Netflix just has announced who will play two of its most important female characters in the upcoming Witcher series alongside Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich revealed Freya Allan (Into The Badlands) and Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust) will take on the roles of Ciri and Yennefer respectively.
Take a look at ’em below in a handy image we whipped up, showing the actresses next to their video game counterparts:
For those not in the know, Ciri is something of an adopted daughter to Geralt, while Yennefer is a master sorceress and all around badass. She’s also Geralt’s main love interest, I guess – but a badass first and foremost.
After leaked casting calls suggested Ciri would be played a minority actress, there was a predictable but no less upsetting backlash on social media which led to showrunner Hissrich stepping away from Twitter for a while.
She told The Hollywood Reporter:
In terms of why people responded so strongly, I think the fans really have pictures of these characters in their minds and I don’t blame them for that. I get it. When I read my favorite books I certainly imagine characters a certain way.
There’s obviously a couple lines of description of Ciri in the books and people become very enamored with their own vision of it. I think coming in as a writer and saying my vision might look different than yours is scary for fans, but truthfully I don’t think it has to be.
One of the things I feel most strongly about is people being afraid that we’re going to strip out the cultural context of The Witcher, to remove its Slavic roots, the very thing people in Poland are proud of. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What I’ve always wanted to do is take these Slavic stories and give them a global audience.
One of the main difficulties in casting, I think, boils down to the fact that people have such a clear image of these characters based on The Witcher games. However, it’s important to note that the Netflix show will draw primarily from the original Andrzej Sapkowski rather than the games.
The Witcher aims to premiere on Netflix sometime in 2019.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.