The second season of Netflix’s The Witcher is a rather unique one with filming halting in the middle of a global pandemic and rewrites happening during a five-month hiatus. In this article we hope to shed some light as best a we can to some of the scenes and characters that have been changed or removed compared to what we saw in the final product.
The Geralt/Triss sex scene
Several months ago we reported on a sex scene happening between Geralt and Triss, sometime in the first half of Season 2. That didn’t happen, as we all saw, but here’s what we know about the original plan for that:
Geralt and Triss are in a room together, they seem friendly at first. They are playing some kind of weird game. Whoever wins a round, gets to ask a question. We’re not privy to the exact flow of the conversation, but it eventually leads to both of them ending up in bed.
We can only guess why this was cut, but perhaps it was thanks to Henry Cavill, who is a self-proclaimed advocate for book canon on set. Maybe it was Henry who refused to do the scene and saved the fandom from the second Team Yen/Team Triss war.
And that game they would be playing sounded too similar to the game Geralt and Nivellen play with the knives. Perhaps that’s something they reconsidered and put back into A Grain of Truth.
At The Witcher: Unlocked streaming event on December 20, we are promised one deleted scene between Geralt and Triss, but we seriously doubt this will be it.
Ciri had a girl crush on Triss
Ciri’s sexuality will undoubtedly be explored in future seasons when she meets a certain group of young people far far away. That could have been hinted at in Season 2 of The Witcher.
In the final cut, we see Ciri complimenting Triss’ dress and that’s about it. In some earlier intended versions, Triss was more openly flirty with Geralt, and you can see why in the above section. And to that, Ciri originally was supposed to have subtle, but jealous reactions because she liked Triss. Likely, just glances that mostly people who know would pick up on.
In another scene, Ciri was supposed to come out with a masculine shirt on similar to Geralt’s, to subtly impress Triss and had people tease her for that. In the final cut, that scene plays out similar to the books because Ciri comes out wearing something more similar to what Triss would wear.
This is another thing we never actually got to report as we started doubting the inclusion of this during filming.
Way back, before a certain pandemic hit the earth, we heard that sex workers would be invited to Kaer Morhen. In some early version of the story, while everyone else would be with a female sex worker, Lambert would be enjoying the company of two: a man and a woman.
When we started getting castings for the sex workers, we never found any male actors and assumed that idea didn’t make the cut, and as we saw in the episode, Lambert was indeed with two women, instead of a man and a woman.
Contrary to some belief we saw online, Eskel’s fate wasn’t changed with rewrites and the recasting. It was always going to end up the way it did. Evidence to that: Thue Rasmussen’s full body cast exactly for the Eskeleshy part.
What did change during rewrites, though, was Eskel’s character. Originally he was going to be even more prickly and a bit more of an asshole. It’s likely the flashback scene between him and Geralt in Episode 3 was only added during the rewrites to show the more “real” side of Eskel.
All in all, as far as we know, the Kaer Morhen storyline had quite a bit of rewrites and revisions.
Flashback: Young Vesemir, Young Geralt and Deglan
Young Geralt, Young Vesemir and Deglan, the characters that we saw in The Witcher: Nighmare of the Wolf, were supposed to appear in a flashback scene in Season 2.
The first two weren’t technically cut, indeed. We see a second of Young Geralt’s eyes and we hear Young Vesemir’s voice in an extremely brief flashback. It appears that Deglan, Vesemir’s mentor, didn’t make the cut, although he was mentioned in the second episode.
This was perhaps an editing choice. A full flashback scene could have been cut and edited into brief small flashes that Vesemir sees in the episode.
Countess de Stael
Next is the Countess de Stael. She is Jaskier’s very first muse, who inspired him to start writing songs and poetry. We reported about her being included in Season 2 during a pandemic break, but she also ended up cut during rewrites.
Having seen the entirety of the season, we can’t really guess where exactly she would originally appear, but most likely in some earlier version of the Yennefer/Jaskier arc in Oxenfurt. Maybe the countess will show up in Season 3?
Fenn may have originally been a man
Originally, Fenn was going to be played by a male actor. Back in 2020, we reported on a casting call where actor Kevin Davids was auditioning for the role of Fenn.
That being said, it’s entirely possible that the casting was open to everyone from the start and we only found an audition from only one male candidate.
In Season 2, Geralt’s last Roach met her end at the claws of Chernobog. In an earlier version, Geralt would take a bone from Roach’s corpse and use that to kill the monster in a scene dubbed by production as “Roach’s Revenge”.
In the final cut, Geralt used conventional weapons, of course.
Funnily enough, writer Declan de Barra teased that scene very vaguely in a November 2019 tweet:
The priestess Iola
Another character that was meant to appear was Iola, a priestess of Melitele. It wasn’t specified, though, which Iola was she, the first or the second, but given the timeline, we’d say perhaps the second since Iola the Second is there in the books when Ciri comes to the Temple of Melitele and stays for a few months to study there.
Kings Ethain and Demavend
Speaking of Season 3, this is someone whose real entrance may have been postponed: King Ethain of Cidaris is a non-speaking role in The Witcher Season 2 played by Luke Cy. It seems the role is being recast as we recently heard of a casting call for Season 3 involving a king, who is also an art connoisseur and flirts with Jaskier. That sounds very much like Ethain.
That could be the same for King Demavend of Aedirn, who, like Ethain was a non-speaking role played by background actor Richard Tirado. They may be casting for Demavend in Season 3 as we speak.
Stregobor and Vilgefortz
Another deleted scene that will be shown at The Witcher: Unlocked on December 20 is one between Stregobor and Vilgefortz. Lauren explained that in an earlier interview:
“I think that in writing a series this big, where there is so much rich history, we really have to take care of when we’re introducing certain things. To me, the history of Vilgefortz, who he is in this world – he enters almost as a complete stranger and everyone’s kind of wondering what his history is, where he came from.
That comes into fruition in a huge way in season three, so that’s a scene that we wanted to hold back.”
The addition of Cassie Clare as Philippa Eilhart
As we all saw, Philippa was only present in her owl form for the majority of Season 2, except one scene,. We have reasons to believe that this was the pre-covid plan for the entire season.
We started hearing about the absence of Philippa before the pandemic and for the longest time, it indeed looked like we wouldn’t see her human form in Season 2. We even had a list of casting calles of most prominent Season 2 characters, including Aylne, who was Eskel’s sex worker, but no Philippa. Then a whole year later we found out that Philippa had indeed been cast.
It does appear that this could have been a late addition for Season 2. Still, a full addition would have been even more beneficial to the series as Philippa is an irreplaceable player in the politics of The Continent and letting her be an active player as early as Season 2 would make many upcoming things in Season 3 even better.
All in all, The Witcher Season 2 turned out the way it did, but it’s fun to know and think about what was and what could have been. Follow Redanian Intelligence for more news!