The Witcher‘s anticipated third season has finally broken months of silence for Netflix’s flagship fantasy series, and now we know that the season will drop on Netflix in two volumes.
Volume I, consisting of the first five episodes, will release on Netflix on June 29, while Volume II containing the last three episodes will be released on July 27. This means we have just over two months to wait before Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri reunite again on our screens.
But that’s not what we’re here to discuss. The release dates were revealed, as they often are, alongside a teaser trailer. The trailer is quite short, one minute and eleven seconds including the titles and Netflix outro, but it does include some interesting shots, and even what appears to be a scene lifted directly from the books.
Geralt on a Side Quest
The trailer begins with a door opening in a dark ruin, and Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia enters the frame. Judging by Geralt’s stern look, he’s up to no good. This is quickly confirmed when we see him drinking one of his witcher potions.
When witchers drink potions, it usually means there’s a monster nearby, and the dark ruins certainly set the atmosphere. Regarding which monster exactly Geralt will face here, there aren’t enough clues just yet. One possibility, if the show were to follow the novel Time of Contempt, is that Geralt will face a Manticore.
Another option is that Geralt has taken a contract in the town of Hirundum, as he does in Time of Contempt. This contract involved a drowned child that was found in a pool, suspected to be the work of a drowner or kikimore, although the novel doesn’t elaborate on this. We have reason to suspect Hirundum will appear in Season 3, as we will explain later in this article.
Geralt prepares to fight… Someone
Now, for the first time, I understand real fear
This next shot is from a completely different scene, as we can see Geralt is not wearing his armor. Also, Geralt has his steel sword equipped, which would probably not work well against a monster. This sword is the same “smiling” sword Geralt has been using from the first season, fitted with Renfri’s broach, a constant reminder for Geralt that he must stay impartial, rather than choose a lesser evil.
This shot is overlayed with the above Geralt quote. It can be inferred that the “real fear” Geralt refers to is his fear for the fates of Yennefer and Ciri, who will finally form the much-discussed “found family” over the course of Season 3.
Who is Geralt planning to fight in this particular scene? The steel sword suggests it’s not a monster. The setting seems to be a crypt or ruins. And we can see the blurry shape that may well be a man, the man who Geralt is planning to slice with his steel sword.
One possibility is that this is the sorcerer Rience.
Return of Rience
Indeed, the Rience is back, although this time he will be played by a different actor, as Chris Fulton was not available to film Season 3. Stepping in his shoes will be The Crown alum Sam Woolf, who actually looks quite similar to Fulton in the full Rience getup.
In this blink-and-you-miss-it shot in the trailer, Geralt launches his silver sword at Rience’s face and the latter is able to evade it in the last moment.
Rience appears in one more scene in the trailer, where he can be seen leaving a burning building while holding a cat. Readers of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels should know exactly what this scene is.
Hint: it involves the duo of investigators named Codringher and Fenn, who we’ve already met in Season 2. Rewatch that Season 2 scene, and you will see the very same cat.
Ciri’s Escape from the Wild Hunt – Hirundum?
Next up, we see Freya Allan’s Ciri, the Lion Cub of Cintra riding swiftly through a forest path, looking over her shoulder with terror in her eyes. Behind her, three shadowy, ghost-like riders are closing in. These are the spectral elven warriors called The Wild Hunt, who we’ve already met in The Witcher Season 2 (and in Blood Origin, if you were brave enough to give it a chance).
Interestingly, this scene is lifted directly from the novel Time of Contempt. In the book, Ciri and Yennefer travel separately from Geralt for a while, and then Ciri learns that Geralt is working on a monster contract in the nearby town of Hirundum. Missing Geralt, Ciri decides to slip away from Yennefer and meet him. Then, the Wild Hunt finds her.
We already learned that Yennefer and Ciri will be traveling separately from Geralt for some time in Season 3, so it seems rather likely that the show will be covering the reunion in Hirrundum as well.
Where is Yennefer?
Admittedly, there’s not enough of Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer of Vengerberg in this trailer. Yennefer only appears in two quick frames and one more sequence which we will cover soon.
In the first quick Yennefer frame, she seems to be somewhat bruised, and she’s out in the wilderness in a rocky area. From the look in her eyes, she seems rather worried, although we don’t know why.
In the second quick Yennefer frame, she’s wearing a different shirt, and is in a different location. This location happens to be very, very important to the lore and specifically to the elves: the ruins of Shaerrawaedd.
As we have discussed in previous articles, there will be a lengthy sequence set in the eleven ruins in the first episode of Season 3, also titled “Shaerrawaedd”. This will involve conversations between Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri about the moral dilemma of neutrality in a cruel world, but it also includes a major fight sequence, and we see a glimpse of it in this frame of the trailer.
In the frame, we see Yennefer casting some spell, with Ciri behind her. Down below there is a great mess, with many soldiers who are probably trying to get to Ciri, and probably being absolutely destroyed by Geralt.
A keen eye will also notice two familiar elves in this frame. Mecia Simson’s Francesca and Tom Canton’s Filavandrel can be seen in the back, pointing and shouting. Most likely, they are leading this attack in an attempt to capture Ciri.
Thankfully, we do have one more Yennefer shot, although this one is not from the teaser trailer. Here we see Yennefer in her purple coat from Season 2, in a rather wintery environment. This is likely from the scene filmed at a frozen lake in Italy on the very first day of filming, so Geralt and Ciri should also be there.
Phillippa and Jaskier
Joey Batey’s Jaskier spent most of Season 2 helping oppressed elves escape from the growing racism in the Northern Realms. At the very end of Season 2, it is revealed that the Redanian Intelligence led by spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra and sorceress Philippa Eilhart were funding Jaskier’s endeavors and that the bard owes them a favor. Now Phillippa is coming to collect their due.
We haven’t seen much of Philippa yet, as she’s been an owl for most of Season 2, but it’s safe to say she is a force to be reckoned with and one of the most pivotal characters in the novels. She’s probably going to try to squeeze Jaskier for information on Ciri.
Ciri is Angry
These next couple of frames depict an angry, emotional Ciri with a sword in her hand. In the trailer, she seems to be attacking someone off-screen. Who could it be? Our guess is that it is, once again, Rience.
The reason for that is, well, a spoiler that we covered in depth during the filming of Season 3. Feel free to revisit the article in the link below.
The Hedge Maze Sequence
Last but not least is the Hedge Maze sequence. Here we see Yennefer, Geralt, and Ciri, all wearing nice clothes, lost in a hedge maze. They are calling out for each other, and there is someone else there with them.
The most interesting detail about this sequence is Yennefer’s outfit. As you can see, this is more or less the same dress and mask Yennefer was wearing when she first met Geralt. Judging by Ciri’s dress, and Geralt’s choice of shirt and trousers over armor, we’re guessing that this is part of the much-discussed Belleteyn sequence.
RELATED ARTICLE: The Witcher is filming Belleteyn for Season 3!
Belleteyn is a Spring festival that celebrates love and fertility, and it is also the setting of what is often considered the most iconic Geralt and Yennefer scene in the novels. The show skipped that scene in Season 1, but we may yet see a slightly different version of it in Season 3.
As we can see here, Yennefer has a very specific dressing choice, the dress she wore when she and Geralt first met. This may be part of her lasting efforts to win Geralt’s affection back after her betrayal in Season 2.
For more details on the Yennefer and Geralt relationship in Season 3, make sure to read our recent article linked below.
In any case, after Belleteyn the main trio are lost and separated in a hedge maze, and there’s someone else there with them. Naturally, Geralt isn’t happy about this and quickly draws his sword.
In the next frame, Ciri seems to see something. A blurred-out monster that seems to hunt her? From the silhouette it looks somewhat like a skinnier and smaller shaelmaar from Blood & Wine. Could Rience also be there?
There is a LOT more to come
Though the teaser trailer includes a bunch of scenes in its short runtime, we have a strong suspicion that most of them are taken from the first two episodes of Season 3. This means that there is a lot we have yet to see. One single frame shows us a key location in Season 3: Aretuza, the school of sorceresses, where some major events will take place.
That’s all we get for today, a little morsel, but only the first in what is sure to be a lengthy marketing campaign for the third season of The Witcher. The gears are turning, and the countdown is set. Two months to go!