7 Things You Should Know When Watching The Witcher
Start writing a post

7 Things You Should Know When Watching The Witcher

Toss a coin to your writer, a friend of humanity

7 Things You Should Know When Watching The Witcher

*This article is spoiler-free, but it does detail some specifics of the show which might be considered spoilers.*

Netflix dropped its first season of the fantasy epic, The Witcher, December 20th, 2019, and since its release, it has blown up in popularity. I am a huge fan of the Witcher series. I have read the books and played the games, and after watching the first season of the show, I can add that to the list as well.


The first season does a good job of sticking pretty close to the short stories of the first and second books, The Last Wish and The Sword of Destiny. The only issue with the show is that it cuts out a lot of the explanation covered by the novels. As your resident Witcher expert, I decided to write up a little cheat sheet for anyone going into the fantasy world without any knowledge of the series. Here are seven things you should know when watching the first season of The Witcher.

The Witcher is based on a book Series by the same name

The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are the first two books in the series, they are the basis for the first season of the show.i.ebayimg.com

The Witcher is based on a book series by the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The first two books that start off the series are a collection of short stories that help get you acquainted with Geralt and his world of monsters and men. These stories all have a bit of a fairy tale-twinge to them, usually taking on a dark tone and aesthetic. In each one, the titular Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, has to navigate the complicated politics of man, and use his vast knowledge of monsters, to help keep the peace for a few bucks.

The first season takes place out of order

The short stories in the first two books take place out of order - some occur chronologically before stories earlier in the book, and some occur later. The show follows this model and the episodes air chronologically out of order. This way, the story is unfolded before you in such a way where they can explain the fantasy elements, then go back and revisit the same scenes in which you can better understand the plot after learning the rules of the world. In the show, it is not totally clear when certain stories take place, and sometimes only a line of dialog (such as Jaskier's, "how long has it been since I last saw you? Years?" in the episode "Bottled Appetites") is used to help place the story in the timeline.

Silver for monsters, steel for humans

The Witcher 3 OST - Steel for Humans (Extended Version)www.youtube.com

The world of The Witcher is one where there are a lot of rules to how monsters work. It's a major reason why people hire Geralt - his vast knowledge of monster hunting. One of the cardinal rules in The Witcher is the "Silver for Monsters, Steel for Humans" mantra.

Geralt is seen in several scenes carrying multiple swords. This is because in the world of The Witcher, only silver can be used to harm paranormal creatures. When fighting humans, Geralt opts for the more practical steel sword, as it generally has a greater effect on men.

In the first season of The Witcher, there are several scenes where certain characters will shy away, or may even be seen burning at the touch of some metals. Keep an eye out for these scenes as their adversity to silver might clue you in about their backgrounds.

The Law of Surprise

The story of Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, and many of the other main characters in The Witcher all revolve around the use of destiny and covenant of The Law of Surprise. In the world of The Witcher, The Law of Surprise is heralded as a divine rule that cannot be broken, but it actually is not an original concept. The promise actually comes from Polish folklore.

The Law of Surprise is actually pretty simple: If you save someone's life from a dangerous situation, instead of claiming a payment then, you can invoke The Law of Surprise. When that person returns home, they are obligated to give you something which they did not already know they had. This could be as simple as a bountiful harvest that occurred while that person was out on the road traveling, or maybe something as grand as promising an unborn child the person did not know they were going to have.

The Conjunction of Spheres

The Witcher takes place in a world, previously not unlike our own, but through an event called The Conjunction of Spheres, and changes in a major way. About 1500 years before the events of the first season of the show, a cataclysmic event happened in which many parallel worlds overlapped, opening a rift between them. From those rifts came pouring out monsters of all kinds into our world. During that time, the nature-loving elven people became the most prominent people before humans drove them to the edges of the known world. At the time of the Geralt storyline, monsters are fewer and far between, but they still pose a major natural threat to the world of men.

Witchers are mutants

Geralt's yellow eyes allow him to see in low-light conditions, such as caves, where monsters typically hide.gamespot1.cbsistatic.com

As you might imagine, Witchers are not your average people. Witchers are mutants, changed from average men to monster-hunting machines through a brutal process known as The Trial of Grasses.

The Trial of Grasses is an alchemic and magical ritual in which young boys are subjected to mutagenic compounds and grueling physical trials. The process is dangerous, yielding only 3 successful Witchers out of 10 young boys - those who fail the trials do not survive.

The young Witchers who survive the Trial come out with superhuman abilities. They have cat-like eyes that allow them to see in the dark, accelerated healing and immunity to disease, decelerated aging, snow-white hair, and the ability to cast simple spells through the use of magical signs. They also lose the ability to feel any human emotion, resulting in them being cold, standoffish, and alone.

There are no more Witchers

Due to their physical appearance, gruff personalities, and brutal conversion practices, the people in the world of the show do not like Witchers. Geralt is often seen taking the side roads and back roads traveling from city to city looking for work, partly because he can find monsters off the beaten path, as well as he finds it easier to deal with the elements than the prejudice of people.

Kaer Morhen, the keep where Geralt was turned into a Witcher as a young boy, as depicted in the video game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.vignette.wikia.nocookie.net

Kaer Morhen, where Geralt underwent his training and conversion to Witcher, was largely destroyed before the story begins by fanatics who hated Witchers so much, they sought to end the conversion practices. The battle killed many of the teachers and children at the school, and destroyed many of the tools and resources needed for The Trial of Grasses. Since the destruction of Kaer Morhen, the lineage of Witchers had come to an end. While there once were other schools across the world who create Witchers, many of them had undergone the same fate.

Geralt, the White Wolf, is just as handy with the ladies as he is with a swordewedit.files.wordpress.com

Geralt is one of the last of his kind, and with the dwindling of the monster threat and the expansion of man, Witchers are no longer needed. The world of The Witcher is filled with twists and turns, and has a number of colorful characters. If you are not into fantasy, this show is probably not for you, but if you read through and you're interested, you can't go wrong with starting the show. Just be sure to read the books and check out the games for the full experience. Happy hunting!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments