Skip to main content

The Witcher season 2: release date details, story, and what we know

The Witcher season 2
(Image credit: Katalin Vermes/Netflix)

The Witcher season 2 can't come to Netflix soon enough. The fantasy drama, starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, drew 76 million viewers for the streaming service during season one, and was the sixth most-watched Netflix show of 2019 after less than a month. Next season, expect more monster hunting, political machinations and all-out war. 

It hasn't been hard to find new details about The Witcher season 2 in 2020. Every week there seems to be some extra information about what's to come, whether it's from interviews with creator Lauren Hissrich, or even social media posts. The most important thing is this, though: The Witcher season 2 is officially confirmed, and filming begins in February 2020. 

The writers have no shortage of source material to draw from for this second year, since season one only took inspiration from the first two short story collections. That means there are still multiple novels to mine, with each featuring exciting folklore-inspired fantasy tales. Based on that, we can predict some of season 2's story beats already. 

Below, we've rounded up everything we know about The Witcher season 2 so far, including the expected release date. 

 The Witcher season 2 release date: 2021

The Witcher season 2

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cutting to the chase, the closest actual date for release and airing we have is '2021'. This was reported by Variety but was also confirmed by writer Lauren S. Hissrich during a Reddit AMA, who said, "We don't yet have a target launch date for season 2, past 2021." It's not a great deal to go on, but it guarantees there'll be more than a year's wait between seasons. Our best guess is we'll see it in early 2021. 

The Witcher season 2 was announced on November 13, around six weeks before the first season aired. This usually means the network or streaming service really likes what it sees, and is keen to get moving on more episodes with the same cast and crew. 

Season 2 is filming beginning in February 2020, according to a Reddit post. Geralt of Rivia himself, Henry Cavill, discussed his imminent return to the role in this video from early January:

P.S. Happy New Year! Henry Cavill

A photo posted by @henrycavill on Jan 10, 2020 at 5:02am PST

If you can't wait for season 2, it's been announced that an anime-style Witcher movie is in the works from Netflix called The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, written by Beau DeMayo (who scripted episode 3 of season one). It'll be animated by Studio Mir, which was behind the acclaimed Legend of Korra series. The story will take us "back to a new threat facing the Continent."

The Witcher season 2 story: what happens next, according to the books

Mild spoilers for The Witcher books follow, including possible details of later seasons.

A big talking point of season one was how it told stories in multiple places and across a non-linear timeline (though the now-released official Witcher map and Witcher timeline really help) resulting in a multi-tale anthology of sorts. 

In an interview with Vulture, Hissrich admits that while she believes she didn't give the audience too much credit - "the audience is incredibly smart" - she had "misunderstood what everyone was looking for in their entertainment". She said "I love to be challenged when I'm watching TV," but conceded that that wasn't the case for everyone. 

However, while "it's not like all three are together and happy all the time," Hissrich will be mining "different short stories" for season 2, and suggests the chance of flashback scenes with which to tell them.

However, season one's climax brought all the separate threads together nicely, priming The Witcher season 2 for a more straightforward plot. Hissrich confirmed to Vulture that Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer exist in the same timeframe now. However, while "it's not like all three are together and happy all the time," Hissrich will be mining "different short stories" for season 2, and suggests the chance of flashback scenes with which to tell them.

Also, while Hissrich and the team "already know the stories we're telling," (also in her Vulture chat) expect season 2 to go deeper into its characters: "We’re not trying to constantly introduce new characters all the time, and new worlds, and new kingdoms."

witcher season 2 story

(Image credit: Katalin Vermes/Netflix)

In an interview with GamesRadar, she revealed that season 2's story would be "...much more focused. There's a stronger drive in the story, because all of the relationships that we've been setting up in season one, actually start to come into fruition in season two...all of those building blocks that we set up for the world, finally start to come together into something a little more concrete." 

This 'more concrete' element is Ciri's story, as discussed by Hissrich in an interview with Redmania Intelligence, where she said that Ciri will be "center stage" in season 2.

But what is Ciri's story? In the books, Ciri's story makes up the central plot of 'the saga'. The saga covers five books, starting with Blood of Elves, and centers on Ciri, her importance as a magical royal with Elven heritage, her relationship with Geralt, her ongoing efforts to survive, and how all this shapes events on The Continent.

In terms of themes for The Witcher season 2 story, we can look to the subjects Hissrich appreciated when first reading The Last Wish. Later in her Vulture interview she mentions that she enjoyed the challenges themes of "the marginalization of people in society, and the racism and xenophobia, but also just about the grayness of morality." 

These topics have been touched on already in season 1, but they could well be developed in relation to Jaskier (Dandelion in the books and games). Speaking to Vulture, Hissrich teases that while attempting to present him as less of a creepy womanizer than he is in the books, in series 2, "you root for him to find his true love ... if that's what he's looking for."

(Image credit: Netflix)

The setup for this has already begun, as the very beginning of Blood of Elves is covered in season one by the siege and downfall of Cintra and Ciri's escape. Elsewhere, expect to see more of life under Nilfgaardian rule in season 2, and high tensions between humans and non-humans. 

The grand location of Kaer Morhen should appear prominently in The Witcher season 2 as well. This is the ancestral home and stronghold of the Witchers, and Geralt is required to take Ciri to the fortress for protection and training. Here, he takes closer guardianship of Ciri, becoming a father figure. Factor in the appearance of a mysterious, powerful wizard - also pursuing Ciri - some more war, prophecies, dark magic and, of course, monster hunting, and season 2 begins to look incredibly promising. 

In terms of story specifics, Redvania Intelligence claims that another short story from The Last Wish will appear, perhaps woven into the more linear main arc. This short story, A Grain of Truth, features Geralt meeting a cursed man called Nivellen who has been turned into a beast. 

Asked recently by Pure Fandom for a teaser on season 2, Hissrich had this to say: "Without spoilers, I will say that there’s a crop of new monsters, a new cost to magic, and new and unexpected pairings of our favorite characters."

Expect to see more from magical villainess Fringilla, too. When asked by Vulture, Hissrich confirmed that "you will absolutely get more Fringillla [...] we're digging deeper into her past and how she ended up at Nilfgaard, who she is as a person, and how she and Yennefer ended up on such different paths." In other words, expect more metal mind-control earworms. Ugh.

The Witcher could run for seven seasons on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher could run on Netflix for a long time. Speaking to SFX, Hissrich claims to have thought out ideas for a massive seven seasons. And we're pretty certain there's enough source material left for that to be viable. 

We've got the entirty of Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer's stories to play out. It takes them across The Continent to a rich variety of locations, and introduces us to some of the best fantasy characters around. Ciri's development is a great basis for future tales in The Witcher universe that combine themes of family and love, and mystery and magic. 

She and Yennefer get separated from Geralt during the saga, and his attempts to reunite with them form a gripping part of the story. This journey takes him across the Continent and introduces him to plenty of interesting new places and characters. Then there's the important role of the Wild Hunt: a group of elven warriors who raid other worlds for slaves. Their introduction could really ramp up the peril in the pursuit of Ciri.

The Witcher feels like it's here to stay on Netflix

The first season of The Witcher shrugged off the idea that it was just here to replace Game of Thrones. It confidently told stories in its own way and presented a fantasy world that has already captures people's imaginations. And, while we are unlikely to see much spillover from the games - they are not really canon according to Sapkowski but rather a "free adaptation containing elements of [his] work" - we know fans will enjoy various subtle references to the series, as they did in season one. 

Hissrich and company aren't in the business of rushing this out. Hissrich said that the series would need time: "We don't want to rush the product. That doesn't benefit anyone." If it's as good as season one, it'll be worth the wait. 

If it'll help pass the time, you can finally listen to the official version of 'Toss a Coin to your Witcher' on Spotify