relief - here, potentially is her future - and I think there's an idea of "hopefully, I've found my protector," someone who could potentially guide her in being able to defend herself in that world," Allan said.
We already know that Yennefer, played by Anya Chalotra, will be returning this season and Hissrich has previously revealed that the season will delve into Yennefer's story along with her mentor Tissaia, who is portrayed by MyAnna Buring. She also says that fans can look forward to a special lightning-filled scene at Aretuza.
Jaskier the bard, another friend of Geralt, played by Joey Batey is back this season and Hissrich confirms that fans can look forward to more tunes from the emotional but friendly bard, like the earworm from last season - "Toss a Coin to your Witcher".
Last season, we saw Cahir, played by Eamon Farren pair up with the sorceress Fringilla (Mini Ndiweni) fight against Yennefer and Triss at the battle of Sodden Hill, where Yennefer wipes out the Nilfgaardian army right before King Foltest (Shaun Dooley) arrives. Cahir and Fringilla will see a lot of character development this season, says Hissrich. "We start digging into what Nilfgaard actually wants and why Cahir and Fringilla, these characters that we love, feel like they are best served in this kingdom. And I think both of them get to show really surprising things this season. And characters that perhaps you leave season 1 thinking no, no, no, they're the bad guys, I think we gain really a lot of new empathy for them this season."
Triss Merigold, played by Anna Shafer, was missing from the trailer, but the powerful Temerian sorceress will be part of the new season according to Hissrich. So will Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) and Sabrina (Therica Wilson Read). Ciri's friend Dara (Wilson Radjou-Pujalte) will also return for season 2, while possibly delving into the suffering of the elves. Magical characters returning to the show include the wizard Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen), the mage Artorius (Terence Maynard) and the sorcerer Istredd (Royce Pierreson). King Filavandrel (Tom Canton) and the dwarven dragon hunter/warrior Yarpen Zigrin (Jeremy Crawford) are also part of the returning cast this season.
New cast members for this season include a new set of witchers, including Geralt's mentor Vesemir, played by Kim Bodnia. Viewers will also see more of Geralt's 'family' at Kaer Morhen, where he grew up, including Coen (Yasen Atour), Eskel (Basil Eidenbernz) and Lambert (Paul Bullion) who will help him take care of Ciri. Other cast members include the elven sorceress Francesca Findabair, played by Mecia Simson, and Kristofer Hivji (from Game of Thrones) who plays Nivellen, Geralt's old friend. Two members of the cast of Bridgerton are part of The Witcher season 2, including Adjoa Andoh, who plays Mother Nenneke, while Chris Fulton plays the mage Rience.
The Witcher season 2 episodes
As previously mentioned, all eight episodes in season 2 of The Witcher will drop on December 17. The episodes for season 2 are as follows - A Grain of Truth, Kaer Morhen, What Is Lost, Redanian Intelligence, Turn Your Back, Dear Friend, Voleth Mier, and the currently unannounced season finale episode.
The Witcher season 2 trailer
The teaser trailer for The Witcher season 2 landed in July, while the official trailer for the upcoming season arrived back in October, and gave viewers a good idea of what to expect in the upcoming season. Nilfgaard isn't backing down and is building up for a counterattack after they were pushed back at the end of season one.
The North and the South are at war, the trailer tells us while showing us views of new cities on the continent. Ciri looks like she's preparing to learn how to fight, but it remains to be seen how Geralt feels about his ward wanting to join the fight.
While Sapkowski's Blood of Elves doesn't contain a lot of monsters, the trailer appears to promise enough action with a tree-like creature that could be a Leshy, along with a Fleder (a form of a vampire). Netflix has since released a clip and from the season, a TUDUM trailer, along with first-look videos for Nivellen, Geralt and Ciri, as well as a Road to season 2 trailer. The official trailer has also been released in Hindi.
The Witcher season 2 synopsis
Convinced Yennefer's life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent's kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside.
The Witcher season 2 review
Reviews for season 2 of The Witcher are slowly pouring in and they appear to be mostly positive. The second season has a solid 90 percent "fresh" rating with 21 critic ratings on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, while on fellow reviews aggregator Metacritic, the show has a score of 75, with 'generally favourable reviews, which are currently based on 10 critic reviews.
The Gadgets 360 review of The Witcher season 2 will be available later this week.
The Witcher season 3?
Will there be a season 3 of The Witcher? Considering Netflix renewed The Witcher for a second season even before the first season had aired, it showed the confidence of the service in the series.
The series has already been renewed for a third season, ahead of the arrival of the second season.
The Witcher season 2 poster
Here's the official poster for The Witcher season 2 from Netflix.
Photo Credit: Netflix