Where ‘The Witcher’ Left Off, Plus Henry Cavill Previews What’s Next in Season 2
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Special Collector’s Issue, which is available for international pre-order online at SciFi2021.com and available nationwide on newsstands now.
Don’t look at Geralt of Rivia as a hero. The silver-haired professional monster slayer—played by Henry Cavill (above) in Netflix’s sprawling epic, The Witcher, based on bestselling fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski—is a reluctant savior at best, hired across the Continent to take down terrifying beasts.
Abandoned as a child and raised in the mountainous Kaer Morhen, Geralt underwent experiments that mutated and hardened him into a Witcher. Despite the vital services they provide, Witchers are hated and feared, seen as anomalies with superspeed and mega-strength. (Damned if you do…)
But the “White Wolf” does his best to do good in a vast realm packed with magical creatures (faeries, elves, gnomes—you name it!), political intrigue and constantly warring kingdoms. As his traveling pal Jaskier reminds him, “You never get involved, except actually, you do, all of the time.”
Ciri (Freya Allan)
Princess Cirilla of Cintra is destiny-bound to Geralt due to a custom called the “Law of Surprise” after he saved her father before she was born. The once-privileged, headstrong teen with mysterious powers is finding her way despite tragedy after tragedy.
Cahir (Eamon Farren)
The Nilfgaardian warrior and vicious murderer (aka the Black Knight) diligently hunts Ciri after the invasion of Cintra, believing their destinies are tied. He goes so far as to order a Doppler (who can magically take another’s form), hoping to trick the royal.
Yennefer (Anya Chalotra)
The powerful sorceress was initially a hunchbacked, abused girl. Sold by her stepfather, she honed her unparalleled magical skills at Aretuza, a training academy. After trading her ability to bear children for great beauty, Yennefer found true love with Geralt.
Jaskier (Joey Batey)
Named “Dandelion” in the novels, Jaskier is a lute-playing bard who travels alongside Geralt to sing of his adventures. He loves to inflate the truth, which exasperates the serious Witcher. During an argument with Yennefer, Geralt and Jaskier had a falling out.
Where We Left Off
In the fantasy drama’s Season 1 finale, viewers beheld the explosive Battle of Sodden Hill, where the Northern Realm defended its border against the southern Nilfgaardian army. The MVP of this action-packed magic war—complete with archers shooting teleported arrows, worms with the power to turn allies into enemies and toxic mushroom spores—was the sorceress Yennefer. From her watchtower vantage point, she telepathically commanded the troops and scorched the invading army before disappearing. (Don’t worry, she’s back in Season 2.)
Meanwhile, Geralt was bitten by a ghoul, which caused deep hallucinations about his past, and Ciri (Allan, above, with Cavill) accidentally unleashed her still-being-developed powers on a Cintran group. Thankfully, Geralt and Ciri finally accepted their destinies and united in the emotional final moments. “Ciri has gone on a very confusing, terrifying journey to find Geralt,” notes Allan. “It was very important for her when she does eventually [get to] him at the end of Season 1.”
What’s Coming Next?
Season 2 will see the destined duo, Geralt of Rivia and magical teen Ciri, traveling together to the Witcher stronghold of Kaer Morhen, where Geralt grew up. Threats on deck range from a forest monster called a Leshy to the Wild Hunt specters—and, of course, Geralt begins by believing his love, Yennefer, perished during the Battle of Sodden Hill. “It clearly affects him,” notes Cavill.
Thankfully, he’ll have his Witcher brothers and tough father figure Vesemir (Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia) on hand. “You get to see a warmth from Geralt that you haven’t necessarily felt a lot of so far,” Hissrich says. “You see the teasing and poking and prodding that happens between siblings, and the protectiveness of a father. Even though Geralt’s a hundred years old, he’s still someone’s son-figure.”
The Witcher, Season 2, Friday, December 17, Netflix