This past weekend saw the release of “The Witcher: Blood Origin,” a mini-series prequel to Netflix’s lavish big-budget adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy novel series epic “The Witcher”.
With two seasons under its belt and two more on the way, “The Witcher” has become one of Netflix’s signature series and one of its biggest hits. It has also found itself the subject of some controversy this year surrounding both Henry Cavill’s abrupt departure and criticism over its straying from the source material.
The first season adapted the short story collections “Sword of Destiny” and “The Last Wish” into its timeline-jumping first season. The second season was based primarily on the first novel “Blood of Elves” with the upcoming third said to be a ‘one-to-one’ adaptation of the second novel “Time of Contempt”.
If it holds to that pattern, the series has three more novels in the ‘The Witcher Saga’ to potentially adapt, ending with “The Lady of the Lake”. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich recently spoke with Collider about when the series could end and where the expanded universe could go:
“It has been my goal with my executives at Netflix to always have an endpoint in mind, because, to me, when you start just writing stories without knowing where they’re going, you can get lost. And what I think is so interesting about what we have figured out.
To answer your question in two ways, yes, I absolutely know where the series is going to end. I know what season it’s going to end, and I know how it’s going to end, which is very, very exciting.
I was asked a lot, are there going to be other sequels and prequels and spinoffs? I think, certainly, Sapkowski’s books are kind of limitless in a lot of ways.
Hissrich confirmed that Sapkowski’s fifth novel in the Witcher saga, “The Lady of the Lake,” would be the last book covered in the main series – which would suggest up to six seasons overall. However, Hissrich says it is rarely as simple as just one novel equals one season:
“I think a lot of people believe that you sort of go into a season of television saying it’s going to be this book, but clearly, that’s something that we have not been able to do because there are some books that are like Blood of Elves, which Season 2 sort of loosely was based around.
It didn’t have enough action to keep us going, so we ended up having to bring parts of Baptism of Fire into it. Parts of the earlier short stories, I mean Declan’s episode, “A Grain of Truth,” was what kicked off Season 2. So immediately, we know that we have to be flexible with how the books are split up versus how the seasons are split up and Declan’s right. I’ve been sort of turning that in my head since the very beginning.”
Thus don’t expect it to be too straightforward for the coming seasons. A lot will also depend upon whether the show will still have an audience following Cavill’s departure and replacement with Liam Hemsworth.
The first two seasons and the ‘Blood Origin’ mini-series are now on Netflix.