EXCLUSIVE: First look at Francesca Findabair reveals a surprising change in The Witcher Season 2


Netflix’s The Witcher is currently filming for the much anticipated second season at Fountains Abbey in Northern England. At Redanian Intelligence, we have followed the production closely and today we are very pleased to get you an exclusive first look at the new Nilfgaardian armor, which you can see here.

EXCLUSIVE: New Nilfgaardian armour in The Witcher finally revealed!

As promised, we have more content to show you and this one will come as a big surprise for readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels. A massive spoiler warning ahead though! Don’t read beyond this point if haven’t read the books or want to enjoy season two unspoiled.

Courtesy of photographer Terry Blackburn, here’s the first full look at the elven sorceress Francesca Findabair, played by Mecia Simson in the second season.

Francesca is walking alongside Mimi Ndiweni’s Fringilla but most importantly, the photo reveals that the elf is with child. This is a very notable change from the Francesca readers know from the books. In Sapkowski’s world elves rarely give birth to children as their fertility is much reduced compared to humans. Interestingly enough, reliable insider Daniel Ritchman had previously leaked a character sheet for Francesca that described her as a ‘mother who would do anything to protect her child’.

A second interesting observation is that Francesca is plucking a white rose. In Blood of Elves, white roses are significant as they are named after the elven heroine Aelirenn and grow within the ruins of the elven palace of Shaerrawedd. This makes our speculation that Fountains Abbey will stand in for Shaerrawedd and its surroundings even more likely.

We can’t wait to hear what you think about today’s big news! Let us know in the comments below or on our twitter.

15 comments on “EXCLUSIVE: First look at Francesca Findabair reveals a surprising change in The Witcher Season 2”

  1. she actually looks like the best elf we have seen so far, she is not the most beautiful woman, but she looks very nice here. I must admit that my critiique may have been ungrounded after all

  2. The costumes on this show are outstanding! Francesca looks so good! But, most important, why she’s pregnant??

  3. Love your work! However… what is the point of putting a “spoiler” warning AFTER the photo with Francesca pregnant? The photo is in the title. The spoiler has been seen. 😛

  4. This is completely wrong as SORCERESS cannot be pregnant. Just like Witchers they are incapable of having children AT ALL ! Season 2 is gonna be a farce !

    1. There are exceptions in witcher lore but in case of Francesca it’s actually in part of the book that Francesca is over 100 years old so she’s past the natural elven age of being able to bear children as she says herself in book:

      “I will,’ the elf suddenly turned serious. ‘I will not pay tribute to the Aedirn king. I want
      Dol Blathanna to be a freehold. Without the bond of vassalage, beyond the pledge of
      allegiance and not to act against the sovereign.’
      ‘Demavend will not accept this,’ Philippa said laconically. ‘He will not give us the profits
      and revenues from the Valley of Flowers.’
      ‘On that issue,’ Francesca raised her eyebrows, ‘I am willing to engage in bilateral
      negotiations, I’m sure we can reach a consensus. A freehold is not required to pay tribute, but
      payment is not necessarily prohibited or excluded.’
      ‘And what about succession rights?’ asked Philippa. ‘What about the right of
      primogeniture? Agreeing to a freehold, Demavend will require guarantees of the indivisibility
      of the Principality.’
      ‘Demavend,’ Francesca smiled again, ‘may be fooled by my skin and figure, but you
      surprise me, Philippa. It has been a long, long time since I passed the age of being able to get
      pregnant. As far as birthrights and successions, Demavend has nothing to fear. I am the
      ultimus familiae of the royal house of Dol Blathanna. However, despite the age difference
      between me and Demavend, I will not be dealing with him, but his grandchildren’s great-
      grandchildren. I assure you, ladies that in this respect there are no disputes.'”

      And of course Francesca is an elven sorceress.

      1. She is an Elf Sorceress 🙂

        @Fantasywind i did read the books a while ago, from what i do remember was that the sorceresses can’t have children just like witchers. Could you give me more exceptions ?

    2. No one can have everything. Nobody is being born a sorcerer. And none should be born as one! After all, all the students should decide for themselves whether they want to be sorceresses or mothers. I demand all the students to be sterilized. No exceptions.

      – Tissaia de Vries, The Poisoned Source.

      My feeling from books was that Chapter of Sorcerers probably add contraception to recipe for anti-aging potion.

    3. Regarding the infertility issue of the sorcerers, the general rule of thumb is that the wielding magic in itself affects the body, and those changes make most of the male and female sorcerers infertile, but sometimes there happen that (usually women but I guess males as well) can still wield magic and attune to it so they can retain fertility. The prime example of the exceptions meaning those mages who still can have children would be first and foremost Geralt’s mother Visenna (though in the short story The Road Without Return she is one of the druids, she apparently is also a sorceress 🙂 and is named as much, she was able to conceive and give birth to Geralt), there were apparently other cases and such children even inherited magical talents (and sometimes they became insane because of it). The issue of infertility is nicely summed up both in Voice of Reason and Blood of Elves in the Poisoned Source, book by Tissaia de Vries:

      “No one is born a wizard. We still know too little about genetics and the mechanisms of heredity. We sacrifice too little time and means on research. Unfortunately, we constantly try to pass on inherited magical abilities in, so to say, a natural way. Results of these pseudo-experiments can be seen all too often in town gutters and within temple walls. We see too many of them, and too frequently come across morons and women in catatonic state, dribbling seers who soil themselves, seeresses, village oracles and miracle-workers, cretins whose minds are degenerate due to the inherited, uncontrolled Force.
      These morons and cretins can also have offspring, can pass on abilities and this degenerate further. Is anyone in a position to foresee or describe how the last link in such a chain will look?

      Most of us wizards lose the ability to procreate due to somatic changes and dysfunction of the pituitary gland. Some wizards — usually women — attune to magic while still maintaining efficiency of the gonads. They can conceive and give birth — and have the audacity to consider this happiness and a blessing. But I repeat: no one is born a wizard. And no one should be born one! Conscious of the gravity of what I write, I answer the question posed at the Congress in Cidaris. I ask most emphatically: each one of us must decide what she wants to be — a wizard or a mother.

      I demand all apprentices be sterilised. Without exception.”
      – Tissaia de Vries,

      Of course it’s unclear if Tissaia’s proposal was ever officially implemented. Yennefer is unfortunately NOT an exception and she is infertile because of the changes that magic wrought in her body (yet she still has hope of finding cure for this issue):

      “You misunderstand. I’m not thinking of appeasing or bribing her. But I do owe her
      something, and the treatment she wants to undergo is apparently very costly. I want to help
      her, that’s all.’

      ‘You’re more of an idiot than I thought.’ Nenneke picked up the basket from the ground. ‘A
      costly treatment? Help? Geralt, these jewels of yours are, to her, knick-knacks not worth
      spitting on. Do you know how much Yennefer can earn for getting rid of an unwanted
      pregnancy for a great lady?’

      ‘I do happen to know. And that she earns even more for curing infertility. It’s a shame she
      can’t help herself in that respect. That’s why she’s seeking help from others – like you.’

      ‘No one can help her, it’s impossible. She’s a sorceress. Like most female magicians, her
      ovaries are atrophied and it’s irreversible. She’ll never be able to have children.’

      ‘Not all sorceresses are handicapped in this respect. I know something about that, and you do,

      Nenneke closed her eyes. ‘Yes, I do.’

      ‘Something can’t be a rule if there are exceptions to it. And please don’t give me any banal
      untruths about exceptions proving the rule. Tell me something about exceptions as such.’

      ‘Only one thing,’ she said coldly, ‘can be said about exceptions. They exist. Nothing more. But
      Yennefer . . . Well, unfortunately, she isn’t an exception. At least not as regards the handicap
      we’re talking about. In other respects it’s hard to find a greater exception than her.’

      ‘Sorcerers,’ Geralt wasn’t put off by Nenneke’s coldness, or her allusion, ‘have raised the dead.
      I know of proven cases. And it seems to me that raising the dead is harder than reversing the
      atrophy of any organs.’

      ‘You’re mistaken. Because I don’t know of one single, proven, fully successful case of
      reversing atrophy or regenerating endocrine glands. Geralt, that’s enough. This is beginning to
      sound like a consultation. You don’t know anything about these things. I do. And if I tell you
      that Yennefer has paid for certain gifts by losing others, then that’s how it is.'”

      The knowledge that the mages are infertile is apparently somewhat known:

      “It is known that there is no better way to pass on hereditary traits than in the natural way. If you seek a child possessed of such qualities and such strength, why not look for a woman who… I am being indelicate, no? But it seems to me that I’ve hit my mark.”
      “As always,” he responded with a sad smile, “you remain infallible, Calanthe. You have hit upon it, to be sure. What you suggest is impossible for me.”
      “Forgive me.” Her smile disappeared. “In the end, it’s only human.”
      “A witcher isn’t human.”
      “Ah? And so, no witcher…”
      “None. The trial of Herbs, Calanthe, is horrible. And what is irreversibly done to young boys during the changes is even more so.”
      “Stop lamenting your fate,” she grumbled. “This is not like you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been subjected to. The result in my eyes is quite evident. If I knew that Pavetta’s child would become someone like you, I wouldn’t hesitate an instant.”
      “The risk is very large,” he said quickly. “It’s just as you said: four in ten survive.”
      “By the devil! Is there only danger in the event of these changes? Only the future witchers take risks? Life is full of hazards, Geralt. Life, too, is governed by selection: accidents, diseases, wars. Opposing destiny is perhaps as dangerous as abandoning it. Geralt… I would voluntarily give you this child, but.. I am also afraid.”
      “I will not take it. It is too great a responsibility, one that I refuse to assume. I would not want for this child to speak about you the way… the way I…”
      “You hate this woman, Geralt?”
      “My mother? No, Calanthe. I doubt that she was given a choice… or perhaps she had no say? No, she had, you know, enough formulas and elixirs… Choice. There is a sacred and incontestable choice of every woman that must be respected. Emotions are of no importance here. She had the indisputable right to make such a choice. That’s what she did. But I think about meeting her, the expression on her face then… it gives me a sort of perverse pleasure, if you understand what I mean.”
      “I understand what you say perfectly,” she replied, smiling. “But the chances of this happening are slim. I can’t judge your age, witcher, but I suspect that you’re much older than you appear. And so this woman…”
      “This woman,” he interrupted, “must now look much younger than I do.”
      “A sorceress?”
      “Interesting. I thought that sorceresses could not…”
      “She no doubt thought the same thing.”

      Geralt is not the only known example of a child of sorceress, another one is and here’s a surprise is….Vilgefortz:

      “‘We’re too different.’ Geralt did not let himself be interrupted. ‘A small fact that my mother was,
      incidentally, a sorceress, cannot erase this difference. But just out of curiosity, who was your mother?’

      ‘I have no idea.’ Vilgefortz said calmly.

      The witcher fell silent immediately.

      ‘The Druid Circle in Kovir,’ the wizard took a moment ‘found me in the gutter in Lan Exeter. They
      took me in and educated me. As a druid, of course. You know what a druid is? They are tramps, that
      walk through the world and kneel before the sacred oaks.’

      The witcher stayed silent.

      ‘And then,’ continued Vilgefortz ‘during some druidic rituals my talents surfaced. Talents that
      clearly and without a doubt allowed them to determine my origins. I was conceived, of course, by
      accident, by two people, of whom at least one of them was a sorcerer.’

      Geralt was silent.

      ‘The druid who discovered my humble abilities, of course, had fortuitously met a sorcerer.’
      Vilgefortz calmly went on. ‘And he generously offered me an education and development and the
      prospect of joining the Brotherhood of Sorcerers.’

      ‘And you,’ said the witcher hollowly ‘accepted the offer.’

      ‘No.’ Vilgefortz voice became increasingly cold and unpleasant. ‘I rejected it in a less than polite,
      even rude way. I unloaded all of my rage on him. I wanted him to feel guilty, him and all his magical
      brotherhood. Guilty, for the gutter in Lan Exeter, guilty for one or two rogue sorcerers. The sorcerer, it
      was clear, neither understood nor was he bothered by what I said then. He shrugged and walked away,
      thus marking himself like all of his brethren, insensitive, arrogant, bastards worthy of the highest
      contempt.’ “

      1. But THE most important example would be Riannon, the daughter of elven sorceress (and Aen Saevherne bearer of Elder Blood) Lara Dorren and human mage Cregennan of Lod, the two fell in love and managed to conceive a child, a half-elven child which carried on the Aen Hen Ichaer through the human descendants down the line to current owner of this gene :). Here it’s unclear how it happened that they managed to conceive a child, it is said that elven women can get pregnant by human males much easier than with the male elves so it might be that something worked then and possibly Cregennan the human sorcerer also maintained fertility.

  5. Why?! Why do something like this?! I know, I know the might be some differences… But: Francesca was too old to be with child. Second – sorceress aren`t able to have any children due to the changes of their bodies. Anyone who read the books knows that.

    1. These “truths” about Sorcerers are probably only true for humans. They’ve learnt magic second hand from Elves who didn’t teach them everything. When humans arrived on the Continent, Elves has already been practicing magic for eons. In fact, they’d been practicing it before their migration to the continent. Elves don’t need to go to Aretuza to learn magic, after all.

      If Francesca is pregnant at her age, which shouldn’t be possible because elves are only fertile in their youth, the only possible father is a human. So a more interesting question is, who could that father possibly be? And why would she be pregnant? Is she trying to create another child of the Elder Blood? If so, that would probably narrow down the father to being someone related to Ciri’s parents….

  6. The easiest way to show that elves have lack of children is extremely adore queen for pregnancy.
    And pregnancy is important theme of books anyway.

  7. this show has nothing to do with the books anymore… it went completley haywire… that really sucks for a fan like me since I don’t expect any other adaptation of the series in foreseeable future (perhaps never) :/

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