Over the past three years, The Witcher has grown to become one of Netflix’s most popular and reliable properties. Although the Blood Origin prequel will take the main series’ spot as this holiday season’s headliner release, season three is slowly coming together.
Part of this was showcased during Netflix’s big TUDUM event a couple of weeks ago. During the event, the Witcher himself, Henry Cavill, shared some updates on the new season, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage featuring his co-stars Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra. So what is there to know about The Witcher’s third live-action chapter? And how will the series continue to distinguish itself from Andrzej Sapkowski’s books and CD Projekt Red’s games?
Release Window & Trailers
The Witcher’s second season was severely impacted by COVID-related delays and even Cavill picking up a knock that affected the planned filming schedule. However, production has gone much smoother this time around with. Filming commenced in early April and wrapped up towards the middle of September. While season 3 was never going to come out earlier than the prequel, and Blood Origin allegedly experienced its own reshoots, TUDUM confirmed The Witcher will be coming back in the summer of 2023. No specific release date has yet been announced, but somewhere between June and August is the most likely option.
Unfortunately, there are no trailers or teasers of any kind for now. Once Blood Origin’s momentum fades, viewers should expect the first preview to come out roughly one or two months ahead of release. As a bonus, The Witcher’s fourth and fifth seasons are believed to undergo production in back-to-back fashion, meaning the waiting period might not be as long in the future.
Season 3 Plot
As stated previously by showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich, The Witcher’s third season will mostly focus on the events covered in Sapkowski’s Time of Comtempt novel, after season 2 went over most of Blood of Elves and what the writers deemed appropriate to extract from A Grain of Truth. Crucially, Hissrich has said she believes Time of Contempt to be one od Sapkowski’s more adaptable novels, as it includes plenty of action for those fans that love that part of the show. Storytelling in the third season should be a far cry from the first season’s convoluted time jumps.
There are plenty of unforgettable moments coming in The Witcher’s third season. Among the ones with the most meaningful consequences will be the Thanedd Coup, Ciri’s journey in Aretuza as Yennefer’s apprentice, and the rise of the Scoia’tael faction. Mages like Djikstra, Philippa and Vilgefortz will become more important as the political tides change, and leaked images have already teased one of Geralt’s biggest fights taking place.
For the most part, Hissrich has hinted that Netflix’s adaptation will roughly cover one book per season, Nevertheless, the show has already introduced one huge change from The Witcher story. Even Henry Cavill has teased Geralt could venture to one of The Witcher 3’s DLC locations, Touissant, despite the self-confessed Witcher nerd not being as familiar with the game’s extra content. On the other hand, regardless of the Wild Hunt showing up as part of season two’s ending, these ghastly riders shouldn’t be expected to feature much this time around, if at all.
The Continent’s Cast
It’s a given that The Witcher’s main trio of Cavill, Allan, and Chalotra will return in their leading roles. The same goes for pretty much the entire cast, with one notable exception. As noted in late August, Chris Fulton won’t be reprising his part as Rience, the fiery mage that haunted Jaskier, Yennefer and Ciri, instead, actor Sam Woolf will step in his shoes.
There are new additions though. Meng’er Zhang (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) has been cast as Milva, an archer whose importance grows later on in the story, in spite of her never being featured in The Witcher games. Joining her will be Robbie Amell as Galatin, Hugh Skinner as Prince Radovid, and Christelle Elwin as Mistle. There are at least a few more minor castings not yet officially confirmed by Netflix or the team behind the show. Most notably among these, Stuart Thompson will be coming in as Fabio Sachs. The Witcher 3 fans might know that could mean seeing more of Ciri’s newly-acquired fighting skills.
Overall, Netflix’s continuously expanding Witcher universe heads towards its third season in fine form. The promise of the Blood Origin prequel lays the building blocks of the series’ lore and historical precedents for more casual fans to see, even to a greater extent than what readers of Sapkowski’s work got to enjoy. That, paired with CD Projekt Red’s recent announcements for The Witcher 4 and more games in the not-so-near future will certainly boost the franchise’s mainstream appeal.The Witcher is one of Netflix’s heavy hitters, so it’s plausible that Hissrich and Cavil will be able to see its story last for the estimated seven season-run that they would need to flesh out the main books.