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The Witcher’s New Franchise Universe Is Kind of Making It Up as It Goes Along

If you’ve read more than a couple of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels, you know the Polish writer has created a rich and complex fantasy world for his monster slaying hero Geralt, sorceress Yennefer, and Witcher in training Ciri to inhabit. But the masterminds behind Netflixs Witcher TV series, the recent anime movie prequel Nightmare of the Wolf, and the three additional Witcher projects in the works clearly arent afraid to go off book.

On one hand, this makes sense, because The Witcher franchise has grown so quickly the show was given a second season before the first even aired, and two anime movies, a live-action prequel TV series, and a family friendy animated show were all announced before that second season has arrived that it feels like Netflix would need to look beyond the source material. But there are eight books in The Witcher series—so why look elsewhere? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Netflix Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl explained, Sapkowski created this very rich world, but in some ways only hinted at the potential of it.

Case in point, the Conjunction of the Spheres—the ancient event that brought the worlds of elves, men, and monsters together that defines the series’ world and dictates much of The Witcher’s story. According to writer producer Declan De Barra, We were trying to understand what the world was like for elves right before the Conjunction of the Spheres. It’s very vague in the books as to what happened. The result was the story that’s forming the basis of the live action TV prequel series Blood Origin; according to Luegenbiehl, De Barra created it based on “a few lines in the books.

Having read a few Witcher books, I can say I get it I do think the setting Sapkowski created feels fully realized, but I never felt like I was let into the world of The Witcher in the same was as series like Game of Thrones, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Wheel of Time, and more. To put it another way, I felt like Geralt and other characters knew all the necessary context—like, all the things that happened during the Conjunction and I was running alongside them, trying to figure it out without being allowed to ask any questions.

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But that’s just me, and while it hampered my enjoyment of the books somewhat, it certainly didnt impact how much I enjoyed the first season of The Witcher TV series. Happily, season two finally arrives on December 17 more than enough time for Netflix to announce another TV series or movie or both.
Henry Cavill famously first stepped foot on The Continent by playing The Witcher games rather than reading the books. Playing Geralt in the Witcher Netflix series, though, doesn’t exactly buy the actor much free time, but during lockdown, Cavill finally had time to replay the iconic series.

I decided to put it on the hardest difficulty possible to play, which I’ve done before, and it was really quite stressful! I forgot quite how stressful it was, he tells Total Film in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Scream on the cover. These days I’m not rich in time and so I haven’t unfortunately had too much of a chance to have a go with the games again.

Also in lockdown, production on The Witcher season 2 restarted with all new safety protocols in place. The series wrapped a few months back and is due to reach Netflix this December. Expect Geralt, the grumpy snowman, as he is dubbed in the first season, to be slightly more vocal as season 2 opens up.

This season, I really wanted to make sure that we represented the book’s Geralt more accurately, and that we saw him speak more, says Cavill. I pushed really, really hard for that.” Does this mean he’s cheery? I wouldn’t say cheery. He’s still Geralt of Rivia, but he’s definitely coming across as more of an intellectual. He sighs. It’s a hard life, monster hunting I wouldn’t recommend it.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg from our Witcher coverage from the new issue of the magazine, which also features interviews with other cast members and the showrunner. Make sure you pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves real-world and digital from Thursday, November 11. Check out the covers below.
And if you’re a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe so that you never miss an issue You’ll save money on the magazine, you’ll get it before it hits shops, *and* you’ll get exclusive, subscriber only cover like the Scream one below. Don’t miss out on another incredible cover that’s not available in stores.

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