The Witcher season two casting breakdown reveals lead roles: Francesca, Dijkstra, Rience and more…


Filming of the much anticipated second season of The Witcher has begun last week and it’s that time of the year again. Everyone is wondering what the new season will bring, which storylines from Andrzej Sapkowki‘s beloved novels will be adapted and what characters will make it to the screen. On that account, we’re pleased to say, we have very positive news, as we’ve recently learned of a casting breakdown from reliable insider Daniel Ritchman, containing detailed information on the new season’s main additions.

Before reading ahead, keep in mind that the names are obviously fake, made up for the audition process, which is a regular practice in the industry. However, it isn’t too hard to decipher the real characters behind most of the descriptions. As you will see for yourself, there are some long-awaited characters, notable absentees and intriguing additions among them.

Frankie (Francesca)

Lead Role, Age 20-30

The most beautiful woman in the world. Tall, clever, powerful . She would do anything to protect her child.

Francesca Findabair, artwork by Justanor

Cornelius (Coën)

Lead Role, Age 20-30

A warrior type. Deadly with a sword. Charged with training a young apprentice. Easy-going and fun.

As we revealed in a previous report, Coën will be played by Yasen Atour.

Yasen Atour

Leonardo (Lambert)

Lead Role, Age 30-40

A tall, sharp-tongued warrior. Inclined to give in to pleasures like food, sex and booze but trustworthy.

Lambert will be played by Paul Bullion and we gotta say the description is a 100% match.


Lead Role, 60-69

No description but they’re looking for a well-known actor. There was no codename assigned to Vesemir.

Vesemir as he appears in CDPR’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gary (Gage)

Recurring Role, Age 20-25, Appears in four episodes

Large build, tall. Youthful and jovial. The younger brother of Frankie (Francesca) who depends on her leadership.

David (Dijkstra)

Recurring Role, Age 40-50, Appears in three episodes

A giant of a man, Chief of Intelligence and the right-hand of the King. Very smart and crafty.

We know that Graham McTavish auditioned for the role but he likely didn’t get the part.

Sigismund Dijkstra, artwork by Alexander Kozachenko for GWENT

Vanessa-Marie (Voleth Meir)

Recurring Role, Age 70-100, Appears in three to four episodes,

A very old white haired woman. A demon, who roams the land bargaining and preying on people’s deepest and darkest desires.

Richard (Rience)

Recurring Role, Age 30-35, Appears in three episodes

Fit and full of anger. Imprisoned by the queen, he later finds himself in charge of searching for the prized Jewel. Smart, cunning, and sadistic. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Unreleased card art of Rience from CDPR’s Gwent

Laura (Lydia)

Recurring Role, Age 20-25, Appears in two episodes

Dark hair, almond eyes. Bears the scars from an experiment gone wrong. Secretary and Assistant to the Master. Carries out a horrible deed.

Lydia van Bredevoort, Artwork by Magdalena Minko


Recurring Role, Age 12-14, Appears in two to three episodes

A young girl with raven hair. Sadistic and smart.

Violet will be played by Carmel Laniado, as revealed by deadline.

Nigel (Nivellen)

Guest Role, Age 25-35, Appears in the first episode

Cursed as a young aristocrat. Charming, funny and remorseful.

Kristofer Hivju is now confirmed to play Nivellen.

Geralt and Nivellen, Artwork by EGOR-URSUS

Victoria (Vereena)

Guest Role, Age 18-27

Physical experience required. Beautiful, fragile and vulnerable on the outside. When threatened, she is capable of brutal violence. There’s something animalistic about her.

Vereena and Geralt

Isolde (Ithlinne?)

Guest Role, Age 70 – 100, Appears in one episode

Tall, charming. Wrinkled but fresh-faced. She is a healer and an oracle with a gift for divinations and prophecies. Warm and fear inducing at the same time. Nudity required.

We’re not quite sure why nudity is required if she is indeed Ithinne; but the rest fits her description quite well, especially the part about her being an oracle with a gift for divinations and prophecies.

Anna (Aylne)

Guest Role, Age 25-30, Appears in one episode

A fierce sex worker, she joins a group of soldiers who she isn’t afraid to boss around.

As you may have noticed there are some very intriguing new details about characters we know from the books like the fact that Francesca Findabair will have a younger brother and a child in the show or the horrible deed that is hinted at in Lydia’s description. This should give book fans more than enough to speculate for months. It is also quite striking that some of the main characters we expected to see in the second season are absent, most notably of course the sorceress Philippa Eilhart. While that doesn’t necessarily mean she is cut, we may just have to wait a while longer to see Lady Owl on screen…

21 comments on “The Witcher season two casting breakdown reveals lead roles: Francesca, Dijkstra, Rience and more…”

  1. Francesca has a son now. And a brother. IT’S OK. Before Francesca’s son is Aelirenn.

    However, I am more concerned with this Vanessa-Marie, who has four episodes, which seems to me to be a recurring and important OC. + his character description strangely resembles TW3’s Gaunter O’Dim.

    Nivellen’s cast is really good in my books, though.

    Gaunttery frighteningly. Considering that this character doesn’t appear in books, only in games, if Netflix ends up plagiarizing CDPR like that, what can happen?

    1. I get that new characters is to have Yennefer doing something this season, since she doesnt meet with Ciri until way after Kaer Morhen and since it seems the season is starting before Kaer Morhen its gonna be a lot of doing nothing for Yennefer

  2. Vanessa-Marie … Do they really want a Gaunter O’Dimm for the show? Does Francesca have a brother? Where’s Philippa?

    1. I doubt most of the principle members of the Lodge will be introduced yet. The Coup will probably take place at the end of season 3 or maybe even the start of 4. It’s too early to tell

  3. Vaness-Marie as a female Gaunter O’Dimm ? Didn’t lauren say that they are adapting the book only and not the game ?

  4. Those who are too lazy to read the books are making up something. Sure, Francesca Findabair must have a son. Their concern for the elves and their conspiracy with Nilfgard is not enough. She will probably be made a single mother. Who works on the side. Maybe on Amazon? The father, of course, left her and does not pay maintenance. Although she is as old as she says in the book “The Lady of the Lake” that there can be no biological heirs to her later kingdom. The child has grown up and grown up for a long time. They only produce nonsense.

    1. This indeed sounds ridiculous, all those original characters, where will they find time to stuff them in :), if season 2 will again have 8 or so episodes. Where’s Phillipa Eilhart and Eskel? Eskel is a minor character, like other witchers but he had particular bond with Geralt, being his ‘brother’ in a way a childhood friend who passed with him trials and training, Nenneke also should be there at least for brief moments in the temple of Melitele and I don’t see her, what about Menno Coehoorn (unless they retroactively name this that marshal seen in first season), Francesca Findabair had Filavandrel and Ida Emean as her followers, why does she need a brother and child, when those two could fulfill similar purpose :). After all in Times of Contempt we have a scene set in Dol Blathanna with Filavandrel and Enid an Gleanna. Hell Francesca should not appear yet in season 2, she is first seen in Times of Contempt (though mentioned earlier) that seems like a really weird division of source material for the season, putting in the Grain of Truth alone will take away one episode from other plots of the Blood of Elves. They should put more attention to that. Various minor characters appear for the first time in Blood of Elves, those characters are later returning in some ways, like Rayla of Lyria.

      1. People messed up the story. Already in season one. And they can no longer correct it. So they pile on the bullshit of season one more bullshit so no one will notice. Those who know the games but are too lazy to read the books think they are the subject of the books.

  5. Maybe they will change Tisseia’s fate and give her Philippa’s arc? Just a thought. My hope is for someone like Famke Janssen for the part.

  6. The only consolation that I have is that they’re not gonna touch Philippa. Yet.

    Phillipa is merged into Yennefer. It’s for the best if you ask me. They butchered every character so even if they put her in there she would be unrecognizable. Best she lives outside of this shit.

  7. The most beautiful woman in the world. Tall, intelligent, powerful and protective towards her child.

    Large build, tall. Youthful and jovial. The younger brother of Frankie (Francesca) who depends on her leadership.

    A fierce sex worker, she joins a group of soldiers who she isn’t afraid to boss around.

    Fasten your seat belts folks, we are once again going to be privy to the creative genius of the showwriters.

  8. All these new characters have me even more concerned because the new characters they introduced in season 1 were not very well written or acted out. They brought nothing to the show in fact they seemed to just detract. I’ve seen shows based on books that either gave side characters more screen time then in the books or have been completely new characters but they actually brought something to the show and the stories. Some even becoming the most loved characters. This certainly did not happen with season 1 of the Witcher. So Instead of making up half backed new characters maybe actually try and make existing characters from the books actually good. With well written dialogue and actual character development. That didn’t seem to happen much in season 1 either. They don’t need to add new characters to the pot when they are struggling with developing main characters.

  9. “A giant of a man, Chief of Intelligence and right-hand of the King. Very smart and crafty”.

    I get the feeling that they’re scrapping Dijkstra’s lazy dimwit facade and turning him into a super serious spy bro, which would explain the tone of that audition tape.

    1. Well, they turned Dandelion into comedy relief, so you couldn’t be more spot on. Most characters has been a caricature of themselves so far.

  10. hmm.. maybe they are starting to focus more on games now, cause they realized they pretty much lost a books fans, and main hype comes from game fans, so books are going almost entirely out of window?

    I am a game fan thru and thru and I dont know how gamers like this garbage.

  11. Well, there was no indication that they would mind repairing the ship, but it is good to have a notice that they intend to sail directly on the iceberg. Why not spend a lot of time inventing family members for Francesca? At least, for sure, I don’t remember anything about a child or brother in the books … that I just read again. And after all that crap about not invoking games, they’re going to steal Gaunter O’Dimm and put him on as a woman.

    The onion couldn’t do any better than that. What a transvestite.

  12. Francesca has a brother? a child?? what the hell? who is this person because it is not Francesca Findabair. and have these people even read the books? She is Queen of Aen Seidhe, founding member of The Lodge, very political and all about ruling. She is also a sage. She’s not a family woman, she’s a ruler and has fascinating ark of having to betray her own people.On top of that she is hundreds of years old!! how the hell can she have a child? Elves can only have children when very young age in short period of their lives, even tho they are very long lived. This is one of the reasons they are dying out. Because most young elves are joining Scoia’Tael and dying in war and old ones can not procreate. it’s HUGE point in the books. So how can the one of the oldest Elves in the world suddenly have a kid out of the blue? what are they doing?!?! Why even invent this it literally makes no sense. They keep adding stuff that literally goes against all the lore.

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