📺 Where to watch The Witcher season 3 volume 2: Premieres on Netflix on 27 July
⭐️ Our rating: 4/5
🍿 Watch it if you liked: Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time, The Lord of the Rings
🎭 Who's in it?: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, Joey Batey, Hugh Skinner.
⏰ How long is it? 3 episodes, approximately one hour each
📖 What’s it about? With Vilgefortz unmasked as the real villain working with Emhyr var Emreis, Geralt and Yennefer must find a way to defeat him before he can capture Ciri and take her to her father.
Volume 1 of The Witcher season 3 ended on a dramatic note with Geralt (Henry Cavill) stuck at the end of a knife's edge while a mutiny takes place in Aretuza following The Conclave of Mages, and the second volume continues right where it left off.
Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and Philippa (Cassie Clare) are trying to take control and bring Ciri (Freya Allan) to Redania for their plans, but Vilgefortz (Mahesh Jadu) has other ideas as he has sided with Emperor Emhyr var Emreis (Bart Edwards) and intends to capture Ciri for her father.
Geralt and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) are determined not to let either power take their ward, and they prepare to go to war in order to protect her.
Just like that, Cavill's time as the White Wolf is over but at least he gets to go out with a bang. Volume two, which consists of three episodes, is full of epic battles and sweeping landscapes as the war between the mages, elves and humans come to a head.
Cavill is given plenty to sink his teeth into in this half of the season, at least in terms of fight scenes. The actor shows exactly why he was chosen to be Geralt of Rivia in the first place as he tackles each sword fight with ease and brings a subtle vulnerability to the character.
Like the first half of the season, the new episodes also struggle with pacing issues and an overly-complex plot that can be difficult to fully invest in.
But these episodes are better than what came before because it strips back some of the layers in favour of putting the time into the characters we know and love rather than the courtly drama of Redania and Nilfgaard.
The strength of these three episodes, as was the case with volume one, is Allan's performance, which is most evident in the second of the three new episodes, where Ciri finds herself lost in the Korath Desert.
Completely alone for the first time since finding Geralt, Ciri is forced to contemplate her past and what has brought her to the remote location, and as the unrelenting heat batters her spirit she begins to hallucinate with her visions ranging from a unicorn to her dead grandmother, Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May).
Allan steps up her game in this episode, showing her ability to bring the complexities of her character to the surface in ways she hasn't had the chance to do before. Terrorised by these nightmares, Ciri must face the consequences of her actions and Allan thrives in these emotional scenes, despite their dark tone.
Even if Cavill is departing the Netflix series and Liam Hemsworth is taking over, Allan shows that it is well worth sticking around to see what happens next, especially given the unexpected way things end.
The Witcher season 3 volume 2 is streaming on Netflix now.
Watch the trailer for The Witcher season 3 volume 2