The Witcher Season 2: Retrospect and Preview

by Tom Hartig on December 9, 2021

It has been two years since Geralt of Rivia has found Cirilla the lion cub of Cintra in the forest around Sodden. For both a long way in Season 1 until destiny brought them together. However, even more exciting than the stories up to the meeting will be those that will follow in the Witcher Season 2. For soon the time will come and Geralt and Ciri will begin their journey together. 

But what has actually happened up to this point? This is a question that can indeed be asked two years after the first season premiere. Especially when you consider how many different time periods the last season took place in. In order to save you hours of research on the internet, we have summarized the key facts for you. In addition, we will give you a small preview of what we can expect in the second season, keeping it as spoiler-free as possible.

What Has Happened So Far

Admittedly, the first season was certainly confusing for many Witcher newcomers, so that you may have seen it two or three times at best. That's why we decided to reconstruct the story chronologically: Long before Ciri was born, in 1206, the then 14-year-old Yennefer of Vengerberg was brought to Aretuza by the sorceress Tissaia to begin her training in magic. For four years she had to endure much until she was finally transferred to the court of the King of Aedirn after her transformation. 21 years later, this is where our witcher Geralt of Rivia walks onto the stage. In the city of Blaviken he meets the young Renfri, who is supposed to be a woman of Lilit. Therefore, the wizard Stregobor requests Geralt's help to kill her for him. The witcher refuses at first. However, since Renfri cannot refrain from hunting the wizard, Geralt gets in her way and kills her. Shortly before her death, she reveals the witcher's fate by telling him that a girl in the forest is his destiny. As a result of the fight, Geralt is given his legendary title: the Butcher of Blaviken. 

He spends nine years wandering the world with his bad reputation, until he meets the bard Dandelion in a dirty tavern. The latter promises to restore his reputation. He joins him to hunt down and kill a local devil. In the end, though, they are captured by Filavandrel, the king of the elves. With some luck, they are able to talk their way out of the situation, and this is how the song "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" came into being. Another nine years go by until Dandelion asks Geralt for a favor. He is asked to accompany him to the court of Cintra, where the wedding ceremony of Pavetta, the daughter of Queen Calanthe, is taking place. The bard is sadly not safe there, as he has already gotten lost in some of the highborn's bedrooms and many kings want to see him dead. So Geralt goes along with him as his personal bodyguard. During the ceremony things go awry when the knight Duny of the Alder Forest enters the hall and by the Law of Surprise demands Pavetta to be his consort. Years ago he saved her father's life in a battle and the latter promised him "whatever he had left at home without knowing or expecting it." After a long struggle in the great hall, Calanthe tries to slay him with her own hands, until Pavetta herself intervenes and shows her magical powers. Not knowing of her power nor being able to control it, she is about to destroy everything, until Geralt manages to stop her. Ultimately, Calanthe agrees to Duny's request, and the latter promises Geralt a favor. The witcher, without thinking twice, asks for the same thing as the knight himself: the Law of Surprise. He does not realize that this will make Cirilla his destiny, since the princess is already pregnant with her. 

Seven long years pass before Geralt and Yennefer finally cross paths. Yennefer is tasked with helping him remove a djinni from Dandelion. She accepts, albeit with the ulterior motive of using him to finally be able to have children. In the end, both barely escape death and develop feelings for each other. 

However, it will take them five years to see each other again. Both are hired to hunt a dragon, in spite of the fact that these creatures are considered extinct. Eventually, they protect the last golden dragon, but part ways in a final quarrel. Following the confrontation with Yen, Geralt sets off for Cintra to claim his Child of Providence. Once there, however, Calanthe is unwilling to hand over Cirilla to him. Having raised the young princess after her parents died in a shipwreck, she tries to outsmart Geralt by giving him a different child. When he finds out, he is imprisoned by the queen. The queen is cautioned that she will bring great disaster upon her kingdom if she goes against providence, but she ignores the warnings of all her advisors. Shortly thereafter, Cintra is attacked and overrun by Nilfgaard. In the massacre of Cintra, nearly everyone in the city is slain, with only a few able to escape, including the Witcher and Ciri. Dying, Calanthe informs her granddaughter of her fate and instructs her to find Geralt of Rivia. As she flees, she discovers to have the same powers as her mother. While Ciri now tries to get as far away from Cintra as possible, Geralt chases after her. 

Concerned by the growing force of the Nilfgaardian Empire, a group of wizards sets out to stop the advancing army, among them Yennefer. At the Battle of Sodden, they attempt to halt the advance until the Northern Kingdoms can unite their armies against Nilfgaard. In the process, nearly all the wizards are killed. Not far from the scene of the battle, Ciri has been taken in by a peasant family, while Geralt in turn travels with the family's father. Once arrived at the farm, he runs into the forest, where he at last finds his Child of Surprise.

The Cast

Of all the heroes that appeared to us in the first season, only four remain in Season 2. Fortunately, nothing has changed regarding this cast, so we can still see Henry Cavill as Geralt, Freya Allan as Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer and Joey Batey as Dandelion. Yet there will be some visual changes, as we have already seen in the trailer and from set pictures. The producers are addressing the criticism of some fans who felt that the armor in the series was too plain and that it was more splendid in the video games. So not only will Geralt be given a makeover, but the troops of Nilfgaard also will receive brand-new equipment. There will be one change on the set, however: Our hearts are bleeding, but Geralt's faithful companion and mount Roach will most likely be played by a new horse in Season 2. At least that's what the pictures we have seen so far from the set suggest. 

Vesemir is certainly eagerly-awaited. After his animated film, Geralt's instructor and mentor is finally making his big appearance in the live-action series. The old witcher is played by Kim Bodnia. Still, he is not the only famous character from Kaer Morhen that we know from the books and the video game. The witchers Eskel, Coën and Lambert will also get a part. Many fans of the books are probably looking forward to Nivellen, the cursed man from "A Grain of Truth", a short story in the Geralt saga. 

Exciting for the plot beyond the old keep will surely be the role of Queen Meve. Queen Meve is the warrior queen of Rivia and Lyria and plays a significant role in the Second Nilfgaardian War. Moreover, we will also see a couple of minor parts from the first season return in the eight episodes. We are already looking forward to Tissaia, Filavandrel, Vilgefortz, Stregobor, Fringilla and Istredd.

The Plot

Since the books are done, some of the storyline can already be deduced. Without spoiling much, we will just cover the basics, so you can get an idea of the plot. Season 2 will begin right after the Battle of Sodden, when Geralt finds the graves of the deceased wizards in search of Yennefer. As you can probably figure, hers is not among them. She was captured by Fringilla and the surviving forces of Nilfgaard. He heads off to Kaer Morhen with Ciri, as he believes she will only be safe there. She will begin her training with Vesemir, while Geralt himself goes on a monster hunt again. A separate storyline will also be given to Yennefer and Ciri. Yennefer, who is unable to bear children due to the ceremony, develops maternal feelings for the lion cub and henceforth begins to protect her like Geralt. Besides, the politics in the country will be playing a role as well. As seen at the end of Season 1, the Northern Kingdoms have allied against Nilfgaard and sent their army to Sodden. This leads to a very fragile truce. It lasts exactly four years, until the beginning of the Second Nilfgaardian war. 

As you can see, a longer span of time will be covered again. Unlike Season 1, however, the story will be told chronologically this time. For those who want to read the books first, the stories that will be adapted in Season 2 are from "Blood of Elves", "A Grain of Truth", "A Shard of Ice" and "Season of Storms".

Alright, now you are well prepared for the Second Season of "The Witcher". On Friday, December 17, the season will finally start!

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