Netflix’s The Witcher series writer gives a script update, thumbnail character descriptions

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We’re just a couple of months shy of the anniversary of when we first dropped the welcome news that Netflix had picked up the rights to Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher series of novels and short stories with the intent of developing it into a TV series. Maybe you’ve heard of the multi-GOTY-award winning games based on the franchise? They’re not bad.

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, The Witcher series follows the adventures of Geralt of Riva – a member of a dying order of wandering monster slayers who are known as witchers. Set in a medieval pseudo-Europe, the series is heavily rooted in Slavic mythology. It’s at times dark and gritty, light and humourous, fast-paced and action-packed, deep and philosophical, and everything in between. Despite a seemingly generic fantasy setting, the author pulled few punches when tackling issues such as racism, discrimination, and other social ills.

After months of silence on The Witcher front, series writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, whose resume includes a diverse array of writing gigs including shows such as the political The West Wing, superhero shenanigans in Daredevil and The Defenders and crime drama Power among others, revealed on Twitter that she’s completed her pilot script and turned it in for notes.

She also went further, giving brief character breakdowns for the main characters she’s including in the first season of the series – which obviously includes Geralt as the lead, and fan favourites Ciri, Yennefer (the best), and Triss (not the best) among others. Many will be familiar from those who’ve played the games, while others are drawn from the novels. I’m starting to think I should reread them.

  • GERALT IS: Stoic. Circumspect. Balanced. Fierce. Soft and squishy in a tiny place in his heart that he’ll never reveal until maybe the end and even then it will just be a hint.
  • CIRI IS: Resilient. Relentless. Brazen. Growing. She’s going to change the world and what the hell is she supposed to do except be scared and be bold and learn and adapt and find a family who can walk by her side no matter what and maybe just maybe teach her the meaning of love.
  • ROACH IS: Ladylike. Faithful. Extrasensory. Steady. Really annoyed with this game because we can’t pretend all Roaches are the same so she’d prefer some singularity and individual recognition instead of all being lumped together by blatantly horsist people.
  • JASKIER (Dandelion!) IS: Extravagant. Caddish. Loose-lipped. Loyal. Hides behind the exterior of an idiot when in actuality he is the keeper of Geralt’s realities (even if he exaggerates his own heroics) AND the truths of the world which means he’s far more important than we realize…
  • TRISS MERIGOLD IS: Spunky. Idealistic. Insecure. Conflicted. Young and naive and lacking the confidence of sorceresses which means she is ripe for manipulation but when she finally transcends the crap she has a chance to be loved as herself and not as “the third wheel with Yen”.
  • CAHIR IS: Conflicted. Charismatic. Haunted. Pure of heart. Despite being young he’s like a relic of a simpler time when knights in shining armor always won the girl but now in the face of harsh reality he must learn what it means to actually be heroic and brave for others.
  • REGIS IS: Eloquent. Ensconced. Worldly. Haunted. The worst of the worst who transforms into the best of the best or at least he strives to be and it’s the most incredible journey to watch as an evil addicted monster becomes the essence of “humanity personified” in the hansa.
  • VILGEFORTZ IS: Mercenary. Conspiratorial. Power-hungry. Ruthless. Handsome as all get out which is important because (as Geralt says “one could expect anything from a man looking like this”) he is the essence of evil hidden behind beauty which makes him very very dangerous.
  • EMHYR IS: Imperialistic. Ruthless. Monarchical. Masquerader. Above all he’s a survivor having spent most his life running and pretending so it’s no wonder he craves power because what’s more stable than being on top (and what’s better than a villain whose head you kinda get.)
  • MILVA IS: Saucy. Savage. Conciliatory. Commonsense. The epitome of the novels’ shades of grey who embodies unrequited romance and also unbelievable strength and also the skills to kill and also the ability to crusade for peace and also and also and also.
  • LEO BONHART IS: Sadistic. Ghoulish. Ruthlessly efficient. Hedonistic. His depth lies in his lack of depth because we keep searching for reason or redemption and in fact there is none just a cold brutal soul who desires to be colder and what’s more terrifying than that?
  • BORCH THREE JACKDAWS/VILLENTRETENMERTH IS: Perceptive. Protective. Merciful. The most beautiful. An observer/ philosopher/ seeker of freedom which means he didn’t kill just because he could but rather sought to understand why others wanted to kill him which is EVERYTHING.
  • ANGOULÊME IS: Sharp. (Anything but) Simple. A phoenix from the flames. The missing piece. Determined to survive the shit despite never being given the tools to do so and found a family where she least expected but also found what it meant to be loyal to someone other than herself.
  • YARPEN ZIGRIN IS: Fiesty. Fierce. Wise. A diplomat of the highest order. His gruff demeanor and crude language belies an intelligent soul who has his finger on the pulse of the Continent’s complicated landscape and who’s well on his way to a life in politics VOTE FOR YARPEN!
  • YENNEFER IS: Fiery. Proud. Shrewd. Contradictory. Seeking to fill a family sized hole in her heart even though she resents it and swears she’s just fine on her own but she is not and we love her for being both independent and vulnerable.

I didn’t save the best for last, it just worked out that way. Honest coincidence I assure you. Not that right-thinking person preferred Triss anyway. There are a few obvious omissions, such as Vesemir and other assorted witchers and sorceresses, but I’m particularly amused to see Roach get a shout-out – especially since she’ll always be there for you.

Amazon may have the Lord of The Rings and other fantasy franchises in the works and HBO still has the final few episodes of Game of Thrones coming up which are sure to be epic, but this is my most anticipated fantasy series despite it still being a long way away from arriving on our screens. I love both the books and the games, and a fantastic realisation of the world and characters Sapkowski created will add a new dimension to that which I love.

Last Updated: March 2, 2018

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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