The full trailer for Season 2 of "The Witcher" has finally dropped, and fans are buzzing about the return of this beloved series.
Under the careful eye of creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, "The Witcher" — which is based on a series of fantasy books by Andrzej Sapkowski — has become one of Netflix’s most popular shows, led by Henry Cavill’s captivating lead performance as titular witch-hunter Geralt of Rivia. Alongside co-stars Freya Allen (who plays the magical princess Ciri), Eamon Farren (intense soldier Cahir), Anya Chalotra (sorcereress Yennefer of Vengerberg), and more, Cavill’s adventures through the fictional world of "the Continent" have garnered plenty of attention after the first season hit the popular streamer on December 20, 2019.
Now, nearly two years later, Season 2 is set to hit Netflix on December 17, 2021 (and beyond that, Season 3 and several spin-offs are already on the way as well). Fans have gone wild for the first trailer, and it’s easy to see why — from intriguing monsters to Geralt’s continued adventures, there’s plenty to unpack in this thrill ride of a trailer. Here’s just a few of the small details you might have missed in the trailer for "The Witcher" Season 2.
A first glimpse at a bruxa
One of the first fight scenes shown in the trailer for "The Witcher" Season 2 is between Geralt and a woman who’s depicted emitting a superhuman scream. As it turns out, that woman is a type of vampire known as a bruxa, who are known for using their piercing screams to send their enemies flying.
Since Nivellen also appears in the trailer, it makes sense to assume that this bruxa is Vereena, who was introduced in the short story "A Grain of Truth" from the book "The Last Wish." In the story, Vereena and Nivellen are lovers, and Geralt originally thinks Vereena is a nymph called a rusalki — though he realizes that she’s much more dangerous. Vereena (like other bruxa) can also assume the form of a giant bat, which renders her even more powerful in her fight against Geralt — and we get a glimpse of her in that form in the trailer as well.
The "beast" in the trailer is a cursed man named Nivellen
In the opening of the "Witcher" Season 2 trailer, we hear a mysterious voice speaking about how strange the world is lately, and that maybe the various signs are an omen signaling the "end of days." Geralt doesn’t seemed to be concerned, though — he points out that he has been through a few of those already, and he finds the idea to be "horse*&%#." It’s then revealed that Geralt is speaking to a bizarre creature — a boar-like man-beast with tusks and covered in coarse hair, looking like something straight out of a fairy tale.
In fact, "fairy tale" isn’t too far off. The character’s name is Nivellen, played by "Game of Thrones" actor Kristofer Hivju. Fans of the original "Witcher" book series will remember him from the short story, "A Grain of Truth," which can be found in "The Last Wish." Nivellen’s story is similar to the classic "Beauty and the Beast" tale, as a man who is put under a curse to change his appearance.
The scarred wizard is Rience
At about the 1:18 mark in the trailer, we see a mage appear with a scarred face, brandishing a powerful fire spell. He shows up again in the later half of the trailer, this time attacking an unknown foe. As if it wasn’t already obvious, this guy is definitely not on the side of good, and he is someone you don’t want to mess with.
The wizard is Rience, played by Chris Fulton, and he is one nasty customer. In the novels, Rience is a deadly assassin who is tasked with capturing Ciri. He is known for being merciless and willing to do whatever it takes to find his prey, even torturing people for information. Rience plays a large part in the books as he tracks Ciri’s every step, and he has more than a few run-ins with Geralt as a result. "Witcher" fans know that Rience’s evil knows no bounds, and that will surely be reflected in Season 2.
The first glimpse of Francesca Findabair
In Season 1, we were only given a quick glimpse of the elves living in the world of "The Witcher." In the episode "Four Marks," Geralt and Jaskier come across two elves named Filavandrel (Tom Canton) and Toruviel (Natasha Culzac), angry refugees who kidnap the pair when they wander onto their territory. The episode reveals that the once proud race of elves were driven from their homes and forced into hiding, thanks to humans who committed near genocide on their people.
Not all of the elves have disappeared, however. In "The Witcher" Season 2 trailer, we see a new character introduced — a beautiful female elf. Her name is Francesca Findabair (Mecia Simson), and she is queen of the elves, as well as a powerful mage. In the books, she joins the side of Nilfgaard in the return for the elven city of Dol Blathanna, which she will rule. She also later joins the powerful Lodge of Sorceresses, a secret group that hopes to put sorceresses in power over all of the Continent.
Ciri and Geralt go up against an evil tree demon
One the biggest storylines is Season 2 will tackle Ciri’s training at Kaer Morhen, the homes of the witchers. Although she has had a harrowing ordeal so far, Geralt knows her trials are just beginning. She must learn how to fight, and who better to teach her than the best fighters on the Continent?
About two minutes into the "Witcher Season 2 trailer, we see Geralt and Ciri facing off against a wicked looking tree monster. Fans of both the books and the games may recognize this creature as a leshy (or leshen), a forest demon who wreaks havoc upon any who dare cross its threshold. In Slavic myth, it can shapeshift, and has been known to lead astray those who get lost in the woods. According to "Witcher" author Andrej Sapkowski, it "lives only to kill" — which makes it a formidable foe and perfect for Ciri to hone her training skills upon.
The introduction of Nenneke
The world of "The Witcher" boasts many powerful women — included among them are skilled sorceresses such as Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), Tissaia (MyAnna Buring), and Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni). Yet some of the most influential characters are not skilled with magic, but wisdom. In "The Witcher" Season 2, fans are introduced to Nenneke. She is played by Adjoa Andoh, who some fans may recognize from another Netflix original hit, "Bridgerton," where she played Lady Danbury.
In the books, Nenneke is a priestess of Melitele, who has counseled Geralt many times over the years as well as healed his battle wounds. In the trailer, we see her offer some words of wisdom to Geralt about Ciri: "If what you say about that girl’s power is true, you can’t help her." We can’t say much more without revealing big spoilers, but there’s no question that Nenneke knows what dangers are in store for Ciri.
A medallion tree in Kaer Morhen
In Season 2, it looks like we’ll be spending quite a bit of time in Kaer Morhen, the legendary keep where witchers were raised and trained to become masterful hunters. While an assault on Kaer Morhen resulted in most of the witchers leaving the keep, we know that Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) still lives there, and Ciri eventually joins him and is trained by fellow witchers.
While we get several glimpses of the grounds and outside of Kaer Morhen in this new trailer for Season 2, we also get a close-up of an iconic tree inside of Kaer Morhen’s Great Hall. The tree, known as the Medallion Tree, is adorned with dozens of little hooks that hold different witcher medallions, which once belonged to witchers who have since died. The Medallion tree acts as a tribute to the fallen witchers, and a reminder of their sacrifice for the betterment of mankind — especially since the medallions themselves symbolize the witcher’s profession, and reveal which school each witcher belongs to.
A dangerous situation for Yennefer
At the end of "The Witcher" Season 1, Yennefer is attacked by Fringilla Vigo (Mimi Ndiwendi), a sorceress from Nilfgaard and a member of the Lodge of Sorceresses. In the Season 2 trailer, we see Yennefer being led in chains by Fringilla, alongside other apparent Nilfgaardian prisoners.
In another scene from the trailer, we see Yennefer almost taunting Fringilla when she says, "Your precious leader’s after something. You’re a pawn to get to it." Like many others in "The Witcher" series, the Lodge of Sorceresses has a history of wanting to use Ciri for their political gain, since she’s the only heir of Cintra and was born with powerful magic. The leader of the Lodge is Philippa Eilhart (Cassie Clare), who in "The Witcher" books, reveals that she intends to marry a powerful sorceress to a royal family in order to have more control over the world — specifically, she wants Ciri to marry the heir of Kovir, Tankred Thyssen.