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.
A bloody Geralt in the streets of Blaviken, likely after fighting Emma Appleton’s Princess Renfri and her thugs in the Pilot episode
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.
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.
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.
Freya Allan in the snow. The next time we see snow in the trailer, we also see blood and corpses. Stay safe, Ciri!
Back to Aretuza, we have mages convening (including a potential look at Vilgefortz) and young 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!
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.
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.
Cintra prepares for war.
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?
Tissaia: “Yennefer, imagine the most powerful woman in the world.”
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.
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.
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.
A girl(?) running through the woods. This could be Ciri, or perhaps the young Renfri who escapes from Creyden.
Yennefer, fully formed.
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.
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.
“The Worst Monsters” – and cut back to the striga.
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.
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.
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.
Ciri being found by the dryads.
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.
More shots of Geralt in Blaviken, this time using a witcher Sign.
Tissaia casting a spell.
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).
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:
- There was no Jaskier (played by Joey Batey) in this trailer.
- Geralt appears in none of the Brokilon scenes in the trailer, and Ciri seems to be alone with the dryads.
- As expected, the show will be elaborating on the Ciri-Calanthe relationship. Ciri’s loss will surely be hard to watch.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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”
I have not checked that with the books, but isn’t the tree the Ygdrassil, as mentioned in Ciri’s “Lady of the Worlds” arc? Thank you Redanians for your service.
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.
Awesome job! Thanks for the breakdown.
The tree appears in “The swallow Tower ” in Yennefer’s Vision, as she is visiting a temple on the Skellige island.
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…”