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Netflix's The Witcher got off to an incredibly strong start with its first season. One of my only complaints - and I suspect I'm not alone in this - is that Henry Cavill's Geralt of Rivia didn't actually go toe to toe with that many monsters. Sure, there's a scrap with a kikimora in the opening minutes of season, and a great fight with a striga in the show's best episode... but not a whole lot beyond that.
Considering our friend of humanity Geralt is a monster hunter by trade, I was sort of hoping he might... hunt more monsters. That's not to say I didn't love the first season (I did), but I'd love for the upcoming second season to dive a little deeper into the The Witcher's bestiary and deliver on some of the franchise's more twisted monsters.
The good news is that the next season of The Witcher is set to include what is, for my money, one of most terrifying monsters from the games. That's according to Redanian Intelligence, a fansite with an impeccable track record for all things Witcher related. They claim that season two will see Geralt come face to horrifying face with a leshen.
If you've played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the mere mention of a leshen (or leshys) will be enough to fill you with dread. These ancient woodland spirits are among the toughest - and creepiest - foes in the game. Towering, tree-like monsters with skeletal stag faces and a taste for terrorising villagers that wander into the woods.
They're capable of teleportation, and can even use the earth itself to attack. If that fails, they can simply tear their victims apart with horrifically long claws.They're just properly nasty, basically. Andrzej Sapkowski's original novels do mention leshys, but they never appear in any of the stories.
Redanian Intelligence claims to have heard from its sources that an unnamed character will suffer "serious consequences" following a run-in with the leshys. It's not clear who this character might be, but I'd suspect Geralt will be involved in some shape or form. Perhaps he'll work together with one of the other Witchers rumoured to appear in the next season?
Given that the Netflix show is an adaptation of the books and not the games, don't count on the leshen to be exactly like the monster you're used to from The Witcher 3. I suspect there'll be similarities, but also a few new twists and creative changes to bring the woodland nightmare to life in a whole new way.
The Witcher season two isn't expected until 2021, so we're in for a bit of a wait. To tide you over, Netflix is planning an anime spinoff starring Geralt's friend and mentor Vesemir. The feature-length animation is called Nightmare Of The Wolf, and is expected later this year.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix/CD Projekt RED
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