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SYFY WIRE The Witcher

Witcher showrunner addresses Season 2 timeline(s?), fan push to add Mark Hamill

By Benjamin Bullard
The Witcher Episode 3

Now that Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri have finally found their way into what we think is the same timeline (not to mention the same general vicinity), the setup for the second season of Netflix’s breakout must-binge fantasy The Witcher is looking like a more straightforward affair when it comes to smoothing out Season 1’s often convoluted, multi-threaded story.

Even as Netflix has responded to the sometimes head-scratching time jumps that the show’s early episodes juggled among its three main characters (seriously, check out the show's official interactive map and timeline), showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is dropping some light hints about how Season 2 will likely reframe things by finally having Geralt and company all on the same page. 

Teasing a “more focused” narrative as Season 2 picks up, Hissrich told IGN that the mixed critical reactions to The Witcher’s frantic Season 1 time hops left her a little disappointed — and that all the time-skipping is unlikely to reappear in the next batch of episodes, since it's already served its purpose.

“The timelines were done mostly so we could follow Geralt’s story at the same time we were following Yennefer’s and Ciri’s story,” she explained, adding that the goal was to “bring everyone onto the same timeline” by the first season’s 8th and final episode. ”I personally was sad that the timelines weren’t received as well as I hoped they would’ve been … But I think the audience lucked out a lot because, in Season 2, those were already gone anyway. So I do think that it’s going to be an easier season to follow … more than that, the storytelling is a lot more focused."

Hissrich also said that the scriptwriting for Season 2 has already been finished, though she added that there’s still plenty of room for tweaks and changes as pre-production ramps up ahead of the new season’s anticipated 2021 debut.

That’s probably good news for at least one particularly enthusiastic online cross-section of fans, which have been tweeting and retweeing every time a certain Star Wars actor by the name of Mark Hamill has ventured online to playfully engage fans about the suggestion that he should join the cast as Vesemir — the old, battle-hardened Witcher from author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, who's a sort of father figure to Geralt.

Hissrich addressed the fun fan buzz about the push to recruit Hamill to the series, telling IGN she’s a huge Star Wars fan and that she’s “loving” all the online chatter. But she made it clear that there haven’t been any formal talks to bring those Jedi skills over into the Witcher-verse — at least, not just yet.

Hamill, said Hissrich, has “always been of interest to me and interest to the project. We have not contacted his agent yet because we’re not casting the role quite yet, but that being said, I am loving what’s happening on the internet … Obviously, we’ve seen what a huge fanbase The Witcher has, and to add that to a Star Wars fanbase ... it makes my mind explode a little bit.”

Hey, longtime Witcher followers may remember that Geralt actor Henry Cavill was out there sharing his love for the Witcher video games — as well as his desire to play the lead role in the Netflix series — weeks before any official news about his casting ever appeared. So there’s definitely some kind of precedent there, right? 

While we patiently (and hopefully) wait to see whether Hamill might one day make the long journey from the peace of Ahch-To to the magically-tinged turbulence of The Continent, we’ve still got all the time in the world to get that twisting timeline firmly cemented in our minds once and for all. All eight episodes of Season 1 of The Witcher are streaming now at Netflix.