‘The Witcher’ Will Deal With Difficult Topics Such As ‘Sexism’ and ‘Racism’

The Witcher is going to premiere on Netflix pretty soon. There is a lot of hype surrounding the series. There have even been some comparisons to Game of Thrones. And while the Netflix series needs to stand on its own, the comparisons are somewhat flattering.

Perhaps one important way that The Witcher will differ from Game of Thrones is in its approach to controversial and difficult topics such as “sexism, xenophobia, racism.” Game of Thrones, though it was a popular and well-done show, did not always approach these topics with as much care as it could have. The Witcher just might be different, at least based on what showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has to say about it.

How does ‘The Witcher’ tackle these ‘heavy political issues’?

Anya Chalotra, Henry Cavill, and Freya Allan of The Witcher
Anya Chalotra, Henry Cavill, and Freya Allan at The Witcher panel at Comic-Con 2019 | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Dealing with such issues often needs to be done with care, and without sacrificing the enjoyable nature of the story. The Witcher’s showrunner, Lauren Hissrich, seems to understand both of these elements well. She mentions that the show will deal with themes such as “racism, xenophobia, feminism…what you lose of yourself to be able to access a skill.” All of these topics are quite hard to integrate into a story well, though they are all important topics that many people can likely relate to.

However, if you’re afraid the show won’t be enjoyable while dealing with such serious topics, try not to worry. According to the showrunner the show “is also really funny and fun.” Sounds enjoyable to us! The show is also “an adventure,” according to Hissrich.

It includes “some romance” and “some violence,” Hissrich states. The showrunner goes on to say that “at the end of [the show], you’re left thinking about what you saw, but also having thoroughly enjoyed what you saw.”

How will ‘The Witcher’ integrate these themes into the story?

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Hissrich says that The Witcher will be “touching on topics such as sexism, xenophobia, racism, society’s difficulty in accepting what is different.” She also states that the show will “tell the story of three orphans looking for a place in the world.” Based on what the showrunner has said, it seems like any difficult topics will be integrated into the stories of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), and Ciri (Freya Allan).

According to Hissrich, these themes as well as the fact that the show “[tells] the story of three orphans looking for a place in the world” is important to the author of the books, Andrzej Sapkowski. That might mean that the books touch on these themes as well, though perhaps in a different way than the show might. Adaptations are never exactly the same as the source material, after all. Yet there are bound to be some similarities, especially since the showrunner has spoken to the author about it.

What does Hissrich say is ‘the central core’ of Netflix’s adaptation?

According to the showrunner, the tagline for The Witcher says it all. This tagline, for those of you unaware, is “The worst monsters are the ones we create.” The tagline, for Hissrich, “is the central core of [the] show.” The showrunner states that in the show, “we have a world with humans and with monsters and, oddly, sometimes humans are the more monstrous creatures.”  

Hissrich adds that “One of the things [she and the writers] tackle a lot on the show is the simple dichotomy of good versus evil. We want to deconstruct that and show there is no simple good and there is no simple evil.” The show is all about “reflecting real life,” according to Hissrich. And it is true that there are sometimes situations in real life that are more grey rather than black and white.