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How Nightmare Of The Wolf Ties Into The Witcher Season 2

Warning: Spoilers for "The Witcher" Season 2 and "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf"

In Season 1 of "The Witcher," audiences experience the story of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) slaying beasts, falling in love, rescuing a princess, becoming an unwitting dad, and laying siege to an entire army. Its story reflects the books more closely than it does the video games that made the series famous, and overall, it's pretty faithful to the novels and short stories. A major event — the fall of Kaer Morhen — happens in the source material and is a big part of the plot of the animated film, "The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf."  But unfortunately, it could not be recreated in live-action in the show, and there are several reasons for this. 

For one, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich admitted on Twitter that it would be impossible to do the fall of Kaer Morhen justice in live-action given Netflix's budget for the show. It also makes sense to give that story it's own space since it's not focused on the main protagonist, Geralt. But just because it's an offshoot of the more prominent narrative doesn't mean it isn't important to everything that's going on, and it's one of the ways that the anime film directly connects to the new second season of the popular Netflix series. 

The anime shows why Kaer Morhen is the way it is in Season 2

Hissrich admitted in a recent interview with Screen Rant that they purposefully sprinkled easter eggs from "Nightmare of the Wolf" into Season 2 of "The Witcher." It'll be interesting to see how many diehard fans pick up on all of them, or whether the details will confuse the more casual fans who haven't bothered to watch the anime movie. But we'll give you one hint: the Griffin skull that Geralt and Cirilla walk through when they first arrive at Kaer Morhen is from the beast that destroys the fort in the anime. Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) and Geralt also have a conversation in which there is an offhanded comment about the major attack on the fort, while they later have a more direct interaction referencing how Vesemir is one of the only survivors of the traumatic event.

In general, the anime film serves as a bridge between the Witchers' past and the present ongoings of the show. If all you watch is "The Witcher," you likely have no idea why Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) is as sad as he is, or why Kaer Morhen is such a large, lonely place with fewer Witchers than one would expect. Watching "Nightmare of the Wolf" before Season 2 helps enrich the viewer's experience by adding context. Of course, it's still possible to enjoy the live-action series without watching the anime film, no matter if you don't have time to catch up or just aren't a fan of anime.