Why Rience Was Recast In The Witcher Season 3 (& Who His New Actor Is)

Warning: Minor spoilers for The Witcher season 3 Part 1.

The Witcher season 3 recast Rience, making it hard not to wonder why the show replaced the previous actor who played him in season 2. Netflix’s The Witcher first introduced Rience in season 2, where he was initially serving his sentence at a Cintran prison. That’s when Lydia van Bredevoort visited him and proposed an offer, which involved finding and capturing Ciri. Rience took the job, and as a result, his entire The Witcher season 2 arc revolved around his pursuit of finding the princess.

During his journey in The Witcher season 2, he kidnaps Jaskier and even tortures him to make him disclose Geralt and Ciri’s whereabouts. Fortunately for Jaskier, Yennefer comes to his rescue in The Witcher season 2 and counters Rience’s fire attack by spitting alcohol on him. Scorned by Yennefer’s attack, Rience doubles down his efforts to track down Ciri in The Witcher season 3. This time around, however, he seems different. Not only is he stronger than ever, but even his face is not the same. The reason being that the actor who played him in The Witcher season 2 was replaced in season 3.

RELATED: All 5 Groups Hunting Ciri In The Witcher Season 3 (& Why)

The Witcher Likely Recast Rience Due To Scheduling Conflicts

Rience burns a wooden staff with his hand in The Witcher season 3.

Chris Fulton played Rience in The Witcher season 2. Apart from his antagonistic role in The Witcher, Fulton is known for playing Sir Philip Crane in Bridgerton and Karl in The Lazarus Project. While the actor has not opened up about the reasons behind his departure from The Witcher, his exit could be attributed to scheduling conflicts between his television projects. Fulton was recently cast as Rob Cameron in Outlander season 7, which was likely being filmed around the same time as The Witcher season 3. Other reasons for his sudden recast in the show could include creative differences, contract disputes, or maybe, even personal/professional obligations.

Rience’s New Actor In The Witcher Season 3: Who Is Sam Woolf?

Rience casting a fire spell in The Witcher season 3

Sam Woolf is the new actor who replaces Chris Fulton in The Witcher season 3 and plays Rience throughout the season. Given how The Witcher‘s creators must have given this creative decision a lot of thought, it seems likely that Woolf will continue playing the character in the subsequent seasons as well. This creative decision also seems to work well because Rience burns nearly half of his face when Yennefer counter-attacks in season 2, which makes him almost recognizable in The Witcher season 3.

Not to mention, like Chris Fulton, Sam Woolf has enough acting credits to affirm that he can plausibly portray the villain in The Witcher. For instance, he previously appeared in five episodes of The Crown as Prince Edwards and also played a brief role in The Power. Before becoming a part of Netflix’s The Witcher season 3’s cast, Sam Wolff was also a part of other television shows like C.B. Strike and Humans and even played Thidias in National Theatre Live: Antony & Cleopatra.

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