Redanian Archives XII: Behind the Scenes of The Witcher

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Netflix’s long anticipated series The Witcher, starring Superman‘s Henry Cavill, is expected to be the streaming service’s biggest show this coming winter. With a release date of December 20, the fans are counting down the days until the show will grace their screens. In the meantime, let’s dive into another entry of Redanian Archives, our behind the scenes series of The Witcher‘s filming. This week, we’ll cover the smokey nightshoot at Tata Castle, a return to the town set in Mafilm Studios and prep for the season’s biggest battle sequence.

Week 22, Part 2: Geralt and Jaskier at Tata Castle

With two graciously-leaked days of filming completed in Poland, The Witcher‘s crew packed up and returned to the show’s headquarters in Budapest, where another unit was already hard at work filming something entirely different.

In the lakeside Tata Castle, The Witcher filmed scenes with the dynamic duo Henry Cavill and Joey Batey (who play Geralt and Jaskier respectively). The shoot was also covered via local press. In the show’s “Main Trailer”, released on Halloween, we got a glimpse of Tata as well.

Tata castle, Week 23
The courtyard in Tata castle
Crew tents and props
Crew members prep the location for a shoot
The lake
Two fake moons raised at Tata Castle
The sun sets – and a nightshoot begins
Nightshoot at Tata
Tata Castle, as seen in the newest trailer

As previously mentioned, Batey and Cavill filmed together on location, though what exactly it was that they filmed remains a mystery. Our best guess is that the scene filmed in Tata may be part of Episode 5’s adaption of The Last Wish, in which Geralt carries an unconscious Jaskier to the town of Rinde, hoping to find a healer. If this is the case, Tata Castle would be used as the Rinde gatehouse (with the help of some CGI), and the lake may be the place where Geralt and Jaskier find the djinn.

Below is a post from Cavill’s Instagram page, likely taken on location at Tata, as well as evidence confirming Jaskier’s involvement. Lastly, we’ve added a post from Batey’s Instagram (which isn’t necessarily from the same shoot), captioned “best pals”.

The sign on a trailer outside Tata Castle, confirming the presence of Jaskier

Later that week, filming also took to The Witcher‘s heaquarters in Origo Studios, the hills of Pilliszentivan and the farm at Skanzen Village.

An interesting ornament on set at Origo Studios
Lighting rigs
Filming at Origo Studios, but this may also be a set from The Last Kingdom
Skanzen Village, Szentendre
The stables, where we are introduced to several new cast members…
These beautiful sheep
Goat
Cow
Horse
and Donkey

Week 23: The Last Wish (this time, it really is the last)

With The Witcher wrapped in Poland and Tata, the show’s two units divided two main goals among themselves. The first goal was to wrap and conclude the filming of episodes 5 and 6, under director Charlotte Brändström. The second goal of the week was to prepare for the intense filming of the season’s final pair of episodes, as directed by Alik Sakharov and Marc Jobst. These preparations would last until the show’s wrap on May 30.

Only two actors were confirmed to be on set that week: Henry Cavill and Adam Levy. Levy’s character, Mousesack, is likely involved in Ciri’s storyline, as he plays a mentoring figure to her. It’s possible that Levy and Ciri actress Freya Allan filmed together. That same week, Jack Wolfe, who plays Nadbor in the season finale, arrived for a quick costume fitting.

As mentioned, some scenes were missing from Charlotte Brändström’s episodes. During Week 23, the crew returned to the town set in Mafilm Studios, where one unit filmed throughout the week. It’s possible that Cavill and costar Anya Chalotra (who plays Yennefer) filmed together for The Last Wish, the story of Geralt and Yennefer’s first meeting and their subsequent battle with a djinn. Alternatively, Chalotra could have filmed scenes with Isobel Laidler (Queen Kalis) and Martin Czarnik for the subplot where Czarnik’s yet-unknown character pursues them.

“Hurry!”, screams Yennefer to Kalis with Czarnik’s unknown mage standing in the background
Outside a set in Mafilm
Inside the set
Lighting the alley with a crane
The lighting crane towers above… a tower?

Next is another location near the Mafilm studios, where the crew seems to have filmed. This one is a beautiful swamp, resembling the place where Geralt fights the kikimore in the teaser. The actual fight seems to have been filmed in-studio earlier in the production schedule, but it’s possible some scenery shots were done here as well.

The kikimore swamp set
Behind the swamp set, we can see one of Howard Weaver’s landscape paintaings
Geralt faces the kikimore

RELATED ARTICLE: The Witcher recruits Game of Thrones landscape artist

Meanwhile, an important set was under construction at the ruins of Egri Vár Másolata, which would transform the replica castle into the setting of season one’s biggest battle – The Battle of Sodden. Sodden will be the focus of the next Archives entry, but here are some photos of the crew’s preparations.

The ruins of Egri Vár, image via Wikipedia
The castle gate, via Mozgasvilag
The hills outside Egri Var, which were scouted that week by showrunner Lauren Hissrich
View this post on Instagram

Scouting day. ♥️⚔️🐺

A post shared by Lauren S. Hissrich | Writer (@laurenhissrich) on

The tower, before
The tower, under construction
The tower, almost completed

With that, this entry of Redanian Archives comes to a close. Join us next time for a recap of The Witcher‘s filming for the Battle of Sodden at Egri Vár, including brand new pictures and information. As well, we’ll revisit the show’s proto-wrap party.

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