One thing that fans were quick to point out early on before season 2 of The Witcher was even released was how different Ciri looked in the trailer. Truth be told, there are remarkable changes in her appearance in between the two seasons. This led people to think that Ciri might have been recast under our noses. However, is Ciri the same actress in The Witcher season 2, and why does she look different?
Ciri was not recast and is the same actress in season 1 and season 2. It is still Freya Allan playing the iconic role of the princess of Cintra. However, her appearance changed from season 1 to season 2 because she is still maturing as a young girl and because of how there were several changes done to her appearance.
People tend to forget that Freya Allan was still very young when she first played the role of Ciri in the first season of The Witcher. As such, it is easy to see the different changes that happened to her appearance because of the two-year gap between the two seasons of The Witcher. Nevertheless, Ciri is still the same girl we grew to love in season 1, as she merely got older in season 2.
Is Ciri The Same Actress In The Second Season Of The Witcher?
When The Witcher was released in December of 2019, we got to meet the cast that made up the core of the entire series. This included Henry Cavill as Geralt, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, and Freya Allan as Ciri. We grew to love the cast of central characters and even began tying them up with their characters in a manner wherein their identities as individuals are already intertwined with the characters they play in The Witcher.
In season 1, it goes without saying that the characters of Geralt and Yennefer were already in the middle of their adult years. Meanwhile, Ciri was still but a mere young teenager in the first season of The Witcher, as the showrunners did a good job at casting a young teenage girl for the role of the princess. And we saw how young Ciri was in season 1 and how Freya Allan fit the role perfectly.
However, as early as the release of the trailer for season 2 of The Witcher, fans were quick to point out how Cir’s appearance drastically changed. True enough, there were drastic changes in Ciri’s appearance from season 1 and season 2, even though the in-series time gap between the seasons is just a matter of a few days. So, is Ciri the same actress in the second season of The Witcher?
While we might think that the character of Ciri was recast for season 2 because of the sudden and drastic change in Ciri’s appearance, the truth of the matter is that the actress is still Freya Allan. It might sound absurd to think that this is the same actress, given the fact that there are changes in her appearances in the gap between season 1 and season 2. But trust us when we say that Cir was never recast and that Freya Allan is still the one behind the iconic princess of Cintra.
Why Does Ciri Look So Different In The Second Season?
So, if Ciri is still portrayed by Freya Allan, why is it that she looks so different in season 2 when compared to how she looked in season 1? Well, there are a lot of different factors for the sudden and drastic change in her appearance. But the top factor is physical maturity.
When we first saw Ciri in season 1, Freya Allan was still very young and had just earned herself what many consider the role of a lifetime when she landed the role of one of the central characters of the entire Witcher series. That was still some time around 2017 to 2018 when the first season of The Witcher began production.
In truth, if you follow the books and the games, it was only right for a young girl in the middle of her teens to be the one given the role of Ciri because The Witcher follows a timeline that allows us to see the growth of the princess from a young girl into a fine badass young lady. So, if The Witcher released a season every year while shortening the gaps in between production and shooting, the changes in Freya Allan’s appearance would have been as gradual as the growth of Ciri herself.
However, take note that the gap between the production and filming dates between season 1 and season 2 is actually quite large. It was during May 2017 that production for The Witcher started. And then, it was during the latter portion of 2018 that the filming for the first season began.
Meanwhile, even though season 1 was a huge success for The Witcher, filming for the second season did not start filming until early 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the filming of the second season had to halt. It was only until August that filming ultimately resumed until it was concluded during the early portion of 2021.
So, as you can see, the gap between the filming of season 1 and season 2 is more than two years. Two years are more than enough for a young teenager to physically mature and to grow from a young girl into a young lady. This means that Freya Allan’s maturity is the primary reason why there is such a huge difference in her appearance between season 1 and season 2.
However, on top of how Freya Allan simply matured and grew in a physical sense, there are also some other reasons that allowed her appearance to change drastically in season 2. All these changes were personal decisions on the part of Allan and also creative decisions on the part of the showrunners.
For one, Freya Allan’s Ciri in season 1 had blonde eyebrows that fit her blonde hair. However, Allan did not naturally have blonde eyebrows, as she needed her brows bleached so that they would become completely blonde in season 1. Then, in season 2, her eyebrows are now completely brown, which is the natural color of Freya Allan’s eyebrows. The decision to use her natural eyebrow color was personal on the part of Freya Allan because she was afraid that she would lose her eyebrows altogether if she continued to have them bleached.
Meanwhile, we also see Ciri sporting a new hairstyle and even wearing noticeably thicker makeup in season 2. Her hairstyle change is believed to be due to how Ciri has always been described to have a rounder and fuller face in the books. As such, the change in the way she wears her hair in season 2 allows her face to look rounder and fuller.
The thicker makeup that she wears is probably more of a creative decision on the part of the production crew, but we would agree with that decision because it allows Ciri to look a bit more badass and more mature. After all, every season should be a step of maturity for the character of Ciri as she grows older and wiser while learning under Geralt.
How Old Was Ciri In The First Season (Real Life vs. Show)?
One of the biggest changes that the series adaptation of The Witcher introduced is Ciri’s age. In the books, Ciri was supposed to be in her pre-teen years and is somewhere around 11 to 12 years old in the events of season 1. The original plan was to cast a real 12-year old girl to play the part of Ciri.
However, Lauren S. Hissrich, the showrunner, explained in a Reddit post that they had to cancel the plan of casting a pre-teen girl to play the part of Ciri because child labor laws prevented them from doing so. And that was because Ciri’s parts were mostly at night, and casting a pre-teen girl would get them in trouble with the law.
As such, Freya Allan was cast for the role of Ciri. During the filming of season 1, Freya Allan was 16 to 17 years old. Meanwhile, it would be safe to assume that Ciri is around 13 or 14 in season 1 because only about 14 years have passed since the marriage of Pavetta and Duny and the fall of Cintra. In a separate discussion of the timelines in The Witcher, it is discussed that Pavetta’s pregnancy was revealed in 1249 while Cintra fell in 1263.
How Old Is Ciri In The Second Season (Real Life vs Show)?
In season 2, the reason why fans were quick to point out the sudden and drastic changes in Ciri’s appearance is that only days should have passed from the events of episode 8 of the first season and episode 1 of the second season. It would have been understandable if the gap was a year or two. However, only a few days or even just a few hours have passed in the in-series events between the two seasons.
That means that Ciri is still around 13 or 14 years old during the events of season 2. Meanwhile, Freya Allan was around 19 during the filming of season 2. That means that she aged two years in between the filming of seasons 1 and 2. Two years are more than enough for any young lady to physically mature.