The Witcher: Netflix Showrunner on Whether the Show Will Address Geralt’s Disability

The Witcher recently had to halt production on Season 2 once again due to positive COVID-19 tests, but fans can likely expect quite a bit of content pulled directly from the books when it does eventually launch, just like in the first season. For Twitter user @mustangart, however, there is a specific element from the books that they hope makes it into the series at some point. They wrote a lengthy thread about Geralt having a disability in the books, that it was a shame the games did not include that in some form or fashion, and that they hope the show changes that. Showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich has since commented on this, and she seemingly wants to explore that with Geralt at some point in the show.

Hissrich wrote "I haven't stopped thinking about this thread. I've read these books a dozen times, these specific sections, and I've not thought of it further than: "Geralt has some pain, onto the next thing." I've been wrong. I'm excited to dig into this more. To add this layer to our hero."

@MustangArt's full thread can be found here, but we've included excerpts from it that highlight the disability they are referring to and why it's important, which you can read below.

"Geralt of Rivia & the Importance of Disabled Protagonists A Thread. Geralt of Rivia is disabled.

That statement always surprises people, even fans of the series. But it's true. It's just that people only remember how Geralt is shown in the CDPR videogames - a grizzled but able-bodied monster hunter - without realising that CDPR removed that disability. 'It's only a disability, it's not that important' you may say, but it's actually VERY important. Geralt becomes disabled shortly towards the end of novel Time of Contempt after taking a severe injury that shatters his elbow and his thighbone and leaves him screaming in agony and delirious until the Dryads help him."

"'But he was healed by the Waters of Brokilon!' I hear you book fans decry and you're right, Geralt was healed in Brokilon Forest by its magical waters, but the healing doesn't negate or lessen his disability. In fact, after healing, Geralt finds a lot of the things he used to do has become more difficult. He complains of severe aches and pains in his sword arm (specifically the elbow) and his leg (specifically about the knee and sometimes his hip) throughout the books after Time of Contempt and onwards.

It affects his gait, causing him to walk with a limp that increases in severity depending on the weather. He finds that riding Roach for long periods is very uncomfortable. He is restless sitting down because suddenly his knee will seize and needs to stand up again to stretch it out. Sometimes the pain is so bad he drops his sword because his elbow can't take the impact, and he can't always fight in the typical Wolf School sword style (it involves a lot of pirouettes) because of his knee and hip."

"Why is it important that Geralt is disabled?

It adds a lot to Geralt as a character and a protagonist. When you think about Geralt of Rivia, you think about a strong and capable (if sometimes reluctant) hero. That isn't something you see very often in fantasy novels or the genre as a whole and as someone whose disabilities include osteoarthritis and nerve damage, it meant the world to see someone like me be a famed and powerful monster hunter. When Geralt becomes disabled he isn't portrayed as his life 'suddenly being over', he is still just as capable and strong and learns to compensate his sword fighting techniques to work *with* his disability.

When I read the novels, I saw a lot of myself in Geralt because he had some of the same disabilities as me and it meant an awful lot to see a character I admired going through the same things I was. He'd get angry/frustrated with his disability, the pain would sometimes be too much for him... these were all my lived experiences too."

We'll have to wait and see how this is brought into the show, but it seems like Hissrich is definitely game for bringing this into the show at some point.

You can find the official description for The Witcher season 2 below.

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"Convinced Yennefer’s life was lost at the Battle of Sodden, Geralt of Rivia brings Princess Cirilla to the safest place he knows, his childhood home of Kaer Morhen. While the Continent’s kings, elves, humans and demons strive for supremacy outside its walls, he must protect the girl from something far more dangerous: the mysterious power she possesses inside."

The Witcher is available to stream on Netflix now, and you can check out more from our Witcher coverage right here. You can also hit me up on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things Witcher!