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How Joey Batey Got Ripped To Play Jaskier In The Witcher Season 2

When "The Witcher" debuted on Netflix in 2019, it had a big job to accomplish. The fantasy series had to appease fans of the original story while introducing new audiences to its world of magic. And while the first season had a few kinks to work through, it was a huge hit for the platform, making it no surprise when the second season was released in December 2021.

"The Witcher" stars Henry Cavill in the titular role of Geralt, a witcher who fights off monsters and creatures that go bump in the night for coin. His character is often accompanied by the bard Jaskier, portrayed by singer-songwriter Joey Batey. And while Season 2 has left audiences with many questions, one Reddit user has asked the biggest question of all: "When did Jaskier get ripped?" This has been on our minds ever since Season 2 aired on Netflix, and it's high time it got answered. Just how did Batey get so fit for his role of Jaskier? Read on to find out!

Training with Leanne Marshall

According to Muscle and Fitness, personal trainer Leanne Marshall worked with the cast for much of Season 2. "Working with actors from 'The Witcher' Season 2 is definitely one of the highlights of my career," Marshall said. "I was a fan of the show, and then being able to work with the characters, and get them aesthetically ready for their roles was an incredible experience."

Marshall worked specifically with Paul Bullion and Joey Batey to get them in shape, as their roles were physically demanding. Bullion portrayed Lambert, a fellow witcher and friend to Geralt. As his character was a fighter, it made sense for the actor to work with Marshall to prepare. However, fighting was a big change for the character of Jaskier. For most of the first season, he spent his time traveling with Geralt and writing the ever-so-catchy tune "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" (admit it, you still hum it to this day). Season 2 saw Jaskier take part in more fight scenes, which required more training on his part. And when your co-star is the incredibly in-shape Henry Cavill, some extra muscle doesn't hurt.

Marshall has worked on other television sets outside of "The Witcher." She trained a few cast members on "Peaky Blinders" to get them screen-ready for the period crime drama, and did the same for "Gangs of London." But who is Marshall, and what exactly did she do to get Batey in shape?

Who is Leanne Marshall?

Before becoming a personal trainer, Leanne Marshall worked as a musical theater performer. Her time in theater made her realize that personal training was the right career path for her. She recalled how being a woman in the theater industry caused her own internal struggles, especially in her relationship to food, and how her experience with staying in shape led to her love for personal fitness. "Looking after my health and my body was a big part of my acting career," Marshall said. "I found myself fascinated with fitness and nutrition, and I had struggled with my own food demons due to the pressures of the entertainment industry in my 20s, but training was always my grounding, my time to gain mental clarity."

After suffering an injury that ended her theater career, Marshall created her own path with fitness. She gained her trainer qualification through Premier Global NASM with a focus on fueling the body through performance. From there, she decided to work with clients in the entertainment industry, as she understood the pressure they face to get in shape for a role.

Marshall training 'musts'

"The Witcher" star Paul Bullion also discussed Leanne Marshall's training boot camp with Muscle and Fitness. According to Bullion, he and Marshall go way back, as she used to work with him to prepare for a role a decade before the fantasy Netflix series. Therefore, it was a no-brainer for the two to work together again for his role as Lambert in "The Witcher." Bullion detailed that they would get together five times a week, where she would outline a meal plan that he had to stick with. His workouts consisted primarily of high-rep and low-weight work with barbells. 

These workouts are a part of Marshall routine 'musts.' According to Marshall, "Consume protein to build lean muscle tissue. Your body needs to synthesize more muscle protein than it breaks down. And eat whole foods, giving the body nutrients such as calcium, fiber, vitamins B and D, magnesium, essential fatty acids and potassium will keep your cells functioning as they should." Once you've got your eating down, she argues that one must understand their bodies with simple movements. Only that can promote muscle growth. However, her number one rule is that "No one can do this for you." You must be consistent in your routine and set goals for yourself every day to "tick the boxes they have set." When you work out with Marshall, it's all or nothing. 

The Witcher training routine

When working with actors on the set of "The Witcher," Leanne Marshall focused mainly on the arms to get them ready to fight off monsters. After all, those weapons they use are probably incredibly heavy. Marshall broke down her routine into four groups of exercises, focusing on the upper body and abs. Marshall told Muscle and Fitness that she always includes a rest period after each workout, and suggested a tempo rhythm for the actor to follow during their sessions.

Her first workout consisted of tricep exercises and chin-ups, followed by curls: standing dumbbell hammer curls with bench dumbbell bicep curls. She also threw in chest-supported sets. If you're already feeling tired just reading this, imagine how Joey Batey must have felt — that's just the first half of Marshall's training routine. Next she focused on cable overhead triceps extension and triceps pushdowns, and she ended the routine with abs, getting Batey to do leg raises, crunches, and work with barbells. Reminder: All these sets were all done during a single workout!

Jaskier vs Geralt

If you think that sounds tough, it's nothing compared to what Henry Cavill put his body through in order to train for the role of Geralt. While the actor is no stranger to fitness with roles like Superman in Zack Snyder's DC Universe or CIA assassin August Walker in 2018's "Mission: Impossible – Fallout," Cavill really put his body to the test when training for this role, as it was something he was incredibly passionate about from the start (Cavill is a huge Witcher fanboy). He actively petitioned to get the leading role of Geralt, and his clear knowledge of the source material was a major bonus point. 

While Joey Batey's workout routine with Leanne Marshall consisted mainly of upper body and abs, Cavill opted for a more aggressive strategy. He told Men's Health UK that he trained with Dave Rienzi, one of Hollywood's biggest coaches. Rienzi got Cavill to try fasted cardio (essentially working out when your body isn't digesting food to ensure you're burning fat at a faster rate), Romanian deadlifts, and hyperextensions to reinforce his posterior chain and strengthen his lower back. He trained his body to command the strength of horses and ate thousands of calories every day. Truly, his commitment would make Geralt proud.


Joey Batey worked with Leanne Marshall specifically because his character went through some big changes in Season 2 of "The Witcher." In Season 1, Jaskier was the comedic friend to Geralt, the serious and laconinc hero. As Geralt is a man of few words who's not one to open up about himself, Jaskier allowed audiences to see a different side of the witcher. And while Jaskier was a standout in the first season, Batey's portrayal of the character was a big change from the original source material.

In the books and games, Jaskier's character was actually named Dandelion, and he was a flamboyantly dressed smooth-talker. Batey's Jaskier is an awkward character, often seen stumbling on his words, whereas Dandelion was, for a lack of a better word, a ladies' man. He was charming and somewhat fearless in social situations that Season 1 Jaskier would never have been able to navigate. This may have had to do with the fact that, unlike Jaskier in season 1, Dandelion was well-known and famous for his work. That fame likely added to his character's confidence. Luckily for "Witcher" purists, this is something that was explored in Season 2.

Jaskier in Season 2

Season 2 Jaskier is working with more confidence as a result of more success. While his level of fame hasn't reached that of Dandelion, he's certainly become better known, and he's seen some other changes to his personality, as well. Joey Batey told Metro that Jaskier "feels more emotionally vulnerable, open, engaged, he's also braver. For the first time he's risking his life to do something that is morally good."

This is a reference to the fact that in Season 2, Jaskier goes by the alias of the "Sandpiper" to help elven refugees flee a city in which they're suffering. As his character experiences more dangerous situations, Batey's training with Leanne Marshall makes perfect sense. The character of Jaskier is branching out and becoming far more than just Geralt's sidekick. He's turning into a fighter in his own right. We're interested to see how Jaskier develops in "The Witcher" Season 3 — perhaps he'll join Ciri in training to fight monsters, as well.