Movies & TV

Why Are There Only 5 Episodes in The Witcher Season 3?

Why Are There Only 5 Episodes in The Witcher Season 3?

The third season of The Witcher is here! Sort of. You’ve probably noticed that, compared to season 2, it’s a little short. What’s going on? Did Henry Cavill injure himself? COVID-19 hasn’t exactly gone away, but the series was still filmed in 2022, when most lockdowns had long ended. The actual reason is a little more straightforward. If you’re wondering why there are only 5 episodes in The Witcher Season 3, here’s the answer.

Here’s Why You Can Only Watch Five Episodes of The Witcher Season 3

If you try watching (or rewatching) season 3 of Netflix’s The Witcher series you will, indeed, see that only five episodes are available. That’s because the remaining three episodes are being held back until July 27th, when they’ll be released onto the service.

Why? It’s to generate extra interest in the series. Other shows have also split their seasons, making fans wait months for the remaining episodes. The final season of The Walking Dead was split in three, for example. In the case of The Witcher it was Stranger Things’ mid-season break that inspired the decision. 

Previous seasons of The Witcher have dropped all at once, so you don’t get the same sense of anticipation as you do from a weekly show. That means there’s less reason to take to social media, mulling over the episode you’ve just watched. 

Speaking to The Verge, executive producer Steve Gaub explains that by releasing a whole season at once, “You don’t get that satisfaction of the anticipation and discussion and chatting online. So we wanted to give that to the fans, and the story was there for us to do it.”

But by splitting season 3 into two (unequal) parts, Gaub hopes to fix that. He saw the end of Episode 5 as a “pivot point,” which is why there are just three episodes to come. 

So, the answer to why there are only 5 episodes in The Witcher season 3 is that it’s been split into two to stir up extra interest. The remaining three episodes will land on Netflix July 27th. They will also mark the end of Henry Cavill’s tenure as Geralt of Rivia, and you can find out why he’s departing the role here.

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.