The Witcher

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Name: The Witcher, Wiedźmin
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Andrzej Sapkowski
Date(s):
books
1986 – 2013
tv series
December 20, 2019 – present
Medium: Novels, Video Games, Tv Series
Country of Origin: Poland and USA
External Links:
books
at Wikipedia
tv series
at Wikipedia
Official Website
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.[1] As of Dec 2019, they had been translated into 37 languages and had sold over 15 million copies worldwide.[2]

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.

Canon

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

Novels

  • Short story collection:
    • The Witcher (Wiedźmin) -- 1990
    • Sword of Destiny -- 1992
    • The Last Wish -- 1993
  • The Witcher Saga
    1. Blood of Elves -- 1994
    2. Time of Contempt -- 1995
    3. Baptism of Fire -- 1996
    4. The Tower of the Swallow -- 1997
    5. The Lady of the Lake -- 1999
  • Standalone novels
    • Season of Storms -- 2013

Comics

  • 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[3] video game adaptation.

Video Games

  1. The Witcher (2007)
  2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)
  3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

TV Series

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.

Years later in December 2019 the first season of the Netflix series was released. Henry Cavill was cast as Geralt. Other significant characters are Yennefer of Vengerberg, Ciri, and Jaskier.

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.[4][5][6]

[largishcat]

okay but why must a tv show “make sense” or “have a coherent timeline”? is it not enough for henry cavill to fight monsters, sluttily?[7]

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:[8]

Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich also hinted at the fact that the universe of The Witcher could keep expanding, including with media aimed at children.

Fandom

In addition to shipping, the gen relationship between Ciri and her adopted parents, Ciri & Geralt & Yennefer, is often taken very seriously by all iterations of the Witcher fandom.

Common Tropes

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

: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.

  • BDSM
    • 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

Shipping

Pre-Netflix

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:

Interestingly, Geralt/Jaskier (or "Geralt/Dandelion," as he is often called by book/game fans) was much rarer, with only 34 works.

Post-Netflix

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:

Reader-Insert/Original Character is also popular.

Smushnames

Pairing Name
Geralt/Jaskier Geraskier
Geralt/Yennefer Yenralt
Geralt/Jaskier/Yennefer Geraskefer
Jaskier/Yennefer Yenskier

Example Fanworks

The Witcher Game vs Netflix by Belzebulbe

Fanfiction

Podfic

S2 Jaskier meme by gremble

Fan Art

Meta

Vids

Archives, Communities & Resources

Archives

Challenges

Resources

References

  1. ^ "How To Get Into The Witcher Novels by James Whitbrook for GIZMODO". 2015-05-21. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
  2. ^ "'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.
  3. ^ "Gamedev glory: "The Witcher" and CD Projekt Red by Sarah Kutz for iMeshup". 2018-11-29. Archived from the original on 2022-03-06.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "'The Witcher': Henry Cavill's Netflix fantasy is so bad, it's downright fantastic". Archived from the original on Jan 2, 2020.
  6. ^ Youtube, Dominic Noble, "Toss A Coin, Let's Talk About The Witcher"
  7. ^ "#geralt is living his best ho life okay lets support him". Archived from the original on Nov 18, 2021.
  8. ^ Netflix’s Expanded Witcher Universe Is Upon Us, Deadline article, Aug 24, 2021
  9. ^ The Witcher Big Bang Tumblr Blog
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "'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.
  13. ^ "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.


Related Links
People Geralt of RiviaCiriYennefer of VengerbergJaskierEskelLambertVesemirTissaia de VriesTriss MerigoldCalanthe Fiona RiannonEist TuirseachMousesackStregobor
Places
Things