Redanian Archives IX: Behind the Scenes of The Witcher’s Filming in the Canary Islands

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In this Redanian Archives, we’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at The Witcher‘s filming on the beautiful island of La Palma. With the show’s release this coming December, La Palma island will become the Continent’s Dragon Mountains, where Geralt and Yennefer join the hunt for a golden dragon, as well as the beautiful Brokilon Forest, home of the dryads.

Week 18: The Dragon Mountains

With filming wrapped in the island of Gran Canaria, the crew packed off and moved production to another of the Canary Islands, where they would spend the following three weeks. The island of La Palma would soon become the Continent’s Brokilon forest, but before that, filming commenced for the show’s sixth episode, an adaption of the short story The Bounds of Reason directed by Charlotte Brändström.

In Bounds, Geralt joins a rag-tag group of dragon hunters after hearing Yennefer is among them. The episode features an ensemble cast which includes, other than stars Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra (Geralt and Yennefer), Jordan Renzo as Ser Eyck of Denesle (a knight who kills monsters, but not for money), Steve Wall as Boholt (leader of the opportunistic Crinfrid Reavers), Jeremy Crawford as the iconic Yarpen Zigrin (a dwarven dragon hunter) and also Joey Batey as Jaskier (also known as Dandelion). Joining them are the mysterious Borch Three Jackdaws and his two Zerrikanian warriors Vea and Tea played by Colette Dalal Tchantcho and Adele Oni respectively. Who is the actor that plays Borch? Frustratingly, we still don’t know.

The Witcher’s Yarpen Zigrin arrives at La Palma
Michael Keene plays Lucas Corto, a member of Yarpen’s band of dwarven hunters

Courtesy of Universo The Witcher, the production schedule in La Palma was leaked ahead of time, and the crew ended up sticking rather closely to it. After two days of island hopping and prep, production began on The Bounds of Reason.

The show’s location schedule in La Palma island

First up, the crew took to the forests of Cumbrecita and the volcanic plane of Llano de las Brujas (which fittingly translates to “The Plain of Witches”). Other than these new crew photos, the latter location was visited by a local news reporter. We’ve gathered the best pictures and videos below.

Cumbrecita, La Palma
Llano de las Brujas
Crew parking outside Llano de las Brujas, or ‘The Plain of Witches
Two extras/characters wearing unique armor, believed to be the show’s Crinfrid Reavers
Filming on the volcanic field
The beautiful location at Llano de las Brujas

Next are two videos shot by a fan who drove by the location at Riachuelo. The footage is of low quality, but we can see the crew’s tents as well as two figures in costume walking through the woods. One of them might be Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia.

Filming at Riachuela, La Palma
Could that be Geralt?
The man behind the camera, full of mud and dirt

Another location covered by local media is El Paso, where we have pictures of extras in costume gearing up for a shoot. It is possible that among these extras are unrevealed cast members.

Crew parking at El Paso
A real ‘Where’s Waldo?’, or ‘Where’s Borcho?
Is this one of Yarpen Zigrin’s dwarven hunters, or perhaps a child? Hard to tell from this angle
On the left, one costume stands out. The man in black robes may well be a mage, and if that is the case, it’s possible he is Dorregaray, who had a role in Bounds. Also interesting are the suits worn by the men beside him, speculated to be fireproof stunt suits
‘You’re a witcher, Henry
Filming on the beach
Another location at La Palma island

The final location of the week was on the peak of La Palma Island, Roque de los Muchachos. This plateau is often above the clouds and is home to an astronomical observatory. Seeing as the crew continued filming there the following week, we’ll leave the pictures for Week 19.

Other than the actors from Bounds, it appears that Therica Wilson-Read‘s Sabrina also joined the cast in La Palma. On the weekend, we got our first look at Vea actress Colette Dalal Tchantcho alongside costar Adele Oni during a night out. The two play the duo of Zerrikanian warriors who shadow Borch Three Jackdaws. Sadly, our own hunt for the golden dragon was (as in the short story) unsuccessful. Netflix will have to reveal this particular casting on their own.

The Witcher’s Tea and Vea. But who is Borch?
Lauren providing the only clue we have regarding The Borch Identity on twitter

Week 19: Mountains, photoshoots and Brokilon Forest

With filming on Roque de los Muchachos continuing into Week 19, we’ve gathered the location’s photos below. We were also able to find one image that shows a wooden structure built on location. Truly, they could not have found a better spot for the Dragon Mountains of The Bounds of Reason.

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The crew atop Roque de los Muchachos
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Drone filming at Roque de los Muchachos
This is where the filming took place, notice the wooden structure
Roque de los Muchachos, above the clouds
Filming of the valley with Charlotte Brandstorm
Sunset above the clouds at Roque de los Muchachos

With the crew wrapped at Roque de los Muchachos, the cast filming for episode 6’s The Bounds of Reason were done shooting in the Canary Islands. They would later resume the shoot for the episode’s action sequence in The Witcher‘s headquarters of Budapest, Hungary, which we will cover in the next entry of Archives. For now, we can appreciate these tweets from Crawford and Keene regarding the La Palma shoot.

Leaving the Dragon Mountains behind, the crew took to the seaside cliffs of Juan Adalid and, with the help of Photopro Hungary, held a photoshoot that yielded the season’s first official promotional images. It was during this time that we got our first leak of Henry Cavill in costume as the witcher Geralt of Rivia.

The one and only leak of Henry Cavill as Geralt, which quickly went viral
The crew takes to Juan Adalid for a photoshoot
The view from Juan Adalid
A crew member posing in the exact location of The Witcher’s poster shoot

Another set of promotional images shot in La Palma island featured Freya Allan as the show’s young lead Ciri. These were likely taken in the same week, as the cast and crew took to Brokilon Forest in La Palma’s beautiful jungles.

Freya Allan’s Ciri in Brokilon Forest

From this point forward, much of the crew had already left the island, and the locations were entirely closed down. As such, very little was leaked from the Brokilon filming. We do, however, have some photos taken by the crew.

The forest of Brokilon was brought to life in three primary locations throughout Weeks 19 and 20. The first is the forest of La Zarza, Garafia– which they would return to the following week. Next is Los Tilos Waterfall, where we spotted Freya Allan on location.

The crew filming at the beautiful Los Tilos waterfall
Freya Allan’s Ciri on location at Los Tilos

The final location of the week was Cubo de la Galga. Here, the crew shot a scene featured in the show’s first teaser involving Freya Allan’s Ciri and several dryads.

The crew on the path to Cubo de la Galga
Basecamp at Cubo de la Galga
The hanging vines seen in the video above
Freya Allan’s Ciri beside Nora Trokan’s “Dryad General”
The yet unidentified leader of these dryads, presumably Queen Eithne

RELATED ARTICLE: Into the Forests of Brokilon: A possible look at Freya Allan as Ciri and more

Week 20, Part 1: Farewell, Canary Islands

Week 20 marks the final week of filming in the Canary Islands. In the preceding weekend, Mousesack actor Adam Levy joined leads Freya Allan and Henry Cavill, who were already on La Palma. Their characters all appear in the short story The Sword of Destiny which is set in Brokilon. It is likely that they filmed scenes together.

Adam Levy reporting his arrival
Adam Levy sharing Witcherflix’s post, implying he did indeed film scenes from The Sword of Destiny

Throughout the week, the cast and crew shot scenes in the forest of La Zarza. Most of the crew left the Canaries early in the week, leaving behind one unit to complete the Brokilon shoot. Below are photos taken on location.

Crew parking outside La Zarza
The crew carries lighting gear to La Zarza
The amazing forests of La Palma
The foggy forest of La Zarza
Yellow/gold lighting in the forest
Possibly the same location, possibly the same light
The crew taking pictures
The pictures they were taking
A dryad in the makeup trailer

With the filming of Brokilon wrapped on La Palma island, the crew took off to Budapest for the last two months of The Witcher‘s production phase. Join us in the next Redanian Archives for a provocative scene featuring Henry Cavill, nude Hungarian models and screaming in Vajdahunyad Castle, as well as the resumed filming of The Bounds of Reason near Szelim Cave and the show’s brief but memorable shoot in Ogrodzieniec in Witcher author Andrzej Sapkwoski‘s homeland of Poland.

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