Netflix was clearly confident in The Witcher—so much so, that it was renewed for a second season before the first season aired. Despite its general praise, the show’s producers plan to improve upon many of the issues that faced season one. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich hosted an AMA on Reddit, addressing many of the fans’ questions and concerns. There was a lot to get through, but a few major points of note were made. One of the top complaints with season one had to do with the lack of clarity when jumping around the three timelines (Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri), which Hissrich explains will be easier to understand in season two. She also noted that season two will dive deeper into Nilfgaard, to give more of an explanation on certain characters’ motivations.
Season one focuses on Ciri, Yennefer, and Geralt—all of whom have seemingly separate stories taking place across different timelines that eventually merge near the end. In reference to this, Hissrich explains that “the story will be much more linear, now that the three characters’ stories have started to intersect” in season two. She was also asked about reshoots, and elaborated on the shortened length of season two’s script:
Reshoots happen for a million reasons. In this case, there were pieces of the first episode that weren’t coming together for me. We had shot flashbacks of Renfri’s youth, for instance, that were overly confusing (adding in yet another timeline, ha), so those were lost. But when they were lost, we then lost some of the nuance of Renfri in present day, so we wanted to add a bit more to those scenes to flesh them out. And the final fight between them wasn’t as emotional as we needed it to be — it didn’t carry the right weight yet. These are the growing pains of making a show — learning what works and doesn’t. For instance, learning from that in S2, the scripts are now MUCH shorter — so we’re not having to cut down the product in editing as much.
Hissrich says season two will elaborate more on Nilfgaard’s backstory and why Cahir and Fringilla support its cause. She acknowledged that season one could have explored it deeper:
Yes, we felt like we needed to set up a “bad guy” in S1 — but it’s our hope that we’ve added enough layers to Cahir and Fringilla that the audience thinks “Wait, but THEY don’t seem insane. So what do they see in Nilfgaard? Maybe there’s more there than meets the eye?” Perhaps we didn’t go far enough in S1, to see more behind Nilfgaard’s curtain — but it will definitely be explored more thoroughly in S2.
Season one jumps around the timeline frequently (over the course of 30 years or more) with the same characters who appear not to age. A Redditor mentioned this and suggested giving Jaskier the Bard some facial hair to help demonstrate the passage of time. Hissrich said this will be approached differently for the next season:
And yes, we dropped the ball on aging [Jaskier] up over the course of the show. It’s hard to show the passage of time when everyone looks the same, so we’ll be approaching that differently in S2.
The Witcher season two is currently in production and scheduled to release sometime 2021. Hissrich clarified that they don’t have an exact launch date yet, explaining “we don’t yet have a target launch date for season two, past 2021. We don’t want to rush the product. That doesn’t benefit anyone.”
For more The Witcher, make sure you grab a copy of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition on the PS Store for $14.99 if you haven’t already and check out a couple of fantastic metal covers of the catchy “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher” from the show.