New pictures of The Witcher’s massive new town set suggest Geralt is headed to Oxenfurt

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The Witcher‘s second season is nearing the end of production, with recent speculation pointing to a Netflix release in fall or winter of 2021, yet new information is still trickling through from the set. Today’s article will focus on one location that may become the setting of an iconic fight scene from the books. We’re talking, of course, about the city of Oxenfurt.


Ever since we heard a major town set was being built at the Witcher headquarters in Arborfield Studios, we speculated that this would be The Witcher‘s take on Oxenfurt. Since then, not much new information about the set has reached us. Yesterday, however, we found two images taken on what appears to be the very same set. These are the best images we’ve seen from Arborfield to date, and they certainly attest to the show’s increased budget for the second season.

The massive town set at Arborfield Studios
Another look at the Witcher town set

Why do we think this is Oxenfurt?

Sigismund Dijkstra as portrayed in CD Projekt RED’s The Wild Hunt, a character confirmed to appear in the second season

The Witcher’s second season is an adaption of the novel Blood of Elves. The novel is set in three primary locations: the witchers’ fortress of Kaer Morhen, the Temple of Melitele in Ellander, and the city of Oxenfurt. Of these three, we have already confirmed that the first two are included in the season. We were not yet able to confirm Oxenfurt, but there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests we will see it in the show.

Firstly, we reported a while ago that season two has cast Sigismund Dijkstra, the spymaster that heads the Redanian secret service. In the novels, Dijkstra is introduced when Geralt travels to Oxenfurt to investigate matters pertaining to Ciri. Though he may be introduced a bit earlier in the show, during a scene involving multiple kings and queens, it’s likely that he will meet Geralt in Oxenfurt as he did in the books. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything substantial indicating that the sorceress Philippa Eilhart, Dijkstra’s partner in crime, will have a similarly significant role. We are investigating the matter of Philippa, however, and will hopefully have a better idea about her presence (or lack thereof) soon.

The second casting which hints at Oxenfurt is that of Rience. There’s a particularly iconic scene involving Rience in Oxenfurt in Blood of Elves which we doubt the show will skip, even if Philippa Eilhart is not included this season. His casting (which we are also investigating currently) does suggest Oxenfurt will appear.

We’re heading into spoiler territory, so if you haven’t read Blood of Elves, it’s best to avoid the rest of this article.


What can we expect from Oxenfurt in season two?

Oxenfurt as depicted in The Wild Hunt

One of the most memorable fight scenes in Blood of Elves pits Geralt of Rivia against Rience and the Michelet Brothers, a band of mercenaries hired to subdue the witcher. This fight takes place on the streets of Oxenfurt, and is also interrupted by Philippa Eilhart. While the show may not include the sorceress in this scene, we’re quite convinced that the fight will be shot either way. The scene is likely to be filmed for one of the later episodes of the season, perhaps even the season finale. In fact, we believe that the filming of this scene will begin shortly, if it hasn’t already, given that the production is approaching the wrap date.

Besides this fight, we expect to see Geralt interact with multiple knowledgeable characters in Oxenfurt as he investigates Rience. One of these will be the Redanian Spymaster Dijkstra, who Geralt meets there in the books. We also believe that the private investigators Codrhinger and Fenn will be there in the show. In the books, their bureau is located in the town of Dorian, but for the sake of simplicity it makes sense that the show will relocate them to Oxenfurt, especially since the season is very busy already.


Another image from Arborfield Studios, possibly from the same set, taken during nightshoots

In the past few weeks, the cast and crew have been busy filming day and night shoots in Arborfield Studios as they race towards the end of production. Stay tuned, as we’ll have more updates in the coming days and weeks.

10 comments on “New pictures of The Witcher’s massive new town set suggest Geralt is headed to Oxenfurt”

  1. I don’t know, of course, but I have this nagging hunch that they might have merged Philippa Eilhart’s character from the books with that of Sabrina. Sabrina was of course in season 1. She’s also a book character, but in the books she hasn’t got all that much to do apart from being antagonistic to Yennefer. Sabrina’s role in season 1 was small, but memorable. The actress, Therica Wilson-Read, was very charismatic and definitely left a good impression on me. As far as I know, she’s also confirmed to be in season 2. I think it would work work well having Philippa’s storyline given to a character we already know. Moreover, the fact that her and Yennefer were students together, and so far there is no animosity between them (Sabrina attacking Yennefer during the battle of Sodden was after all due to her temporarily being possessed by those worm-llike things in her ear). As I said, I may be barking up a completely wrong tree here, but maybe not…

  2. Yessss! F8nally👏Between this and the news about Neneke, I can’t wait for s2 now.

  3. I don’t know, of course, but I have this nagging hunch that they might have merged Philippa Eilhart’s character from the books with that of Sabrina. Sabrina was of course in season 1. She’s also a book character, but in the books she hasn’t got all that much to do apart from being antagonistic to Yennefer. Sabrina’s role in season 1 was small, but memorable. The actress, Therica Wilson-Read, was very charismatic and definitely left a good impression on me. As far as I know, she’s also confirmed to be in season 2. I think it would work work well having Philippa’s storyline given to a character we already know. Moreover, the fact that her and Yennefer were students together, and so far there is no animosity between them (Sabrina attacking Yennefer during the battle of Sodden was after all due to her temporarily being possessed by those worm-llike things in her ear). As I said, I may be barking up a completely wrong tree here, but maybe not…

    1. I’d be fine with this, I think it would make sense. If they intend to keep Sabrina as a regular for some time, which seems like the case, then they need to give her something more to do. They could just write something new for her, which I’m not opposed to per se, but it can be hit or miss.

      There are tons of characters in the books, since a writer can just come up with endless random characters that they don’t bother to flesh out much. But in a tv show you have actors, which affects how characters are portrayed. So combining some of the sorceresses into one role, e.g. Sabrina, would make things a lot easier and, I assume, cheaper. I don’t know what kind of contracts they have, but if Therica has a recurring role on the show, then it also makes sense to make the best of it. Like you point out, in the show Sabrina is at this point basically a blank slate, so it could work well.

      I know there are fans of Philippa that really want to see her in the show, but if we end up having the character of “Philippa” who is simply called “Sabrina,” then I think that’s a reasonable adaptation to make. Like the first season, from future seasons I expect to see all the main characters, events, storylines, and themes from the books, but they’ll give us their take on those things, which will differ from the books, either a little or a lot. I assume some things will be done fairly faithfully and others will deviate more. But that’s part of the fun of an adaptation.

  4. Oh nice! I hope they keep the conversation between Yennefer and Dandelion/Jaskier in Oxenfurt

  5. So happy to read this! I’m sure everyone is ready for Season 2, to be done, and hopefully, they will get a short break, before getting ready to start Season 3!

  6. The riddle about the casting of Philippa Eilhart is finally solved: The role goes to Hedwig, the snow owl who portrayed herself in the Harry Potter franchise. She is currently rehearsing to transmogrify into human form. So far the results are not fully satisfactory, which is why the showrunners keep the casting information under cover until the latest possible moment. Apart from that very likely turn of events, from my vantage point, combining Philippa’s role with that of Sabrina’s makes absolutely no sense, and the actress would be an utter miscast in a role that is to portray the character traits of Philippa. Apart from that, Philippa would be a too powerful sorceress to be tricked out by those enchanted worms crafted by Fringilla. All that previous development runs counter to a convincing portrayal of the most powerful and manipulative mage around, apart from Vilgefortz. Let alone that Philippa was one of the first students of Tissaia and is almost as old as she is, and not a classmate of Yennefer.

  7. If the books are an indication of the timeline by which the show proceeds – but this has not always been so in Season 1 – and if the showdown between the Michelet brothers and Geralt or the Thanned coup are included in Season 2, Philippa must appear in Season 2. The fact that there is no indication of it, or no actress being announced for that part which would be important and recurring, is really worrying. That is a sign of a significant deviation either from the story’s timeline in the books, or from the narrative altogether. In my opinion, the previous alterations from the book material in the adaptation for the show were not an improvement, and some seemed outright illogical and inconsistent. Just to mention the considerable alteration of Fringilla’s story line. I hope the showrunners are not underestimating the importance of Philippa Eilhart’s character and the fact that the character is quite popular with the fans of the books and the games alike.

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