Toss a coin to your pitcher, o’ streaming giant of plenty...
Going into The Witcher, showrunner Lauren Hissrich made it clear that the version of the show we ultimately got—and how it wove the interconnected strands of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer’s stories from the original Andrzej Sapkowski novels into a coherent series arc—only came after repeated iterations. Several versions of how the show would’ve been narratively framed, how it would have introduced the different main characters, and even whose perspective we would have met them through were considered.
What we ultimately got was much more elaborate—and Hissrich took to the show’s subreddit over the weekend to share her pitch for the show as we came to see it. Dated November 2017, as Hissrich explains in her post, several things would change between the pitch and the final series, but otherwise, this version of the show pitched to Netflix is pretty close to what we saw on our screens last month.
Obviously, if you’ve not seen The Witcher yet, it will spoil some details about the show. But also, go watch it, if only to get Jaskier’s hottest jam of the winter burned into your brain like it is ours!
Today @LHissrich visited the sub and brought us her original pitch to Netflix for the show. ????
— r/NetflixWitcher (@netflixwitcher) January 4, 2020
Whether or not you feel like Hissrich’s gambit with the timeline framing ultimately worked—given that it’s something the show only very rarely addresses, leaving a bit of timey-wimey confusion—reading how she made her case for separating the show’s three leads across different spans of time is interesting nonetheless. The argument made for Geralt’s case in particular, regarding the order in which the show would tackle several of the short story plotlines from Sapkowski’s anthology collections, shows how bending the structure established in the books works in the show’s favour.
Still, with Geralt and Ciri at least united by the end of The Witcher’s first season, it’s not something we’ll have to really worry about should we return to the Continent for more adventures...although given the reaction to the series, that seems like it’s a given at this point.