Breaking Down The Leshen In The Witcher Season 2

Netflix's sword-and-sorcery fantasy epic "The Witcher" is back for season 2, and that means there are a whole bunch of great new monsters for Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) to battle. While the premiere episode of the season gave fans their first glimpse of the vampiric bruxa, they end up encountering a much more dangerous monster once they make it to Kaer Morhen: a leshen. The leshen are terrifying tree monsters that make the Ents from "Lord of the Rings" look like friendly twigs, and the one Geralt and Ciri must face down this season is especially frightening. 

Minor spoilers for "The Witcher" season 2 after the cut. 

So What is a Leshen?

A leshen, often called "leshies" by the Witchers, is a monster who dwells in ancient forests. In the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski and the video game series by CD Projekt Red, the leshen appear as giant tree people with a deer or elk skull instead of a head. In the Netflix series, they are simply giant tree men with long, whipping arms and seriously bad attitudes. Yes, leshen are basically Groot from "Guardians of the Galaxy," but bigger and much, much meaner. 

When Ciri and Geralt arrive at Kaer Morhen in "The Witcher" season 2, they are greeted by many of Geralt's fellow witchers from the School of the Wolf. One of them, Eskel (Basil Eidenbenz), is acting a little weird after a fight with a leshy where he cut off the creature's hand. Unfortunately for Eskel, the leshy's attack ends up turning him into a leshy himself, a development some fans of the books are furious about, as Eskel is a fan-favorite in the novels who is seen as a slightly-less grumpy Geralt. 

In the world's mythology, the leshen are ancient spirits who were created by the forests in order to protect their flora and fauna from humanoid invaders. As civilization spreads, the leshen grow in numbers to try to defend their homes. In the video games, they are able to summon both ravens and wolves to help them battle against mankind. 

What's Bigger and Scarier than a Leshy?

While Geralt mentions that he's fought leshen in the past, he mentions that he hasn't seen one in some time. When he and Ciri go into the forest to avenge Eskel, they find their leshy without much searching. The only problem? They immediately discover something much bigger and much scarier: a myriapod. The absolutely massive myriapod is an animal skull-headed monster with dozens of arms and legs. Players of the expansion "Blood and Wine" from the video game "The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt" will recognize the insect-like monster, who gives Geralt a run for his coin in both the game and the Netflix series. 

"The Witcher" season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.