The first look at The Witcher season 3 lives up to its “teaser” title with just a hint of what fans can expect from the upcoming season. Between the dream sequences of Yennefer and Ciri and a battle preamble between Gareth and an unseen enemy that makes him feel fear for the first time, there’s not much to speculate about. However, the notable appearance of the ghostly Wild Hunt pursuing a fleeing Ciri is a reminder that these extra-dimensional beings could be a major antagonistic force in the coming season.
Take a look at the compelling preview below:
This likely comes as no surprise to readers of the Andrezj Sapkowski novels or players of the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in which the spectral horsemen figure prominently, but there are also several hints of what was to come in the events of the finale of The Witcher: Blood Origin as well. In the prequel miniseries, a character named Eredin is trapped in a desolate world after the conjunction of the spheres, and he picks up a skull and holds it like a mask in the fashion of the Wild Hunt leader seen in the finale of The Witcher season 2. It’s an origin story of sorts that leads inevitably to the upcoming season of the main series.
In some ways, Eredin’s tale of revenge against those who imprisoned him resembles that of Vecna in the most recent season of Stranger Things, one of a person trapped in hell going native and returning to wreak havoc. However, there’s more to the story in The Witcher. From the events of The Witcher: Blood Origin, Eredin knows that Ciri’s Elder blood will unlock other worlds, and apparently the centuries have transformed the former elf and his ghostly companions and perhaps equally changed their motivations, which have turned from vengeance to conquest.
Obviously, there are many others who would exploit Ciri if they could; that’s one of the main conflicts in The Witcher. But as with Vecna in Stranger Things, the presence of the Wild Hunt begins to associate more distinctly the powers of the protagonist with the motivations of the potential villain. Who else might specifically want Ciri’s blood for their own empowerment? Perhaps the mage Avallac’h who in the final moments of The Witcher: Blood Origin discovered that the monoliths might allow journeys through time as well as inter-dimensional travel!
In any case, there’s one final commonality between Vecna and The Wild Hunt: they both take center stage in a season that is split in half. The Witcher season 3, like Stranger Things‘ most recent run, will be released in two parts. Volume 1 will drop on Netflix on June 29, 2023, and Volume 2 will follow almost a month later on July 27, 2023. Perhaps some lessons were learned about allowing fans time to hatch theories and share speculation, building up word of mouth so that friends can catch up and enjoy the final season together.
Let the Wild Hunt ride!