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The first season of Netflix’s The Witcher adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy books launched a whole new global fandom to the universe that includes the books, video games, and comics — and now we have some fresh intel on what fans can expect when the show returns to the streaming service.
Season 2 will premiere globally Dec. 17 on Netflix. At today’s Television Critics Association virtual panel for the series, writer/producer/showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich was joined by actresses Anya Chalotra (Yennifer) and Freya Allan (Princess Cirilla) to discuss Season 2 developments.
Continuing where Season 1 left off, Yennefer is assumed dead at the Battle of Sodden, which leads Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) to bring Princess Cirilla (Allan) to his childhood home of Kaer Morhen.
Schmidt Hissrich said the forced production shutdown of Season 2 three weeks into the new season was devastating, but gave the writers a chance to refine the scripts. What resulted was a more focused lean into character moments.
“We refine the relationships between as not to be too plot-y and not too much action,” Schmidt Hissrich said. “We added moments that showed emotional connections.”
In particular, she said fans wanted more Ciri and Geralt, Yennifer and Geralt, and Ciri and Yennifer who will meet this season. She said the divisive non-linear storytelling style of Season 1 has been adjusted for the new season.
“What I did with that is we won’t play with time as much, but still not tell completely linear stories,” Schmidt Hissrich explained. “For example, Ciri’s story moves back and forth in her head.”
Continuing the Ciri conversation, Schmidt Hissrich revealed that her biggest regret of Season 1 was having Ciri “reduced to running from things” that challenged her. “One of my favorite things this season is that Ciri plants her feet and is not running this season.”
Actress Freya Allan said she loved that new arc, and added, “Ciri is lacking trust in anyone, and Geralt trying to understand this girl he’s looking after... She’s not giving him much, so it was great fun to explore that and talk about it.”
As for Yennifer, she is definitely very alive, and in for quite a journey. “After her victory, she’s captured with her whereabouts unknown,” Chalotra teased. “She has to survive being a prisoner of war.”
Schmidt Hissrich said, “Yennifer’s journey is one of self exploration. She is figuring out who Yennifer is and who she wants to be in the future.” Chalotra added, “There will be unlikely alliances that change her way of thinking. Her experiences in Season 2 really change her.”
Asked if there was a formal pick-up for The Witcher Season 3 yet, Schmidt Hissrich said there wasn’t, and she is focused on completing post on Season 2 to earn a new season. But have faith, as Netflix announced earlier today that Schmidt Hissrich will write and produce scripted series content and other creative projects for the streamer, along with her work as showrunner/executive producer on The Witcher.