Based on the best-selling fantasy series of novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, Netflix’s The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family which follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress (Yennefer), and a young princess (Ciri) with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.
The first season of the series made use of multiple timelines in order to tell the stories of how Gerlat, Yenneger, and Ciri came together, but the storytelling device led to some confusion with those unfamiliar with The Witcher. While speaking with The Wrap, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich confirmed that the upcoming second season will largely feature a more linear timeline, although it’s not a reaction to those initial criticisms. “Obviously, it was one of the most controversial parts of Season 1 and I didn’t expect it to be as controversial as it was. But it’s something I still stand behind, in terms of storytelling,” Hissrich said, adding that the “goal was to get to know each of these characters individually, and the only want to do that was to separate their timelines.” Hissrich continued, saying, “What’s great though is they have intersected now. So what we’ll see in Season 2 is that all of our characters are existing on the same timeline.” That said, Hissrich said that the second season will still play with time in new ways.
What that allows us to do storywise though is to play with time in slightly different ways. We get to do flashbacks, we get to do flash-forwards, we get to actually integrate time in a completely different way that we weren’t able to do in Season 1. Because, if you can imagine, if we were in three different timelines (in Season 1) and then flashed forward or flashed back, we would have been in four or five or six timelines — even I know that’s too much. So I think it will be a lot easier for the audience follow and understand, especially a new audience coming in. But there are still going to be some fun challenges with time.
Lauren Schmidt Hissrich added that her favourite addition to the second season of The Witcher are the new witchers. “Really, in Season 1, we got to know Geralt and he’s our prime example of a witcher,” Hissrich said. “And then there is one other witcher, Remus, who we meet in Episode 103, who quickly dies (laughs). So it was, for us really, about getting Geralt back to his roots and sort of learning where he came from and what his story is and what his sense of family is.” Production on The Witcher’s second season had been underway for six-weeks before it was forced to shutdown due to COVID-19, but filming is expected to resume later this year as they’ve now been given the greenlight to continue shooting. The second season of The Witcher will debut on Netflix in 2021.