Redanian Archives XVI: Behind the Scenes of The Witcher’s last week of filming

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With The Witcher‘s release date fast approaching, Netflix are bombarding the fans with a constant wave of Henry Cavill interviews, worldwide panels and new footage. It is almost hard to remember the dark times of yore, when we worked very hard to find and reveal new information about the show. In this report, we conclude a sixteen-part series which covers The Witcher‘s filming from the very first day in November to the very last – a rainy day on set at Mafilm studios, where the cast and crew filmed what is quickly becoming season one’s most iconic fight scene. Also in this Archives chapter is the controversial Nilfgaardian armor, which we leaked just a few days before production wrapped on season one, and some narrative context for the Nilfgaardian scenes.

Week 28: Nilfgaardians, Nilfgaardians everywhere

In The Witcher‘s penultimate week of filming, the cast and crew returned to the Gyarmatpuszta Hunting Lodge. As always, the location exuded natural beauty. There was even a double rainbow.

That same week, Redanian Intelligence was able to uncover our first look at the now-infamous Nilfgaardian armor. Though we were quite perplexed by the design of the armor ourselves, we were surprised to see the story reach the farthest corners of the internet. Even after all these months, the controversy has not receded. But, as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Nilfgaardian extras wear the armor
The full look

RELATED ARTICLE: The Witcher’s costume designer touches on character journeys, elf costumes and Nilfgaard

Fortunately, The Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has implied they are aware of the fan reception of the design. When asked on Reddit if they would be changing the armor, she replied: “Before the show airs? Not even Yennefer is that powerful…” With that in mind, we’ll be surprised if the Nilfgaardian armor will reappear with a similar design in the show’s following seasons.

The Nilfgaardian soldiers filmed a fight scene in one of the sets at Gyarmatpuszta. This one was the forest camp, featured in these next production photos.

The campsite at Gyarmatpuszta, one of the week’s primary filming location
A Nilfgaardian officer now confirmed to be Cahir leads his men to the refugee camp in this behind the scenes crew photo

The Gyarmatpuszta campsite was one of the key locations in Week 28. In an exclusive report brought to you by our camera-wielding spy @GoTlikeLocations, we found the campsite abandoned and in ruins, with signs of blood and fire. There will be some mild spoilers in the text below, so scroll down to Week 29 and enjoy the photos if you want to avoid them.

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This same camp also appeared in The Witcher‘s trailer, in scenes featuring both Geralt and Ciri (probably during different time periods). In Ciri’s scene, she is caught in the middle of a fight between Nilfgaard and what appears to be the remainder of the Cintran army. Ciri is seen running away, presumably chased by Eamon Farren‘s Nilfgaardian knight Cahir. Ahead of her appears to be the show’s original character Dara (played by Wilson Radjou-Pujalte), wearing the same hat and costume that he has in the scene shown at MCM London Comic Con and Lucca Comics and Games this October.

Ciri at the Cintran refugee camp, a scene filmed the previous week. This will appear in episode 2, “Four Marks”
From the trailer – Nilfgaardians mount an attack
With the Cintran refugee camp under attack, Ciri must escape
Here we can see Dara in front of Ciri. Is she following him?

TRANSCRIPT OF THE CIRI/DARA SCENE: A Detailed Breakdown of The Witcher’s Newest Footage

But we’re not yet done with the camp in Gyarmatpuszta. Another pivotal action sequence was filmed there, this time with star Henry Cavill.

Geralt’s scene in the camp appears to be set after the Nilfgaardian attack. Seeing as Geralt will fight in the Battle of Cintra in the show, it’s likely he follows Ciri’s tracks and reaches the camp, finding it abandoned but for ghouls and corpses. As one would expect from a witcher, Geralt then has a tense fight with the monsters.

The ghouls were apparently played by little people and, at one point, one of them jumps on Geralt. This may be the show’s version of the scene which opens the short story Something More, where Geralt fights similar monsters to protect the merchant Yurga. In the books, Geralt is severely wounded in this fight. There’s still no word on Yurga being cast, but his son Nadbor will appear in the season finale (titled “Much More”).

Geralt prowling through the camp. There are bodies on the ground, the bodies of the men who fell during the Nilfgaardian attack
The ghoul, one of The Witcher’s few revealed monsters
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Geralt killing ghouls in the abandoned campsite

Night and day shoots at Gyarmatpuszta continued throughout the week, and the crew were often approached by the local wildlife, including pigs and deer.

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Actress Jessie Cam, who possibly plays a Nilfgaardian sorceress, shared this picture during filming

The Final Week of Filming

During the last week of filming, The Witcher crew returned to the forests of Gyarmatpuszta and Visegrad to complete location shoots for the series. As always, the ominous forests were pumped with the artificial mist of the crew’s smoke machines. Throughout the week, Executive Producer Tomek Baginski assumed the role of second-unit director, filming scenes on location (including one scene from the third episode).

Last day of filming at Gyarmatpuszta
Fake corpses by the costumes trailer in the last day of filming
Executive Producer Tomek Baginski directs a scene for episode three

Another familiar shot from The Witcher‘s last week of filming is one featuring Cavill’s Geralt lurking behind a rock. Though we previously believed this was filmed in the Canary Islands, it appears the shot was actually filmed in-studio.

Last but not least, The Witcher crew gathered at the Blaviken town set of Mafilm Studios, to film the already-iconic fight scene between Geralt and Renfri’s band of outlaws. The scene was originally filmed during the first week of production, but following several key recastings and a complete reworking of the pilot, the sequence was reshot during production’s last week of filming. Fittingly, Blaviken both opened and closed The Witcher‘s filming for season one.

Prep for the Blaviken fight
Roach behind the scenes
One of the stuntmen shows us the scene’s fake blood

On March 29, the show’s hotly anticipated fight sequence was reshot by director Marc Jobst, with help from stunt choreographer Wolfgang Steggeman. Recently, the first five episodes of the series were released to critics and select fans, and most of them praised this fight sequence in particular. One even said it was the best sword-fight they’d ever seen. But no pressure, Blaviken fight.

Henry Cavill Netflix GIF by Nerdist.com - Find & Share on GIPHY
This picture was taken on May 28, the second to last day of filming
The chopped-off hand of one of the stuntmen involved in the Blaviken fight features the series final clapperboard

Seven months, five countries, two units. That’s a picture wrap on The Witcher season one

And with the Blaviken fight reshot, filming for The Witcher season one was completed as well. To celebrate the wrap, the cast and crew gathered at Brody House in Budapest for a witcher-themed wrap party.

The Witcher’s production logo was featured during the wrap party, “WW” overlayed with Geralt’s wolf medallion. WW is believed to be an abbreviated “White Wolf”
The Blaviken stunt team join the wrap party after filming their pivotal scene
Vladimir Furdik, stunt coordinator, Night King
The Wicther’s lighting crew celebrate the wrap

And with filming wrapped, this concludes our season one series of Redanian Archives. Months ago and during production, Redanian Intelligence founder Gravemaster assembled a team to create this very series. Our website had not yet existed until much later and, instead, our go-to platform was the subreddit r/netflixwitcher. We had a blast following and researching the filming of season one, and we couldn’t have done it without the amazing reception of the fans.

Thank you so much for your unyielding support! This website is our passion project, and we could never do it without you. Of course, with season two already confirmed to begin in February 2020, our eyes are set on the horizon. We’ve already begun our investigations, and we hope to deliver some exciting reveals in the near future – including the castings of fan-favorite characters such as the old witcher Vesemir, Lodge-founding sorceress Philippa Eilhart and Redanian spymaster Dijkstra.

As ever, stay tuned with Redanian Intelligence for all things Witcher.

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