We’ve been hearing reports that Game of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) would be joining the cast of Netflix’s The Witcher for a while now.
Specifically, Hivju will play Nivellen, a character from the short story “A Grain of Truth” from The Last Wish, the first book in author Andrzej Sapkowski’s series. Nivellen is an aristocrat cursed to look like a beast as punishment for something he did years earlier. Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) comes across Nivellen’s home in the forest, and helps him work out his problems.
The early Witcher books make a practice of modifying fairy tales with a gruesome twist. For instance, the story of Renfri, whom we met in the series premiere, is primarily Snow White with a coat of blood-red paint. Likewise, “A Grain of Truth” is basically Sapkowski’s take on Beauty and the Beast. Redanian Intelligence likewise reports that the show is casting Vereena, a crucial figure from this story.
In the books, “A Grain of Truth” takes place extremely early in Geralt’s story, long before he meets Princess Ciri (Freya Allan). As The Witcher fans know, the two of them met up at the end of the season 1, so I’m supposing showrunner Lauren Hissrich and company will finesse the story to include Ciri in some way. According to Redanian Intelligence, we’ll see “A Grain of Truth” early in the season, so possibly Geralt and Ciri will run across Nivellen on their way to Kaer Morhen, the witchers’ keep?
Wherever the story falls in the season, I’m sure Hivju will kill it as a remorseful, charismatic beast. The guy has a face made for high fantasy. Just just imagine some monster makeup on him and we’re excellent to go.
And Nivellen isn’t the only role The Witcher is wanting to cast.
We’ve already spoken about the casting of Lambert and Coën, two of Geralt’s fellow witchers. Carmel Laniado will play Violet, a new character “whose playful and whimsical demeanor is a front for a smarter and more sadistic character.” We’ve likewise become aware of them casting Sigismund Dijkstra, a spymaster who’s basically the Littlefinger/Varys of this world, and of course they’re going to cast Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor in the witching profession. The jury’s still out on whether Mark Hamill will play him, as talked.
Redanian Intelligence has the lowdown on a lot of other roles the show is aiming to cast:
Francesca: “The most stunning lady on the planet. Tall, smart, effective and protective towards her child.” In the books, Francesca is an elven sorceress, so anticipate her to engage with Yennefer. She’s likewise the queen of an elven clan, so she’s busy. It looks like the tv show is including a kid for her. They’re even aiming to cast her younger brother, a fresh character code-named Gary (actually, I really hope they keep that name). He’s “younger and jolly” with a big, high build.
Vanessa-Marie: “An older white haired lady. A demon, who wanders the land bargaining and taking advantage of people’s deepest and darkest desires.” This seems like Gaunter O’Dimm, a villain from the Hearts of Stone expansion for The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. Redanian Intelligence guesses that she’ll be part of Yennefer’s storyline, considering that she’ll need some stuff to do while Geralt and Ciri are playing out their arcs from Blood of Elves. She’ll appear in three to four episodes, so it’s not a throwaway function.
Rience: “Fit and full of anger. Locked up by the queen, he later finds himself in charge of looking for the valued Jewel. Smart, shrewd, and sadistic. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.” Rience is a significant villain from the books, so it’s not a surprise that he’s appearing.
Lydia: “Dark hair, almond eyes. Bears the scars from an experiment failed. Secretary and Assistant to the Master. Carries out a horrible deed.” In the books, the enigmatic Lydia is the assistant the sorcerer Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu), whom we met towards the end of season 1.
Ithlinne: “Tall, lovely. Old and wrinkly but fresh-faced. She is a healer and an oracle with a gift for divinations and prophecies. Warm and fear causing at the same time. Nudity required.” Ithlinne is a famous elven priestess who makes a prophecy at the center of the story. We do not in fact meet her personally in the books, so perhaps she’ll appear in some of Ciri’s visions.
Anna: “A fierce sex worker, she joins a group of soldiers who she isn’t scared to boss around.”
Intriguing that some major characters from the books, like the sorceress Philippa Eilhart, aren’t on this list, however, it might not be total. It’s also possible some characters might appear later in the series. Hissrich has a longterm plan, after all.
However we’ll take it step by step. The second season of The Witcher will most likely drop in 2021.