The Witcher Will Expand Female Characters’ Backstories

The Witcher will not just be about... um, The Witcher. The San Diego Comic-Con panel previewed this world's ensemble.

Netflix screened some impressive footage at its The Witcher panel during San Diego Comic Con, showcasing the three main character who will star in this fantasy element adapted from the Polish book series by Andrzej Sapkowski which was previously adapted into a wildly popular video game series.

The books and game follow Geralt (Henry Cavill), a monster-hunter with supernatural abilities who travels around a medieval fantasy world stoically taking out monster-types for money. In this world, people who do this are called “Witchers.” Other major characters include Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), a powerful sorceress and Geralt’s main love interest in the books and Ciri (Freya Allan), a young princess who has a connection to the world of The Witchers. Apparently.

Cavill, Chalotra, and Allan were all present for the panel, which presented their characters as equals in an ensemble rather than with Yennefer and Ciri as supporting character’s in Geralt’s story. A clip for each of their characters were shown, with the one introducing Yennfer’s character—a monologue about the struggles of living in the world as a girl, delivered on a beach to a dead baby—proving particularly stirring in terms of both performance and filmmaking.

Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich spoke about the opportunity to expand Yennefer and Ciri’s stories in the TV adaptation, saying: “In the book, you meet all of the characters through Geralt’s lens and what I wanted to do when I came to the series is think about who these characters were before they met Geralt so that they would be fully fleshed out characters that have their own journeys and have their own wants and needs and desires. They’re not just reflected through … Geralt’s [lens].”

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It sounds like this will mostly mean following their characters before they meet up with Geralt, suggesting that the show will treat their three storylines as parallel.

“What’s so fascinating about it, as Anya and Freya have spoken about is, in the books, there are all of this hints of these amazing backstories and you get to see little tiny glimpses in flashbacks,” continued Hissrich. “We actually got to bring those to life, and I think it’s one of my favorite parts of the series is that… I would call it an addition to the books. We really took the books and honored that source material, but we were able to give characters a little more breathing room and really get to know them before these three eventually meet up.”

Stay tuned to Den of Geek for more on The Witcher. And check out everything else we know about The Witcher so far.

Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!