Over the course of the last few weeks, we’ve been getting a steady flow of new information from the sets of The Witcher, that is before the production was forced to halt due to Covid-19. While several of the show’s biggest stars such as Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer) and Freya Allan (Ciri) were spotted on location, another important character has been conspicuously absent from all the leaks: Joey Batey‘s gossipy bard Jaskier.
Since we’ve heard next to nothing about him, some have started to wonder whether he will have a much more reduced role in season two. We don’t think that will be the case.
Remember that many scenes so far have been shot in the secluded environments of Arborfield Studios, shielding the cast from any unwanted attention. More importantly however, we have learned something interesting, that could mean Jaskier’s character will be expanded in comparison to the books. Minor spoilers for the second season ahead!
Recently, we have heard that The Witcher has been looking to cast the Countess De Stael, a character set to appear in season two. Who is this countess and why does it matter? Simply: She is tied to Jaskier in the show and the books.
We have gotten a tiny bit of background information about her in the opening scene of episode five of the first season. While Geralt was fishing for a djinn, Jaskier mentioned that the Countess de Stael has left him again, which may have had something to do with the bard’s singing if the witcher is to be believed. Believing himself to be the djinn’s new master, Jaskier wished for the countess to ‘welcome him back with glee, open-armed and very little clothing’.
From that exchange alone, we know that the countess was once Jaskier’s lover, and the pair seem to have lived a rather stormy relationship, given that she left him multiple times (not unlike Geralt and Yennefer). While not much is known about the countess in the books, there is a passage in The Tower of the Swallow, stressing her importance to Jaskier (Dandelion in the English version) beyond the romantic part:
But as I well know, for you’ve often told me about it, you only began seriously rhyming and composing melodies when you were nineteen, inspired by your love for Countess de Stael.Geralt to Dandelion in The Tower of the Swallow
The countess does not appear as a character in the books, but we can assume she was an inspiration for Jaskier when he started out as a poet. A muse-like figure so to speak.
We currently don’t how if this new character will have a big part in the show, but her appearance may give us a look into the bard’s past, and hopefully further characterization beyond what we’ve seen so far. We also don’t yet know who will play her in the show, but we’ll be keeping an eye out. Stay tuned!