After a long COVID hiatus, The Witcher season two has re-entered production, with filming resuming in Netflix’s Witcher headquarters at Arborfield Film Studios. The main cast has already taken to various social media platforms to celebrate their return to the set, and now series lead Henry Cavill shared an intriguing behind-the-scenes image, embedded below.
In the above image, Cavill can be seen in Arborfield Studios getting prepped for filming by his hair and makeup team. The process required to match Cavill with his hotly debated wig takes quite a while, but it seems they will be using a different kind of bald-cap this season. More intriguing than the cap itself, however, is the makeup applied around it. Various wounds have been painted onto the face of Geralt of Rivia, the most intriguing of them around his throat.
It looks like Geralt is in for another challenging fight in The Witcher season two, but which monster (human or not) will inflict these wounds on our favorite witcher? The novel Blood of Elves (which season two will adapt) and an interesting leak offer a few possibilities. If you wish to watch season two with no prior knowledge, you should refrain from reading this article as there could be mild spoilers below.
Shortly after the release of season one, we were able to confirm that season two of The Witcher will adapt one of the remaining short stories: A Grain of Truth. With Game of Thrones alum Kristofer Hivju cast in the guest role of Nivellen, the short story adaption is set to be a treat for fans of the series. In the short story, Geralt fights a particularly viscious brand of vampire called a bruxa. Fans of the video games will remember the bruxa from one of The Wild Hunt‘s cinematic trailers, but there is one key difference between the bruxa as it appeared in the game and the bruxa described in Andrzej Sapkowski’s short story: in the books, the bruxa can transform into a giant, ugly bat. As an adaption of the books, it’s likely the show will include the bruxa’s transformation, and we’re excited to see what they make of it.
The Bruxa will be portrayed by Norweigan actress Agnes Born, who recently shared a story on her Instagram page that she will resume her own filming. With that in mind, it’s quite possible the fight scene from Cavill’s Instagram post is the one with the bruxa.
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Another familiar monster for players of The Wild Hunt is the leshen, or leshy (as it is referred in Andrzej Sapowski’s novels). Earlier this year, sources close to the production were able to confirm that season two will feature a leshy, despite the fact that they were only mentioned in the novels and never really appeared. The leshy is a spirit of the woods, and though it’s likely the show will refrain from using the design featured in The Wild Hunt, we do expect prosthetic artist Barry Gower of Game of Thrones fame to deliver an interesting and frightening take on this beast of nature.
It’s possible that the scar on Geralt’s throat was earned during a fight with the leshy, who may use vines to strangle the witcher. Either way, our sources mentioned that this sequence (that never happens in the books) will have “serious consequences”.
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Though it’s not likely to be covered in the show’s first couple of episodes, which are currently being filmed, the novel Blood of Elves features a fight between Geralt and a unit of elven raiders from the Scoia’tael. The elven army, which will be introduced early in season two, will be an important faction in the politics of The Witcher‘s Continent in the seasons to come. A guerrilla force of partisan warriors dwelling in the woods, the Scoia’tael fight against the oppression of non-humans on human territory and hope to reclaim the Valley of Flowers (a.k.a the Valley of Plenty) from human hands.
With Tom Canton returning as King Filavandrel and the crucial new casting of Mecia Simson as elven sorceress Francesca Findabair, season two will capitalize on the plight of the elves and their struggles with humanity.
Another memorable fight scene from a late chapter of Blood of Elves is Geralt’s fight with the aeschna (or glustyworp) on the ferry to Oxenfurt. Described as “a bumpy and rough-skinned monster four yards in length, resembling a stump overgrown with algae and with ten paws and jaws like cut-saws”, this monster dwells in the murky waters of the Pontar Delta. Geralt fights the aeschna after reading a fan favorite letter from his ex Yennefer of Vengerberg, which fans hope to see in the show.
At this stage, we still don’t know if the sequence will be adapted for the show, and it’s possible the Netflix series will skip it in favor of something easier to film. If they do, however, we hope season two’s budget will be increased so the aeschna sees a better fate than season one’s golden dragon.
Rience and the Michelet Brothers
Very little is known at this time about season two’s later episodes, but one uncovered casting sheet confirms season two will introduce one of the saga’s recurring villains: Rience. A mage whose motivations remain mysterious throughout Blood of Elves, Rience clashes with the series’ main characters several times. First, he appears in the novel’s opening chapter, where he runs into the bard Jaskier (a moment we hope to see in the show).
Eventually, Rience crosses paths with Geralt of Rivia. To aid him in battle, Rience hires the Michelet brothers, four mercenary siblings. The fight takes place on the streets of Oxenfurt, a city which is expected to appear in season two alongside the introduction of Redanian spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra. In fact, a large medieval town set is already under construction in Arborfield Studios, so it’s quite likely this memorable fight will occur towards the end of season two.
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Though that covers most of the fights Geralt had in Blood of Elves, it’s always possible the show will add new monsters and battles along the way (like the aforementioned leshy).
With The Witcher season two in full production, Redanian Intelligence is hard at work. Follow us on our twitter page as we update fans on the latest casting news, set leaks and behind the scenes pictures, as well as updates on The Witcher‘s spinoffs Nightmare of the Wolf and Blood Origin.
In the meantime, tell us in the comments below which fight scene you’re most excited to see in The Witcher season two.