Netflix’s The Witcher: What we want to see in season 2
Last month, Netflix debuted the first season of its new fantasy epic series The Witcher, giving swords and sorcery fans a much-needed fix after the tumultuous end of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Despite drawing more from Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s original Witcher books than from CD Projekt Red’s more recent video game adaptations, The Witcher was a lot of fun to watch, and influences of the video game adaptations weren’t entirely absent either.
Unsurprisingly, Netflix has greenlit a second season for The Witcher, and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich recently confirmed the second season is already in post-production (though it likely won’t arrive until sometime next year). Below, we’ve outlined what we hope to see once Geralt and the gang return for a second outing of monster-slaying, spellcasting, and steamy bathtub-soaking.
Disclaimer: This article doesn’t include any major spoilers from the show, but it does mention specific plot points from certain episodes. If you haven’t yet seen The Witcher’s first season and you plan to, you might want to watch it first before continuing.
The Past Life of a Witcher
In the first season of the show, Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) is already an accomplished Witcher with plenty of monster kills under his belt. Bits of dialogue peppered throughout the first season hint at Geralt’s past and the brutal initiation he had to undergo to become a Witcher, but it’s only the very last episode where viewers get a tangible glimpse into Geralt’s pre-Witching days, and even then only through brief hazy flashbacks that don’t provide a lot of solid information.
The second season doesn’t have to devote too much time to Geralt’s past, but there’s no denying how much of a fascinating and complicated character he is even though the show’s first season covers just a small portion of his entire life. Now that they’ve witnessed an entire season’s worth of him slaying monsters, solving problems, and giving his patented stony-faced stare, fans are likely eager to learn more about how Geralt of Rivia became the man they see in the show.
The Witcher’s first season clearly established the kingdom of Nilfgaard as an antagonistic force, with Nilfgaardian commander Cahir (Eamon Farren) being the closest thing to a proper villain, but as with many other elements of The Witcher world, the situation wasn’t so cut and dry. The invading Nilfgaardian army and the Order of the White Flame that supports them clearly want Princess Cirilla (Freya Allan) so badly that they’re willing to slaughter thousands of people to reach her, but why?
Hopefully the show’s second season will provide more context on who the major Nilfgaardian players are, how they came to be, and why they’re trying to locate Cirilla with such zealous fervor. There also appears to be more depth to Cahir than the first season let on, and we’d be glad to see him have a larger starring role in season two.
Live by the Sword
Hunting monsters is cool and all, but darned if The Witcher’s first season didn’t have some impressive person vs. person fight scenes, especially in the very first episode when Geralt faced down Renfri and her gang. The first season’s showrunners were careful not to use major setpiece fight scenes too often, ensuring that each one felt weighty and meaningful (even if we knew that Geralt was likely to come out on top).
Hopefully the second season will take a similar approach, juxtaposing the terrifying monster encounters with fights that show off The Witcher’s unique take on swordplay. Big, chaotic war scenes are all well and good, but well-choreographed fight scenes are an art unto themselves, an art which The Witcher’s fight choreographers have clearly mastered.
The Secret Life of a Sorceress
The show may be called The Witcher, but we’re guessing many fans would agree that the dangerous and complicated sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) was a far more compelling screen presence than even the gruff Geralt. Unlike Geralt, viewers got to see many of the hardships Yennefer had to endure as a young woman, and her life didn’t get much easier once her latent magical prowess was discovered. Even after she transformed herself into a statuesque mage whose power was rivaled only by her beauty, Yennefer’s deepest desires always remained just out of reach, showing that she was just as much a tragic figure as she was a foil/problematic love interest for Geralt.
Yennefer will undoubtedly play a big part in The Witcher’s second season, which is good since there’s still a lot about the 30-year gap between her transformation and her first meeting Geralt that fans aren’t privy to. Again, the second season doesn’t have to hammer too hard on Yennefer’s past (especially since viewers have already seen so much of it), but more Yennefer in any regard certainly isn’t a bad thing.
Witching at its Finest
This is a bit of an obvious request, we know, but we feel it’s worth making regardless. The stakes that were set during the show’s first season finale mean that Geralt likely won’t have much time for monster-hunting in season two (there is a princess to protect after all). However, if the showrunners managed to work in the occasional monster-slaying side-story here or there (perhaps by taking our earlier cue about exploring Geralt’s past), we certainly wouldn’t object.
Some of the first season’s strongest moments where when Geralt was just off on his own hunting various creatures, which makes sense considering how such interludes are also a big part of what makes CD Projekt Red’s interactive adaptations so compelling for gamers. Our guess is that season two won’t lean as heavily into the “monster of the week” format that season one did, but we’re also hopeful that Geralt won’t entirely abandon his main source of work now that he’s taken on a princess-protection side hustle.
Toss a Coin Indeed
If there’s one thing that absolutely has to happen in season two, it’s the return of the wonderfully witty bard Jaskier (Joey Batey), whom fans of the games might know better as Dandelion. The last time Geralt and Jaskier saw each other in The Witcher’s first season, they didn’t part on the best of terms, but that just leaves the door open for the loveable minstrel to make a triumphant return in season two, perhaps with a few catchy new songs added to his repertoire (though it’d be hard to top the catchiness of “Toss a Coin to your Witcher”).
Sure, Jaskier’s music might have sounded a bit too “modern” to fit in with The Witcher’s grim medieval aesthetic, but actor Joey Batey nailed the comedic timing and rapier-like wit needed to make the cheeky bard one of the show’s most enduring characters. And, let’s be honest, we could all use more of Geralt and Jaskier trading pithy barbs and snarky one-liners in our lives.