In this Redanian Archives, we’ll take a look behind the scenes of The Witcher’s filming in weeks 15 and 16 and, from what we can tell, it appears the show will stray quite significantly from the books. Read on for all we know about the filming of The Last Wish, a surprising duo filming in Cintra, our guess regarding “Doppler Cahir” and, as always, exciting pictures from the set of The Witcher.
Week 15: The Last Wish and a Mousesack Surprise
Week 15 marks director Charlotte Brandstrom‘s first in directing The Witcher. Helming episodes 5 and 6, Brandstorm began with the former’s adaption of The Last Wish. Other than Anya and Henry (who star as the iconic couple Yennefer and Geralt), a trio of actors from this episode were present for filming. Roger Ringrose (Beau Berrant), Richard van Weyden (Giant Bald Guard) and Joachim Paul Assbock (Middle Aged Man) enjoyed a night out after wrapping their roles. Also associated with episode 5 (via IMDb) is Anita Olatunji, who wrapped her filming that week as well.
Given the circumstances, it’s likely that Joey Batey (Jaskier) and Lucas Englander (Chireadan) were also present. The town of Rinde, the setting of this short story, appears to have been filmed in the Mafilm Studios town set.
During Week 15, Adam Levy shared a picture on Instagram which implies his character Mousesack shared a scene with Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer. The image shows chairs titled with each of their names, which seem to be inside the Cintra hall set (the floor tiles match those of Cintra seen in various shots in the trailer). If this is truly the case, it would signal a significant departure from the novels, where Yennefer never visited Cintra or shared a scene with Mousesack. Though that would certainly be interesting, it’s also possible Adam and Anya were just having a laugh at our expense. Also filming with Adam was Freya Allan (Ciri).
Towards the end of the week, Adele Oni arrived as well. She plays Tea, one of two warrior women who shadow Borch Three Jackdaws (whose actor remains unknown). It is likely Adele came for a costume test, as many did around that time, but it’s also possible filming had begun for her storyline. Actor Ben Wiggins was also still in Budapest.
Week 16: Doppler Cahir
Week 16 brought numerous cast members in for a costume fitting ahead of the filming in the Canary Islands the following week. Interestingly, both Shaun Dooley and Jade Croot were there at the same time. As Dooley plays King Foltest, we have been speculating that Croot could be playing Princess Adda, but her CV only lists her as Princess Adelaide. Close enough, but we cannot say for certain.
Meanwhile, an exchange of follows between Adele Oni and Eamon Farren (who plays Cahir) implies both were in Budapest that week. Another notable actor showing his presence is Benjamin Chaffin, who plays a character called Doppler Cahir. A doppler is essentially the Continent’s version of a shapeshifter. Chaffin listed his director as Charlotte Brandstrom, narrowing down his episode to 5 or 6.
So, how does Cahir get involved with a doppler? One possible option is that Wilson Radjou Puljate’s original character Dara is, himself, that doppler. We know that Ciri is looking for Dara when she enters Brokilon in a scene showed to the audience of San Diego Comic Con (presumably in episode 5, via a dryad listing on IMDb). Perhaps Dara, who befriends Ciri, holds off Cahir and impersonates him to allow her to escape. As for evidence that Dara is the doppler? Wilson underwent a facial scan before the show’s production kicked off. It’s possible that this scan would later be used to generate Dara’s doppler transformations. The actor was, as well, in Budapest during this week- so he may have filmed for the same scene.
But that’s enough speculation. Week 16 yielded some very interesting pictures, including a warehouse full of horse mannequins.
All these dead horses remind us of one shot from the show’s teaser trailer, a carriage in the snow surrounded by the mutilated corpses of soldiers and horses. The scene in question is part of an early episode 4 sequence in which Yennefer tries to protect a Lyrian Queen (played by Isobel Laidler) from another mage (played by Marcin Czarnik). Seeing as that sequence, also glimpsed in the trailer and extensively leaked during filming, was resumed the following week in the Canaries, it’s likely that they filmed the carriage scene during Week 16- and that would explain these horses.
Meanwhile, the crew prepped for a month of filming across the sea in the Canary Islands. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich shared a picture of her with director and executive producer Alik Sakharov, her “partner in crime”. Later, Lauren met with the casting director and some of the cast (including Joey Batey) in London for dinner ahead of their flight to the Canaries.
And that’ll be all for this entry of Redanian Archives. Next time, we’ll be covering the first two weeks of filming in the Canary Islands- including the first extensive set leak featuring Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer.