Netflix’s live-action adaptation of The Witcher is a hugely anticipated 2019 release for fans everywhere, but it’s been made clear several times now that the series is based on the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski, and not the video game series that came later.
It’s probably fair to say that the majority of The Witcher fans (at least in the UK and US) had their first experience with Geralt of Rivia and friends in the video games. With that comes certain expectations for the character and world that it seems won’t ever be met in the Netflix series.
While fans of the games might have hoped that future seasons of The Witcher would start to adapt elements from the CD Projekt RED games, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich recently revealed to GameSpot during San Diego Comic-Con that this is unlikely to ever be the case.
Hissrich said that even if the show runs for several seasons and they run out of books to adapt, there are absolutely no plans to start drawing from the video games. This might be a blow for fans of the games, but having already seen certain storylines done so well in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, would it really be worth seeing them rehashed?
The showrunner explained her reasoning:
Extreme long vision, no, we will not start adapting the games. I can only adapt one season at a time, and I’m so excited for this one, and the rest kind of makes my mind explode right now. If someone said to me, ‘What happens in Season 7?’ Like, sure, I have thoughts, you know–fingers crossed we get there.
Elsewhere in the panel, Hissrich said that The Last Wish was her entry into the universe of The Witcher. A collection of short stories from Sapkowski, The Last Wish is considered as the first book in the series before the full Witcher “saga”, which makes up the main Witcher story.
As such, the majority of the upcoming Netflix season will apparently be based on the events of The Last Wish, with future seasons presumably diving into the saga proper.
It really is worldbuilding in The Last Wish that I found to be the most important thing. When I first started talking to Netflix about the show, I think everyone assumed that we would start with the saga, because that’s sort of the most serialized storytelling and would lend itself to bingeing. And I said, ‘You can’t do that without setting up the world first’
Netflix’s take on The Witcher won’t be what a lot of us are expecting then, but I see that as a positive. Having played CD Projekt RED’s trilogy to death but remaining fairly ignorant of the novels, I’m looking forward to being surprised and captivated by the differences.
We will at least be getting one nod to the video games, as Hissrich recently teased that the upcoming series will feature a reference to Wild Hunt’s famous Geralt in the tub scene – though it might not be Geralt himself we see taking a soak.
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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.