Filming in 2020 has not been so great, as I’m sure we all know. The Catriona Plague threw a spanner in the works of everything, not just recording. But let’s focus on Witcher right about now. But first, we have to go back to the beginning.
What are they filming?
Season 2 of The Witcher picks up in Kaedwen, far to the North of the entire season 1. Kaedwen is the cold mountainous region of the Northern Kingdoms, with strong Scottish imagery (Even down to the Unicorn).
Filming, we can assume then, will be located in England.
However, we don’t know the length of this season, or it’s content. Kaer Mohren could be the only place in the season if the book is divided, or we could return to Temeria as Geralt takes Ciri to Ellander. The plot will follow Ciri being raised by Geralt in Kaer Morhen for the last couple of years. The ancient fortification of the Wolf School of Witchers is a crumbling ruin, yet there she is trained in swordcraft by Vesemir and magic by Triss Merigold. It is, in a sense, a coming of age story until Ciri’s premonitions of the future lead Geralt to sending her to a Nunnery in Temeria where Yennefer teaches her more magic.
Confirmed plots include Nivellen, who will be played by Tormund Giantsbane, or Kristopher Hivju. Nivellen was a prominent character in a short story involving Vampirism and Curses, as well as being a fun parallel to both Pavetta/Duny and Beauty and the Beast. Expect a focus on mysticism.
The primary cast of the show is about to explode. For season 1, we had Geralt, Jaskier, Yen, Rat Boy (Dara), Ciri and Triss. This will more than double in season 2, with the introduction of the Kaer Morhen Crew, Phillipa Eilhart, Sigismund Djikstra, the return of the Council of Mages and the appearance of the evil Rience.
The new confirmed cast list is:
- Paul Bullion as Lambert, the edgy young witcher.
- Yasen Atour as Coen, the knightly patriot.
- Basil Eidenbenz as Eskel, Geralt’s childhood friend and scarred witcher.
- Kim Bodnia as Vesemir, the aged Witcher and swordplay teacher.
- Mercia Simson as Francesca Findabair, the elven enchantress and queen.
Returning to the show will be, of course, the two sides of the Northern-Nilfgaardian war, such as the kings and mages. Expect Cahir to have gone through a bit of a character arc after his years in prison (assuming that element from the books is kept).
Unfortunately, Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt, recently injured his leg. According to the Sun, he did so on an Assualt Course while working at 20 feet up. I wonder what he was doing…
Catriona Coronavirus Plague
England has been hit relatively hard by the COVID-19 virus. During the spring months, filming was completely cut off. However, as things began to chill out over the summer, more filming has been done.
In October, photos were released showing actress Freya Allan, who plays Ciri, with a sword in the snow, presumably in Kaer Morhen. Between Season 1 and 2, it seems that Ciri has matured physically, as in canon she’s aged 3 years, and seems a good deal more confident in herself.
Relevant to this, however, is that the Kaer Morhen scenes, presumably in the middle of the season, were still being filmed as of October. This highly implies that production is in a relatively early phase. We’re far away from editing, and most likely barely into CGI. Expect for the latter half and end of the season to begin filming in March, April, or maybe even May to return to Temeria with Yarpen Zigrim.
In the way of this, however, is the fact that filming has been canceled in the UK since November, implying some mid-winter scenes may have gone unfilmed. This is promising, however, for filming in the Spring, given how COVID-19 numbers might have decreased considerably due to both increased temperatures and the spread of the Pfizer Vaccine by then. Filming could be possible again.