How ‘The Witcher’ Series Was Slowly Killed By Its Creative Team’s Decisions — RT Games & Culture

“The Witcher” series has always been surrounded by controversy, even before filming began. The announcement of the casting of Henry Cavill, an avid Witcher fan, in the role of Geralt did not go smoothly. They released a short audition-like clip, in which the actor walking into the light looks more like a silver fox from the 1990s. biker than Geralt. Naturally, people started making fun of the production, comparing the character designs with Legolas1995 Mortal Kombat Raidenor cheap Halloween costumes. Some people expected the show to be a waste of everyone’s time.

When the first season of the series was released for streaming, viewers were relieved to see a beautiful adaptation of the stories that made up Andrzej Sapkowski’s early books. Almost every character was introduced, their stories were told, and the series’ catchy title song, “Toss a Coin to the Witcher,” dominated 2019 Christmas celebrations across the world. There have, however, been some criticisms. Audiences familiar with the books and games in the series were confused by some of the casting choices, doubting the need to swap characters. But racial controversy was nothing new for this franchise, as the Witcher 3 game conversely received backlash due to its lack of non-white characters. The pacing of the series was also bad, with the story seeming to jump back and forth without cohesion or explanation as to why we need to see these events in this order.

The second season came and went, leaving more and more fans confused. The creators of the series did not address many of people’s concerns (they at least changed the strange design of the Nilfgaardian armor), the direction of the series was still unclear. Yennefer and Ciri were clearly becoming the main characters, and the deviations from the source material were getting bigger and bigger. But at this point, everything seemed fine, with Henry Cavill reassuring everyone that he was with the show for the long haul, as long as there were great stories to tell that honored Sapkowski’s work.

By the time the third season rolled around, The Witcher received a lot more attention than before, albeit for the wrong reasons. The prequel series “Blood Origin”, released between seasons 2 and 3, received poor ratings and damaged the reputation of the creative team behind The Witcher. Cavill left the show due to creative differences and was replaced by Liam Hemsworth of “The Hunger Games” fame, without any concrete plans on how to change the lead actor mid-show. The WGA (Writers Guild of America) and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) strike forced the suspension of filming on the fourth season at least until 2024. And then he there were reviews of the third season. himself. Viewers and critics were once again unimpressed with the pacing of the series, not knowing its identity or the story it was trying to tell. The Witcher’s titular character, Geralt, was relegated to a supporting role, not contributing much to the plot. One of the former writers recounted the general culture of disrespect for the original books, games, and other source material when he was working on the series.

All these games with the IP and the hearts of the fans could not go unpunished forever. Ratings dropped 67% between seasons 1 and 3. The third season was split into two parts in an attempt to gain more time on the audience’s radar. Some frankly embarrassing adverts ran, urging people to watch the show, reassuring them that “he’s still Geralt.” And to top it all off, one of the producers blamed the American public and social media for poor ratings and an oversimplification of politics in the world of The Witcher.

Blaming or alienating your audience is usually the best way to ensure your work fails. In 2022, the author of the 100% LGBT comedy “Bros” invited “Everyone who is NOT a homophobic weirdo” to go see the film, but then blamed hypothetical heterosexuals for not showing up at the cinema. The reason “Bros” only grossed just under $15 million against a $22 million budget wasn’t due to heterosexuals. The movie was really bad. Taunting your audience with a holier-than-thou attitude only makes you look pretentious – which seems odd when soon after, you’re playing the victim and portraying yourself as a misunderstood artist in a world of evil oppressors. You need to explain why you wasted all that money on a failed show without pointing fingers, I suppose, whether by blaming the short attention spans of young people, white supremacy, misogyny, bigotry or anything else . As long as you are an innocent victim, no one can call out your incompetence in crafting nuanced stories or miscalculations in market research. And you might even get some sympathy points on Twitter (sorry, X).

Ultimately, The Witcher series will likely suffer a typical Witcher fate: never being particularly liked by anyone, having a life full of obstacles to overcome, and ultimately dying on the job after being too slow to get started. adapt.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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