The Witcher Season 3 is coming to Netflix at the end of June – and showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hisssrich is teasing that it will give fans on epic villain reveal!
“In so many ways, Season 3 is the culmination of what we’ve been building toward all along,” The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich told Netflix’s Tudum. “We get to see everything on the Continent change, which is super exciting.”
“War has been threatened for so long,” Jaskier actor Joey Batey added. “Finally we’re like, ‘Oh, god. It’s here.’ The epicness, the stakes for the Continent, in the macro sense, is huge. But the micro stakes are even bigger.”
Season 3 of The Witcher is a pivotal one for Netflix: it will be the final season with show star Henry Cavill playing The Witcher Geralt of Rivia (before Liam Hemsworth takes over the role in Season 4); moreover, The Witcher’s newest season is arriving at a time when Netflix has expanded the series into an entire universe, including two Witcher prequels (Nightmare of the Wolf about Geralt’s mentor Vesemir, and Blood Origin, a story about how the order of Witchers was first created. The latter project even introduced a time-travel element with the bard Jaskier, which seemed to suggest a greater destiny to come for Geralt’s friend and companion.
The in-universe story is at an equally pivotal point: The Witcher Season 2 ended with Ciri’s power (and the danger it presents) being fully revealed to the world, putting her and Geralt on the run again. Back at Cintra, Emperor Emhyr arrived and seemed to be quite a villain, having eleven sorceresses Francesca’s newborn baby (the hope of the Elves) killed. However, Emhyr unmasked himself to reveal that he is actually Ciri’s father, “Duny,” the man cursed into a porcupine form, who fell in love with Pavetta and crossed fates with Geralt when the Witcher fought for Duny and Pavetta to be allowed to be together. Needless to say, Emhyr being Ciri’s father creates a much more complicated sort of “villain” story for The Witcher Season 3:
“The biggest danger is that there are no good guys or bad guys. Villains believe that they’re doing the things that are best for them, their people, their land,” Hissrich explained. “This guy [Emhyr] has been presented as just an absolute zealot. A harsh and terrible ruler. But suddenly you realize what he wants is his daughter back. I’ve just said family’s worth fighting for. So isn’t he kind of doing the same thing?”
Even though that moral ambiguity is fun to play with, Netflix’s The Witcher has, admittedly, been kind of weak on giving viewers a clear-cut villain and conflict to follow. Prophecies, shifting timelines, and characters who are pretty much all a shade of gray have been The Witcher’s M.O. in Seasons 1 and 2 – but in Season 3 there will indeed be a villain to watch out for:
“Our villain has been playing a very long game. Decades.” Hissrich said. She went on to say The Witcher Netflix series has been building toward this evil character reveal from the very start – and the principal characters are starting to piece that together: “What I love, too, is that Geralt and Yen are putting together this mystery of who their ultimate villain is.”
Hissrich even teased that some diehard fans who have been critical of The Witcher Netflix series could end up eating crow, as moments where fans questioned “out of character” depictions of key characters will be revealed as parts of this villain’s schemes.
The Witcher Season 3 – Volume 1 starts streaming on Netflix on June 29th.