Tipped to be the next Game of Thrones, Netflix’s adaptation of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s long-running fantasy novel series is coming later this year. We’ve just been gifted the first trailer, which gives us a flavour of what the final series is going to be like. If you’re in the dark about the whole thing, then fear not – our Witcher guide is here to help.
What Is The Witcher?
The Witcher series of novels began back in 1993, with the book The Last Wish. Since then, creator Andrzej Sapkowski has written seven more books:
- Sword of Destiny (1992)
- Blood of Elves (1994)
- Time of Contempt (1995)
- Baptism of Fire (1996)
- The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
- The Lady of the Lake (1999)
- Season of Storms (2013)
The main character of the books is Geralt of Rivia, the titular ‘Witcher’. Witchers are monster hunters blessed with special powers which allow them to take down all manner of beasts and make them feared, misunderstood (but ultimately valued) by the local people.
Sapkowski’s books have been translated into many languages and are considered to be Poland’s version of Lord of the Rings. However, the series wouldn’t have mainstream exposure until the release of the first video game in 2007; developer CD Projekt Red – a Polish studio, no less – has since released two sequels: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Both have sold incredibly well, creating hordes of new fans and no doubt helping raise awareness of the Witcher series in general – which has led to Netflix picking up the series for its show.
Netflix isn’t the first company to adapt the books for TV; back in 2002, a series was created for Polish TV. A year previously, footage from the show was pulled together for a movie. Both of these productions have been panned by fans and even Sapkowski thinks they are “obscene.”
Who Is In The Witcher?
The big news is that former Superman Henry Cavill will play Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix series. Freya Allan will play Ciri, Princess of Cintra while Anya Chalotra has taken the role of Yennefer. These are the three big castings for fans of the series, and will be supported by Jodhi May (Queen Calanthe), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Eist), Adam Levy (Mousesack), MyAnna Buring (Tissaia), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina) and Millie Brady (Princess Renfri).
What’s The Plot For The Witcher Series?
No one knows for sure, but it has been confirmed that the series will be based on Sapkowski’s original novels, and not the video games – which were also based on the novels but very much did their own thing.
That means we’ll no doubt be seeing storylines taken from the mainline books.
Is Witcher Creator Andrzej Sapkowski Involved?
Yes – and given how outspoken he has been in the past about the previous Polish TV series and the video games, that’s quite a coup. Sapkowski has confirmed he’ll be acting as a creative consultant on the show, and even said:
“I’m thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories, staying true to the source material and the themes that I have spent over 30 years writing.”
When Does The Witcher Start?
The Witcher Netflix series release date is Q4 2019.