The Witcher has its second season making a Netflix release on December 17, and while we know the plot will be following Geralt and Cirilla’s story moving forwards, there are a number of new characters being introduced. Through those names, and a little revelations from the books the show is adapted from, we have a slight clue on what the storyline for this season could be.
Warning: Potential spoilers for Netflix’s The Witcher Season 2
We hear that the shooting for season 2 of Netflix’s one of the most popular fantasy series The Witcher has been wrapped up. While the production has yet not released a final trailer or anything about the new season’s plot setting and timelines, we still have the source material to look into in order to find out the basic storyline. The Witcher is adapted from a series of novels and short stories created by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher was a brand name before Netflix decided to pick it up in 2019.
They have been popular ever since they were created with being read as books and consumed as other media, specifically in the form of video games, which helped the brand spread its fanbase out to consumers of all ages. Not only this, the series already has its Polish adaptation in the form of a movie as well as a TV show. However, an English adaptation of this incredible series was first possible in December 2019 only because of Netflix. And because the production company was familiar with The Witcher’s success in its native country and how the brand had created its popularity among the fanbase, Netflix had already renewed the show for its next instalment even before season 1 was released.
As opposed to the original angle that Sapkowski’s stories followed, Netflix’s debut for The Witcher decided to take a different path. As we have already seen, the season highlights three main characters and we learn their stories through various timelines. However scattered, the three characters end up crossing paths as the story progresses, making them all crucial to each other.
The three lead characters in question are the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) who possess magical powers and is known as The Witcher, Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) who is a powerful sorceress, and the crown princess of Cintra, Cirilla (Freya Allan) who is seen to have mysterious powers of her own. While season 1 of The Witcher explored these characters through different points in time and made us extremely familiar with their stories and the entire universe of magic through some important historical incidents, there is still a lot more to the story that is yet to be learned about.
Originally created by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher book series comprises two short story collections called The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. This is followed by a series of five books that form the main saga, namely Blood of Elves, Time of Contempt, Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, and The Lady of the Lake. Apart from these, there is also a standalone novel called Season of Storms.
This means that Netflix is not likely to run out of source material anytime soon. So we can expect a lot from the production in the coming future. The Witcher season 1 was taken from the short stories The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny after altering some minor details.
It can be believed that season 2 would take the story forward by taking up on a novel from the main saga. While season 1 followed a very confusing timeline with a couple of shifts, we are hoping that season 2 would explore this magical dystopian universe with a little ease in the narrative. We know the season features new characters as well, which makes it all the more interesting. All the information we have about these new characters is from the books so far, and while some of these characters have been confirmed to appear in The Witcher season 2, we can only rely on the source when it comes to speculating the plot.
Netflix Queue Twitter account shared a page from the script of The Witcher season 2, and while it does not reveal much about the larger plot, it confirms that a new character called Nivellen (Kristofer Hivju) will be made acquainted with. This also proved that the series has taken a detour to season 1’s source The Last Wish and reconstructed another short story called “A Grain of Truth”. According to the story, Geralt of Rivia happened to discover two corpses, one of a young man and another of a merchant.
Curious, he follows the road they might have taken to get there, which leads him to a manor encircled by a very high wall and a gate. This is where he meets Nivellen, who is the owner of the estate. Supposedly, Nivellen was a man who was cursed to be “a monster in a monster’s skin” after he raped a young priestess during a robbery. The curse transformed him into a hideous looking beast, but he could still speak.
Instituting Nivellen into season 2 would allow the show to present the audiences with a new type of curse that turns a person into a new type of creature, much like the well known classic The Beauty and the Beast. Not only this, with Nivellen in the picture, we can expect the show to introduce an even more dangerous creature who could be worse than Nivellen himself when taking up its cursed beast appearance.
As we know the season will largely follow “A Grain of Truth”, the introduction of Vereena is a likely possibility. Played by Agnes Bjorn, Vareena is shown to be a bruxa. A bruxa is The Witcher universe’s version of vampires. In the story, she is seen to be living with Nivellen. While the bruxa are naturally found to take the form of large, black bats, in order to mix in with normal local human beings, Vereena transforms herself into a dark-haired young woman. This is also how a desperate Nivellen ends up in the company of evil Vereena. While pop culture has its own conventional depiction of vampires, witcher world’s vampires are believed to be different from the stereotype. They are merciless, unerring and apparently detrimental in their own way.
Tied to each other by the Law of Surprise, Geralt of Rivia and the crown princess of Cintra Cirilla are drawn to each other, and we see them meet towards the end of season 1. Continuing their story, season 2 will show them at Kaer Morhen, where Geralt will teach Ciri how to channel and control her powers. Kaer Morhen is known to be a sanctuary for witchers and we are sure to see some of them assist Geralt in training Ciri. These witchers are Lambert (Paul Bullion), Eskel (Basil Eidenbenz), Coën (Yasen Atour), and Geralt’s mentor Vesemir (Kim Bodnia).
It is also pretty obvious as the story moves forward, the arc shifts to the original novel series’ first book called Blood of Elves. The story is set after Geralt brings Ciri to Kaer Morhen to protect her from the enemy (Nilfgaardian army) and proceeds with different witchers helping her learn different skills and techniques. Lambert takes her up for physical training and teaches her the art of combat, Coën helps her with sword skills, and Vesemir helps her gain knowledge regarding different monsters and herbs. The story’s arc turns more interesting when Ciri takes a small sip of White Gull, which is a strong alcoholic drink mainly used by witchers. The drink makes her daydream, and when Eskel notices this change in the princess’ behavior, he calls someone for help. At this point, we see an important character of season 1 make an appearance.
Played by Anna Shaffer, we see Triss Merigold reach Kaer Morhen after the witchers call upon her. While trying to rid Ciri of her unexpected stupors and unusual behavior, Triss comes to a realisation. The crown princess of Cintra is actually a Source. A Source is a person born with a natural understanding and harmony with magic, but their exceptional abilities are uncontrollable when they have matured.
When Triss fails to help Ciri with her trances, she tries to convince Geralt to reach out to Yennefer instead. Being one of the most powerful sorceresses of her time, Yennefer seems to be their last resort. However, The Witcher season 1 ends with Yennefer disappearing and it is assumed that she died, so it is possible that season 2 turns that around. As Ciri’s story progresses, she leaves Kaer Morhen with Geralt and Triss, and instead goes to the Temple School in Ellander. It is at this institute that Ciri is offered a proper education by the hands of Nenneke (Adjoa Andoh).
While Ciri took shelter at Kaer Morhen to protect herself from the Nilfgaardian army and trained to get better, there were more people out there looking for the princess. Rience, played by Chris Fulton, is a mysterious wizard and Vilgefortz’s student. Ordered to find Ciri and failing, the young wizard instead stumbles upon Jaskier (Joey Batey) and decides to take him captive.
While the apprentice tortures the writer and singer of “Toss a Coin To Your Witcher” in order to get some information regarding Ciri from him, Yennefer comes to his aid. Rience and Yennefer are seen fighting each other with magic but at the last moment, Rience flees the scene through a portal opened by Vilgefortz. The Witcher universe is full of tricks and mischiefs and no one is entirely trustworthy. We did see Vilgefortz as a tiny glimpse in season 1, but him showing up again with a pupil in Rience only makes it for more twists to the story.
In the book Blood of Elves, Yennefer plays a prominent role. But her presence in the show could take a different turn. The Witcher season 1 drove Yennefer’s story to the Battle of Sodden Hill, after which she is nowhere to be seen. However, the book acts differently because in there, Yennefer loses her sight but is magically recovered. After that, she goes to the Temple of Melitele because Geralt sends her a letter to see her there. But since the show shows her to have been dead, it is impossible for Geralt to reach out to her.
The Witcher fans have taken it upon themselves to figure this one out. There is a theory that says that Yennefer disappears because she is seized by The Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt are a group of phantom-like beings who fly around in the sky and are known to be a foreboding of wars. When The Wild Hunt hears about the young princess Ciri and her newly bloomed powers, they hunt for her and her Elder Blood. This group of specters is originally seen to make their first appearance in Time of Contempt, which is the second book in the series after Blood of Elves. This arc from Time of Contempt raises the possibility of the addition of newer characters to The Witcher season 2.
These characters are Sigismund Dijkstra (Graham McTavish), Codringher (Simon Callow), Francesca Findabair (Mecia Simson), and Lydia Van Bredevoort (Aisha Fabienne Ross). Yennefer and Geralt also reconnect in Time of Contempt, this time on a more personal level. Which is why if Netflix’s version wants Yennefer to return, it would have to heavily depend on Time of Contempt, thus using the story of The Wild Hunt and their quest for finding Ciri.
Yennefer’s story in Blood of Elves is all about her training Ciri after she leaves Kaer Morhen and becoming her teacher. While in Time of Contempt, the sorceress and princess Cirilla are seen continuing their training of becoming the masters of magic at Aretuza. Netflix’s The Witcher might be all about Geralt of Rivia, but season 2 will have its primary story revolving around Ciri.
Exploring her powers and gaining control of her new found abilities, while also developing relationships with the main characters like Geralt and Yennefer and Triss and the other witchers at Kaer Morhen, Cirilla’s story in season 2 will take some sharp and interesting turns after Cintra is attacked by Nilfgaard and the army is constantly on the hunt for her. Another uncharted territory in the story is the real reason why Nilfgaard is so hell-bent on finding princess Cirilla. As surprisingly huge as the reason is in the books, it is impossible for season 2 to show anything about it yet.
There is still a lot of ground to deal with before getting there, and while this season solely focuses on Ciri, the introduction of so many new characters still poses a question. Whether these characters will play an important role and been seen throughout the season or their appearance will be limited to an episode or two like they did with some characters in season 1 is yet to be determined. Regardless, the season 2 plot setting looks quite sturdy for the time being.