Fans were surprised by The Witcher finally releasing some moving footage during Friday’s Comic Con panel. Prior to this, fans were only allowed small glimpses into The Witcher world, known as The Continent. Indeed, the footage gave off strong Game of Thrones vibes, with a bit of Lord of the Rings mixed in. The end of the last clip showed an enormous spider – much like the one Frodo confronts – facing Geralt, played by Henry Cavill (Superman). The first clip shown was in a banquet hall, where Geralt and his companion faces off against a slew of men, but destroy them embarrassingly. The queen is appalled and confronts Geralt herself, causing the fighting to stop.
The Witcher series will be based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, which have also been made into a popular video game series. The games are largely where Witcher fans can be found, but avid fans of the novels also have been greatly anticipating the arrival of Netflix’s upcoming series.
When asked about the intense training, as Cavill confirmed there was no stuntman, Cavill claimed he had four swords at home and three at work just to get used to handling a sword.
Concerning Yennifer’s character, played by Anya Chalotra, hers is on a journey of self discovery. “What’s great about our story is that we look at not only her power but her responsibilities and that’s what makes her a great survivor,” said Chalotra. She also revealed that her character will undergo an extreme transformation, mainly from physical changes, as her character moves from age 14-100, but clearly from the clip that was shown, she undergoes emotional changes, as well. In the clip revealing Yennifer’s character, she is shown at a deserted beach, bloody and carrying a dead baby. However, from her soliloquy to the baby, it seems that it is not hers. She buries it in the sand.
Freya Allan, who plays Ciri, shared her feelings on her character and on the show. “I’ve always wanted to be in some fantasy epic so it was like a dream role for me,” Freya told the panel. “It’s weird to think this time last year I was studying for my exams and now I’m in a lead part,” she added. Ciri’s journey, according to Allan, shows that “she has this might and drive embedded in her,” adding that “It’s a journey of development and discover and she’s constantly in flux in the season.”
In Ciri’s clip, there are definite Game of Thrones vibes, with a foreboding stormy winter forest surrounding the lost Ciri. She opens branches to reveal a warm jungle with glowing light. There are a swarm of voices that suddenly silence. A surrounded by female warrior tribe surrounds Ciri. She touches one of them and they all seem to freeze.
Lastly, Henry Cavill’s horse was addressed. Roach, who Witcher fans will know is actually a major character, will also play a large role in the series. Cavill confirmed that without Roach, “Geralt isn’t Geralt.” Cavill added that “Roach is actually an essence of Geralt, more like an anchor to Geralt’s honest and true self.” However, Cavill also addressed the fact that this is the current iteration of Roach, as Gerald is 100 and horses certainly don’t live that long. Nevertheless, Roach is “the one source of humanity left because everyone hates him.” Lauren added that in a way, an animal is Geralt’s only connection to humanity. Lauren added that, “Roach is really Geralt’s anchor.”
From what was shared in the panel and in round table interviews, the series will focus on the element of family and heart, which Chalotra called “the essence of The Witcher.” Yennifer and Ciri will also be very prominent in the story, and Chalotra revealed that these women will undergo major transformations especially at the beginning of the series.
Showrunner Lauren Hissrich (Daredevil) addressed how closely the series will resemble the books, stating that “I’d call it an addition to the books. We really took the books and honored that source material.” Hissrich reaffirmed that the series will have no connections to the games, and fans of the game will not be getting any Easter Eggs in the show. However, fans of the books will most likely be pleased, as Hissrich confirmed that she attempted to follow the books to the best of her ability. She stated that they took the book and read between the lines, digging deeper into the story, even taking lines from the book as dialogue, while also enhancing the story.
No release date for the season has been announced.
Watch the teaser below.
All photos by Raymond Flotat