Aside from drawing out the more horrific components of the overarching story, Netflix’s “The Witcher” will be changing the following few things from Andrzej Sapkowski’s classic novels. While the main story itself will remain untouched, certain tidbits will assuredly be adapted to suit the needs of television. And, while the video games may be of extreme interest to fans, they will likely be taking a backseat as this rendition of “The Witcher” stems more from Sapkowski’s “The Last Wish.”
1. A More Silent and Grunting Geralt
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has revealed to a variety of different outlets that her approach to the story altered dramatically in several ways. One such pivot surrounded Henry Cavill’s presentation of the monster slayer from Rivia, Geralt. She says in an interview with Digital Spy at Comic-Con:
“In the books, Geralt’s actually quite chatty, he talks a lot…What I found though is on screen, especially with Henry portraying him, a lot can be done just in looks and grunts. Henry’s a big grunter, I mean that in the best way possible. It’s kind of amazing what’s accomplished in silence and that makes him that much more powerful of a character.”
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) November 14, 2019
2. Ciri and Yennefer
As evidenced by the multitude of images showcasing both Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer and Freya Allan’s Ciri, Hissrich will also be giving the two female characters a larger role to play in the story. While Geralt may be the very namesake of the show, it’s really his two companions that make him who is throughout “The Witcher” book series. In an interview with magazine SciFiNow (via Redanian Intelligence), Hissrish explains:
“The biggest shift that I’ve made from the books is that I wanted Ciri and Yennefer to stand on their own legs a little bit more.”
3. One (Not So) Happy family
Another big change that Hissrich has added to “The Witcher” TV series, which also stems from Ciri and Yennefer’s more focal roles, is the idea of a broken family. Though it isn’t front and center in Sapkowski’s “The Last Wish,” the relationship shared amongst Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri will be made all the more vital on-screen.
4. A Heart Full of Complicated Political Issues
In a sit down with BGR, Hissrich revealed that the series will have some political overtones. As she says, “We tackle what would be considered sort of heavy political issues—racism, xenophobia, feminism, when to use magic, what you lose of yourself to be able to access a skill.” She goes on to add that although it will be serious at times, it’s also an episodic journey blended with joy, love, and plenty of death. This isn’t simply Geralt’s story anymore, after all.
5. Sprinkles of the Video Games
Riding the coattails of the Switch release for “The Witcher 3: Wild hunt,” Netflix’s adaption not merely has avid book readers to contend with, but a multitude of gaming fanatics, as well. Though the “The Witcher” will heavily focus upon the books, there are still tiny glimmers of the game sprinkled into the show, as evidenced by the bathtub scene in the most recent trailer. Longtime fans of the games will be watching just as keenly as book readers for their own video game Easter eggs presented in the Netflix original series.
I’m so thrilled to announce: Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri will be back for more adventures… in Season Two.
I could not be more proud of what the amazing cast and crew of The Witcher have accomplished, and can’t wait for the world to dig in and enjoy these stories with us. ❤️⚔️_ pic.twitter.com/evWoHvUl1e
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) November 13, 2019
Netflix’s “The Witcher” monstrously debuts on Dec. 20.