Netflix to produce TV series of The Witcher

Vince W

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If you need a youtube video to help you understand a series then the producers of that series aren't doing their job.
 

The Crawling Chaos

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The TV series is pretty faithful to the books as far as the main series is concerned. In the novels, I would argue Geralt is only one of two protagonists (with other POV characters coming in as one-offs like a courier or a battle surgeon), the other being Ciri. The novels are very much her story. She is the both the McGuffin Geralt chases throughout the entire series and the protagonist of her own coming-of-age story. Most of the time Geralt's chapters take place on the edge of a battlefield as opposed to on it, or after the battle has taken place, and Geralt, either alone or with a group of allies, walks about the place and comments on the brutality of what they see.

There isn't a lot of 'Witchery' things going on in the novels either to be honest. The story is set very late in Geralt's career as a Witcher and in fact he often states over the course of the novels that he is considering quitting the job altogether as he sees nothing more in it, and it has been ages since his last contract. There are some exceptions to that of course, and he will on occasion take part in small or large fights as well as kill a creature or a renegade mage. He will also encounter certain 'creatures' he will end up befriending. The overall feeling once you finish the novel is that Geralt feels he has more in common with the monsters he used to hunt than with humans, who are the real monsters who sow the seeds of conquest, war, destruction and chaos.

The real monster hunting happens in the short stories, which are oftentimes based on popular fairy tales or slavic folklore (Beauty and the Beast comes to mind), but always with a twist (the story of Renfri which was adapted in the TV series and which is a clear call back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves shows 'Snow White' as a rebellious gang leader rather than an innocent princess). It's in the short stories that you really get a sense of what the daily life of a Witcher is like. Encountering the greed and rejection of humans, struggling to get by financially, traveling from town to town to find food, shelter and money, preparing to fight a creature with potions and herbs, killing the monster...

The novels, well, they're more a commentary on the state of the world and the nature of war, interwoven with a coming-of-age story.

In my opinion the TV series showrunners, whose stated objective is to adapt the main storyline, went in the right direction when they decided to adapt the short stories somewhat linked to the novels first, to give us an inkling into Geralt's early years and his relationships with other secondary characters. I don't see how they could have done it better unless they had completely rejected the books and had gone back to the drawing board to give us a new collection of short episodic stories set in the Witcher universe before the novels took place, maybe even an origin story for Geralt. This would arguably have made for a better show for those of us craving a brand new Witcher-fix, but it also would have been a bigger risk on the producers' part.
 
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elvet

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I knew nothing about The Witcher, having not read the books, nor played the games. But, I’m always up for a TV fantasy series, so here’s my thoughts.
I have just finished Episode 4. After the first two episodes, I was intrigued enough to need a little backstory (thanks to this Gizmodo guide ).
It was just enough to get a better sense of the characters and their motivation, and showed the complexity of what was yet to come. Of course, I could have waited for the 4th episode, where the timelines where revealed, but I would have got there confused and frustrated because so much happened, including parsing out the Law of Surprise. I am looking forward to see when the characters paths eventually cross.
Oh, and using subtitles made a world of difference.
 

olive

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Unless I misunderstood what you were saying, I have to point out that Geralt is not supposed to show emotions while Sith are (rage, fury, anger, it's all in their creed - "Peace is a lie, there is only passion" - Jedi are the ones who avoid displaying emotions - "There is no emotion, there is only peace"). Through the Trial of the Grasses, Geralt's emotions were sucked out of him. While he can arguably feel love or compassion, he is also always even-tempered, cool-headed and in control. So he is more Jedi than Sith in my opinion, and nobody should ask him to show any emotions at all. In fact, Cavill's performance is much more palatable when he doesn't attempt to.
I think we have different imaginations; different interpretations of these characters and stories, and their should be natural representations. (He is better than Jedi.) Anyway, what I meant before is that Sith can show only one set of emotions. (That's why I said 'they can't show conflicted expressions'.) On the other hand, Jedi can show every kind of emotion, they can feel conflicted between them and/or make a choice too and express them. They are pretty passionate too, probably more than Sith considering their will and discipline to not give in to the dark side which is way easier. They can be angry and compassionate at the same time. Sith cannot feel that, let alone showing that expression in eyes or face. Maybe as disgust? (By this, I don't mean Sith can't have any empathy, because to be 'evil' and do 'evil' you should have some sort of empathy. Although we tend to take empathy as positive. )

Emotions are mixed things. We -sentient, intelligent beings- don't just feel one, rigid emotion at a time. When we are angry, we feel angry because of other various emotions; we feel them all, but name the dominant one resulting in an action. This is also why Sith or ultimate evil characters in general, are not very convincing deep characters and they often come as robotic. (Also why Joker is more convincing and scarier than all other villains; so suitable for the background story he was given.)

If Geralt's emotions were sucked out of him, he wouldn't intervene anything out of his way/job small or big. But he does, doesn't he? It seems he does it often. That's why he is the protagonist of the story. He is the exception, not the rule. He is not like other witchers. It's not that he doesn't kill without reason, more than that he has a vision and morality of his own and goes that way. Maybe he mutated differently and became like this, maybe if he had stayed human he would have been an ordinary character feeling less conflicted, less wary of that world, or maybe Geralt was so strong in a way that trials didn't remove what was in there but just amplified. (I've always imagined the last possibility. That he was different to begin with and the trials amplified him in other unpredictable ways.) In the end, this is something bad (and conflicting considering his way of life) for him because obviously it makes his life very difficult beyond witchering. He deals with it. Life is easier for other witchers.

In any case, he shows a lot of emotions, conflicts of emotions, act on them, and he is not reluctant or embarrassed to show them either when he needs, but yes he doesn't like it. Why would he? It's always more trouble and on top of that when he chooses a side or intervenes, as a result of his emotions, morality, it makes a difference in that world. It changes it. That's a kind of power someone as conscious and as conscientious as our witcher wouldn't want. Because otherwise, he wouldn't have cared which monster is sentient or not or if it was hungry or provoked by humans but just kill them, maybe even exploit his powers.

The scene with Yennefer during the dragon pursue is not just about to show that he cares for her, but also that he is a wholesome, relatable good character. It's an introduction. Because otherwise, it would be impossible to relate to him and love him, enjoy him as a hero.

If you are talking about that he is not easily provoked or show random feelings, of course he doesn't. That is the most realistic trait of him. He is a veteran; a specially trained 'soldier' with tons of combat experience. In the real world, this has been the same among us humans. In an old world sense, trained, armed; strong people -traditionally men, also women- with combat experience; extreme violence first hand are very hard to provoke or piss off. They don't show their emotions or talk about what they feel. They don't talk much at all actually, compared to civilians. I am making a generalisation, because it is safe to make. I am sure you have known people like that. Esp. in the modern world, the difference between civilian life and what veterans face is far more black and white than say from the one 100-200 years ago.

After giving it a second thought and to go back to the lenses looking unconvincing, just like his wig, I believe my initial statement that the lenses were horrendous was a gross generalization. What it is in fact is yet another example of the cinematography letting down the other departments and enhancing their shortcomings via poor thought-out lighting as opposed to concealing them. There are plenty of scenes where his eyes actually look great and natural:
I understand what you mean. Of course, there are scenes like that, because they are probably aware of it and maybe didn't even try to make it look very natural. If they looked exactly the same and unchanged under any kind of light that would actually be bad. And this sort of points to what I have been trying to explain. His eyes shouldn't look 'natural' and besides the special effect business, colour problem aside, trying to go for that kind of 'literal' natural appearance would make it worse. Because they are not natural eyes in that world. They are disturbing, unnatural. If anyone in that world who didn't know what a witcher saw his eyes, would lean in and stare at it thinking 'Is that real?'. But then that world is supernatural and they know what is a witcher so nobody would get close and lean in.
 
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olive

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Overall, the first season is an introduction. They tried to throw all in. I think the coming seasons could be more like the game. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing.

If you need a youtube video to help you understand a series then the producers of that series aren't doing their job.
LOL Those videos are about creating hype, creating a new unified fandom -books, games, series- if they can, trying to create a whole subculture for the series that will grow for years to come. (Something tells me this series will go on a decade because unfortunately, the material is very suitable to stretch. ) So they need to feed every group -in a positive or a negative way- in the target audience. They have a written source and that makes their job very easy.
 
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ctg

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He is not like other witchers. It's not that he doesn't kill without reason, more than that he has a vision and morality of his own and goes that way. Maybe he mutated differently and became like this, maybe if he had stayed human he would have been an ordinary character feeling less conflicted, less wary of that world, or maybe Geralt was so strong in a way that trials didn't remove what was in there but just amplified. (I've always imagined the last possibility. That he was different to begin with and the trials amplified him in other unpredictable ways.) In the end, this is something bad (and conflicting considering his way of life) for him because obviously it makes his life very difficult beyond witchering. He deals with it. Life is easier for other witchers.
Well, he is different, but there are lot of other witchers who things and then they even have a family. The family bit is important because the witchers cannot have babies. The mutations take care of it. Gerald could have fixed it by using the wishes and so could many other of their kind. Important thing is that as Geralt travels the continent, he often encounters sings of old, dead witchers who had families, emotions and roles. And often, they had relations to courts and kingships. So, I would say that the Witchers cannot show physical emotions as well as the other races, but they still have them and some of them are evil, because of those feelings, and they do horrible things.

Things like slaughtering whole village after they have been denied bounty or or some other similar kind of circumstance. When Gerald had been dealing with them, he had been given a choice, release or kill, absolution or oblivion. In the Witcher games that choice given to gamers create a moral problem. In the canon material, he might absolve more, while the other witchers might venture down darker paths.

Gerald's venture down that way earned him the nickname "Butcher of Blaviken"
 

olive

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Well, he is different, but there are lot of other witchers who things and then they even have a family. The family bit is important because the witchers cannot have babies. The mutations take care of it. Gerald could have fixed it by using the wishes and so could many other of their kind. Important thing is that as Geralt travels the continent, he often encounters sings of old, dead witchers who had families, emotions and roles. And often, they had relations to courts and kingships. So, I would say that the Witchers cannot show physical emotions as well as the other races, but they still have them and some of them are evil, because of those feelings, and they do horrible things.

Things like slaughtering whole village after they have been denied bounty or or some other similar kind of circumstance. When Gerald had been dealing with them, he had been given a choice, release or kill, absolution or oblivion. In the Witcher games that choice given to gamers create a moral problem. In the canon material, he might absolve more, while the other witchers might venture down darker paths.

Gerald's venture down that way earned him the nickname "Butcher of Blaviken"
I know. By that I mean I guessed because the material is obvious. (Didn't know some other witchers had families.) Any being with that kind of power, taken as a child; without consent, learning they are just a few surviving in every ten, choices taken from them, forced to have a very dangerous difficult life; emotions removed all or to a degree... it is very likely to happen in the story, it wouldn't be realistic.

[I love the 3rd game very much. (I haven't played the second one yet. Hand-to-hand combat gameplay in that game is not for me, I need a mod.) After figuring him out in my imagination for myself, I tried to save as much as I could every time I play, but now I can't change it. I have 755 hours in it and still every time I play, I somehow fall into the same pattern. As it is a game, there is a need of more action, different bits and, endings. But then I am told that I am a very boring, 'childish' player in that sense. I even play Skyrim in a similar way. I can't play dark brotherhood for example. I tried two times already. I wasn't as bad with the thieves guild but that one is really boring... So I have these 'schedules' with certain quests in Witcher I should update. :LOL: ]
 
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Bugg

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I'm up to ep 7 and thoroughly enjoying it. I quite like the way it skips around in time without any warning. Very much liking the way they've incorporated some of the short stories into the arc from the novels. It's not the greatest thing ever, some of the acting is dodgy (Triss, I'm looking at you) but overall I'm very happy with what I've seen so far. To my eternal shame it took me ages to realise it's Jodhi May playing Calanthe :ninja:
 

svalbard

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Just finished it. There is enough going on to warrant a second season. I like Geralt, Ciri and Yennefar. They are sympathetic protagonists. I also found myself quite liking some Jaskier's ballads.
 
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Finished watching it yesterday. It wasn't the worst show I've ever seen, but I didn't think it was great either. It just comes across to me as something akin to Xena Warrior Princess, but trying to be dark and gritty. Didn't think much of the quality of the acting in it either, apart from Henry Cavill who was actually brilliant.

All that said, I'll probably still watch season 2.
 

Mr Orange

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before I start i will say that I have not read the books or played the games

Finished the season the other night and whilst enjoyable it was all a bit underwhelming. I just couldn't find myself caring for any of the characters. and all the scenes that I knew were meant to be dramatic and emotional just weren't. I think this comes down to just not having enough episodes to make me care. I think the story went way too quick which made the whole thing seem disjointed, characters weren't developed fully and so became caricaturish (is that a word?), the world and its politics were left under-developed as well and overall it just felt like a superficial fairy tale. a good example that really annoyed me was
Geralt and Yennefer. After getting busy in the mayor's house the next time we see them is in the dragon chase. I was expecting some awkwardness based on their previous encounter but suddenly Geralt is all "Hey Yenny baby" with a level a familiarity that completely confused me. then it wasn't until the scene in the tent that Yennefer says "oh yeah I can't get rid of you", cue the flashback to them having sex, again, and it's revealed they have been friends with benefits for the last however many years. this relationship really should have been built up by having those encounters over a few episodes.

another example would be
Jaskier turning up when Geralt was jin fishing and saying "what's it been, a month, 10 years, who knows." when he said that I thought, yes.. exactly.

...not that I had a problem with the flashes forward or backward. in fact it was quite cool to try and figure out just when in the hell things were happening and they did converge the stories nicely in the end. although some of the exposition required to clarify timelines was a bit stilted.

also I liked Cavill as Geralt. I don't think I have actually watched anything with him in it before but he does well here. apart from his arms. is it just me or do they seem a bit... short?

I thought I don't need to write about this because it will sell itself. So I binged it. The whole thing and I have to say I'm slightly disappointed on the producers. The thing is, throughout the series they'll use copious amount of flashback and flashforward features. The Nilfgaard Attack on Ciri is a good example, as the event keeps repeating up until the very last episode.

I feel they wanted to explain things, and how things are, but they did a poor job on putting it all together. It might be because most of the production crew are polish that they didn't had a skills to produce a piece for the modern day, as some others could have done things very differently. It is also sad that there are only 8 episodes to explain the beginning.

If Netflix gives them more money something has to change in the direction, as this could be so much better and Witchers world could do with full 13 episodes instead of 8.
completely agree this would have been a much better show with 13 episodes

It just comes across to me as something akin to Xena Warrior Princess, but trying to be dark and gritty
ha ha, yes, this
 

elvet

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I finished the last two episodes tonight. I quite liked it. It all fell into place, and I got a little emotional when Geralt finally met Ciri.
The production values are not great, but that has never stopped me from buying into a story if I find it compelling. There is enough going on in this world to keep it interesting, and I think Geralt and Yennefer are more complex than your average fantasy protagonists. Ciri, is still a little one dimensional for me.
I’m definitely in for the next season. In the meantime, I’m tempted to get the books.
 

ctg

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The Witcher is Netflix's surprise hit of the year, a series that seemed from the outset an unlikely to succeed adaptation greenlit in the foolish hope of finding the "next Game of Thrones." Despite middling reviews from critics, the show has become one of Netflix's 10 "most popular" shows of 2019, an honor it achieved with barely 11 days left in the year.

Even more surprising is its path to success. Netflix's The Witcher turned out to be a catchy, bingeable series not because of a blind faithfulness to the original work but by showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich disregarding how the original material was structured. By sticking with the spirit of the stories, instead of following them letter-of-the-law style, The Witcher was far more successful than anyone could have imagined.
 

ctg

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I think Mark Hamill might be better Vesemir than one in the games. But I don't want to see him doing the same routine as in the Knightfall. Vesemir has a loving heart and he cares a lot about what is happening in the Continent.
 
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