|Name:||The Witcher, Wiedźmin|
|Medium:||Novels, Video Games, Tv Series|
|Country of Origin:||Poland and USA|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Witcher is originally a series of six fantasy novels and 15 short stories written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Set in a medieval fantasy universe, the series revolves around Geralt of Rivia, the eponymous Witcher. Witchers are fighters with the ability to battle monsters, using superhuman physical abilities and limited magical skills.
The books have been described as having a cult following in Poland and Central and Eastern European countries. As of Dec 2019, they had been translated into 37 languages and had sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
Numerous adaptations of the books exist, the most famous of which are a Polish television series (2002), a series of video games (2007-2015), and a Netflix adaptation (2019-). The latter thrust the universe's small fandom into the limelight and turned it into a major media fandom, with main pairing Geralt/Jaskier becoming a slash juggernaut.
The Witcher began with a titular 1986 short story that Sapkowski entered into a competition held by Fantastyka magazine, marking his debut as an author. Due to reader demand, Sapkowski wrote 14 more short stories before starting a series of novels in 1994. He wrote one novel a year until 1999. A standalone prequel novel, Season of Storms, was published in 2013.
Original media and Adaptations
- Short story collection:
- The Witcher (Wiedźmin) -- 1990
- Sword of Destiny -- 1992
- The Last Wish -- 1993
- The Witcher Saga
- Blood of Elves -- 1994
- Time of Contempt -- 1995
- Baptism of Fire -- 1996
- The Tower of the Swallow -- 1997
- The Lady of the Lake -- 1999
- Standalone novels
- Season of Storms -- 2013
- A Polish series of six comic books was published from 1993 to 1995
- A 2011 miniseries was published in by Polish publisher Egemont
- A Dark Horse series started in 2014
The 2011 and 2014 series were based on the CD Projekt's video game adaptation.
- The Witcher (2007)
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)
- Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (2018)
- Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales (2018)
Filmed and released in Poland in 2002, Wiedźmin a 13-episode single season suffered from criticism from the media and Western fans, who complained about possible fan subs in the plot and the CGI used in the show. Geralt was played by actor Michal Zebrowski.
However, the show also received strong acclaim for being accurate in close following of the book, acting/description of characters/actors, and music – this last important part of the plot.
It inspired a resurgence and growth of the fandom. In feel and genre, the show is more "old school fantasy", contrasting with the Game of Thrones type of fantasy that was standard at the time of the show's release. This was largely a welcome change for viewers.
A second season was released on Netflix on Dec 17 2022. Whit the success of the first season led to a number of spin-offs being put in production by Netflix:
- Nightmare of the Wolf, an anime movie about the early life of Vesemir
- The Witcher: Blood Origin, a prequel limited series about the events of the Conjunction of the Spheres, set 1200 years before the main Witcher timeline.
Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich also hinted at the fact that the universe of The Witcher could keep expanding, including with media aimed at children.
:See the shipping section for the specific tropes favored by each pairing, but there are some common themes across the fandom.
- Found Family - Whether referring to Geralt & Ciri (and/or Yennefer and/or Jaskier), or to Geralt's Witcher family (mostly Eskel and Vesemir, also including Lambert and sometimes other non-Wolf witchers)
- immortal!Jaskier / non-human!Jaskier - This is inspired by the Netflix Witcher series, which forgot to age Jaskier despite the passing of time. It is also popular as both Geralt and Yennefer are long-lived; if Jaskier was human, he would die long before the two of them, and the pairings are popular.
- Bathing - Usually either spinoffs of the scene where Jaskier convinces Geralt to accompany him to the party, or the one where Geralt and Yennefer bathe together. Alternately, the same mood but in a Geralt/Reader fic, etc.
- Kaer Morhen has hot springs - never mentioned in the books or video games
- Animalistic behaviors and characteristics - the Witchers have traits from the animal their school is associated with:
- Omegaverse - Often with alpha!Geralt/omega!Jaskier, or conversely, omega!Geralt usually with the addition of alpha!Yennefer or alpha!Jaskier as your pairing
- Scent kink - Based on the Witchers having superior senses
- Biting and claiming
- Cuteagens - Cute effects of the mutagens, usually includes round kitty eyes when a character is excited, purring, etc.
- Geralt is a sub - mostly based on his allowing Jaskier and Yennefer to push him around in the Netflix series and fan speculation about his praise kink
- Yennefer is a domme - mostly based on the fanon that Yennefer pegs Geralt, somewhat based on the throwaway line in the books about her owning a troll phallus
- Geralt only knows two words: "Hmmm" or "Fuck" - based off the first Netflix season portrayal of Geralt as emotionally constipated and stoic, not in line with portrayals in the novels or video games
- Horse girl!Geralt - based on the fact he talks to Roach more than to other humans
- Goat dad!Eskel - based on a goat, Lil' Bleater, appearing as forktail bait in The Witcher 3
- Monster fucker!Eskel - based on Eskel mentioning he slept with a succubus and did fisstech in The Witcher 3
- Modern AUs where the characters are set in our contemporary society, may or may not come with the reincarnation/soulmate trope
On AO3, early Witcher fandom centered largely on game-based pairings.
2098 works were posted between 2000 and the release of the Netflix adaptation, on Dec 20, 2020. The most popular pairings were:
- Geralt/Yennefer (224 works)
- Geralt/Emiel (153 works)
- Geralt/Emhyr (104 works, notably a series of stories by astolat which helped push the popularity of the pairing and fandom)
- Iorveth/Vernon Roche (63 works)
- Geralt/Triss (53 works)
- Geralt/Iorveth (51 works)
Interestingly, Geralt/Jaskier (or "Geralt/Dandelion," as he is often called by book/game fans) was much rarer, with only 34 works.
The Netflix show boosted the fandom enormously. Almost 31k works were posted to AO3 between the show's release and Feb 8, 2022.
Many of the characters paired with Geralt pre-Netflix series, except for Yennefer and Triss, simply did not appear in the 1st season of the show, while Jaskier was given a prominent role, a cute actor, and a lot of barely-disguised subtext with Geralt.
Therefore, the Geralt and Jaskier relationship overwhelms the Netflix fandom's fanworks:
- Geralt/Jaskier: 16781 works
- Geralt & Jaskier: 3182 works
Smaller pairings and relationships include:
- Geralt/Yennefer: 1908 works
- Aiden/Lambert: 1168 works
- Geralt & Ciri: 940 works
- Geralt/Jaskier/Yennefer: 877 works
- Eskel/Jaskier: 861 works
- Geralt/Eskel: 826 works
- Jaskier/Yennefer: 766 works
- Misethere by astolat (2017), Geralt of Rivia/Emhyr var Emreis (Podfic available)
- His Touch by Sevent, Geralt/Jaskier, 6k (Jan 2020). An early example of Netflix-based fic, it was the most kudos-ed Witcher fic on AO3 as of Sept 2020 with 13k kudos for 85k hits.
- New Monster Stories by kathkin (March 2020), Geralt/Jaskier (Podfic available)
- The god of scraped knees. by spqr (April 2020), Geralt/Jaskier (Podfic available)
- The Accidental Warlord and His Pack  series by inexplicifics, Geralt/Jaskier, Geralt/Jaskier/Eskel, 235k, multiple podfics available. (2020)
- Cursed by quietnight, Geralt/Emhyr, 50 minutes (2017)
- The War of Silver and Ash by annapods, Geralt/Emhyr, 1.5 hours (2018)
- i'll lay you down by greedy_dancer, Geralt/Jaskier, 13 minutes (2020)
- The Accidental Warlord and His Pack (Podfics) by AceOfTigers, Geralt/Jaskier, Geralt/Jaskier/Eskel, WIP, 30+ hours (2020)
- A history of dragons in popular culture by reena_jenkins, Geralt/Jaskier, Jaskier/Yennefer, Geralt/Jaskier/Yennefer, 2 hours (2020)
- the ballad of pots and pans by barbex, chantress, kess, luninarie, Geralt/Jaskier, 1 hour (2020)
- The Angry Ciri Painting in Corvo Bianco by u/Outspokenbeef15 (2020) - in-game scene manipulation
- crossover with Shrek by kaoridraws (2020) - crossover fan art
- Geralt, Eskel and Lambert :) by paticmak (2016)
- father & daughter by mariedisgrace (2016)
- Steamy by statisticsfag (Geralt/Emhyr, NSFW, 2017)
- felt like drawing them by antisorum (Geralt/Yennefer, 2017)
- Geralt of Rivia by thislearts (July 2020)
- portrait with your past self or with your future one, i guess:) by daryshkart (Aug 2020)
- So, bath scenes. Amirite?, Archived version by FantasticallyFoolishIdea (2020)
- Parenthood as a Major Theme in The Witcher, Archived version by scuttleboat (2020)
- Unconditional, multimedia zine with other book fandoms
Archives, Communities & Resources
- Wiedźmin | The Witcher Series - Andrzej Sapkowski (Books) tag at AO3
- Wiedźmin | The Witcher (Video Game) tag at AO3
- The Witcher (TV) tag at AO3
- Wiedźmin | The Witcher - All Media Types tag at AO3
- Witcher/Wiedźmin, Andrzej Sapkowski (Books) tag at FFN
- Witcher (Game) tag at FFN
- Witcher (TV) tag at FFN
- What is a witcher? Everything you need to know before diving into ‘The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt’ by Will Fulton for digitaltrends®
- Can someone please recap the main events of Geralt's life chronologically until the end of witcher 2 ?? by hoverhuskyy in r/witcher at Reddit
- 'The Witcher' Netflix Series Primer: What You Need To Know About Geralt Being Adapted (Again) by Alex Riviello for SlashFilm
- if you like hot beefy men who are deeply misunderstood as being the bad guy but are actually good-aligned, you’ll like the witcher by bettsfic at Tumblr
- "How To Get Into The Witcher Novels by James Whitbrook for GIZMODO". 2015-05-21. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "'The Witcher's Henry Cavill Says 'Tough' Geralt Has a 'Heart of Gold' by Damian Holbrook for TV Insider". 2019-12-10. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "Gamedev glory: "The Witcher" and CD Projekt Red by Sarah Kutz for iMeshup". 2018-11-29. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "likorys-shimenawa — prokopetz: Honestly, Henry Cavill is the perfect casting, because Geralt of Rivia's whole thing is hoping that if he glowers fiercely enough, people won't notice that he escaped from the cover illustration of a 1980s romance novel". 2020-01-26. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "'The Witcher': Henry Cavill's Netflix fantasy is so bad, it's downright fantastic". Archived from the original on Jan 2, 2020.
- Youtube, Dominic Noble, "Toss A Coin, Let's Talk About The Witcher"
- "#geralt is living his best ho life okay lets support him". Archived from the original on Nov 18, 2021.
- Netflix’s Expanded Witcher Universe Is Upon Us, Deadline article, Aug 24, 2021
- The Witcher Big Bang Tumblr Blog
- "What is a witcher? Everything you need to know before diving into 'The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt'". 2015-05-20. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "Can someone please recap the main events of Geralt's life chronologically until the end of witcher 2 ??". 2015-05-23. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "'The Witcher' Netflix Series Primer: What You Need To Know About Geralt Being Adapted (Again)". 2017-05-24. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
- "bettsfic — if you like hot beefy men who are deeply misunderstood as being the bad guy but are actually good-aligned, you'll like the witcher." 2020-01-27. Archived from the original on 2020-09-01.