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The Witcher season 3 trailer begins Henry Cavill’s goodbye to Geralt

And set up season 3’s big conflict: Ciri’s power

Zosha Millman (she/her) manages TV coverage at Polygon as TV editor, but will happily write about movies, too. She’s been working as a journalist for more than 10 years.

The Witcher season 3 is almost here, and even with all the waiting, the moment is a little bittersweet. This is, after all, the beginning of the end for Henry Cavill on the show.

That isn’t a spoiler for the fate of Geralt on Netflix’s hit fantasy show; the titular Witcher dying is not why Liam Hemsworth is replacing Henry Cavill on The Witcher. But as we see in the season 3 trailer which debuted at Summer Game Fest’s kickoff livestream, life is far from rosy for Geralt, Ciri (Freya Allan), and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra).

Geralt is in full dad warrior mode, swearing that he “won’t abandon Ciri” as he fends off all kinds of dangerous adversaries, seemingly after the princess of Cintra. We see big rolling monsters, that damned fire mage, and even the Wild Hunt making an appearance. It’s no surprise that even Geralt is saying he understands “real fear” for the first time. Things have gotten so dire that he’s not just pulling out his sword a few times, he’s putting on a nice shirt. With pattern!

Season 3 will loosely adapt the plot of Time of Contempt, the second novel in the Witcher book series. In season 3, Geralt and Yen have come together to train Ciri to harness her magic, as the rest of the world looks for her and tries to exploit her power and position for itself. That means the kingdoms of Redania and Nilfgaard are fighting for supremacy elsewhere on the Continent, while the White Flame and the Elves pick sides between them. Meanwhile, the fire mage is running around causing trouble for Geralt — and possibly working for a nefarious mage who’s more powerful than anyone he’s encountered so far.

Fans will have to wait a bit for the full season: The Witcher season 3 is being split into two parts, with the five episodes of part 1 coming on June 29. The next half of the season will come on July 27, with three additional episodes.

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