Netflix's The Witcher is finally here, and as the team has spoken about previously, it does come with a few changes to the original books from author Andrzej Sapkowski. Much of the characters and stories you love are here of course, but there is one very noticeable change within the first episode, one that will have an impact throughout the entire season. ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Witcher showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich all about the show, including that substantial change to the source material, and she broke down why they decided to make that change. Now, spoilers are incoming for The Witcher season 1, so if you haven't watched it yet you've been warned.
In the series' first episode we are introduced to Ciri (played by Freya Allan) and her grandmother Queen Calanthe, but the time we get to spend with them is short, as Nilfgaard's invasion means that Ciri needs to be taken elsewhere. That's when she protests and first displays an almost sonic scream that shakes the glasses on a table, but as we see in the rest of the season, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her powers.
"Ooh, I love it. You are the first person to ever ask this question," Hissrich said. "I think that when you're telling a story of the most powerful little girl in the world, you've got to build that in early. And to me, I'm a big fan of suspense rather than surprise in storytelling, so surprise obviously makes a lot of sense. Surprise is not telling something to the audience and then whacking them in the head with it. Suspense, to me, is much more fun because now the audience knows that she has this power, she knows that she's scared of the power, and what's going to happen? Who is she going to tell? Will she confess? What is she trying to hold inside?"
"To me, it aligns us with the character in a really interesting way, and it makes us root for her or root against her sometimes because we're sharing her secret," Hissrich said. "So that was one of the reasons that we built in something really early that wasn't actually in the novel to showcase the very special power that she has."
In the novels, Ciri does not have these abilities, but as Hissrich mentioned, it opens up plenty of suspense about what they mean, how she got them, etc. They are incredibly powerful, and hopefully, we'll get even more details about them in season 2.
"Based on the best-selling fantasy series of books, The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts," Netflix said. "But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together."
Henry Cavill (Geralt of Rivia), Anya Chalotra (Yennefer), Freya Allan (Ciri), Jodhi May (Calanthe), Björn Hlynur Haraldsson (Eist), Adam Levy (Mousesack), MyAnna Buring (Tissaia), Mimi Ndiweni (Fringilla), Therica Wilson-Read (Sabrina), Emma Appleton (Renfri), Eamon Farren (Cahir), Joey Batey (Jaskier), Lars Mikkelsen (Stregobor), Royce Pierreson (Istredd), Maciej Musiał (Sir Lazlo), Wilson Radjou-Pujalte (Dara), and Anna Shaffer as Triss.
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!