Although filming has been over for about three weeks, you might have noticed by now that Redanian Intelligence is not nearly done with the scoops for Season 1 of The Witcher. We’re happy to share with you information about filming that occurred in February at the Hungarian Tarnok quarry.
The story is this: on the week of February 4 (more precisely February 6, 7 and 8), the filming crew were seen to be hanging around a quarry. While it’s not clear what they’d been filming there, we have several clues that could shed some light. First up is this piece of decoration – a face with a third eye and a tear running down its cheek.
We’ve searched far and wide and this decorative face is not a natural feature of the quarry. It seems that the production team added it to the existing rock to achieve a specific look for the series. What is it for? Our guess is as good as yours, as this does not resemble anything described in the books.
The next photos suggest that these were night shoots, as the crew was arriving by the evening and finishing late at night.
As for the cast, we know that Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina), MyAnna Buring (Tissaia), Gudmundur Thorvaldsson (Remus) and possibly Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla) and Andrey Kurganov (Tsoka) were filming in Budapest at this time.
While we can’t be sure if the first two are related to this shoot (there were two filming units after all), we are certain that Gudmundur was there. On February 6, he shared a photo from Soskut, a small town very close to the Tarnok quarry. He captioned it, “Lunch of Witchhunters”.
Social media activity connects Gudmundur to Andrey Kurganov. Both men play original characters, and it appears that they are witchhunters. Neither Remus nor Tsoka — their characters — appear in the books. What witches could they be hunting? Well, social media also connects Gudmundur to Mimi, with sorceress Fringilla being a person who could easily be called a witch by more narrow-minded people. The same goes for Sabrina and Tissaia.
Interestingly, right on February 7, producer Tomek Baginski posted on his Facebook page a photo taken in the quarry. According to Tomek, the photo was taken by writer Declan de Barra, who wrote the script for Episode 4. Does this mean the scenes shot here were for this episode? It’s quite likely. Writers, if they visit a set, usually turn up when their episodes are filming.
Another piece of puzzle that could be related to this shoot was a casting call by Extras Casting Hungary. The call required little people for a one-day shoot on February 8. The extras would feature heavy make-up and beards and would “look like Gimli or Thorin”. This can only mean dwarves.
As we mentioned above, there were two filming units often working simultaneously, so we can’t say for sure if the casting call was related to the Tarnok shoot. Nonetheless, the location itself does look like where you’d expect to find dwarves.
Now, let’s take a look at the quarry itself in these pictures. For more, visit the gallery on the official website of the Tarnok quarry.
So, we have likely witchhunters Remus and Tsoka at this location, possibly in Episode 4, interacting with Fringilla and perhaps other sorceresses. How do the dwarves fit in? Is it really Episode 4? How many sorceresses exactly do they interact with? What does the quarry stand in for in-universe? What’s that “face”? These are the questions that remain and will only be answered in six months. Until then, stay tuned for more scoops.