Book lovers tend to be wary about film and TV adaptations of their favorite novels, as they often let us down. In the case of Netflix’s The Witcher, not only have fans been vocally upset about some of the changes to the source material, but now the author is also speaking out. Read on to learn more about what Andrzej Sapkowski has to say about the handling of his beloved book series.
The Witcher Saga is a series of epic fantasy novels written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The plot follows its titular character, also known as Geralt of Rivia, who uses his supernatural “witcher” powers to hunt monsters and mythical beasts. When his path collides with Ciri, a princess with powerful magic, Geralt must risk his life to protect her and prevent her powers from being exploited by those who would use them for evil. While the television series, created for Netflix, follows the same premise as the novel series, fans have long been critical of the show’s deviations from the content of the books.
Now, Andrzej Sapkowski is letting fans know that they’re not alone in their frustrations. In a recent interview at Vienna Comic-Con, Sapkowski was asked if he gave Netflix any feedback when visiting the set of the show. He said, “I gave them some ideas, but they never listened to me.” Sapkowski went on to say that this treatment was “normal,” imitating how his status as the books’ author was dismissed by Netflix: “Who’s this? It’s a writer. It’s nobody.”
Despite the show’s contentious relationship with fans, it’s been able to maintain high viewership. Season three of The Witcher, which premiered in the summer of 2023, garnered over 99 million viewing hours, earning it a spot in Netflix’s Top 10 list for eight consecutive weeks. However, regardless of these impressive numbers, viewership for the show did decline from season two to season three.
A fourth season of the show is forthcoming; however, Henry Cavill will no longer play the role of Geralt. Having departed from the show following season three for unspecified reasons, Cavill will be replaced by Liam Hemsworth. Cavill is known to be a big fan of the book series, and in the past, he expressed a desire to continue playing Geralt for seven seasons or more “as long as we can keep telling great stories which honor Sapkowski’s work.”
While we can’t know for sure that Cavill’s reason for leaving the show had anything to do with the sentiments expressed by both Sapkowski and The Witcher Saga fans, it’s safe to say that the show’s lack of faithfulness to its source material may have been a factor in his decision.
For more on The Witcher Saga, click here.
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