The Witcher Season 3 is filming at the time of this writing, but keeping up with the blow-by-blow updates from every possible source can be a chore. If you want the latest on the series without any extraneous info, read on. Fair warning: There are spoilers for The Witcher Seasons 1 and 2 ahead.
The Witcher became a smash hit when it premiered in December of 2019, and in many ways, it was the first to answer the call for the "next Game of Thrones." The franchise's momentum may have been slowed slightly by the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the release of Season 2 in December of 2021, it seems like Geralt's journey is back on track. So far, we can't say for sure when Season 3 will premiere, but there are some insights about the Netflix Original Series' progress and what the story adaptation might look like.
What we do know so far is pretty basic - who will be returning to the show both on camera and behind it, where to look for insights on the production and, of course, what to expect next in the story. We'll update this article with more news as we get it. Until then, here's a breakdown of everything we know about The Witcher Season 3 so far.
Netflix has not announced an official release date for The Witcher Season 3 yet, so all we can do is speculate. The series was renewed for a third season in September of 2021 – well before Season 2 even premiered. Judging by social media posts from showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich and others working on the series, work got underway in early January of 2022. However, Hissrich told Digital Spy that some of the writing was already in progress back in November of 2021, so the pre-production phase may move quickly if the writing is taken care of.
Filming for The Witcher Season 3 officially began on April 4, 2022, according to a report by Deadline. Typically, Netflix shows take about six months after filming is wrapped to premiere. It seems unlikely that we'll see The Witcher Season 3 until early 2023 — especially with the spinoff Blood Origin still slated for release this year. Still, for the optimists out there there's always a chance Netflix will rush it out at the end of 2022.prevnext
All the main players in The Witcher Saga will be back for Season 3 – Freya Allan as Ciri, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg, Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia and Joey Batey as Jaskier. We know that we'll also see the return of Kim Bodnia as the Witcher Vesemir, Anna Shaffer as the sorceress Triss Merigold and Royce Pierreson as Istredd.
Beyond that, we can safely assume that Bart Edwards will be back as Emhyr, as he was in the Season 2 finale. It also seems safe to assume that we'll see the return of Mimi Ndiweni as Fringilla, Media Simson as Francesa, Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz and MyAnna Buring as Tissaia.
Fans are hoping to see more of Cassie Clare as Philippa Eilhart this season, since Philippa is central to the story in the books and video games. She made a brief cameo in Season 2 but has not gotten as much screentime as she will need. There are likely more new characters coming this season as well, and some casting rumors are already making the rounds online.prevnext
Behind the Scenes
We have a few glimpses behind the scenes on The Witcher thanks to Hissrich and other people on the show's crew. Hissrich made three posts in January showing herself and other writers and producers on the set. They strolled through the woods scouting locations and also worked in lounges and conference rooms to compile what they needed.
To stay up to date on these kinds of behind-the-scenes peeks, follow Hissrich on Instagram and Twitter. It's not a bad idea to follow some of the cast members as well. You can also count on fan sites and forums to find posts from crew members and producers whenever they become relevant. We'll keep this article updated with those as they come to light.prevnext
It may be hard to predict the future of The Witcher franchise until we see more of the spinoffs for ourselves. We already got the animated film Nightmare of the Wolf in August, which served as a perfect introduction to Vesemir. Next we'll have The Witcher: Blood Origin – a six-episode live-action limited series set 1,200 years before the events of Geralt's quest.
Blood Origin is in post-production and is expected to premiere sometime in 2022, but no date has been set yet. Meanwhile, we also have another animated feature film on the way from the same studio that made Nightmare of the Wolf. Finally, Netflix announced a "family-friendly animated Witcher series" in the fall so that younger viewers could get in on the action.
It seems safe to assume that we'll get Blood Origin next, and probably The Witcher Season 3 after that. The two animated projects do not have release dates yet. Witcher fans will need to be wary as the material begins to come at them from every side at once.prevnext
The Witcher is based on author Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher Saga books and stories, so we can predict what is coming in Season 3 to some extent. However, Season 2 deviated further from the books, so there's no guarantee that we will get the same story here. Take these potential spoilers with a grain of salt.
Season 2 essentially finished out the material in the first three Witcher books, which are short story collections, as well as the first novel Blood of Elves. Season 3 will consist mainly of material from the second novel Time of Contempt, which is about Yennefer, Ciri and Geralt traveling to Aretuza together where they witness a coup. They are separated in the chaos.
The shape and scope of that journey could change drastically in the adaptation, and it may focus on different aspects of the characters' feelings than the books did. For example, Hissrich told Digital Spy that Season 3 will deal with Ciri's newfound apocalyptic destiny quite a bit as she grapples with that new role. Meanwhile, Cavill told Netflix's Geek'd channel that Geralt and Yennefer's relationship will face a slow recovery as they travel together.
"It's a fairly extreme set of circumstances to come back from. It's a tough one to forgive, it's going to take some real work. The true development of Geralt this season is him being able to recognize that he can't do this himself," he said. In the same panel, Chalotra said that things will be just as difficult for Yennefer.
"It's habitual, isn't it: she's cowled, and she's lived the kind of life she's lived with all the rules she lives by, and that's Yen and she don't trust nobody. She might've learned to consider things more [...] and it's going to be really hard to just delve into a new way of being," she said.prevnext
Differences From the Books
Fans were very divided over Season 2 and how it differed from Sapkowski's books. Hissrich was surprisingly active online and willing to discuss those creative choices with fans. She continued that transparency in discussing Season 3 in an interview with The Wrap. She seemed to suggest that Season 3 will actually steer the course back towards the books a bit – not to appease critics necessarily, just because the adaptation allows it here.
"It's based on The Time of Contempt, and that actually to me is a very easily adaptable book," she said. "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 three, for instance, takes place on a very, very small timeline. Not a lot of time passes, because it doesn't need to."
"I have always said that I want to end our stories at the same place that Andrzej Sapkowski ended his," Hissrich continued. "I just don't feel the need for us to keep creating stories after his intentional end. The funny thing is, of course, since we have been working on the series, he's actually released two new books. We're trying to be a little flexible with it."
"I've always said that I will write the show as long as there is an interest in the show. Right now, that interest seems to be great. But some of that also is through some of the additional universe that we're expanding. So through the anime films, or through the spinoff that just finished production, those are ways for us to continue telling Sapkowski's stories without taking the attention away from the main storytelling of the mothership," she concluded.prevnext
How Much Longer?
Finally, some fans wonder about how much longer The Witcher franchise can keep up this pace – especially at Netflix where heartbreaking cancellations are common. Therefore, it's encouraging to see that The Witcher Season 2 got 142.4 million viewing hours in its first three days after release. That seems to bode well for the series.0comments
There's also the question of the source material. The first two seasons essentially burned through four books, but since three of those were short story collections it makes sense that they needed to be condensed and reworked. From the sound of it, Season 3 will draw mostly on a single novel, Time of Contempt. If the show continues to adapt one novel for each season, we will be looking at an eight-season series by the end. Of course, things can always change in the process.
The Witcher Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now on Netflix along with The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. The Witcher: Blood Origins is coming soon, while The Witcher Season 3 is currently in production. Check back here for updates as they become available.prev