The Witcher season 4: what we know about the Netflix fantasy show's return

Liam Hemsworth's Geralt slowly turns towards the camera in The Witcher season 4 on Netflix
Liam Hemsworth makes his debut as Geralt in The Witcher's fourth season 4 on Netflix. (Image credit: Netflix)
The Witcher season 4: key information

- No release date announced yet
- Will be the show's penultimate season
- Filming began in mid-April
- First entry without Henry Cavill
- Liam Hemsworth replaces Cavill as Geralt of Rivia
- Other newcomers to the cast revealed in late 2023 and early 2024
- Main supporting cast members from previous seasons set to return
- Plot will draw inspiration from final three books penned by Andrzej Sapkowski
- Fifth and final season also in development
- No word on whether other TV or movie spin-offs will be made

The Witcher season 4 marks the beginning of the end for the popular TV show. The high fantasy series, which is based on Andrzej Sapkowski's book series of the same name, will bow out after two more seasons on Netflix, so it's time to start counting down towards its end.

It'll be some time before we wave goodbye to Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, and the rest of the show's stacked cast of characters, though. Filming only recently began on The Witcher's fourth season, so it'll be a while before it disappears from our screens.

In the meantime, there's plenty of reading to do on one of the best Netflix shows' second-to-last entries. Below, we've employed the Redania intelligence network to round up everything worth knowing ahead of the show's return. That includes its confirmed cast, possible plot points, release date rumors, and more. Full spoilers follow for The Witcher seasons 1 through 3. Potential spoilers are also discussed for its fourth installment.

The Witcher season 4 release date: what we know

The Witcher season 4 doesn't have a release date. However, Netflix confirmed it had renewed The Witcher for a fourth season in October 2022, before revealing 18 months later (in April 2024, per the above X/Twitter post) that filming had officially begun.

So, when do we expect season 4 to debut on the world's best streaming service? That's hard to say. Two of the previous three entries – seasons 1 and 3 – took seven months to film (season 2 took longer due to the Covid-19 pandemic), and each new season launched on Netflix seven to nine months after principal photography wrapped. Using these details as a rough guide, we'd estimate that filming would likely wrap in November before the series returns in July or August 2025.

That would be the case if Netflix wasn't shooting seasons 4 and 5 back to back. The Witcher's final season was confirmed to be in development alongside the season 4 filming start date announcement, and, as it's being shot simultaneously, it'll take much longer to film both seasons, which will impact season 4's release. As such, we think filming will end in late 2024 before season 4 debuts in late 2025.

The Witcher season 4 cast: confirmed and rumored

Here's the full (and lengthy!) cast list for The Witcher season 4:

  • Liam Hemsworth as Geralt of Rivia
  • Anya Chalotra as Yennefer of Vengerberg
  • Freya Allen as Princess Ciri of Cintra
  • Joey Batey as Jaskier
  • Laurence Fishburne as Regis
  • Eamon Farron as Cahir
  • Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold
  • Mimî M. Khayisa as Fringilla
  • Cassie Clare as Philippa Reinhart
  • Mahesh Jadu as Vilgefortz
  • Meng’er Zhang as Milva
  • Graham McTavish as Dijkstra
  • Royce Pierreson as Istredd
  • Mecia Simson as Francesca
  • Sharlto Copley as Leo Bonhart
  • Danny Woodburn as Zoltan
  • Jeremy Crawford as Yarpen
  • Bart Edwards as Emhyr
  • Hugh Skinner as Prince Radovid
  • James Purefoy as Skellen
  • Christelle Elwin as Mistle
  • Fabian McCallum as Kayleigh
  • Juliette Alexandra as Reef
  • Ben Radcliffe as Giselher
  • Connor Crawford as Asse
  • Aggy K. Adams as Iskra
  • Linden Porco as Percival Schuttenbach
  • Therica Wilson-Reid as Sabrina
  • Rochelle Rose as Margarita
  • Safiyya Ingar as Keira

The biggest season 4 casting news is the addition of Hemsworth, who replaces Henry Cavill as the titular character. Hemsworth's hiring was confirmed alongside the show's season 4 renewal and Cavill's unexpected departure. Cavill and showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich haven't publicly commented on why he left, but Hissrich told TechRadar – in December 2022 – that she "fully understood" fans' concerns over Cavill's departure.

Hemsworth isn't the only newcomer in season 4. In January, The Matrix and John Wick alumnus Laurence Fishburne was confirmed to be playing fan-favorite character Regis, a sophisticated and wise barber-surgeon with a mysterious past. Copley, Purefoy, and Woodburn were added to the show's roster in early April.

Radcliffe, Elwin, McCallum, Adams, Crawford, and Alexandra's characters, who make up the teenage criminal gang known as The Rats, were introduced in season 3 – read more about them in our The Witcher season 3 ending explained article – but they weren't expected to feature heavily in season 4. Indeed, there were rumors The Rats were getting their own spin-off, which would also star Allen's Ciri. However, with that series being shelved (per What's on Netflix), they should have an expanded role in the fourth season's plot. Speaking of which...

The Witcher season 4 plot synopsis and speculation

Ciri and Yennefer run across a green hill in The Witcher season 3 volume 2

The Witcher season 4 will likely reunite Ciri and Yennefer at some point. (Image credit: Susie Allnutt/Netflix)

Full spoilers follow for The Witcher season 3.

Here's The Witcher season 4's official plot synopsis, courtesy of Netflix: "After the shocking, Continent-altering events that close out season 3, the new season follows Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri who are faced with traversing the war-ravaged Continent and its many demons apart from each other. If they can embrace and lead the groups of misfits they find themselves in, they have a chance of surviving the baptism of fire – and finding one another again."

Confirmed in a press release accompanying the above story brief, Netflix also revealed that season 4 would adapt the final three novels in Andrzej Sapkowski's book series: Baptism of Fire, The Tower of the Swallow, and Lady of the Lake. You can find out how to read The Witcher novels in order, too if you want to get a head start on this season's major plot points.

We're not going to spoil events depicted in that trio here, but we are going to discuss major season 3 spoilers from now on. So, turn back now if you're still not caught up!

Emperor Emhyr holds a sword at someone off camera in The Witcher season 3

Emhyr doesn't know that the real Ciri – his daughter, no less – isn't actually back under his protection at Nilfgaard. (Image credit: Susie Allnutt/Netflix)

Following The Witcher season 3's explosive events, the series' main trio – Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer – have been scattered to the wind. This surrogate family just can't catch a break, can it?

So, where will we find each one at the start of season 4? Where Geralt is concerned, season 3's finale revealed that the mutant monster hunter – who, thanks to the dryads and Yennefer, had fully recovered from the life-threatening wounds he sustained at Vilgefortz's hands – has set off to rescue Ciri. Accompanied by Jaskier and Milva – the beginnings of the group known as the Hanza, according to Hissrich (per Netflix Tudum) – Geralt is making a beeline for Nilfgaard. He believes the nefarious emperor Emhyr has been reunited with Ciri – Emhyr's daughter, don't forget – which, to put it mildly, Geralt isn't happy about.

Fascinating as it'll be to see Geralt and Emhyr cross paths once more – remember, Emhyr was the individual (then known as Duny) that Geralt helped in season 1 – Ciri hasn't returned to NIlfgaard. The season 3 finale also revealed that Emhyr had been duped into believing she had but, unbeknownst to him, Teryn – the Vilgefortz-brainwashed Ciri lookalike that Geralt met in season 3 episode 2 – is masquerading as Cintra's princess. How long will it be until Emhyr and Geralt realize the truth, before setting off on separate missions to find the real Ciri?

A hooded Ciri stands in the Korath Desert in The Witcher season 3 volume 2

Ciri escaped the Korath Desert in season 3 part 2. (Image credit: Jay Maidment/Netflix)

Speaking of Emhyr and Princess Pavetta's magically powerful daughter, she escaped the labyrinthine Korath Desert and is now traveling – under the guise of her 'Falka' alias – with The Rats. As we mentioned earlier, this group of bandits (with Ciri in tow) was supposed to star in The Witcher's latest TV spin-off, but it appears that series has been scrapped. If that's the case, elements of the cancelled show's plot are sure to be rolled into season 4's narrative. Expect, then, to see Ciri traverse The Continent alongside her new friends in the early part of next season. 

We'll also learn if she's relinquished control of her incredibly potent abilities. "Did we want her to choose to give up her powers – meaning that she has them, but she’s not going to access them because she wants to rid herself of her prior identity?" Hissrich teased to Tudum. "Or did she actually magically relinquish those powers and she no longer has access to them? You’ll have to watch Season 4 to wait and see which is true."

As for Yennefer, she's returned to Aretuza to establish a new Sorcerers Guild – the Lodge of Sorceresses – in the wake of the Brotherhood's collapse during the brutal Thanedd Coup in last season's final three episodes. She'll also be dealing with the death of long-time mentor and maternal figure Tissaia, who killed herself following said coup. Don't be surprised if Aretuza's new leader eventually joins the hunt to track down Ciri, however, especially as the pair have grown closer over the past two seasons.

There are plenty of other side stories that The Witcher season 4 needs to expand upon as well. With Philippa and Dijsktra installing Prince Radovid as a puppet king on Redania's throne – Philippa murdered the former monarch Vizimir after he blamed her for the failed Thanedd Coup – we can expect one of The Continent's four major kingdoms to take on a bigger antagonistic role next time around. Meanwhile, Francesca will be gunning for revenge against Emhyr and Nilfgaard for the role that they played in her baby's death, which former Nilgaardian sorceress Fringilla accidentally revealed in season 3 episode 8. 

Oh, and we need to find out what's become of Vilgefortz, who was severely injured when Ciri inadvertently destroyed the Tower of Tor Lara in episode 7, and his role in The Continent's most harrowing events of recent times. "We want people to go back and start looking at all of the clues and breadcrumbs that we have laid out to see how these two people align," Hissrich said. "Because, clearly, there’s a lot more going on with Emhyr, Vilgefortz, and their past – and their future."

The Witcher season 4 trailer: is there one?

No – and we won't see a trailer until much closer to The Witcher season 4's release. We'll update this section once one is made public.

We have been treated to a very brief teaser for the forthcoming season, though. The 30-second clip, which you can see above, is the Hemsworth Geralt reveal that we mentioned in our cast section. There's absolutely nothing we can glean from it, however, so don't expect to find any additional clues about The Witcher season 4's plot in the teaser's first-look footage.

The Witcher season 5 and the Netflix franchise's future

Geralt and Jaskier walk down an alley as they talk in The Witcher season 3

Henry Cavill's (left) departure almost ended Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher in its entirety. (Image credit: Susie Allnutt/Netflix)

As mentioned, The Witcher season 4 is the precursor to the fifth and final season, which is being filmed alongside its predecessor.

In a statement, Hissrich said: "It is with huge pride that we begin shooting our penultimate [aka the fourth] season of The Witcher with a stellar cast, including some exciting new additions, led by Liam Hemsworth as Geralt of Rivia. We’re thrilled to be able to bring Andrzej Sapkowski’s books to an epic and satisfying conclusion [with season 5]. It wouldn’t be our show if we didn’t push our family of characters to their absolute limit – stay tuned to see how the story ends."

The revelation that The Witcher will end after five seasons isn't a huge surprise, especially after Hissrich suggested that she contemplated ending the series after Cavill's departure (per Total Film via GamesRadar). It's the show's declining popularity and critical reception, though, that have had as big an impact on Netflix's decision to call time on its live-action adaptation. Indeed, its inconsistent Rotten Tomatoes scores reveal how critics and general viewers have reacted to each season, while the 30% fall in viewership between The Witcher season 2 and The Witcher season 3 proves it's not as successful as it once was.

A hooded Yennefer stares into the distance in The Witcher season 3

Anya Chalotra will return as Yennefer in seasons 4 and 5. (Image credit: Netflix)

Still, while Netflix will be disappointed with those diminishing returns, it's not turning its back on its Witcher-Verse just yet. A new animated film – The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep – will be released in late 2024, and it'll see Doug Cockle, who voiced Geralt in CD Projekt Red's video game adaptations of Sapkowski's literary works, reprise his role as the character.

No other spin-off shows or movies have been announced, but we'd be amazed if Netflix calls time on one of its most enduring first-party franchises after Sirens of the Deep. We'll update this section if the streaming giant unveils any more Witcher-based productions.

For more Netflix TV-based coverage, read our guides on Arcane season 2, Stranger Things season 5, Wednesday season 2, and Squid Game season 2.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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