Now that The Witcher‘s second season has been released on Netflix and fans across the world have binged its eight episodes, the cast and crew behind the fantasy series have begun to discuss the events of season two. In The Witcher: Unlocked, an hour-long special in which series stars Henry Cavill (Geralt), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Freya Allan (Ciri) as well as showrunner Lauren Hissrich discussed the shocking twists and turns of Season 2.
Perhaps the most hotly debated plot point in Season 2 involves Geralt’s witcher brother Eskel, played by Basil Eidenbenz. Naturally, there will be spoilers for Season 2 in this article, so if you have yet to watch the second episode of the new season, we suggest you read this article at a later time.
Felicia Day, the Unlocked panel host, addressed the controversial plotline when the showrunner arrived, echoing the question many witcher fans are asking around the world: “Thank you for introducing so many new witchers to the universe only to brutally murder them in Season 2. That was awesome. Why did you do that?”
We just had to make sure that we were really driving home that point, that The Continent is constantly changing, and is there a place for witchers anymore?
“I mean, so much of Season 2 is about the fact that… Is the witcher brotherhood over?” showrunner Lauren Hissrich explained. “I mean, that’s really what Vesemir’s character is dealing with all season, is this emotional sense of: ‘Is this the end of life as we know it for witchers?’ So, of course we had to kill more. We had to make it more painful for him.” At that point, Hissrich turns to Vesemir actor Kim Bodnia and says: “Sorry.”
“We just had to make sure that we were really driving home that point, that the Continent is constantly changing, and is there a place for witchers anymore?”
“Eskel’s death in episode two… It was very traumatic,” Unlocked host Felicia Day said. “Can you explain your decision to kill him off so soon? Because people want to know.”
“Yes,” the showrunner replied. “People definitely want to know. Well, a couple of things. Well, we knew we had to kill someone in that episode. We knew that we wanted a monster to enter Kaer Morhen and have something to do with Ciri, and both Geralt and Vesemir and the brothers realize that bringing this girl into their witcher keep is going to fundamentally change things.”
Our audience is going to meet Coen and Lambert and Eskel and, you know, John. And who’s going to die?
“And, in all honesty, the very first version of the script that we wrote was a brand new witcher that we’d never met before, we’d never heard of, and all of a sudden we were like… Oh, our audience is going to meet Coen and Lambert and Eskel and, you know, John. And who’s going to die? John is going to die.
So we thought about it really hard and I know that there are fans who love Eskel and who feel like, why would we do that? But, honestly, his death is what changes everything for Geralt and I think it propels Geralt’s need to figure out what’s going on with Ciri and to do it fast, because he knows that he’s going to risk losing her and his brothers if he doesn’t. And we really just wanted to motivate that character journey for him.”
If you’re interested in watching the full panel, including two deleted scenes as well as interviews with the cast, head over to The Witcher‘s YouTube channel.