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You Can Now Read Lauren Hissrich's Original Pitch for The Witcher

Geralt and Yennefer’s journeys could have been very different indeed.
Geralt and Yennefer’s journeys could have been very different indeed.
Image: Netflix

Toss a coin to your pitcher, o’ streaming giant of plenty...

Going into The Witcher, showrunner Lauren Hissrich made it clear that the version of the show we ultimately got—and how it wove the interconnected strands of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer’s stories from the original Andrzej Sapkowski novels into a coherent series arc—only came after repeated iterations. Several versions of how the show would’ve been narratively framed, how it would have introduced the different main characters, and even whose perspective we would have met them through were considered.

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What we ultimately got was much more elaborate—and Hissrich took to the show’s subreddit over the weekend to share her pitch for the show as we came to see it. Dated November 2017, as Hissrich explains in her post, several things would change between the pitch and the final series, but otherwise, this version of the show pitched to Netflix is pretty close to what we saw on our screens last month.

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Obviously, if you’ve not seen The Witcher yet, it will spoil some details about the show. But also, go watch it, if only to get Jaskier’s hottest jam of the winter burned into your brain like it is ours!

Illustration for article titled You Can Now Read Lauren Hissrichs Original Pitch for iThe Witcher/i

Whether or not you feel like Hissrich’s gambit with the timeline framing ultimately worked—given that it’s something the show only very rarely addresses, leaving a bit of timey-wimey confusion—reading how she made her case for separating the show’s three leads across different spans of time is interesting nonetheless. The argument made for Geralt’s case in particular, regarding the order in which the show would tackle several of the short story plotlines from Sapkowski’s anthology collections, shows how bending the structure established in the books works in the show’s favor.

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Still, with Geralt and Ciri at least united by the end of The Witcher’s first season, it’s not something we’ll have to really worry about should we return to the Continent for more adventures...although given the reaction to the series, that seems like it’s a given at this point.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

I love how involved she is with the fandom. I don’t like comparing The Witcher to Game of Thrones, but after watching D&D become increasingly uninterested in explaining their thought process, it’s refreshing to see how excited Lauren Hissrich is to explain the thinking behind the decision making. Though I agree that the obfuscation of the timeline was probably unnecessary, given it didn’t hide a twist or something, I love that she’s engaging with everyone.