Redanian Archives: Behind the Scenes of The Witcher, Part IV

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After a short break, we’re back with another entry of Redanian Archives. For those unfamiliar, this series catalogues The Witcher‘s production week by week, with behind-the-scenes pictures and comparisons to released footage. Part IV will cover the crew’s return to Monostori Erod, where an important sequence was filmed: the Battle of Cintra.

Week 7: Blood and Snow

During the production’s seventh week of filming, one of the show’s units returned to Origo Studios to film internal scenes. The second unit traveled back to Fort Monostor at the Hungarian-Slovakian border. With blood, smoke, and fire in a passage familiar to us from the show’s teaser, it’s clear that the sequence filmed here was the Fall of Cintra.

The crew preparing for the shoot. Winter in Hungary
A look inside Fort Monostor
Lighting rigs used for the night shoot
Showrunner Lauren Hissrich and her assistant Tera Vale during the filming of the fall of Cintra
Fake blood sprayed on the snow at Fort Monostor
Maciej Musial, who plays original character Sir Lazlo, with executive producer Tomek Baginski
Is this also in Fort Monostor, or is it a different location?
A wall at Fort Monostor
Smoke and fire in the corridor at Fort Monostor
The fall of Cintra, as seen in the teaser. Nilfgaardian riders slaughtering innocents, and the castle burning in the background. This will be one of the season’s most memorable sequences

Actors present on location for the Fall of Cintra include lead actress Freya Allan, who plays Princess Ciri, Maciej Musial who plays her knight protector Sir Lazlo, Adam Levy, who plays the druid (and friend of Cintra) Mousesack and possibly Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, who plays King Eist Tuirseach. On the Nilfgaardian side, we have Eamon Farren, who portrays the black knight Cahir Mawr Dyffryn Aep Ceallach.

An illustration of Cahir and Ciri during the Fall of Cintra, beautifully drawn by DeviantArt’s Shinobi2u. It’s likely Cahir will first confront Ciri in this sequence in the show

Farren was invited for an interview with the UK’s Daily Express shortly after filming this sequence, and this is what he had to say:

“It kicked arse,” said Eamon of filming The Witcher, which is currently shooting in Budapest. “It feels like a dream to be able as an actor to, you know, be able to walk on a set like that and and fight and ride horses and yell those words. It’s what the young Eamon always wanted to do.”

Eamon Farren via the Daily Express

During the seventh week of filming, the crew also filmed interior scenes in Origo Studios. Some of them, we know, involved the sorceresses of Aretuza: Anya Chalotra‘s Yennefer of Vengerberg and MyAnna Buring‘s Tissaia de Vries. Below is a cute picture shared on MyAnna’s Instagram. Additionally, Gudmundur Thorvaldsson was present either for filming or costume fitting.

Gudmundur Thorvaldsson, who plays the original character Remus, catching up with fellow Icelander Björn Hlynur Haraldsson.

Week 8: The week before Christmas

Week 8 was the final week before the cast and crew took off for Christmas. During this week, the crew resumed filming at Origo Studios and also around Fort Monostor, this time focussing on the surrounding forests. These scenes include Ciri’s escape from Cintra as she runs through the snowy forests on her own.

A little snowman in the crew parking lot
Leaves covered in frosted snow, near the filming location
A crew member feeding birds on location
The prosthetics team carrying a can full of fake blood
The snowy woods outside Fort Monostor, seen behind Ciri in the teaser
The crew wrapping before sunset
Freya Allan as Ciri in the same location. It’s likely she is staring at the ruins of her home
Inside the forest, where they would film in the night
A nightshoot in the forest. Seeing as the Fall of Cintra happens at night, it’s possible Ciri runs in the snow through the night and until the sun rises
A snowy forest familiar from the teaser trailer
Freya Allan running in the snow, in what appears to be the same location
Another shot of Freya seen in the teaser

Other than Freya Allan, we know of two other actors who were in Budapest for filming. The first is Royce Pierreson, who plays Yennefer’s love interest Istredd. In his Instagram post below, he writes about his experience filming for The Witcher. Next is actress Ella-Rae Smith, whose role is yet unknown. Ella-Rae shared pictures from Budapest, which points to her filming her scenes around that time.

With filming of week 8 wrapped, the cast and crew were released for the Christmas break, and we’ll end this article on that note. In the next Redanian Archives, we’ll be diving into the show’s filming in the month of January. See you soon!

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