Roach returns while The Witcher transforms the ruins of Fountains Abbey into an Elven Palace


The Witcher season two has been filming in Yorkshire for the past two weeks, with Henry Cavill and the crew now based in Harrogate. The crew has recently filmed at the Studley Royal Water Gardens in Fountains Abbey. The Witcher crew isn’t quite done with this location, as the ruins will be revisited next week for further filming.

In other news, filming has now relocated to the forests near Plumpton Rocks, and one of the series’ key cast members has been spotted on set: Zeus, better known as Roach.

Roach returns to the Witcher set

Roach on location this Tuesday, picture taken by an onlooker

Roach “actor” Zeus has been spotted in the forests near Plumpton Rocks this morning and earlier this week. It seems the horse has been filming with his on-screen partner Henry Cavill (Geralt) parallel to filming at Fountains Abbey. Whenever Cavill is involved, filming is treated with utmost secrecy, though one lucky onlooker was able to grab a photo of Roach just before filming began.

Today’s sighting in the forest matches showrunner Lauren Hissrich‘s most recent picture from the set. Beyond Roach’s presence (which indicates Geralt’s as well), nothing is known about the scene filmed in Plumpton Rocks at this time. Fortunately, we have more information on next week’s filming at Fountains Abbey.

The crew filming on the lake at Plumpton Rocks earlier this week

Transforming Fountains Abbey into the ruins of Shaerrawedd

The courtyard at Fountains Abbey soon to be decorated with elven flags, as captured by an onlooker earlier this week

Following Wednesday’s shoot in the Studley Royal Water Gardens, which gave us our first look at the new Nilfgaardian armor as well as three important cast members in costume, the crew had taken to the adjacent ruins of Fountains Abbey.

There, a series of flags have been erected alongside statues, braziers and poles. These red-and-yellow flags seemingly depict the White Rose of Shaerrawedd, an important symbol to the elves of the Continent. The White Rose represents elven martyr Aelirenn who had fallen some two hundred years before the events of the show and thus immortalized the elves’ struggle for freedom in the “Valley of Plenty”, Dol Blathana.

Torches arranged in front of a great arch in the Abbey, via Adam Brett on Facebook

According to the National Trust website, filming will continue in the Abbey throughout next week (specifically, Monday through Thursday), but the site will still be open to visitors. We expect to see the return of Mecia Simson who’s elven sorceress Francesca Findabair will be introduced in season two, as well as the arrival of other elven characters. One such character is Wilson Radjou Pultaje‘s Dara, who we believe was recently on set. Simson’s on-screen brother Kaine Zajaz (Gage) has not been seen on set since he filmed at the elven campsite in February. Also likely to appear is season one’s king Filavandrel Tom Canton.

All signs point towards an expanded elven storyline in season two, with the elves seemingly resettling the ruins of Shaerrawedd, but it remains to be seen if Henry Cavill (Geralt) and Freya Allan (Ciri) will visit the ruins as well. In the novels, the two come across a white rose in the ruins of Shaerrawedd, where Geralt tells Ciri the harrowing tale of the elves in one of the series’ most memorable monologues. We don’t yet know if the show will recreate this scene, but the actors have been filming in the vicinity in the past few weeks, so it’s certainly possible they’ll turn up in the Abbey.

Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla) and Mecia Simson (Francesca) as captured by photographer Terry Blackburn at the Water Gardens on Wednesday. Francesca is plucking a white rose

For the full gallery of pictures from Wednesday’s filming including a look at the reinvented Nilfgardian armor worn by Eamon Farren’s Cahir, read our earlier report (linked below). As always, follow our Twitter account for the latest (and greatest) updates from the Continent.

RELATED ARTICLE: New pictures from The Witcher set: Close-ups of the Nilfgaardian armor, Francesca’s dress and more

2 comments on “Roach returns while The Witcher transforms the ruins of Fountains Abbey into an Elven Palace”

  1. There’s a lot going on at the moment, so hopefully we’ll get some great photos in the coming days and weeks 🙂

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