The Witcher Showrunner Defends That Big Change From The Books

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As far as adaptations go, The Witcher is an overly faithful rendition of Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel saga – but then again, no book-to-screen translation is ever perfect. Just ask Lauren S. Hissrich.

The series showrunner recently took to Twitter to address one big change separating Netflix’s original series from the books on which it is based, and it has something to do with Princess Cirilla of Cintra.

Originally, Sapkowski brought Geralt and Ciri together in Brokilon Forest, and one Twitter user contended that, without this prior meeting, The Witcher‘s season 1 finale lacked the dramatic heft of its literary counterpart. To her credit, Hissrich has already gone on record about the alternate ending she dreamed up for season 1, but while addressing the apparent lack of emotional depth in Geralt and Ciri’s encounter, Hissrich defended the show’s creative decision.

I hear you. And we debated this intensely. Here’s our rationale: to adapt the short stories that were important to world-building, and then to sequentially adapt Geralt and Ciri’s multiple meetings in SoD meant that we wouldn’t introduce Ciri until (at the earliest) season two.

Hissrich went on to clarify why, exactly, The Witcher TV show overlooked the subplot from “Sword of Destiny,” in favor of a narrative that enables “future stories to unfold, and to keep TV audiences engaged.”

Which makes sense, if you’re a fan of the original books. That’s how it’s done, and it’s beautiful! But for the purpose of television adaptation: if viewers are investing solely in Geralt for S1, and then get introduced to Yennefer, and several seasons later meet Ciri, it’s potentially confusing to say: forget monster-hunting. Take the last two-three years of what you’ve been watching, and tuck it away. Because that little girl you’ve only just met? SHE is the key to this whole universe, and will be the center of almost every story to come.

The full Twitter thread can be viewed here and makes for interesting reading for those who want a little peek behind the curtain of what is undoubtedly one of the biggest shows currently on television.

All eight episodes of The Witcher are now available to stream via Netflix, and yes, it seems Lauren S. Hissrich and the Powers That Be are already hard at work on season 2… and potentially season 3.

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