Though our past few articles focused on the Nilfgaardian siege camp, it wasn’t the only location used for May’s third week of filming. The week’s second location was a lakeside forest by Gyarmatpuszta Hunting Lodge at Kumarom-Esztergom, Hungary. While a siege was waged at Paty, Pest, the filming at Gyarmatpuszta involved a more intimate shoot and a completely different cast. Lead actor Henry Cavill, our Geralt, was among them.
UPDATE: A source has now provided us a video taken on location, confirming that Freya Allan (who plays Princess Ciri) was indeed filming by the lake as first speculated here. To respect the young young actress’ privacy, we have chosen not to share this video here as it was originally shared on a private account. We will describe it instead.
The video shows Freya near the lake the morning after a night shoot. In the video, she is seen with Ciri’s iconic ashen hair (and a lot of dirt). Freya writes that she was filming night shoots all week long, which means she could have been filming scenes with Cavill (or perhaps filming in the Nilfgaardian camp after being snatched by a certain knight with wings on his helmet). Read the original article below for pictures of the crew on location and other cast members spotted by the lake.
The crew first arrived at Gyarmatpuszta on Monday, May 13, while continuing to film the siege camp sequence. Upon arrival, the crew quickly ran into the local wildlife (including boars and deer). The boars especially were a highlight, as they visited the set many times and are all over the crewmembers’ social media. Click here for a short video of the boars’ set visit, and scroll down for more pics and info.
As mentioned, Henry Cavill (who spent the weekend back home in Jersey for the Durrell Challenge) returned to Budapest and was almost certainly filming scenes at Gyarmatpuszta. Henry’s hair stylist, Jacqui Rathore, was on location; that means Henry must have been close by. Who else was on location with Henry? Several key cast members and one new one. Since they filmed there for six days straight, it’s quite possible that the forest will be used for multiple scenes and multiple locations in-universe, and potentially even in different episodes. The first cast member we will discuss is the newcomer.
Actor Jack Wolfe was on location on May 13 and was still in Budapest during the weekend. Though his CV has yet to mention The Witcher, we can’t imagine what else he’d be doing there. More interestingly, Kata Balogh, stunt actress and circus performer, was also on location. Kata has likely stunted for Therica Wilson-Read (who plays sorceress Sabrina) in the past as she was present at Egri Var’s mage filming several times. However, now that Therica has wrapped, it appears Kata is stunting for another role. With Freya Allan still in Budapest and since she matches Kata’s height and hairstyle, it’s quite possible these scenes will feature Ciri as well.
Which scenes could feature Geralt and Ciri together in the wilderness? Readers of the book will remember that Geralt and Ciri spent several days together as they traveled to the heart of Brokilon forest. It is important to note, however, that this is just speculation on our part (we were not able to confirm that Freya was here, so her filming may have been for the Nilfgaardian scenes).
Additionally, Jack Wolfe is now following season finale director Marc Jobst on twitter, which implies Marc was also on location (and that the Nilfgaardian siege was directed by another, likely Alik Sakharov). If all these scenes are indeed from the season one finale, Brokilon seems less likely, as it happens chronologically before the siege of Cintra. Keep in mind that these scenes might not all be part of the same sequence or even the same episode. However, if all of this shooting is for one sequence, these next two actors should come as a surprise.
On Saturday, May 18, Mate Haumann (whose role in the show is yet unknown) posted a video from what appears to be the exact same spot. A likely candidate for Mate’s character was Yurga, the farmer who saves Geralt in the books’ final short story (which will presumably be adapted for the season finale). However, the arrival of another cast member — also on Saturday — puts that theory to question. Mahesh Jadu, aka Vilgefortz, shared pictures from an area 10 minutes away from Gyarmatpuszta and later shared pictures of a filming location which is most likely near where the rest of the action took place. With Mahesh and Mate on location at the same time, it seems likely they will be sharing a scene, perhaps with other actors as well.
Heading into the weekend and long after the crew wrapped filming for the Nilfgaardian siege camp, the show continued filming scenes in this lakeside forest. The focus appears to have shifted towards night shoots, as several crew members and even showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich herself were present from dusk till dawn. “We’ve been doing exterior nightshoots for two weeks with a lot of rain and temperatures in the low-mid 40s,” says a crew member on social media. “We’ve been bundled up each evening in many layers of clothing and boots. Summertime in Hungary!”
Are all of these scenes part of the season finale, or do they belong to various episodes? Do they stand for the same location, or multiple places in the show’s story? Or, perhaps, will they all stand in for Sodden, as we see various groups of characters journeying through it in the season finale? As of now, your guess is as good as ours. Hopefully all will be revealed soon as filming of The Witcher reaches its final lap.
Stay tuned with Redanian Intelligence as we have a number of posts coming up (some soon, others later on) which are sure to ease the troubling silence of the coming news drought.