The last few weeks have been packed with Witcher news: First, Netflix released a big cast announcement, revealing and confirming characters such as Sigismund Dijkstra, Philippa Eilhart, and Mother Nenneke. Then, fans got a glimpse at a Wild Hunt scene on a beach in Southern UK. And yesterday, after more than a year of filming, principal photography of The Witcher season two finally wrapped at Arborfield Studios.
If you’re dreading the end of filming and the start of the dry season, we have one more cast update for you. And this is a big one, so let’s get right into it!
Sam Hazeldine plays Eredin
British actor Sam Hazeldine will take on the role of Eredin, the leader of the Red Riders that are the corporal manifestation of the mythological Wild Hunt in the books. Hazeldine is well known for his roles in many series such as The Innocents, Knightfall, Peaky Blinders and Silent Witness.
Most fans will remember Eredin from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where he served as the king of The Wild Hunt and Geralt of Rivia’s nemesis. He does have a role to play in the later books as well, but we would be getting into spoiler territory, so let’s just say it’s an interesting one.
Niamh McCormack plays Lara Dorren
Irish actress Niamh McCormack who we reported about in a previous cast update, will play the elven sorceress Lara Dorren. McCormack has been modelling from the age of 14 and has recently started to make a name for herself in acting as well. In 2021, she will be the lead in the feature fantasy The Magic Flute.
Lara Dorren’s tale is legendary. She was an elven sorceress and sage who fell in love with the powerful human mage Cregennan of Lod. Her story is a tragic one and told differently depending on who you ask. Through her daughter Riannon, she is an ancestor of Ciri and it’s through her blood that some of the most important events of the books are set into motion.
Ann Firbank plays Ithlinne
Veteran actress Ann Firbank will portray the famous elven oracle Ithlinne. Firbank has an impressive résumé with television credits going back to the 1950s. More recently, she has appeared in series such as Elizabeth I., Kingdom and Les Misérables as well as the movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Ithlinne Aegli aep Aevenien was a renowned elven prophetess who predicted a series of pivotal events such as the Northern Wars against Nilfgaard, the Witch Hunts and various plagues. Her most famous prediction Aen Ithlinnespeath tells of an impeding climatic catastrophe that will eventually bury the Continent under glaciers.
Joseph Payne plays Jarre
We previously reported about Joseph Payne‘s involvement in season two, but now we can announce that he’ll bring the young scribe Jarre to life in Netflix’s version of The Witcher. Payne is a a young actor who has mostly appeared in stage plays. You can catch him in a minor role in HBO’s mystery thriller The Third Day.
Jarre is a young, intelligent scribe and protégé of Mother Nenneke (Adjoa Andoh) at the Temple of Melitele in Ellander. There, he makes the acquaintance of Ciri and is left in awe long after she leaves town. This timid, bookish young man is in fact capable of great heroism, as he goes on to prove later in the books.
Ed Birch plays King Vizimir
Ed Birch is another actor we knew about for some time and now we know he was cast as Redania’s king Vizimir. Birch is known for The Last Kingdom, The Singapore Grip, and recently Wonder Woman 1984.
Vizimir is the king of Redania and one of the most powerful Northern monarchs. While he is a crafty politician, it is implied that his advisors Sigismund Dijkstra (Graham McTavish), and Philippa Eilhart (Cassie Clare) are the real power behind the throne.
Ania Marson plays Voleth Meir
As we suspected long ago, Polish-British actress Ania Marson will portray the original character Voleth Meir in season two of The Witcher. Marson is an accomplished actress with many television credits such as appearances such as Target, Killing Eve, Brittania, and Holby City.
Voleth Meir (elven for Deathless Mother) is perhaps one of the most mysterious character to appear in season two. She was described in a casting breakdown as “A very old white haired woman. A demon, who roams the land bargaining and preying on people’s deepest and darkest desires”. This lead many fans to draw parallels to The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone villain Gaunter O’Dimm. From what we learned in the meantime, it appears she will play a role in Ciri’s season two arc.
Emily Byrt plays Aylne
Emily Byrt is another theatre actress we’ve reported about before. In The Witcher season two, she will play the original character Aylne. Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she has had appearances in many stage plays from the 2010s on.
Our best guess concerning Aylne is that she is a character described in a previous casting breakdown under the Code name ‘Anna’: “A fierce sex worker, she joins a group of soldiers who she isn’t afraid to boss around”. Since we found out about a group of sex workers present at the Witcher keep of Kaer Morhen, we’re leaning towards Aylne being one of them.
Don’t fret! With a show as big as The Witcher, there may still be more casting updates to come and there is also The Witcher: Blood Origin, starting production very soon. The dry season won’t be as dry as we’re used to. As always, stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence for all things Witcher.