The Watcher has recently got a green light from Netflix. The Witcher narrative consists of two blocks of short stories and several novels that saw the world in the 1990s in Poland. The popular novels started being introduced in English around ten years ago, but it was enough for them to turn into a “cult” story.
The producer Lauren Hissrich was given the honor to turn Andrzej Sapkowski’s famous fantasy novels into a screen adaptation. Her mission was to do everything as authentic as possible so that it was crucial to shoot the major scenes in Poland, the author’s homeland. This was the only way to capture the “Polish Sole” that goes through the series, both in the literature and in the video game.
The plot is based on the adventures of the monster hunter known as Geralt. His unique magic skills help him make a way through the magic world full of fantastic creatures. Although Geralt is described as a loner, his life is closely interrelated with female characters of Yennefer and Ciri. It was the Eastern culture, led by strong women in the Middle Ages, which determined strong and independent the characters of a sorceress and a young princess. Before creating the series, Hissrich read the books thoroughly, trying to better visualize the world that puts all the characters together.
A value-added duality of Yennefer that was only slightly mentioned in the books and video games was revealed in the series to a full extent. By giving the backstory to this character, Hissrich provides fans with more keys to this character’s personality, stating that the psychological traumas cannot be healed even in the magic world.
The character of Ciri is young enough to go through all the traumatic things painfully. She is a young woman trying to handle a personal drama when her power happens to be under the immense danger and a hunter is about to find her.
The major thing that makes the series different from the books is in the plot’s major orientation. In a new version of the Witcher, Geralt is not the only subject of focus. Hissrich intentionally carved out Yennefer and Ciri in this story, especially putting them to the foreground and providing them with backstories. Thus, the female characters were not introduced to the world just through Geralt. As a result, a series has become more human without focusing on magic and monsters only.
The Witcher has turned into a complete thing, getting closer to real-life. What Hissrich gets to bring to it, which is different from other fantasy series, is a bunch of fantastic creatures and lots of magic things. This is where a show can be addressed as a magical horror. Meanwhile, the horror can be quite grounded and realistic as well.
These days, it is impossible to create a fantastic story without addressing the real world. The good thing is that these novels have been written with a political note. They raise the topics of racism, xenophobia, and feminism, which are relevant to today’s society as well. Hissrich didn’t have to change much in this context, just make it more understandable for the modern audience. At the same time, the show is really funny and full of fun. At the end of each episode, you will think about what you have just seen. But this will be a positive feeling.
Hissrich aims to mark the show with the slogan about the worst monsters being “the ones we create.” This is about to become the central idea of the show. By having the world of humans and monsters, we often realize that humans are the most dangerous creatures in the world. One of the things we make focus on during the series is the dichotomy of good versus bad.