‘The Witcher’ Season 3 wrapped up, and although the most frequent topic of discussion is Henry Cavill’s departure as Geralt of Rivia for upcoming seasons, other things caught the eyes of fans – especially those who consider themselves ‘The Witcher purists.’ For instance, many have noticed a different appearance of Yennefer in this new season. So, why does she look different?
Yennefer might look slightly different in Season 3 of ‘The Witcher’ due to changes in her make-up, hair, costume design, and Anya Chalotra’s weight. The actress slimmed down a bit compared to the previous seasons and wore wigs instead of her natural hair in Season 3.
The outfits that Yennefer wore this season were beautiful – that goes without saying – but some fans found them either ‘too pedestrian’ or too different from what Yennefer would wear in the source material. There’s more to this subject than meets the eye at first, so let’s dive deeper and determine why Yennefer looks so different in ‘The Witcher’ Season 3.
Is Yennefer a different actress in Season 3?
I’ve seen this question pop up on forums and in comment sections one too many times, so let’s get it out of the way.
Yennefer is still portrayed by the very same actress that portrayed the character in ‘The Witcher’ Seasons 1 and 2. The actress behind the character is Anya Chalotra, a beautiful, talented young actress from the United Kingdom, born in 1995 in Wolverhampton, England, UK (other sources say she was born in 1996 in Lower Penn, UK).
Anya’s career is quite young, and the role of Yennefer of Vengeberg is actually her most prominent role to date. She started her career portraying Jennifer Ashman in a TV series called ‘Wanderlust,’ after which she played Lily Marbury in ‘The ABC Murders.’ She also played Sabrina in a podcast series called ‘The Cipher’ and voiced Robin Loxley in ‘Sherwood.’
Anya amassed over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, too, despite not being too active on the platform (her last post, at the time of writing this article, was on July 13, 2023).
Why does Yennefer look weird in Season 3?
A lot of fans pointed out that Yennefer looks very different in Season 3 of ‘The Witcher’ – some even stated that there’s something weird in her appearance. Well, they weren’t wrong because a lot has changed for the character – and I’m not talking just physically.
Before we get into the ‘physical’ specifics of what changed about Yennefer, it’s important to note why that change even took place. You see, since the very first season – nay, the very first episode – of ‘The Witcher,’ Yennefer is a character undergoing constant changes, both physically and mentally.
First, she was a hunchbacked, crooked-jawed daughter of a farmer who abused her in every way he could. He then sold Yen to a witch for pennies on a dollar just because he couldn’t stand looking at her. And then, Yennefer was taught magic.
She soon used it to turn herself into this beautiful, strong, vibrant sorceress – in exchange for her fertility. The change, however, made Yen more confident, poised, and radiant than ever. And then, Season 2 came, and Yennefer lost her magic; she felt empty, weak, and desperate – yet another shift in her character.
Yen would do anything to get her powers back, and out of that desperation, she became selfish, greedy, and completely unhinged, wanting to sacrifice Ciri to get her powers back. And now, Season 3 came, where Yen went through yet another change of heart – doing anything in her power to make up to Geralt and Ciri for what she had done.
You see, changes in her style and appearance always accompanied her character changes. Therefore, it’s only logical that some changes were made for Season 3 as well. But, what were those changes that made us feel as if Yennefer looked, well, ‘weird’ for some reason?
Biggest changes in Yennefer’s appearance for Season 3
First of all, the hair, make-up, and costumes were changed from Season 2 to Season 3. The show’s hair and makeup designer, Deb Watson, spoke to Collider recently, where she revealed:
“This season, from a makeup and hair point of view, I wanted to bring an element of softness but an element of power. I felt that in Season 3, we could move away from that really heavily made-up look because Anya [Chalotra] herself is so incredibly beautiful, and when I read Yennefer, I read a really strong internal beauty with her, and I wanted to bring that internal beauty out.
There’s always mention of her beautiful long, luxurious hair, and the way that Lucinda’s silhouettes were cut for the season, I felt benefited the loose and flowing hair. When we move into the ball sequence, the elegance of the costume design inspired me to have an elegance of hair and makeup design. So, we moved through moods in the story that we’re telling.”
The other thing was her hair – whereas they mostly used Anya Chalotra’s natural hair in Season 2, Season 3 was all about wigs for Yennefer. Honestly, the hairstyle that stood out the ‘weirdest’ to me was the one at the ball. It looked glamorous, but there were moments when it was way too obviously a wig.
Finally, fans were unpleased with the overall outfit and costume choices for Yeneffer. There’s the one with the purple blouse that looks way – way out of character.
Also, some fans on Reddit pointed out that Anya Chalotra seems a lot slimmer than before, which perhaps made her look different than she looked in the first few seasons. Given the fact that Anya was already slim and beautiful, perhaps losing a few pounds while filming looked more ‘dramatic’ than it actually was.
In any case, the reason why Yennefer looks different in Season 3 isn’t something as dramatic as an actress change – it’s just a product of new makeup, new hair, and new costume design.
Why did Yennefer change her appearance?
The ‘how’ – we discussed, but the ‘why’ – is yet to be answered. Why did Yennefer’s appearance change?
If you’re asking why she chose to change her appearance in Season 1, I believe the answer is pretty evident – she wanted to ease herself off the pain of having a physical deformation. She wanted to feel strong, confident, and beautiful and made sacrifices to achieve that.
If you’re asking why she changed her appearance in Season 3, the answer is also quite clear. As the character changed and grew over the three seasons, so did her appearance, to reflect the stage at which Yennefer’s character is at any given point. The physical changes stem from her mental changes, not the other way around.
Did Yennefer wear a wig in Season 3?
After watching ‘The Witcher’ Season 3, I believed that it was quite obvious that Yennefer wore a wig throughout the entire season. However, some fans weren’t convinced, believing that it was still Anya Chalotra’s real hair.
Well, there’s a video circling on TikTok – a time-lapse showing the hair and makeup process that Anya goes through to become Yennefer before shooting. And it’s very clear that she gets a wig put on at one point.
If there was any doubt, it has been removed with the BTS video.