Signs point to a conference of mages and kings at Fountains Abbey in The Witcher season 2


The past few days have been a true blessing as far as witcher news are concerned: Our first look at the revised Nilfgaardian armor and season two newcomer Francesca Findabair was followed by a sighting of Geralt-star Henry Cavill and finally an official tease of two monsters set to appear in the new season.

As the new nationwide lockdown does not include the film and tv industry, the cast and crew of The Witcher are expected to continue shooting on location at Fountains Abbey in Northern England. While the scenes shot there so far focused on a meeting between Nilfgaard and the elves, we have good reason to believe that this week’s filming will bring in some key players of other factions.

Read on to learn more about what is happening at Fountains Abbey today and watch out for mild book spoilers in the second part, where we speculate what the filming could be about.

The political heavyweights are on the move

Actor Shaun Dooley who played King Foltest of Temeria in the first season, shared a photo from his hotel room on Instagram, confirming that he’s back shooting the Witcher. Looks like he even took the liberty to ‘create’ a new Foltest perfume (simple, subtle, singular scents).

On a more serious note, it seems very likely that Foltest will feature in the upcoming shoots at Fountains Abbey, as that is where the crew is focusing all their attention on. Currently, the place is literally swarming with horses, which is always a good sign when you’re looking for clues for the presence of the king of Temeria and his retinue.

Take a look at the gallery below, to see some of the other changes made to the Abbey last week. Credits go to Ian Russel on Facebook and for capturing these.

Naturally, Foltest is not the only one we expect to film at Fountains Abbey this week. Like Shaun, Vilgefortz actor Mahesh Jadu also showed us the view out of his hotel window and it just so happens to be a very similar sight. It wouldn’t surprise us if the two share a corridor in the same hotel.

Vilgefortz enjoying the scenic views of Yorkshire via @Mahesh Jadu

What are we looking at?

It was initially speculated that Fountains Abbey will stand in for the ruined palace of Shaerrawedd, a place of central importance to the elves of the Continent. Fans of the books have been looking forward to a particularly moving sequence from the novel Blood of Elves, that sees Geralt and Ciri stumble upon these ruins almost by chance.

The ruins of Shaerrawedd. Artwork by Edward Barons

So are we getting our wish in the show after all? The answer might be neither yes nor no. Fountains Abbey certainly has the majestic looks and unmistakable aura of decayed glory to make for a great Shaerrawedd. Moreover, the banners inside the Abbey are decidedly elven and we can’t think of a better place for them.

However, the (possible) presence of political heavyweights like Francesca, Vilgefortz or king Foltest poses some questions as none of them were present in the book scene. Therefore, our current best guess is that Fountains Abbey is Shaerrawedd but the story will be a different one. Perhaps, the palace will be the site of an important meeting between the different warring factions. Maybe even a peace conference of sorts.

From left: Vizimir, Meve, Henselt, and Demavend

Imagine a get-together of the big-shots in the witcher world: Cahir and Fringilla for Nilfgaard, Francesca’s elves, prominent mages like Vilgefortz and the northern kings and queens, who we expect to take a more central role in the events of the show. If Foltest is among the participants, some of the other monarchs like Meve of Lyria and Rivia, Vizimir of Redania, Demavend of Aedirn or Henselt of Kaedwen could make an appearance as well.

In fact, some of the horses spotted at the Abbey today wear saddles that remind us of the colors of Lyria, last seen on Queen Kalis’ escort in season one. It’s hard to make out the crests at a distance but here’s a picture for comparison. Do these horses belong to Queen Meve’s retinue?

Horses at Fountains Abbey on the left (credits: Jack B Terrier) and dead Lyrian soldiers from Season one on the right

RELATED ARTICLE: Audition tape for Queen Meve offers a glimpse at politics in The Witcher Season 2

Remember, we’re just speculating here but many signs point toward something of the kind. We have actors like Shaun and Mahesh on the move, lots of horses and elven banners lined up in the Abbey ruins.

If we are correct, will Geralt and Ciri still be privy to the scene, overhearing the discussions? There’s no telling at this point, but with some luck way may just get a few odd actor sightings in the days to come. Stay tuned as we investigate further!

5 comments on “Signs point to a conference of mages and kings at Fountains Abbey in The Witcher season 2”

  1. Oh, I hope they’ll not remove the scene with Geralt and Ciri on Shaerrawedd and their talk there. It was so moving and beautiful in the books. Maybe they’ll shoot different scenes on one location or they will use Fountains Abbey to create several locations from the books? Who knows? It’s possible now with the Covid-19 situation and the limited access they have in Europe or maybe the scene will play differently on the show. At this point, with Francesca’s pregnacy and all, I expect everything! I just hope we’ll get a lot of (and well made) Geralt/Ciri & Yen/Ciri bonding and Geralt/Yen, that’s all!!!

  2. I have the feeling the season will end with Thanned coup or their version of it anyway. It’s early and I want them to take their time with BoE but it makes sense to end the season on a cliffhunger like that. Hopefully they’ll have resolve some plots from s1 till then and have develop the relationship between the main trio.

  3. Speaking of political heavies in the Witcher world, where is Phillipa Eilhart? She should have already appeared in season 1. I have the bad feeling that this character might be completely skipped in the show. That would really bad. Very bad. Is there any information to this end? Actually, Redanian intelligence should surely have an interest in that issue.

    1. Hopefully they won’t skip her. She’s way to important to erase her character. Unless they plan to give Tissaia her arc which will make zero sense. My guess is that they keep her for s3 or s2 finale.

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