Entertainment

7 Burning Questions 'The Witcher' Season 2 Needs to Answer

the witcher season 1
Netflix

Spoilers for The Witcher follow.

Netflix's weird, glorious action fantasy series The Witcher was renewed for a second season even before the first one was released, and its first-season cliffhangers left its three main characters' fates -- Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer -- up in the air. Geralt and Ciri finally meet after a season of build-up, and Yennefer plays an integral role in the war between Nilfgaard and the Northern Kingdoms before disappearing. Here's where we expect Season 2 to pick up the threads.

the witcher yennefer
Netflix

What happened to Yennefer?

Yennefer's journey in the first season builds toward a final display of devastating magical power in the last moments of "Much More," the series finale. She rains magical fire upon the attacking Nilfgaardian force and then… disappears. Her mage allies look for her but don't find her afterward. We don't yet know the nature of the power she let loose or if/how she'll return, but we do know she's a major character throughout the series, and killing her off at the end of Season 1 seems silly. Yennefer will be back, somehow.

Who wins this war and how will it affect these characters? 

Relatedly, we need to know the immediate political outcome of the Battle of Sodden Hill. Hopefully this is where Season 2 picks up, showing us what the redrawn map looks like after a massive magically and conventionally fought battle at a strategically important Nilfgaard stronghold. With Princess Ciri on the run, Yennefer missing, and the mage Vilgefortz embedding a mace in his former ally's head in the last episode, there's no way Geralt won't be caught in the middle of it all. And if Ciri somehow makes it out the conflict alive, she will have to reckon with her destiny as the Lion Cub of Cintra. Will she have to rule? Will she be married off? Will she fight, the way her grandmother did? We'll see.

How do Ciri's powers work?

This is an even bigger question for Ciri. This is a world where humans are both suspicious and fearful of magic but also seek to manipulate it like any other tool or weapon. The in-universe compendium book of lore written by Marcin Batylda, The World of the Witcher, describes it as "Art, Chaos, and Science: a blessing, a curse, and progress." Those conflicting definitions and the groups that have stakes in them will play into how Ciri continues to use and learn about her newfound powers moving forward, and it'll be interesting to see how the show handles them.

Which stories will be adapted next?

The Witcher Season 1 adapted tales from the Sapkowski's short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, and its plot runs the three central characters chronologically up to where we meet them in Blood of Elves, the first novel in Sapkowski's saga. The question is how closely the show will follow Blood of Elves, and whether we'll see it intercut with more of Sapkowski's short stories or even flash-forward to the events we see in the video games (which take place years after the books end). Hissrich has said that she has seven seasons plotted out with the intention of following the books throughout, much like HBO's Game of Thrones followed George R.R. Martin's books, but that could be a misdirect, and plenty of writing can change between seasons.

the witcher
Netflix

Which monsters will Geralt fight?

Are we getting alghouls? Or bloedzuigers? Drowned dead, perhaps? The Witcher series is one with a rich and diverse bestiary, and as impressive as it was to see Netflix pull off a show in which a giant spider-like kikimora appears in the first episode and a golden dragon isn't even an end-of-season showcase -- with several gruesome and terrifying monsters in between -- we want more. The games feature monsters more prominently than the books do, given their inherent quest-based action gameplay, whereas the books have to spend more time on Geralt's character and the relationships he has. But that just means the show can pull more from the games in this regard. Geralt can't face off against only human monsters for seven planned seasons. He's got that silver sword for a reason.

What does "destiny" mean in this universe?

Renfri's line in the pilot, "She is your destiny," is what kicks off Geralt's journey toward meeting and protecting Ciri and an idea that we return to constantly. Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer are all bound by destiny, to the point that when Ciri and Geralt -- who are destined to meet -- finally do, the first words out of Ciri's mouth are "Who is Yennefer?" Their destinies are clearly each other, but what's less clear is why and how. Concepts like "destiny" and "chaos" (from which mages, elves, and individuals like Ciri draw their magic) haven't been fully explored yet as of season one. 

Will the timeline be weird again?

The first season split its plotlines between Yennefer's origin story, Ciri's flight from Cintra after its sacking, and Geralt's monster-of-the-week adventures that slowly revealed who he was as a character. It made for some compelling and focused stories, and served as a fun mystery box in its own right, but it was also confusing as hell for several episodes. And by the season finale, that mystery box was opened. Narratively, with Geralt and Ciri together -- depending on how the writers choose to handle their second season -- it doesn't seem like we'll necessarily need the flashback structure going forward. But whether this structure remains an integral part of the show's formula, a la Lost, is something that remains to be seen.

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Eric Vilas-Boas is a former editor at Thrillist. He also co-edits the animation blog The Dot and Line and was previously an editor at Esquire. His writing has also been published by Vulture, /Film, Paste, TV Guide, SYFY, SPIN, Popular Mechanics, and ELLE, among other fine establishments.