Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia is all set for a heroic sendoff in the upcoming third season of Netflix’s The Witcher, and the first batch of episodes is set to release on June 29. It could be a rather disappointing sendoff if the witcher would not face some new and terrifying monsters, but there’s the problem.
The novel Time of Contempt, which serves as the source material for the upcoming season, includes very few monsters. In order to maintain the expected monster quota, the writers had to pull their inspiration from outside the novels. Read on for a list of all the monsters and other creatures we know will be included.
SPOILER WARNING! This article includes some monsters that will be a surprise even to book readers.
Probably the first monster we’ll meet in Season 3 is the Shaelmaar. This gigantic, armadillo-like creature was first introduced to the franchise in The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt, in the expansion titled Blood and Wine.
Now, for clarity, we don’t know if the people behind the show really call it a shaelmaar, but we will for convenience sake.
In the game lore, these monsters usually burrow underground but are often taken to captivity and forced to fight humans or other creatures in fighting pits. In the show, this monster will be in a different kind of captivity.
From what we can deduce, the shaelmaar will belong to the villainous sorcerer Rience, who will set it on Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri. In the game, the shaelmaar is able to roll up in a ball and smash into its enemies, and it will be doing exactly that in Season 3. We can see most of this monster sequence in the trailer, actually, including how the beast is taken down.
The Werewolf Otto Dussart
Geralt first came across the Werewolf Otto Dussart in the novel Season of Storms, a prequel to the main novels set roughly in between the episodes of Season 1 (if the show were ever to adapt this material, that is). Geralt was on contract to kill the beast in the town of Guaamez, but he discovers that Otto is a peaceful werewolf. Geralt spares his life, and Otto later repays this debt by aiding Geralt in infiltrating the base of rogue mage Degerlund.
Close to twenty years later, the Netflix version of Geralt will meet his old friend Otto while investigating the works of another rogue mage.
Note: From what we understand, Otto will only appear in his human form.
The art above is taken from CD Projekt RED’s Gwent: The Card Game.
An experiment gone wrong…
This next one is kind of hard to define. From what our sources describe, it seems to be the product of a sick experiment conducted by a certain sorcerer. We were told this monster is actually an amalgam of multiple young women and girls, whose bodies were mutilated and attached together.
When this monster was described to us, the first image that came to mind is the monster from the game The Evil Within 2 since both share a similar origin. This is a monster Geralt will be fighting in his pursuit of Rience early on in the season.
Although he doesn’t name it, Head of Franchise Design Andrew Laws, described the hardest monster they had to deal with in Season 3 in a new issue of the SFX Magazine
“We had to deal with the dynamism of it, very much between prosthetics, creature concept design and VFX, and try to figure out how to evolve this thing and make sense out of it. Because it’s not a singular entity that is… You know, does it have four legs? Does it have two legs? Does it stand up? Does it wave its arms? Does it have magic?“
Judging by the description, we think Laws is talking about this monster.
The Wyvern is a winged reptile that resembles a dragon but is unable to cast fire, making them a decidedly less dangerous beast. An experienced witcher would be able to dispatch one of these rather quickly but, in this case, it will not be Geralt but Ciri who must face the beast.
Ciri will encounter the wyvern while exploring the city of Gors Velen after running off with her newfound pal Fabio Sachs. This will prove as one of many opportunities in Season 3 where Ciri will put her witcher training to the test.
The art on the left was drawn by Dennis Gordeev.
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The Wild Hunt
This group of ghostly riders is not new to the show, as they have already made their debut in Season 2. As proven in The Witcher: Blood Origin, this posse of dark riders in skeletal armor is not what it seems. And in fact, unless there is a retcon coming in the coming seasons, their background is not very similar to the books. In any case, the Wild Hunt are still elves with abilities that allow them to temporarily travel between dimensions. And, naturally, they’re after Ciri for her Elder Blood, too.
Their Season 3 appearance has been shown in both the teaser and the trailer, and we already know how it ends. Check out our frame-by-frame analysis, linked below, for more details.
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In the novel Blood of Elves, Geralt escorts a boat traveling through dangerous waters to the city of Oxenfurt when this foul monster attacks. The Aeschna is amphibious, yet it is also described to have limbs similar to a praying mantis, so it is also insectoid.
The show has shifted around events, and now the Aeschna will attack Geralt, Ciri, and Jaskier as they take a ship to Thanedd Island after Geralt rescues Ciri from the Wild Hunt.
The art on the left is taken from CD Projekt RED’s Gwent: The Card Game.
If this monster’s design seems familiar to you, you must really be a hardcore Witcher fan. Back in 2022, the official Netflix Witcher account on Twitter shared a concept design comparing the sizes of all the monsters of Season 2, and the aeschna was among them. It seems likely that this monster was originally lined up to appear in Season 2 and a model was already designed before plans shifted.
One of the most iconic sequences in Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel Time of Contempt is Ciri’s adventure in the Korath Desert, in part due to her unlikely companion, the Unicorn named Ihuarraquax.
Like the Wild Hunt, the unicorns can travel between dimensions. In fact, in the books, they come from the same dimension as the Aen Elle elves to whom the Wild Hunt belong, and the unicorns are at war with them. There’s a lot of lore that may not make it to the show unless some retcons are made to The Witcher: Blood Origin.
But, for the meantime, we do know that this desert sequence and the unicorn will make an appearance in Volume 2 of Season 3.
Unnamed sand monster
The last of the monsters we’ve heard about is also related to the unicorn and Ciri’s desert adventure. This monster is not given a name in the books and appears only once to impede our heroes’ journey.
As they travel the Korah Desert, Ciri and Ihuarraquax fall into a sinkhole that the monster uses as a trap. Ciri is able to dispatch the beast, but not before it does some significant damage.
You can see Dennis Gordeev’s depiction of the monster in the art on the left.
The Dryads of Brokilon Forest
As we already reported, the show will revisit Brokilon Forest and the Dryads in its last episodes. This comes after a brief appearance in Season 1 that many fans believe did not explore the dryad culture in a satisfactory manner. Hopefully, Season 3 will delve deeper into the dryads.
RELATED ARTICLE: Henry Cavill Filming Brokilon Scenes for The Witcher Season 3
The Witcher Season 3 is available on Netflix with The Rats prequel in post-production and The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep anime by Studio Mir is far in production. Stay tuned to Redanian Intelligence and do pop into our Discord server to join in on The Witcher conversation.