Adapting a book into a series is tough. The Witcher, which is a Polish fantasy novel written by author, Andrzej Sapkowski has been made into a Netflix series with the same name. This drama series set on a fictional land named ‘The Continent’, has a lot of variation from the original novel. Did you notice the difference?
Alert: Spoilers ahead!
Today at Watch Tank we will be talking about the worst 11 discrepancies between The Witcher books and the ddaptations.
11. Past Life of Yennefer
The Netflix series The Witcher clearly depicts the past life of Yennefer, which includes her time at Aretuza, the assassination of the infant princess, and that whole scene where Tissaia turned girls into eels. Yennefer story itself takes up the first few episodes of the series. In the book, her backstory has remained a mystery to the readers. During a recent interview, the showrunner, Lauren S. Hissrich said she had tried to give more depth to the characters, Yennefer and Ciri.
10. Geralt and His Adventures
Geralt is the least changed character in contrast to the others. Also, the role had fewer dialogues in the series as compared to that in the novel. Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia, stated in an interview that since the series had to focus on three characters from the very beginning, most of Geralt’s conversations were cut short. Even the adventures and experience of Geralt were reshuffled on screen. Yet, the director has kept in mind not to cut down the favourite fan moments.
9. The Timelines
As compared to the original novel, there is a lot of time difference between the three characters; Geralt, Princess Ciri and Yennefer, when they are shown in the series. The series portrays the characters in distinct periods, often decades apart with some precise clues for the viewers, which becomes more evident as the series proceeds. Many viewers have even rewatched the show several times, just to get things in the right chronological order. According to Lauren S. Hissrich, it is all about the mystery that would be revealed as the show goes on.
8. Ciri’s Power
Hissrich tried to bring a lot of depth to the character of Ciri. The book only gave the readers a few hints that Princess Ciri had some powers, until the second part of the book, Time of Contempt, where she showcases her real abilities. By the end of the drama series, we get to see the full potential of Ciri. Even though Ciri remains unsure of what her powers are or how to control them. However, it only points that Ciri’s skills are dangerous and will only add emotional weight to her Journey ahead.
7. The Last Wish
Based on Sapkowski’s first short story collection, ‘The Last Wish’ does not clearly depict what Geralt’s third and final wish was. This has always haunted the readers over the years. However, in the series, Yennefer hears what Geralt wishes for, and her reaction is enough to give the audience an insight into what that astonishing wish could be. Her reply to Geralt was enough to satisfy the viewers, as she stated that she was unsure whether any Force in Nature could fulfil his wish.
6. Triss Merigold
The Netflix adaptation of the book does not go in-depth into the romantic side of Triss and Geralt. Even though Geralt has a lot of romantic interactions with other characters, including Yennefer, the one with Triss lacks the spark. The two characters do not have enough screen time together. Also, the readers were quite surprised to see her so early into the series. In addition, the skin tone of Triss and Yennefer were different from the ones in the book. To this, Hissirch responded to Comicbooks.com by pointing out that while she had no plans to “deviate from the books’ races and cultures”, the show would be ethnically homogeneous. Triss and Yennefer are both played by women of colour. Fringilla is portrayed by a British-Zimbabwean actress, and Black men were cast for the mage Istredd and Queen Calanthe’s royal guard leader.
5. Queen Calanthe
The series portrays Queen Calanthe to be a bit more ruthless than how she was described in the book. She even ordered to inject people with elvish blood, however, in the book, she does not do anything like this. Calanthe herself is of an elvish nature throughout. She is also that kind of a person who leads from the front but is afraid to trouble anyone. However, even when she was defeated, she made sure that her granddaughter, Princess Ciri, was able to escape.
4. Yennefer to Sacrifice Her Uterus
In Yennefer’s origin story, she seemingly has her uterus removed to become beautiful, thus making it impossible for her to bear children. The book touches upon the difficulties that come up after the removal of the uterus, but never tackles the issue. However, the third episode of the show emphasizes the reason for the choice while making Yennefer’s regret that much more shaded. The horrifying scene will surely stand out to audience, even if you are not a follower of the book. Sapkowski’s novel lacks the detailing that has been portrayed in the series.
3. Ciri’s Journey After Fleeing Cintra
A new twist was introduced in the series when Geralt witnesses the fall of Cintra. In the books, he tries to save Ciri until he finds out that she is dead. However, in the series, Geralt goes to Cintra to save Ciri as soon as he finds out Nilfgaard’s plans to attack the city. Even the books did not describe Ciri’s Journey from Cahir until she meets Geralt. The Witcher series describes the Journey in detail, depicting Geralt escaping the clutches of Calanthe to protect Ciri, another addition in the series.
2. Battle of Sodden
Even though the Battle of Sodden covers the whole of the season finale, the audience get to see it end in a cliffhanger. However, this is not how the battle ends in the books. In the books, readers know that Geralt was afraid to visit Sodden only to find Yennefer’s name is one of those listed on the memorial obelisk, and it’s during this trip that he’s visited by Death. However, the show includes this scene by having one of Geralt’s dreams, where he is searching for Sodden to find Yennefer. This vision also pervades clearly in Ciri’s hopes.
1. Fall of Cintra
In The Witcher book, we do not see the fall of Cintra until the very last part in the Sword of Destiny. The readers only hear about the events including Calanthe’s Death through Jaskier’s tales to Geralt. However, the showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich decided to tell the story to the audience through multiple timelines. The series was also able to showcase the pivotal battle in the very first episode. Additionally, in the adaptation, the viewers got to experience the tragic events first-hand, making the losses suffered that day and everything Ciri endured that much more devastating.
These are our list of the worst discrepancies between The Witcher book and the adaptations.
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