When you adapt a work, or a story, to a different medium, such as television, you need to maintain the theme, aesthetics or message of the original source. You cannot drastically change the characters, with which fans have become endeared to, to your own fan fiction. You have to create an overarching narrative based upon the original source, using their characters as established, to further their arcs and growth. This doesn’t mean you do a 1:1 ratio, and perfectly replicate the plot on screen. This wouldn’t work. What it does mean, is to read the original source, and understand these character’s motivations, fears, emotions, and arcs and replicate them with your actors and actresses. Once you truly understand these characters, and what drives them, then you can focus on making a narrative. You failed step one.
There are spoilers to season 2 of the Witcher here on out. I cannot abide, sitting by idly, while this showrunner ruins a beloved franchise, and runs it into the ground.
“It starts in the writers room. 20 weeks of book-reading, story-spinning, imagination-bending, head-bashing, vodka-slurping and cake-eating.” From her Twitter.
20 weeks? Are you sure? If that was true, then how come you completely butchered/ruined the characters of Eskel, Yennefer, and Vesemir? Eskel is a kindhearted man (who didn’t have a lot of book time), with a heavily scarred face but he proved that looks aren’t everything as he’s a brother like figure to Geralt, and cares deeply for others. What we got? An asshole womanizing douchebag, who doesn’t like anyone, is constantly mad, and brings a bunch of street whores (in summer clothes) to his hidden castle, located high up in the wintery mountains. Apparently, he’s infected by a leshen despite witchers having a natural immunity to almost all disease and poisons. And then, Geralt has to kill him. But don’t worry, we explain his drastic change in behavior due to this infection, and we have a scene showing Geralt fondly remembering who he used to be.
Next, in what world did you read that Yennefer would even remotely think to sacrifice Ciri for personal gain? The answer is 0. It would never happen, she grows to be like a mother to her and not once does she consider to use Ciri for her own gain. Secondly, you can’t have a mage lose magical power casting a spell, especially one of Fire magic when you go and introduce a bounty hunting mage that solely uses fire magic. I tolerated these changes because maybe, the ending could be good, with proper set-up for more events. Nope, you decide to have Vesemir consider killing Ciri to stop her. The older, grandpa, protective of everyone, and has a soft spot for all witchers under him, and deeply trusts Geralt, is going to stab Ciri? That this man who would never consider subjecting another child to the trial of grasses because he knows the suffering, that he would do it to Ciri? How much vodka did you slurp?
I only touched on three characters here. I could probably write several pages on how badly you fucked up Ciri; using portals and casting spells under extremely stressful situations with no proper training and succeeding. Did you watch Star Wars, look at the character of Rey, and think, “Yea, let’s make Ciri like that.” In case you forgot during that 20 week binge, Ciri spends months training with Yennefer before she can even do anything.
If I had to wager a guess, you did read it and then actively decided to ruin it. You took 90% of the content, threw it in the trash, and made your own weird fan fiction, and you have the audacity to call it an adaption of the Witcher. No, you were heavily inspired by it. Adapt it? No, you did not do that. This isn’t the first time you’ve done this. You did it to the Defenders by Marvel. Calling it an adaption is nice legal speak/contract speak, and man, paying off the author a fat sum to call it good? That’s classy.
The best parts of the Witcher have nothing to do with you. Henry Cavill is the reason Geralt is so well received. His physicality and what he brings to the role is so much more than the atrocious writing that plagues his character. A) He’d never use Ciri as bait. Period. B) He’d never say “I will kill Yennefer.” If he did, that’s because the Yennefer you created is some sort of monstrosity and has nothing to do with the actual character.
Elves are not innocent beings, they are just as monstrous and murderous as humans. There should be only 4 witchers at Kaer Morhen, not the 15 or so random dudes that then get randomly killed off during the final episode. “Lambert, Lambert, what a prick!” You switched up the identities of Eskel and Lambert, and as aforementioned, killed off Eskel.
It’s like you decided to pervert as many characters as you could, to change them drastically to whatever messed up vision you thought you had in mind. Vilgefortz, Cahir, Tissaia, Calanthe, Rience, Nenneke, Phillipa Eilhart, and even Nivellen, all of these were made into subversions of what they are. Oh, Geralt and Ciri don’t care that Nivellen let a vampire massacre an entire village of people but draw the line that he raped a priestess 13 years ago. Yes, that one act for which he repented as best as he could is far, far worse than letting entire families get massacred. Yes, I understand Lauren.
“When I talk about The Witcher, I always talk about how these three characters coming together — Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer — they come together as a family. It’s the most important part of the series for me,” Hissrich said.
Right, so in what world do they come together as a family? Yennefer betrayed both Ciri and Geralt in your fan world, Geralt thought and considered killing Yen. In what world, would Ciri ever trust Yen again? How would Geralt? Well, you see, in my finale, through the power of love and family, we get Ciri to return to Geralt and Yen and break free of the mind possession by a demon. Yen heroically sacrifices herself by slitting her wrists allowing the demon to possess her instead. Together, my newfound family sends the demon back where it came from while establishing that the Wild Hunt is searching for Ciri. FAMILY! All that’s missing is Vin Diesel appearing on screen saying “we are family.”
Hold up! Why is there a demon running around amok? The first witchers would have killed it, or exorcized it, not trapped it in a tomb that anyone could find. Oh well, this isn’t the Witcher. This is Netflix’s low fantasy drama that happens to share a similar name.
So to end, I don’t care that you didn’t follow the book’s events or plot, or narrative. Shit happens. I do care that you keep calling it the Witcher when it’s only that in name only. Everything else has been stripped of its original identity, and watered down to a shell of what it is. A better title for the show would have been The Hexer.
And to Henry Cavill, or MyAnna Buring, you guys were phenomenal and tried your best, and I want you to know, in the words of the great movie, Good Will Hunting, “It’s not your fault.”
The blame is solely on Lauren’s shoulders who is entitled to her artistic impression.