When will the new series of The Witcher be released and where in Yorkshire was it filmed?

The long-awaited second season of the Netflix hit series The Witcher will be streamed from next week, much of it filmed in North Yorkshire. Georgia Humphries reports.
The Witcher - Season 2. Pictured: Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia.  Picture PA Photo/Netflix/Jay Maidment.The Witcher - Season 2. Pictured: Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia.  Picture PA Photo/Netflix/Jay Maidment.
The Witcher - Season 2. Pictured: Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. Picture PA Photo/Netflix/Jay Maidment.

Henry Cavill was on the set of The Witcher when he suffered a scary injury.

The Jersey-born actor, 38, tore his hamstring while shooting the second series of the Netflix fantasy series, which has proved a big success for the streaming service since it launched at the end of 2019.

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Many of the outside scenes were filmed at Gordale Scar and Plumpton Rocks in North Yorkshire.

And, as the lead star with a lot of fight scenes (he plays Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire), it was a difficult situation.

“It was a rather nasty tear, grade two B; B meaning it was the centre of the hamstring, grade 2 meaning any worse and it would have been ruptured, and that means it comes off the bone,” reveals the star, who’s best known for portraying Superman in films.

“And that would have been a real pause in my action career, if not the end of it.

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“We had already done a fair portion of the action, there was still a fight scene to come, and there’s still obviously being on my feet all the time, or walking around, or running around, even if it’s not fighting. So that was a tricky line to tread, to make sure I wasn’t further injuring myself and I was recovering properly.”

Following the off-screen drama, we look at the drama to come on screen. Based on a series of books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, the epic drama is set in the vast world of The Continent. There, good and evil are not identified, and humans, elves, witchers, dwarves, and monsters live side by side, all battling to survive.

The story follows three main characters who have intertwined destinies; Geralt, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), and Princess Cirilla of Cintra, otherwise known as Ciri (Freya Allan). There’s a law that ties the fates of Geralt and Ciri together – she is known as his ‘child surprise’ – and now he’s found her, he takes her under his wing.

She has mysterious inner powers she struggles to control, and he is determined to keep her protected as she commits to being a Witcher, and brings her to his childhood home of Kaer Morhen, where he thinks she will be safe.

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For passionate Cavill, it was really important to see the Geralt from the books exist in the TV show.

“I campaigned really hard for this, fought tooth and nail, wanted him to come across as the intellectual, have a real sense of wisdom – he’s been around for 70-plus years – and a soulfulness and, beyond that, to have three-dimensional male characters in the show as well,” he explains.

He was keen to bring the relationships between the witchers to screen, “not just conflicts, not just grumpy, old, violent men who live in the mountains”.

“Instead, it’s this brotherhood of soulful, slightly sorrowful, mournful warriors, who live a very hard life, but are capable of these incredible depths of love, because they have been alive for so long and all they have is this select group of people who are like them.”

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Ohio native Schmidt Hissrich, 43, elaborates on how we see a new side of Geralt this season.

“Henry wanted to make sure that we weren’t falling into tropes of just a dumb male hero, who doesn’t say very much,” notes the writer, who has also worked on shows such as The West Wing and The Umbrella Academy.

“I didn’t see season one like that, necessarily; I don’t think fans saw season one like that. But it’s a very valid way to approach season two and luckily, we have a story that supported that.” Cavill also hoped to portray “male vulnerability and that it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength, in fact – a sign of a bond, if anything”.

The Witcher season 2 premieres globally on Netflix on December 17, 2021.