Frame-by-frame Analysis of The Witcher’s First Trailer

In case you missed it: here’s the full trailer, in all its glory. Read on for an in-depth analysis

The Witcher’s panel at San Diego Comic Con 2019 concluded with the show’s first trailer, and it was BIG. As is our duty, Redanian Intelligence is here with an in-depth, frame-by-frame analysis of the trailer: including new castings, spectacular scenes, and our first look at the Continent.

The trailer begins with Geralt walking through a town, as the townfolk shy away. This is most likely the show’s Blaviken, in the Pilot episode.

Next is our first look (of many) at Geralt’s fight with the striga, Adda the White. This scene was directed by Alex Garcia Lopez for the third episode.

Geralt grabbing a sconce
And striking!

A bloody Geralt in the streets of Blaviken, likely after fighting Emma Appleton’s Princess Renfri and her thugs in the Pilot episode

Thank you, Netflix!

Our next scene takes us to the forests of Brokilon! Here, we are introduced to two new cast members, who appear to be Braenn and Eithne.

Brokilon, filmed on location at La Zarza in La Palma island
This must be Eithne! If you know who this actress is, please let us know
Freya Allan’s Ciri and the dryad who must be Braenn. Is her actress Ella-Rae Smith?

Fringilla Vigo, as played by Mimi Ndiweni, on horseback, trailed by two Nilfgaardian soldiers in their now-infamous armor

Hunchback Yennefer, before her transformation into the sorceress we know. We can consider the long-teased flashback scenes confirmed. They’re rumored to be in either episode 3 or 4.

Geralt lurking. Isn’t he a handsome guy?

MyAnna Buring’s Tissaia demonstrating levitation magic.

A mysterious man draws his sword. Are we looking at Gudmundur Thorvaldsson’s Remus?

A fight in the halls of Cintra. It appears to be a fight between Duny and the Cintran knights, as it looks quite similar to that sequence later in the trailer. The third image stands out.

It’s possible this scene is from a different sequence. What we see here appears to be actress Imogen Daines’s character Danica, with death and chaos around her. Is this from the fight with Duny? Or perhaps from the sack of Cintra, later in the season?

Hunchback Yennefer and a clean-shaven Istredd. This is another flashback scene to Yen’s early days as a student at the Aretuza school of sorceresses.

Istredd, played by Royce Pierreson
A younger Yennefer, before her transformation
Thank you, Andrzej Sapkowski!
The school of Aretuza, on the isle of Thanedd, connected by a bridge to the city of Gors Velen. Very book accurate!
And more from Aretuza. Therica Wilson-Read’s Sabrina being terrified of MyAnna Buring’s Tissaia, as she should be!

Freya Allan in the snow. The next time we see snow in the trailer, we also see blood and corpses. Stay safe, Ciri!

The flag of Cintra burning, likely after the city is sacked by Nilfgaard

Back to Aretuza, we have mages convening (including a potential look at Vilgefortz) and young Yennefer’s rage

Sorcerers convening in a beautiful shot. One of them (in red, perhaps?) may well be Vilgefortz. But it’s hard to tell for sure.
Yennefer looking into a mirror. She’s not happy
The mirror, the first of many victims of Yennefer’s rage

Blood on snow. Corpses. And Lyrian shields. It could be related to the scene with Ciri in the snow, but your guess is as good as ours!

Henry Cavill was patient, but now it’s time for Geralt to get his due. We begin with another look at the fight with the striga from episode 3. Cue, chains!

Behind Geralt, notice Adda’s sarcophagus. In the books, he sleeps there while awaiting her transformation back from monster form
Geralt is pale, clearly under the influence of several potions

Geralt and Roach, alone in the woods.

Geralt in the abandoned castle of Wyzim, where he eventually fights the striga. And also the striga’s hands, dripping with the blood of her most recent victim.

Geralt trying to remember if he fed the cat
The claws of the striga, coming for a certain brooding witcher

Shirtless Henry Cavill and Triss, played by Anna Shaffer. Geralt seems to be severely wounded, and this is likely after his fight with the striga, as Triss will be nearby at Wyzim.

‘So that’s all life is to you? Monsters and money?
‘It’s all it needs to be.

Cintra prepares for war.

In the center: Freya Allan as Ciri, Jodhi May as her grandmother Calanthe and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Calanthe’s husband Eist Tuirseach. Flanking them on either side are the knights Sir Lazlo, played by Maciej Musial, and Ser Danek, played by Tobi Bamtefa. But who is that knight kneeling before the royal family?
Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, the Lion Cub of Cintra
Adam Levy (and his glorious beard) in our first official look at the druid Mousesack (known as Ermion in the games). He appears to be lecturing a reluctant Geralt about the existence of destiny, and his responsibility over Ciri
Geralt definitely didn’t feed the cat

And now, something entirely unexpected. Ciri in a desert. Fans of the books might remember Korath, but that only happens much later in the books. Perhaps this is a dream sequence?

Filming for this scene was done in the Maspalomas beach on Gran Canaria
A tree?

Tissaia: “Yennefer, imagine the most powerful woman in the world.”

Another look in the mirror. Yennefer still doesn’t like herself, doesn’t believe in herself. But Tissaia will change that
Shut your eyes, Yennefer
And when you open them
(Purple eyes, check)

It appears that, as suggested in the books, Tissaia will help reshape Yennefer into the feisty woman we meet in the novels and games. She begins as a hunchback who sees in herself no future … and becomes Yennefer of Vengerberg.

This and the below picture are from the filming at Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria. We have a few leaked pictures from that scene. It involves Yennefer protecting a woman and her baby from what appears to be another mage, played by Marcin Czarnik
I don’t believe that mage knows who he’s dealing with

Yennefer’s transformation.

Tissaia will be changing more than just the color of Yen’s eyes
Yennefer is born

Nilfgaard is coming, and we get to see a battle on the open field (likely the Battle of Marnadal). On the Cintran side, we have Queen Calanthe, the Lioness of Cintra, in full battle armor. Opposing her are the Nilfgaardians, wearing… that.

The Nilfgaardians arrive, their army outnumbering Calanthe’s
The Lioness of Cintra, fighting to the bitter end. But this fight is already lost
Nilfgate 2.0
Yep… It’s still there

Ciri at Cintra, looking terrified.

The sack of Cintra, as filmed in Fort Monostor, Hungary. Following a victory on the field, Nilfgaard takes the castle, and Ciri must make her escape. That looks like her in the bottom-right corner.

Another shot of Freya’s Ciri, this time surrounded by magical light. Ciri is a Source, and we might see her powers come into play in the first season.

And immediately after, a shot of Ciri’s mother Pavetta, also a Source, using her own powers. This is a scene readers of the book will find familiar, taken from the end of the short story A Question of Price.

Pavetta and Duny are surrounded by Cintran knights who aim to kill Duny, and the princess unleashes her magical powers, sending them flying in all directions
If you zoom in, you can see Duny’s face is properly similar to a hedgehog
Pavetta’s powers going haywire

A girl(?) running through the woods. This could be Ciri, or perhaps the young Renfri who escapes from Creyden.

Yennefer, fully formed.

Hello, Yennefer!

Geralt and Mousesack. Once again, Geralt appears unmoved. You will regret not listening to that druid, witcher.

Spoilers incoming! Calanthe returns from battle, but appears to be mortally wounded. “Find Geralt of Rivia,” she commands Ciri.

Calanthe, played by Jodhi May. This character does not survive the sack of Cintra in the books
This girl already lost her parents. Will she lose everything?

The Butcher of Blaviken, fighting Renfri’s band of outlaws on the muddy streets of Blaviken. This scene was reshot entirely for the Pilot episode.

Is that Nohorn who comes charging at Geralt?

“The Worst Monsters” – and cut back to the striga.

A skull in the crypt of old Wyzim. In the background, the sillhouette of the monster
The striga, as seen from behind

Ciri’s escape.

Another look at Ciri’s scene with the wounded Calanthe. She clearly does not want to leave her grandmother. Behind them is Sir Lazlo, the man who is supposed to escort her to safety
Ciri on the run

Yennefer and Geralt sharing a scene (the only one in the trailer where our main characters cross paths). A lot of nudity here. Perhaps this is a bath house. Our best guess is that this is Belleteyn, a scene from the final short story, Something More.

Yennefer playing the part of seductress to perfection. Notice the naked people in the background!
Geralt under Yennefer’s spell

Back to Cintra, and this time it’s Geralt fighting the knights who try to kill Duny. This is a sequence taken from A Question of Price, which will be adapted in episode 4.

The ponytail we know from the games
The show’s logline completed: “The only monsters are the ones we create”

Screaming miners?

And once again, the Cintran feast: here are some noblemen escaping the fighting.

Meanwhile, Geralt and Duny, cursed to have the face of a monster, fight the Cintran knights side by side. We have a great look at Duny’s hedgehog-head here.

Duny, played by Bart Edwards, and Geralt fighting in his feast attire

Ciri being found by the dryads.

Is this Braenn?
Ciri, wearing a cloak remarkably similar to the one in her other pictures, where she is running away. Is this a recurring costume for her?

Ciri and Sir Lazlo riding out of Cintra? Mousesack and Ciri riding into Cintra? It’s hard to tell, but this is clearly before the battle.

Yennefer in the rain, and someone watching in the background.

What is she doing here?

More shots of Geralt in Blaviken, this time using a witcher Sign.

A furious Geralt in the process of becoming the Butcher of Blaviken. In the back, stuntman Stephane Fio
Geralt casting a Sign

Tissaia casting a spell.

Is she opening a portal?

But it’s not over yet… Our final scene is Geralt facing a giant spider (or a kikimore), which may well be the show’s first monster (and possibly the show’s opening scene).

Spider legs emerging from the bog
Could this be the Kikimore, the monster Geralt drags into the town of Blaviken in the opening segment of The Lesser Evil? If so, it may well be the season’s cold open, as The Lesser Evil will be covered in the Pilot episode
Geralt on potions

And… that’s it!

We can place these scenes in specific episodes: Episode 1, Blaviken; Episode 3, the striga; Episode 4, Geralt and Duny at Cintra; the Aretuza scenes which belong to 3 or 4; and also the sack of Cintra, which will likely happen in episode 7. It seemed at first like Netflix gave us everything, but they held back just as much as they delivered. It’s possible that episodes 1, 3, 4 and 7 are the ones with completed SFX/CGI, or that Netflix wants to keep some things close to their chest. A few other key points come to mind:

  1. There was no Jaskier (played by Joey Batey) in this trailer.
  2. Geralt appears in none of the Brokilon scenes in the trailer, and Ciri seems to be alone with the dryads.
  3. As expected, the show will be elaborating on the Ciri-Calanthe relationship. Ciri’s loss will surely be hard to watch.
  4. Yennefer’s transformation under Tissaia’s tutelage will be the cornerstone of her arc, and it might take a few episodes until we meet the Yennefer we know from the books.
  5. We have two new actresses to identify, likely playing dryads Braenn and Eithne. The former may or may not be Ella-Rae Smith, who was confirmed for the show with an unknown role.
  6. We still don’t know in which episode Brokilon will take place, but based on the footage shown in the panel it appears Ciri goes there in search of her friend, Dara (Wilson Radjou).
  7. It’s safe to say Netflix is going all-in with The Witcher. I can’t remember them putting so much effort into a new show’s marketing before, and certainly not releasing a full trailer so early. This show will be big. Brace yourselves!

Expect another, more narrative-oriented analysis of the trailer in the next few days. Coming soon as well is a round-up of press interviews and a detailed recap of the panel at SDCC.

5 comments on “Frame-by-frame Analysis of The Witcher’s First Trailer”

  1. I think that blood on snow — it’s Yennefer and woman with baby. Then — Yennefer screaming in the rain, hurries up that woman (maybe a portal?). At the end — scene at Roque Nublo.

  2. The tree appears in “The swallow Tower ” in Yennefer’s Vision, as she is visiting a temple on the Skellige island.

  3. Great job, guys! There’s a small mistake in one caption, though.
    It should say: The show’s logline completed: “The worst monsters are the ones we create” instead of “The only monsters…”

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