- Release window announced at Tudum 2022
- Filming has wrapped
- All major characters set to return
- Rumors of recasts and new character castings
- Plot based on The Time of Contempt book
- Fourth and fifth seasons reportedly greenlit
The release of The Witcher season 3 is slowly drawing closer. The next entry in Netflix's live-action fantasy adaptation is coming in Q2 2023 so, with each passing week, we edge a little nearer to a return to the Continent.
While we wait for an official launch date to be announced, there's plenty of news for you to catch up on concerning The Witcher's third season. The hit Netflix show has reportedly made a number of changes to its cast line-up, with some Witcher season 2 actors recast and new stars added to its ever-expanding line-up. Naturally, we'll wait for Netflix to confirm if these rumors are true or not, but it's interesting to hear about them nonetheless.
Below, you'll also find information about The Witcher season 3's potential plot, the high fantasy Netflix series' future, speculation on when it'll actually launch on the world's biggest streamer, and more. Full spoilers for the show's first two installments, plus Andrezj Sapkowski's Witcher book series, follow.
The Witcher season 3 release date
The Witcher season 3 doesn't have an official release date. However, a Q2 2023 release window was announced at Tudum 2022. We'd previously suggested it would arrive in mid-2023, so we're glad we were right on the money.
The Time of Contempt is nigh. 👀The Witcher returns to Netflix in Summer 2023 #TUDUM pic.twitter.com/MUzOKXwFjVSeptember 24, 2022
The launch window reveal came two weeks after showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich confirmed principal photography had wrapped. The end of production also comes nine months after Hissrich exclusively told TechRadar that the scripts for The Witcher season 3 were almost complete.
Of course, Q2 2023 could be mean it'll be released anytime between June and September. Given that its post-production phase will be extensive – with plenty of VFX shots, music and ADR to add in, and the long process of editing down the assembled footage into season 3's likely eight episodes – we think it'll be closer to August 2023. We'll be happy if it's here earlier but, if the team needs more time to make it as good as possible, we're happy to wait until September.
The Witcher season 3 cast
Here's The Witcher season 3's likely cast:
- 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
- Sam Woolf 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
- Meng’er Zhang as Milva
- Robbie Amell as Gallatin
- Hugh Skinner as Prince Radovid
- Christelle Elwin as Mistelle
Many of these characters have played significant roles in The Witcher, but those who haven’t should have expanded roles next time out.
Emperor Emhyr is the most notable of those characters. As the season 2 finale 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. She was present in a few season 2 scenes but, based on what we know of her book 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.
Meanwhile, four actors were officially added to The Witcher's ever-expanding roster in April. They include Shang-Chi's Meng'er Zhang and Upload's Robbie Amell, and you can read more about the characters this quartet will play in our cast update explainer.
Potential season 3 cast spoilers follow. Skip ahead to the plot section if you don't want to know who else may show up.
THE WITCHER Season 3 cast is getting even bigger:welcome ROBBIE AMELL (Upload), MENG’ER ZHANG (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), HUGH SKINNER (Fleabag) and CHRISTELLE ELWIN (Bloods) to the Continent! pic.twitter.com/VOIAtnivljApril 14, 2022
Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) has also claimed ten other actors – two in one article, six in another (opens in new tab), and two more (opens in new tab) in separate news stories (opens in new tab) – have been cast. Netflix hasn't confirmed these hires, but we've listed them below as their characters may be of interest to diehard Witcher fans:
- Stuart Thompson as Fabio Sachs
- Jim Sturgeon as Applegatt, a royal messenger of King Demavend of Aedirn
- Ryan Hayes as Artaud Terranova, a mage who participates in the Thanedd Coup
- Josh Weller as Valdo Marx, a bard rival of Joey Batey's Jaskier
- Kate Winter as Putney
- Martyn Ellis as Barker
- Michalina Olszanska as TBC
- Sean Cernow as TBC
- Harvey Quinn as TBC
- Poppy Almond as TBC
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.
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 Geralt and company return to Kaer Morhen, Vesemir and company aren’t likely to return. 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.
Two actors who won't be returning are Blair Kincaid and Chris Fulton, who played Crach an Craite and Rience in season 1 and season 2 respectively. Per Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab), Fulton has been replaced by Sam Woolf (The Crown, Humans). Meanwhile, Vikings Valhalla star Johannes Haukur Johannesson has reportedly been cast as Crach for season 3 (via Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab)).
Finally, there are plenty of characters from the books who could be introduced. According to Redanian Intelligence, a new villain known as The Professor (opens in new tab), may play a supporting role. Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) also claims that Safiyya Ingar (Summer of Rockets, Faith) has been cast in an undisclosed role.
The Witcher season 3 plot
Major spoilers follow for The Witcher TV series and the novels.
Little is known about The Witcher season 3’s plot, but Netflix has released an official (albeit brief) plot synopsis:
We're also excited to reveal the official plot summary for the upcoming season...#TheWitcher pic.twitter.com/oqg6LnufBTApril 4, 2022
Additionally, Hissrich exclusively told TechRadar that The Witcher season 3 will be based on the second main novel in The Witcher saga – i.e. The Time of Contempt. Meanwhile, speaking during The Witcher Unlocked (opens in new tab), a filmed spoilercast released post-season 2, lead actor Henry 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 maybe we'll see less in the way of plot diversions – or will we? Chatting with Collider (opens in new tab), Hissrich also reaffirmed her desire to stick as closely to the source material as possible, but season 3 will incorporate plot points from other books in the series. Hissrich told Collider that a “big story from Blood of Elves”, the first novel in The Witcher saga, will form part of the third season’s overarching narrative.
Potential plot spoilers follow from now on. Don't read past the tweet below if you're avoiding them.
“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 the previous season. 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 (opens in new tab)) that the Scoia’tael will be part of season 3, so their introduction should cause problems for Geralt and company.
The second is far more important. It relates to Geralt telling Ciri about the roses of Aelirenn, an elf who led the last band of their kin 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.
Speaking of maternal relationships, Anya Chalotra, who plays Yennefer, wants season 3 to incorporate more of the dynamic between her character and Ciri from the novels. Talking to Glamour (opens in new tab), 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.”
Lastly, in terms of official quotes anyway, Hissrich teased the prospect of more action in The Witcher season 3 (via The Wrap (opens in new tab)) and added the show’s next instalment will take place across a shorter time period.
In terms of Sapkowski's version of The Time of Contempt, what can we expect from The Witcher season 3? For one, Redanian Intelligence suggests we'll see three iconic sequences play out in the show – two concerning Ciri and one involving Geralt.
In Geralt's case, Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) has seemingly confirmed that the thrilling battle between Geralt and Vilgefortz is part of proceedings. Meanwhile, the same website claims Ciri will be involved in two moments pulled right out of the books – the first involving Wyverns (opens in new tab), which might see her rescue Fabio Sachs, while the second sees her lost in the Korath Desert (opens in new tab). Big Witcher fans will know all about the importance of this latter sequence.
Redanian Intelligence has also suggested we'll see two other big moments play out in The Witcher season 3. The first will see two major events (opens in new tab) that occur on Thanedd Island – an elegant ball attended by numerous mages (and Geralt), and the Thanedd Coup, which sees mages loyal to Nilfgaard and the North clash in a bloody battle that costs many lives. This ties into the Geralt and Vilgefortz fight we mentioned above. The second report (opens in new tab)claims we'll see Geralt at Brokilon Forest, where the Dryads heal him after his bout with Vilgefortz. Fan favorite mages have since been cast to partake in this frenetic battle (per Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab))
Finally, Reddit has rounded up so potential spoiler-y content from Hissrich (based on some Twitter replies to her followers) about certain season 3 character arcs. You can read about them here (opens in new tab) but, be warned, they reveal new locations and the development of specific characters in The Witcher season 3. Read them at your own risk.
The Witcher season 3 trailer
Unfortunately, there won’t be a trailer for a while. Once one is released, we’ll update this section.
The Witcher season 3: future seasons and spin-offs
Netflix hasn’t renewed The Witcher for a fourth season yet, but Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) suggests it has unofficially done so. Per the report, The Witcher is getting two more seasons, which will film back to back – a first for the live-action series.
Previously, Hissrich told Collider (opens in new tab) she’s mapped out a seven-season arc for the show, but her plan will depend on whether the final two seasons are greenlit. In a chat with Brigade Radio One (opens in new tab), one of The Witcher's main directors in Stephen Surjik also revealed that the show's creative team had already produced a blueprint for season 4.
Cavill has also expressed a desire to star in all seven seasons, telling The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) (THR) that he’s “absolutely committed” to Hissrich’s vision. Freya Allen, who portrays Ciri, also told The Radio Times (opens in new tab) 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 offshoots in the works for Netflix’s Witcher-Verse.
From monsters to magic, here's #TheWitcher Season 2 in numbers. Bring on Season 3... pic.twitter.com/M51AfUBMKjJune 21, 2022
First up is The Witcher: Blood Origin prequel series. Set 1200 years before Netflix’s mainline Witcher series, Blood Origin will cover the story of the first Witcher's creation. 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 in December 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. Meanwhile, Redanian Intelligence (opens in new tab) claims a a spin-off involving other Witchers like Lambert, Coen, and Eskel could be in development. There's been no official confirmation on the latter of this trio from Netflix, though.
For more Witcher-based content, check out these five bloody fantasy shows while we wait for its third season.