If you haven’t caught wind of the massive storm brewing over The Witcher on Netflix, and, indeed, the constant drool over The Witcher himself, Gerlt of Rivia (played here by Henry Cavill aka our current version of Superman, too), then you’ve been missing out. The fantasy series is hotter than ever thanks to Netflix, attracting fans who have zero clue about the whole backstory of the franchise.
And let’s just say – there is backstory aplenty.
The fantasy world is set several thousand years ago and contains a plethora of magical elements, not just The Witcher himself, but beasts, elves, royalty, and battle aplenty. The Witcher is a lone wolf type who becomes immersed in battles and the events of the world going on around him – along with his distinct superhuman-like advantages.
The History of The Witcher
The original Witcher series is actually a Polish tale, written by Andrzej Sapkowski, in the form of novels and short stories, the first of which was released in the mid-80s, if you can believe it, in a sci-fi fantasy magazine called Fantastyka.
The Witcher series as we know it (well, the Polish version anyway) began with the Sword of Destiny in 1993, which was actually the second book written in the series, as the first was the collection of all the short stories written by Sapowski.
Then there was also the comic book series from 1993-1995.
The first English release of the series was in 2007, with the Sword of Destiny, with 7 further books the last of which, Season of Storms, was released in 2018.
However, many people will know The Witcher more from the super-popular video game which was released in 2007, which also spawned two follow up titles, and console releases, selling over 40 million copies worldwide combined.
There have also been spin-offs by other authors, The Hexer movie and The Hexer TV series in Polish, and card and tabletop games in both Polish and English. You know it’s just a matter of time before you are playing The Witcher slot for free at some no deposit online casino, since there are other video game themed slots such as Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, Bloodrayne, Resident Evil… hey, the list goes on.
As of December 2019, CD Projekt, managers of The Witcher franchise of video games, reached an agreement with Sapowski which “confers new rights upon the Company and reaffirms its existing title to “The Witcher” intellectual property in developing video games, graphic novels, board games, and merchandise.” (via CD Projekt).
Netflix and The Witcher
This new iteration of The Witcher on Netflix is set to bring the franchise to an even bigger audience. While reading books and playing video games are considered activities that only a certain subset of people do, Netflix has really conquered the world of television with its streaming services.
And now The Witcher has conquered the world of Netflix, too – with season one of the series breaking records across its 4-week debut, with 76 million accounts watching at least the first two minutes of the show,
If you know The Witcher from before, but choose to poll your non-nerd audience friends, family, or co-workers, then they may be well aware of the series release on Netflix, and perhaps have even watched it and love it – but with no idea of the rich history of the franchise. Armed with this article you may be able to convince them to pick up a book or a game to see how it compares to their experience with the show.
From the outlook, it seems like Netflix is looking to place The Witcher squarely in the place left in viewers’ hearts that used to be held by Game of Thrones. With fantasy, violence, and sex at the forefront, it’s a clear play to capture the same audience. Will it work? Based on the success of season one, as well as the ongoing success of the franchise as a whole, it seems like a sure bet.
Production of the second series of the show is slated to begin early this year with a release date of 2021 if they can’t manage to push it earlier. At least with so much time between release dates, fans will have time to binge and relive season one all over again before the release of season two.