Are you ready for more Witcher action on Netflix? You better be. The streaming giant’s TV adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy novels is getting a third season. Given its popularity, that’s not a surprise.
The Witcher season 3 will pick up events immediately after the season 2 finale, with Geralt and Yennefer trying to stay one step ahead of the Continent’s many factions. Why? Because they’re all after Ciri and her powers, and it seems that Geralt and Yennefer are the only ones who can keep her safe.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s much to discuss about The Witcher season 3, including its potential release date, returning cast members, the direction of its plot (based on season 2’s ending and Sapkowski’s book series) and the Netflix show’s future.
Below, you’ll find out more information on The Witcher season 3 on Netflix. Be advised, though: major spoilers follow for The Witcher seasons 1 and 2, as well as the novels. Turn back now if you’re not caught up.
The Witcher season 3 release date
The Witcher season 3 release date: 2023?
Fans will be hoping that The Witcher’s third season will arrive more quickly than season 2 did. The Witcher season 1 landed on Netflix in December 2019, but it would be another two years – due to the ongoing pandemic – before its sequel was released.
And it could be another long wait before The Witcher season 3 launches. Speaking exclusively to TechRadar in December 2021, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich revealed that, while season 3’s scripts were nearly complete, there was still plenty of work to be done.
“This is our last week [December 3] in the writers’ room,” Hissrich said. “We’re almost done with the scripting phase… but the creative process is now really just starting. We have the scripts, and now we’ll bring the directors on, the actors back in, and start delving in deeper and reflecting back and making sure that it’s the perfect season.”
Based on Hissrich’s comments, fans may think that they’re in for another lengthy wait for season 3. But, according to Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence, which has been correct about other aspects of the show’s production, filming will begin in March 2022. Principal photography is due to take place at Longcross Studios in the UK.
Redanian Intelligence has also reported that The Witcher season 3 will comprise a six-month shoot. If that’s the case, filming should end in August 2022. Taking that and the show’s lengthy post-production phase into account, we wouldn’t expect the show’s third season to be released before spring 2023 at the earliest.
The Witcher season 3 cast
The Witcher season 3 cast: who is returning?
You can expect all the show’s key players, plus the majority of its sizable supporting cast, to return:
- Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia
- Freya Allen as Princess Cirilla of Cintra
- Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg
- Joey Batey as Jaskier
- Eamon Farren as Cahir
- MyAnna Buring as Tissaia de Vries
- Mimî M. Khayisa as Fringilla Vigo
- Royce Pierreson as Istredd
- Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold
- Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz
- Tom Canton as Filavandrel
- Mecia Simson as Francesca Findabair
- Lars Mikkelsen as Stregobor
- Terence Maynard as Artorius Vigo
- Graham McTavish as Sigismund Dijkstra
- Ed Birch as King Vizimir of Redania
- Chris Fulton as Rience
- Aisha Fabienne Ross as Lydia van Bredevoort
- Cassie Clare as Philippa Einhart
- Wilson Mbomio as Dara
- Bart Edwards as Duny/Emperor Emhyr, aka The White Flame of Nilfgaard
Most of the above characters have played significant parts in The Witcher so far but you can expect those who haven’t to have expanded roles in season 3.
Emperor Emhyr is the most notable of that contingent. As the season 2 finale shockingly revealed, Duny – the knight Geralt saved in season 1, and also Ciri’s father – is not only still alive, but he’s the leader (aka The White Flame) of Nilfgaard’s forces. And he wants to be reunited with Ciri, so he can use her abilities for his own nefarious means.
We expect Philippa Einhart to feature more regularly in season 3, too. She was only present in a couple of season 2 scenes but, based on what we know of her novel counterpart, she has a bigger role to play. That expectation also extends to King Vizimir and Sigismund Dijkstra, with the kingdom of Redania becoming more prominent as the story in the novels unfolds.
Other season 2 newcomers, including Adjoa Andoh’s Nenneke, Simon Callow’s Codringher, Liz Carr’s Fenn, Kaine Zajaz’s Gage and Sam Hazeldine’s Eredin/King of the Wild Hunt, may also be back. Until we hear official confirmation on this front, though, we haven’t included them above.
As for who may not return, Kim Bodnia’s Vesemir and other Witchers including Coën (Yasen Atour) and Lambert (Paul Bullion) might not be back. That’s based on Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri deciding to leave the Witchers’ Kaer Morhen stronghold in the season 2 finale. Unless the trio has to make an unexpected return, Vesemir and company aren’t likely to return just yet. Netflix’s Witcher series has diverged slightly from its source material at times, though, so Vesemir and company could still be included in season 3 in some capacity.
Finally, there are plenty of characters from the books who could be introduced. Again, though, until we receive official cast announcements, we can’t say who will show up.
The Witcher season 3 plot
The Witcher season 3 plot: what’s the story about?
Major spoilers follow for The Witcher books and TV show.
Little is known about season 3’s plot, but we do have some idea of where it’ll go. That’s based on Sapkowski’s books, as well as what Hissrich and the show’s cast have said.
Hissrich exclusively told TechRadar that season 3 will be based on the second main novel in The Witcher saga – i.e. The Time of Contempt. “I’m really thrilled with how season 3 is shaping up,” Hissrich told us. “Because it’s based on my favorite book in the saga, which is The Time of Contempt [and] I feel like seasons 1 and 2 have been laying the playing field for everything huge that’s about to happen.”
Chatting with Collider, Hissrich also reaffirmed her desire to stick as closely to the source material as possible, saying: “I don’t feel the need for our story to go beyond where the books go. I think Andrzej had a natural end in mind. Now actually, since we started the show, he’s released more books, so we’ll have to see how that fits into it.”
It sounds like season 3 will incorporate plot points from other books in the series, too. In the same Collider interview, Hissrich confirmed that a “big story from Blood of Elves”, the first novel in The Witcher saga, will form part of the third season’s story.
“Mysteries require research.” At https://t.co/funIjosqy0, Istredd is your guide to a whole Continent of #TheWitcher secrets. Lose yourself in the interactive map and vast library now. pic.twitter.com/6QhrIqQLUYJanuary 10, 2022
There are only two major Blood of Elves storylines not included in season 2. The first concerns the Scoia’tael, a group of non-human guerillas who fight for Nilfgaard and attack Geralt, Ciri, Triss and Yarpen Zigrin’s dwarven contingent in the novels. Hissrich has confirmed (per Polygon) that the Scoia’tael will be part of season 3, so their introduction should cause problems for Geralt and company.
The second, though, is far more important. It relates to Geralt telling Ciri about the roses of Aelirenn, an elf who led the last band of elven youths against an invading human army. Aelirenn’s forces were massacred by their foes and, given that only young elves can produce offspring, the demise of Aelirenn’s forces inadvertently led to the elves’ slow march towards extinction. Expect this particular story to tie back into events concerning Francesca and her murdered elven baby in season 2.
Lastly, where Hissrich’s quotes are concerned, she teased the prospect of more action in season 3 and that the show’s next instalment will take place across a shorter time period – a welcome plot point for fans after season 1’s many time jumps drew criticism.
She told The Wrap: “There’s tons of action, there’s tons of things that are just jaw dropping when you get to them. So we’re really letting that lead our storytelling. Season 3, for instance, takes place on a very, very small timeline. Not a lot of time passes, because it doesn’t need to.”
As for the cast, lead actor Henry Cavill wants the show to follow Sapkowski’s novels more closely than before. Speaking during The Witcher Unlocked, a filmed spoilercast released post-season 2, Cavill said: “I’m a huge fan of the books and staying loyal to them, and it’s about making sure that story happens without too much in the way of diversions or side things going on to muddy the waters.”
So we should expect season 3 to contain less in the way of plot diversions. Or should we? Speaking to Newsweek, Jaskier actor Joey Batey said: “There are inevitably going to be plot lines that deviate from the books, so we’re no longer trusting the books… we’re obviously completely trusting the books but there’s so much trust in Lauren.” We’ll have to wait and see if Cavill gets his wish, then.
Finally, Anya Chalotra, who plays Yennefer, wants season 3 to incorporate more of the maternal relationship between her character and Ciri from the novels. Chatting to Glamour, Chalotra said: “[I want to see] everything that happens in the book where she gets to develop a mother-daughter relationship with Ciri. She also calms down a bit and she realizes she is enough.”
The Witcher season 3 trailer
The Witcher season 3 trailer: is there one?
No, and there won’t be for a long time. Once one is released, we’ll update this section.
The Witcher season 3: the future
The Witcher season 3: what does the show’s future hold?
Netflix hasn’t renewed The Witcher for a fourth season yet – but we’d be surprised if another installment isn’t greenlit. Speaking to Collider, Hissrich revealed that she’s mapped out a seven-season arc for the show, but her plan will depend on its continual renewal.
Cavill has also expressed a desire to star in all seven seasons, telling The Hollywood Reporter (THR) that he’s “absolutely committed” to Hissrich’s vision. Freya Allen, who portrays Ciri, also told The Radio Times that she wants to finish Ciri’s story in the mainline series, but not be part of any Witcher side projects.
Speaking of spin-offs, there are a few offshoot productions in the works for Netflix’s Witcher-Verse.
First up is The Witcher: Blood Origin prequel series. Set 1200 years before Netflix’s mainline Witcher series, Blood Origin will cover the creation of the first Witcher. The show will also follow events leading up to and during the Conjunction of the Spheres, the cataclysm that results in the collision of multiple universes and their human, elven and monstrous races. Blood Origin is due to be released sometime in 2022.
Other Witcher spin-off productions currently in development include a family-friendly animated series and a second anime movie, both of which were announced at Netflix’s Tudum fan event in September 2021. Neither project has been given a concrete release date yet.