Killing Eve star Kim Bodnia is suiting up and heading to the Continent. The actor, who plays Villanelle’s handler Konstantin on the hit BBC America series, has signed on to play Vesemir, legendary witcher and father figure for Geralt.
Netflix described the character in a press release, writing, “A charming relic of the witcher Golden Age, Vesemir is the oldest and most experienced witcher in our series, as well as a father figure to Geralt. As one of the survivors of The Massacre at Kaer Morhen, a haunting slaughter that nearly exterminated the Witchers, he is fiercely protective of the remaining few, who he sees as an endangered community who can find glory on “the Path” slaying monsters.”
Bodnia is also known for his role in the hit Nordic series The Bridge.
While season two additions have been slowly trickling out over the last few months, Netflix formally revealed who will be joining Henry Cavill and the sprawling cast of The Witcher for season two. Announcing the beginning of production on season two of the fantasy series, the streamer revealed The Danish Girl’s Aisha Fabienne Ross will play Lydia, Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9) is Eskel, Agnes Bjorn is Vereena, and newcomer Mecia Simson will play Francesca.
The four join the previously announced Kristofer Hivju, Yasen Atour, and Paul Bullion. While IGN previously reported Hivju would be playing a character based on Nivellen, the Game of Thrones alum is playing the “A Grain of Truth” character. The press release also revealed the four directors set to helm season two episodes. Stephen Surjik, Sarah O’Gorman, Ed Bazalgette, and Geeta Patel will each direct two episodes of the eight-episode season.
A very familiar face is making its way to the Continent. Game of Thrones alum Kristofer Hivju is joining the cast of The Witcher, where he will play a character called Nigel. In addition to the actor, who played fan favorite Tormund Giantsbane on the HBO hit series, Paul Bullion, Yasen Atour, and Dolittle‘s Carmel Laniado are set to appear in The Witcher‘s second season. According to IGN, which did a full breakdown of the new and returning cast, Hivju’s character is based on Nivellen, a character featured in Andrzej Sapkowski’s short story “A Grain of Truth.”
Meanwhile, season two will see the arrivals of two new witchers in Bullion’s Lambert and Atour’s Coën. While the former is likely most familiar to fans of the Witcher game—specifically The Witcher 3—the latter played a significant role in the novel Blood of Elves. As for Laniado, it appears her devious character Violet is a creation for the Netflix series. The character is described by Deadline as “a young girl whose playful and whimsical demeanour is a front for a smarter and more sadistic character.” Hopefully Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer are on their guard if—or when—they meet Violet.
The Witcher returns for season two in 2021.
The Witcher has yet to premiere, but we’re already being primed for more. In a rare move for the streamer, Netflix has picked the Henry Cavill-led series for a second season, more than a month before the series is set to debut. Netflix confirmed the news, which we first heard at The Hollywood Reporter, on Twitter, revealing season two will premiere in 2021.
According to the books The Witcher carries his second season on Roach. Coming 2021. pic.twitter.com/48BChOOUE1
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) November 13, 2019
In a statement, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich expressed her excitement for the season two pick-up.
“I am so excited that before viewers dive into season one, we are already able to confirm that we’ll be returning to The Continent again to continue telling the stories of Geralt, Yennefer and Ciri, and to showcase more of the amazing work that our cast and crew have delivered.”
The Netflix series is based on the popular fantasy series of novels and short stories by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. The books follow beast hunters known as “witchers” who develop supernatural powers as children and go on to fight monsters and beasts. While the best-selling novel series has also inspired a beloved video game series (which, in turn, inspired a series of comics), the Netflix show will specifically follow the books.
The series stars Cavill as the platinum-haired protagonist, Geralt of Rivia.
Based on the best-selling fantasy series, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, 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, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.
Starring alongside Cavill are Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, Geralt’s true love; and Freya Allan as Ciri, a princess whom Geralt is determined to protect. Among the other members of the series’ large ensemble cast are Jodhi May, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Adam Levy, MyAnna Buring, Mimi Ndiweni, Therica Wilson-Read, and Emma Appleton.
While this news guarantees we’ll see at least two seasons of The Witcher, it appears Hissrich is looking even further ahead. Per Escapist magazine, Hissrich revealed to SFX Magazine that she has the series mapped out for seven seasons. “I’ve [mapped out stories] for seven seasons. Right now, it’s just about, ‘how do you set up stories that really capture audiences for years at a time?’” she reportedly teased.
While the early renewal indicates that Netflix has a lot of faith in The Witcher, reaching seven seasons will be remarkable feat. While a handful of Netflix original series have reached six seasons, including Bojack Horseman, Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards, only one series has ever been given a season seven green light: the Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin-led series Grace and Frankie will end with its seventh season in 2020, making it Netflix’s longest running show.
With Game of Thrones formally over and Amazon’s Lord of the Rings firmly far on the horizon, The Witcher is certainly making a compelling case to become a new go-to hit saga. At the very least, when speaking with SFX Magazine, Hissrich teased one thing The Witcher will have in common with the HBO mega-hit series in season one: not everyone is going to make it out alive.
The eight-episode first season of The Witcher is currently streaming on Netflix.
Feature Image: BBC America