Rivia’s Riveting Wardrobe: A Look at The Witcher’s Season 2 Costumes
Rivia’s Riveting Wardrobe: A Look at The Witcher’s Season 2 Costumes

Rivia’s Riveting Wardrobe: A Look at The Witcher’s Season 2 Costumes

1 – 🎶Toss a coin to your Witcher, oh #ThreadTalk of plenty.🎶

The time is nigh, so hello & well met! We’re digging into the costumes from #TheWitcher, season two.

So grab your ale, and sit a spell, as we visit Geralt, Ciri, Jaskier & the gang across the Continent and beyond.

2 – *SPOILER WARNING* I really can’t do this otherwise.

Since I’m planning on going character by character here, I can’t avoid some things. But we’re almost a month out from the premiere at this point.

So, turn your back, traveler, if these are not the stories ye seek.

Henry Cavill as Geralt of River, his back turned to the screen, his face in profile. His hair is white/blond, his armor studded black, face covered in tendrils of hair. The background is fuzzy and dark. Image © Netflix

3 – Lucinda Wright took over as costume designer for season 2 & made some significant changes, most noticeably in Geralt’s armor — and with lots of input from Henry Cavill himself.

Season 1’s armor didn’t even allow him to pull out his own sword. So she changed that.

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in the new armor for Season 2 of the Witcher. The leather, studded armor has articulated shoulders and a breastplate, as well as a matching potions container. Image © Netflix

4 – All made of leather, Wright went to great effort to tell Geralt’s story in the costume, even working with Cavill to add a potions container for his Witcher draughts, which previously, “just appeared.”

Acquired at Caer Morhen, it’s second-hand, and worn through accordingly.

5 – There’s been much discussion about the, uh, pants. 👀 The first season had leather pants, which look rather lovely in practice–but did not wear well.

Wright went with a stretchier fabric in Season 2, which may not be “historically” accurate, but for Cavill’s comfort.

Geralt and Lambert fighting off a monster in Caer Morhen, demonstrating the need for Cavill's pants stretch.

6 – Which brings about my first point. Studded leather armor? We don’t have any indication it’s a real thing, historically.

Leather, armor, yes. A brigandine is close in look (below, velvet!). In India, there was a chihal’ta hazar masha, or “coat of ten thousand nails.”

This is part of a large find of medieval armor discovered in 1840 in the ruins of the fortress of Chalcis, on the Greek island of Euboea (then a Venetian colony called Negroponte). The fortress had been captured and destroyed by the Turks in 1470. Now divided largely between the Ethnological Museum, Athens, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chalcis hoard contains many rare and unusual elements of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century armor. Of particular importance are the variety of headpieces and the many fragments of brigandines (armor for the torso constructed of small plates riveted to layers of fabric), some of which retain portions of their original velvet covering. The Chalcis armor provides a unique picture of the armament used in the Aegean, one of the easternmost military outposts of the Venetian empire. Via the Met.

7 – By and large, though, Geralt’s new armor is more influenced by D&D & video games.

And let me be clear: THIS IS TOTALLY VALID AND COOL. In my mind, the costumes are a pastiche of sorts. We can have both!

S1 looks a LOT like this brigandine from the Met, doesn’t it?

8 – As you’ll soon see: there is no “time period” for the Witcher series. The costumers are making clothing in a world that isn’t real. So why stick to the rules?

In that way, they’re free to pick whatever they want. And hell. It makes my job so fun!

But I digress. Onward!

Vesemir and Geralt together, sporting their own leather armor, beautiful and unique as they are. A red glowing fire is in the background. They're shown from the waist up, with Vesemir, shorter, behind Geralt.

9 – Ciri has quite a transformation, not the least of which are the eyebrows. The actress, Freya Allan, actually requested they stop bleaching her face to death. I, for one, am glad.

Early on, she gets a beautiful new gown & pale furs to offset her scraggily travel gear.

Freya Allen as Ciri, on top of Roach, the horse. She's wearing pale furs that nearly match her long, wavy blonde hair. She's turned 3/4, and snow falls around her. © Netflix

10 – But like many emotional teenagers, Ciri is a bit of a chameleon. When it’s go time, she shirks the pale furs and beaded gowns for fighting attire.

I do admire the leather detail here, the vest looking like it’s a bit small–as if it once belonged to a child at Caer Morhen.

Ciri preparing to fight in the sparring grounds at Caer Morhen. She wears a dark grey shift and leather vest, leather wrappings on her hands, and long trousers. Her hair is tied back in a braid. © Netflix

11 – Ciri keeps a little of S1’s blue, but mostly sticks with pale ivory and creme for S2, including this number, which is solidly medieval, houppelande and all. A garment of the upper class, its long gored sleeves were popular until the 16thC and certainly shriek PRINCESS.

A screenshot from S2 of the Witcher, with Ciri in full court regalia. She wears an underdress and then a houppelande-like overdress with long, gored sleeves.  © Netflix

12 – Speaking of the Middle Ages, we’ve got to talk about Triss. Triss is solidly living her best (somewhat romanticized) 12th-13th C life in S2, which is a pretty steep departure. Long, dropped waists, thick velvets, maiden hair. Green is still her color (as in the games).

13 – Which brings me to what I mean earlier by needing to eschew history.

Tissaia, Rectoress of Aretuza, is on another plane of fashion, as she’s solidly in the Victorian period. All those angles, the sleeves, the collars and buttons. The jewel tones, baby. This witch is it.

MyAnna Buring as Tissaia de Vries in the Witcher, Season 2. She wears a cerulean blue gown with a high collar, flared sleeves, and a pinched waist. She is in a library, one hand up, looking over at an unseen person. © Netflix

14 – This is no change from S1, but what it does is set for some interesting juxtapositions. Like in this later scene, where you have two sorceresses wearing clothing with vastly different influences.

And that’s ok. Remember: this is a *fantasy world.* It has magic. 🌈

Tissaia and Triss at the window at the tower, looking out. They are each in clothing vastly different in color and composition. © Netflix

15 – I can’t go back to the 12th century and find much in the way of extant clothes, but tell me Tissaia wouldn’t just wear this immediately, huh? It’s from 1881, and is a day dress, and is American, made of wool, linen, silk, and mother of pearl. Fit for a sorceress.

A deep blue gown from 1881 with a tiered bustle, a row of pearl buttons from collar down below the hips, and pleating around the bottom. From the Met.

16 – There are SO many Tudor influences.

And I get it. The costumers are building a world, so there’s got to be some similarity, and audiences still get the visual language. Dijkstra & Charles Brandon below (points if you get the extra nerdy reference here) looking fancy.

17 – Fringilla also gets the Tudor treatment, but she reminds me of Mary Tudor. Not just the collar, but her hair even mimics the gabled hoods of the period.

And I’m all about Fingilla’s glowup. I love the grey silk and the embroidery, and the language of power in the clothing.

18 – Which brings me to NILFGAARD. The best thing, the ABSOLUTE BEST THING that happened this season was Nilfgaard’s armor redo.

The first season looked like wrinkly, um, figs. Now, it looks badass. Even Cahir is almost smiling. Bonus: it’s more comfortable for the actors!

19 – We saw influences outside of Europe all over this season, particularly in the wardrobe of Francesca, who donned sari fabrics (paisley!) & kaftans. Most of the elf folk, in fact, seemed to take their cue from India & Persia in their styling. IMO, a little heavy-handed.

20 – Vilgeforz, played by Mahesh Jadu, is stunning in every way. And for his costume, it looks like a mix between Persia and Japan, to me. It’s a big departure from S1, where the costuming was quite unremarkable in comparison. Here, he is a vision in golds and maroons.

21 – This 19th century, Meiji era kimono, looks like it would totally be in Vilgefortz’s wardrobe, don’t you think? That silk is just something else. I could stare at the pattern for hours.

Description: Long-sleeved outer robe (uchikake) with design of overall repeating pattern of Chinese fans and weeping cherry blossoms in gilt paper strip discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts on a brown twill-weave silk ground; lined with light orange plain-weave silk and padded at the hem. From the MFA Boston.

22 – Jaskier!

He’s perfect. Literally perfect. This red leather duster. The scraggly hair. The brocaded vest, the unbuttoned crisis chemise…

No, I will not be taking any questions at this time. Burn, burn, Butcher, burnnnn…

23 – Okay, so I could write an entire thesis on the changes of Yennifer’s costumes from S1 to S2. There’s a lot to unpack.

But Wright went for practicality for Yen, opting to take her signature color (purple) and give her a more focused, non-rope dress approach I appreciated.

Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, dressed in plain black clothes and a purple cloak. She has a hand outstretched. © Netflix

24 – We see her sincerely eased away from bombshell, less modernized makeup, and clothing that echoes Tissaia’s more than anything–Victorian lines, again. Black silk, gold embroidery, beadwork. I see lots of hallmarks of Victorian mourning clothing here, too, like in this gown.

25 – Then there was this dress, which, well, I guess if we’re trying to keep some sort of similarity to the very curious dresses of Yennefer, then this is it.

Hello, prom 1994. If there’s one outfit I’ll actually pass on, it’s this one. It just didn’t feel like it fit in.

Anya Chalotra as Yennefer wearing a strapless, drop shoulder gown. © Netflix

26 – Very lastly, we have Lambert, whose coat was just my favorite. So many of the Witchers each had their own look, but his just rocked. The back has this great overlapping design, and it fit the character great.

Also that collar! So cool. All real leather, all hand made.

Paul Bullion as Lambert in S2 of the Witcher. He has bright red curly hair and a long beard, and he's holding up a goblet Behind him, two other Witchers are pouring ale and looking in the same direction as he is. © Netflix

27 – If you want to see a wonderful video with Lucinda Wright, who shared lots of the details I did, you’ve got to check out this one:

28 – If you enjoyed the show, you can always toss a coin to your #threadtalk host.

>> I have a tip jar over in my links in my profile. (Folks asked, so I do mention it. It mostly fuels my tea addiction.)

29 – Lastly, behold, our sources:

https://redanianintelligence.com/2021/12/11/costume-designer-lucinda-wright-breaks-down-the-witcher-season-2-outfits/

https://redanianintelligence.com/2020/01/26/costume-designer-on-nilfgaardian-armor/

https://redanianintelligence.com/2021/12/21/all-hi-res-pics-from-the-witcher-season-2/

https://www.dualshockers.com/the-witcher-series-costume-designer-releases-tons-of-costume-shots/

https://winteriscoming.net/2021/12/23/exclusive-lucinda-wright-dives-costumes-the-witcher-season-2/

https://www.inquisitr.com/5799363/henry-cavill-leather-pants-wardrobe-malfunction-the-witcher/

https://medium.com/theuglymonster/weirdo-reviews-the-witcher-season-2-premiere-no-spoilers-984124191589

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigandine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtle

30 – Thanks for joining me tonight, and remember, it’s great to know costume history — but fantasy is more than history. Sometimes, letting go and just enjoying the ride is the fun part.

Tune in soon for my #WheelOfTime special! Coming next!

Originally tweeted by Natania Barron (@NataniaBarron) on January 10, 2022.

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