With just about every network on the hunt for “the next Game of Thrones,” Netflix’s The Witcher is a strong contender with its fantasy elements, medieval action, political maneuvering, and shirtless guys wading into bathtubs. Now, it’s also tapping into the world of Game of Thrones to bulk up its cast for season 2.

Kristofer Hivju, who played Tormund on the HBO fantasy epic, will now feature on The Witcher as the character Nivellen. He joins six other newcomers for season 2, including 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, and newcomer Mecia Simson as Francesca.

Filming on season 2 began this month in the U.K. with returning star Henry Cavill as the titular mutated monster-fighter, otherwise known as Geralt of Rivia. Also making a comeback for the next chapter in this saga are Anya Chalotra as the sorceress Yennefer, Freya Allan as Ciri, and Joey Batey as the bard you love (and love to hate), Jaskier.

The Witcher; Game of Thrones
Credit: Katalin Vermes/Netflix; Helen Sloan/HBO

“The reaction to season one of The Witcher set a high bar for adding new talent for the second season,” 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.”

The hefty cast also includes the return of MyAnna Buring (Kill List) as Tissaia, Tom Canton (Good Karma Hospital) as Filavandrel, Lilly Cooper (Peterloo) as Murta, Jeremy Crawford (Titans) as Yarpin Zigrin, Eamon Farren (Twin Peaks) as Cahir, Mahesh Jadu (Marco Polo) as Vilgefortz, Terence Maynard (Cursed) as Artorius, Lars Mikkelson (House of Cards) as Stregobor, Mimi Ndiweni (Black Earth Rising) as Fringilla Vigo, Royce Pierreson (Judy) as Istredd, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Hunter Street) as Dara, Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter) as Triss Merigold, and Therica Wilson Read (Young Wallender) as Sabrina.

Stephen Surjik of Netflix’s Umbrella Academy will direct the first two episodes of season 2, Sarah O’Gorman of Cursed will direct the third and fourth episodes, Ed Bazalgette (The Last Kingdom) will helm episodes 5 and 8, and Geeta Patel (Meet the Patels) is set to helm episodes 6 and 7.

Season 2 will premiere sometime in 2021. A specific date has not been announced.

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