Game of Thrones came to an end a couple months ago, but Netflix is ready to keep the big-budget medieval fantasy vibe going with its new show The Witcher. Much like Game of Thrones, The Witcher is an adaptation of an already hugely popular book series, which has also expanded into a hugely successful video game franchise as well. The show already has a ton of expectations going in, and with all that fandom around it, you can bet everyone will be talking about it when it premieres later this year. So, what is The Witcher about? Here is the background that newbies need to know before The Witcher drops on Netflix.
The Witcher is the name of a saga of eight novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which were released between the years of 1993 and 2013. Set in an unnamed land, known only as the Continent, filled with humans, elves, dwarves, and other creatures, witchers are monster hunters who develop the supernatural ability to match deadly beasts in combat from a young age. As in the book saga, the Netflix series will center on a witcher named Geralt of Rivia, who makes his living by traveling across the Continent to battle monsters.
For the upcoming Netflix series, Henry Cavill will star as Geralt of Rivia, and the streaming service has already released first-look photos of Cavill as the show's main character.
Netflix has also released a brief synopsis of the new series, which teases that Geralt will not only be at odds with the monsters he fights, but with the greater goings-on of the Continent:
Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. 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.
The powerful sorceress and young princess mentioned in the synopsis are the other two main characters of The Witcher. The sorceress is Yennefer of Vengerberg, who is described as Geralt's soulmate within the book saga. In the new show, she will be played by Anya Chalotra.
And the young princess is Princess Ciri, the adoptive daughter of Geralt and Yennefer who was born with the powerful Elder blood. Because of her noble lineage, Ciri has powers to cross time and space. Ciri will be played by Freya Allan in the new series.
While Netflix has only released images of these three characters, and they are clearly being teased as the three main leads, the announced cast for the show is already at nearly 30 named characters, so fans can expect it to be as sprawling as Game of Thrones.
Originally, Netflix was going to adapt The Witcher into a standalone movie, but instead decided to better explore the novels with a TV series. The first season will consist of eight episodes, which were shot in Hungary and the Canary Islands last fall and throughout the first half of this year. There is no exact release date for The Witcher yet, but it is slated to premiere on Netflix sometime this fall.