'The Witcher' Season 2 Begins Production With New Cast Members, Including 'Game Of Thrones' Alum Kristofer Hivju

Toss a coin to your Witcher, because the hit fantasy adventure series is coming back for season 2. Netflix has announced that The Witcher season 2 has begun production in the U.K., with a planned launch date in 2021. Henry Cavill returns in the title role of the gruff monster hunter, and is joined by his unlikely band of misfits: Anya Chalotra as the sorceress Yennefer, Freya Allan as the orphaned princess Ciri, and Joey Batey as everyone's favorite bard Jaskier. The returning actors are joined by a host of new cast members, including Game of Thrones alum Kristofer Hivju.

Netflix announced that The Witcher begins production on season 2 in the U.K. this month, two months after the fantasy-adventure series dropped on the streaming service and became an internet sensation. The big-budget fantasy show based on a series of Polish books debuted in December 2019 and quickly became one of Netflix's most-watched originals of the year, largely by the power of a high-camp tone and an extremely catchy earworm.

It was no question that the show would continue for another season, especially after the word-of-mouth success and the cliffhanger that the season finale left us on. In addition to returning cast members Cavill, Chalotra, Allan, and Batey, the show is stepping up with its casting, bringing a host of new faces to face off against Geralt of Rivia. The cast for season 2 includes Yasen Atour (Young Wallender) as Coen, Agnes Bjorn as Vereena, Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders) as Lambert, Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9) as Eskel, Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl) as Lydia, Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones) as Nivellen, and recent graduate Mecia Simson as Francesca.

The exciting piece of casting here is, of course, Hivju, who was a big, scene-stealing presence on Game of Thrones as the boisterous Wildling Tormund Giantsbane, and will fit nicely in The Witcher, a gritty fantasy series that is very much influenced by that HBO show. Though you likely won't see much of his face: his character Nivellen is cursed to look like a monstrous beast.

"The reaction to season one of The Witcher set a high bar for adding new talent for the second season," The Witcher showrunner and executive producer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich said in a statement. "Sophie Holland and her casting team have once again found the very best people to embody these characters, and in the hands of these accomplished directors, we're excited to see these new stories come to life."

Stephen Surjik (The Umbrella Academy) will direct episodes 1 and 2 of season 2, while Sarah O'Gorman (Cursed) takes over episodes 3 and 4. Ed Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom) directs episodes 205 and 208, and Geeta Patel (Meet The Patels) helms episodes 206 and 207. Season 2 will be 8 episodes like the first season.

The Witcher season 2 will premiere on Netflix sometime in 2021.