'The Witcher' Season 2 Teaches Geralt & Ciri About Fatherhood With Comic Impact, Says Showrunner

The first season of The Witcher ended with Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Cirilla, princess of the fallen kingdom of Cintra, meeting for the first time. Intertwined since before her birth, when the unborn child became Geralt's child of surprise, Ciri spent the season searching for the witcher, as the monster hunter did his best, at least at first, to avoid their fated coming together. But with the fanatical Nilfgaardian Empire after Ciri, Geralt will have no choice but to protect the magically imbued teenager. In a new interview with Witcher news site Redanian Intelligence, The Witcher showrunner Lauren Hissrich describes what's ahead in Season 2, as Geralt attempts to navigate something resembling fatherhood.

Geralt of Rivia and Ciri find each other in the final episode of 'The Witcher's first season, "Much More." Netflix

"Ciri really takes center stage in Season 2," Hissrich told Redanian Intelligence. "The whole world is after her, and she has to find safety and respite with Geralt (and eventually, Yennefer). Problem is, they're complete strangers. She doesn't know Geralt, doesn't see why she should automatically trust him, and really doesn't love when he starts making big decisions in her life—especially when she's still mourning the loss of her grandmother in Cintra."

While Geralt expressed a duty to protect Ciri in the first season of The Witcher, the death of Queen Calanthe at the hands of the Nilfgaardian Empire commits him to his child of fate far more than the witcher had planned.

"Geralt dutifully wants to protect Ciri, but also doesn't know anything about being a dad, and certainly doesn't know how to balance that with the need to continue doing his job," Hissrich said. "There's some comedy in how those two come together and eventually bond, but that belies a deeper reflection on what it means to become family."

Throughout the interview, Hissrich decribed other threads running through the show's second season, which is already written, including a deepened exploration of relations between humans and the non-human species populating the Continent.

"When I spoke with Sapkowski, we talked about what his books meant to him—he gave me a fair share of important points, but the thing that resonated most with me is this struggle between humans and non-humans. This can be extrapolated into our current real world in dozens of ways: immigration, racism, sexism, xenophobia, class warfare, yes. But it's also as simple as old playground feelings of not belonging, feeling on the outside, feeling 'other.'" Hissrich said. "It's something every single person can relate to, in one way or another. It's really important, in a world of dragons and monsters and elves, that we keep the emotional touchstones of the show really relatable, so we'll be continuing to explore it a lot in Season 2."

In Reddit AMAs and other venues, Hissrich has been remarkably candid with fans of The Witcher, diving deep into the show's creation and her motives for particular adaptation choices. It's an open approach she hopes will improve subsequent seasons of the Netflix series.

"I'm very proud of what our team created on The Witcher. I love all the passion that was poured into it, all the great performances, and gorgeous sets and costumes, and fun storytelling," Hissrich told Redanian Intelligence. "But that doesn't mean we can't keep learning and improving, too. We're not making this show for our own egos. I always want to keep upping our game, so the show can continue resonating with audiences as it did this first season."

Saving the fated relationship between Ciri and Geralt for the second season places the taciturn witcher in a new, unexpectedly paternal, position. Since the first season keeps the three main characters largely separate, spreading Geralt, Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Ciri over three different timelines, Season 2 will have the advantage of its strongly laid narrative groundwork.

'The Witcher' Released on Netflix and Fans Have a Lot of Thoughts
Henry Cavill appears as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's new original series, 'The Witcher.' The first season of the show released on the streaming platform on December 20, 2019. Katalin Vermes/Netflix

"Like everything, it's easier the second time around. We know the actors now, how they physically embody the characters, how they deliver humor, how they deliver drama, what their voices sound like, what a single look can do, and when silence works better than anything," Hissrich said. "Script-wise, we don't have as much world-building exposition to set up, so we get to spend more time with the characters, too—really building them as individuals, and fleshing out their relationships with one another, which is fun."