‘The Witcher’: All of the Timelines Explained By The Showrunner

The Netflix fantasy series The Witcher is one of the streaming service’s newest hits. There is one aspect of The Witcher that is likely confusing to many fans: the timelines. Luckily, for fans, we will explain the different timelines in The Witcher. These timelines all intersect eventually, and that will be mentioned as well.

Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich went on Reddit and sent fans on the website her original pitch for the show. In it, the different timelines of The Witcher are mentioned and explained. Hopefully, her explanation will help confused fans.

What are the different timelines in ‘The Witcher’?

Henry Cavill at a photocall for 'The Witcher': the timelines in the show can be confusing to many fans
Henry Cavill at the photocall for The Witcher Season 1 | Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images

The Witcher follows three main characters: Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Cirilla, known as Ciri, of Cintra. Geralt is the titular Witcher and therefore many fans might expect his timeline to be the most important. However, according to Andrew Dyce of Screen Rant, all of the timelines in The Witcher are equally important.

These timelines, according to the site, are happening in different years, even different decades. It becomes more confusing when you see that Geralt and Yennefer don’t exactly age like normal humans. This lack of aging makes the timelines very difficult to figure out for many fans. Luckily, we’re here to clear things up for anyone who is confused.

How does ‘The Witcher’ showrunner talk about her original idea of the story?

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In a Reddit post, The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich explains her “controversial idea” to “tell [the story] in three separate timelines over the first season.” She speaks about how she and the other writers and producers “were passionate about [the]¬†interweaving of Geralt’s, Yennefer’s, and Ciri’s stories since the very beginning.” She expresses how “interesting” it is that they “managed to keep [the idea of different timelines in The Witcher] alive.”

Attached as an image to her Reddit post, she has the original pitch for the show. She describes how “over two years ago” she pitched the idea to Netflix, different timelines included. Hissrich states that originally Ciri being Geralt’s Child of Surprise was going to be kept a secret for a while, but she and the writers “realized that the timelines were enough of a mystery, [they] didn’t need to keep adding more and more veils.”

Unraveling the mystery of the timelines in ‘The Witcher’

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In her original pitch to Netflix, she mentions how she “[wants] to tell the origin story of each character.” To tell these origin stories, she and the other writers would be “working in two different frameworks of time (and sometimes even three).” Hissrich adds that “The nonlinear storytelling…[is] one of the franchise’s most appealing elements to [her].” According to Hissrich, “The three stories will run parallel to each other” until they “start to weave together.”

Geralt’s and Yennefer’s stories weave together first, according to Hissrich, and then Ciri’s joins them later on in the series. Hissrich “[talks] about Ciri as the drumbeat of [the] series.” Ciri’s story “[covers] a fairly short time period in comparison to [the] other two stories.” However, this is “ideal” for Hissrich.

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According to the showrunner, Ciri’s “character is forged through multiple tragedies.” These “tragedies” all happen “in immediate succession.” Meeting Ciri and Yennefer before they meet Geralt also makes them “fully independent [characters].” That is very important to Hissrich.

For Yennefer and Geralt’s stories, the writers don’t “have to track time as carefully,” which might explain why the timelines can be somewhat confusing. However, hopefully, Hissrich’s explanation helps explain why there are different timelines in The Witcher. Her explanation also might make the timelines easier to understand for confused fans.