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

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During the production of The Witcher‘s first season, the show filmed in five different countries. In the next few entries of Redanian Archives, we’ll explore the show’s filming in the Canary Islands, where tourists and local news sites were able to give us our first proper look at the show’s filming on location. Read on for some exciting leaks featuring Yennefer in costume and flashback scenes with Stregobor.

Week 17: Gran Canaria

With production moving to the Canaries the previous week, the cast and crew regrouped in the island of Gran Canaria, where they would film for the duration of Week 17. The first few days yielded some incredible pictures from the crew. Soon after, we were treated to a series of incredible leaks – including our first looks at Anya Chalotra in costume as Yennefer of Vengerberg and Lars Mikkelsen as the mage Stregobor. We’ll elaborate on each leak separately, of course, but first, pictures from the crew. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich was kind enough to deliver a picture from the beautiful sets almost every day of the week.

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Monday. ♥️⚔️🐺

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A crew picture from the same location. Filming with a crane over a beautiful lake
Another shot of the filming on the lakebed
Drone filming in Gran Canaria
A town in Gran Canaria where the crew was located
Filming at Agaete beach. Could this be where they filmed the scene shown at the panel in Comic Con, featuring Yennefer talking to a dead baby by the beach?
Another crew pic from the beach

Next up is a landscape full of rocks, shrubs and cacti. With Henry Cavill‘s “key costumer” on location, we know that this scene involves Geralt of Rivia. More importantly, we think one shot from the trailer might have been filmed on location.

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Tuesday. ♥️

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The location: Fatagas, Gran Canaria
Another crew pic from Fatagas, notice the above rock formation
A shot of Geralt from the trailer which may well have been filmed in Fatagas

Soon after, Cavill shared a video of his morning run around the forest near The Witcher‘s base camp.

Afterward, production took to a plateau in Cuevas Blancas to film a flashback scene for the pilot episode’s adaption of the short story The Lesser Evil. Here, we see Lars Mikkelsen in costume as the mage Stregobor alongside Inge Beckmann‘s heartless queen Aridea. The two are presumably conspiring against the young Princess Renfri. The younger Renfri will be played by Lila Prideaux and, though she was not spotted, it is likely she was on hand for filming. The grown-up Renfri, Millie Brady, was also in Gran Canaria at the time (and was later replaced by Emma Appleton). Also present is the young actress Elle McGhie, who plays a childhood friend of Renfri’s (the girl crying in the footage below).

Lars Mikkelsen and Inge Beckmann spotted filming
Filming flashbacks for the pilot episode, with Lars Mikkelsen in costume
A wall near Cuevas Blancas, the filming location, as shared by the crew
This is how it looks from above, via Google

Next is the site of one of the season’s most famous leaks: the peak of Roque Nublo. Here, the crew gathered to film an important Yennefer scene which featured in the show’s first teaser. Before we address the present cast, let’s enjoy the scenery.

The amazing view from Roque Nublo, the backdrop of an important action set-piece in Yennefer’s storyline
A double rainbow makes this view even more beautiful
A googled image of Roque Nublo. The crew filmed on the platform near the rocks, with the view behind them
Stunt co-ordinator Vladimir Furdik at Roque Nublo
Sunset at Roque Nublo
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Wednesday. ♥️

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Filming at Roque Nublo lasted a couple of days. The scene filmed there was directed by Alex Garcia Lopez for the show’s fourth episode, as one of the show’s clapperboards later revealed. This being one of Gran Canaria’s primary tourist locations, the production was unable to prevent the leaks.

The crew at Roque Nublo, surrounded by tourists
Marcin Czarnik’s hooded mage

Now that we’re familiar with the location, let’s dive into one of the season’s juiciest leaks. At the peak of Roque Nublo, a scene was filmed involving Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Isobel Laidler (Queen Kalis of Lyria), a baby (the daughter of the queen) and Marcin Czarnik (a mage intent on killing or capturing that baby). Yennefer attempts to protect the queen and her child from Czarnik’s mage, but it appears that she is the only one to survive this struggle. Below are the first leaked pictures of cast members in costume, and the relevant images from the trailer.

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Thursday. ♥️

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Scene 4.20, meaning the twentieth scene of the fourth episode. As a comparison, the Blaviken fight scene filmed during reshoots was marked 1.355, suggesting the scene at Roque Nublo happens very early in the fourth episode
Director Alex Garcia Lopez on location
Marcin Czarnik (role unknown), Isobel Laidler (Queen Kalis of Lyria), star Anya Chalotra (Yennefer of Vengerberg) and director Alex Garcia Lopez
On the left is Marcin Czarnik’s stunt double, who literally took the fall for the actor in a video linked below
Costume, hair and makeup prep
The cast getting ready for a rehearsal
What appears to be an inflatable mattress on which Czarnik’s stunt double would be flung during the fight with Yennefer

Below are two videos of the rehearsals for the scene at Roque Nublo involving the above-mentioned actors. Take a look at the exciting footage shared by a tourist on Reddit. The third video, via Instagram, shows Czarnik’s stunt double falling backwards while Czarnik himself watches from behind the camera.

Yennefer and the queen both fall to the ground, grunting, presumably because they just jumped through a portal (teleportation is physically taxing in The Witcher)
Wetting Anya’s hair ahead of the actual filming
Chalotra’s Yennefer faces off against Czarnik’s mage, Laidler’s Queen Kalis and her baby having fallen

An exciting leak, indeed. This scene does not appear in Andrzej Sapkowski‘s novels, but is part of an original storyline developed for Yennefer. This sequence happens in the episode following her transformation from hunchback and will see Yennefer fail to protect the Lyrian queen and her baby. Below are the relevant shots from the show’s first teaser.

RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s How The Witcher Will Adapt Yennefer’s Story in Season One

An angry Yennefer at the peak of Roque Nublo
Marcin Czarnik’s mage is in big trouble

Following the wrap at Roque Nublo, filming took to another location familiar from the trailer: the dunes of Maspalomas Beach. Here, the crew resumed filming of the teleportation sequence that ends in Roque Nublo, plus a key moment in Ciri‘s storyline. Below, we take a look at images shared by local news website La Provincia.

A crew tent outside the location, via La Provincia
This is where they filmed a scene that happens prior to the Roque Nublo sequence
Cast and crew gather for filming
Here we can see Czarnik and Laidler, alongside a Lyrian soldier
A picture of Maspalomas beach taken by crew during filming
The crew walking the dunes
Vladimir Furdik at Maspalomas
The dunes of Maspalomas

Also at Gran Canaria the same week is the show’s young star Freya Allan, who plays the princess-on-the-run Ciri. One shot from the teaser shows Ciri in a desert which can only be Maspalomas Beach. Why is Ciri in a desert? Likely for a dream sequence or vision.

Ciri, on the dunes of Maspalomas
This is also an original scene for the show

RELATED ARTICLE: Here’s How We Think The Witcher is Adapting Ciri’s Story

Towards the end of the week, the show filmed additional scenes in some of Gran Canaria’s beautiful forests. One forest of pines appears to be the location of another scene from the pilot episode featuring Millie Brady, Shane Attwooll, Matthew Neal and Luke Neal (Renfri and her crew of outlaws). It’s important to note that The Witcher‘s pilot underwent significant reshoots; all these actors were recast.

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Friday. ♥️

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Possibly the same forest, shared by a crew member
An unfortunately small trailer, belonging to Matthew Neal’s Nymir
Renfri’s bandit crew during a shoot, from left to right: Shane Attwooll (Nohorn), Matthew Neal (Nymir), Luke Neal (Vyr). All were recast
Tejeda, Gran Canaria
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Saturday. No rest. All good. ♥️

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RELATED ARTICLE: The Witcher’s Pilot Reshoots: Renfri’s Band Identified, and Everything We Know

And that’s it for this part of Redanian Archives. Next up we have the cast and crew moving to the island of La Palma to film in lava fields and hunt a golden dragon.

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