Fans revolt against showrunner and writers of the Netflix series.
Fans slowly turned on Netflix’s The Witcher after season one, but even then, the seeds of revolt were already being planted within the fanbase. With constant changes to the original work, conflicts with actors who just wanted to make it better, and blatant lies to the fans, it’s no wonder most of the fanbase has turned against a show that had so much potential to be the next big fantasy addiction. Warning: spoilers ahead!
Major Plot Changes
At first, the showrunners of Netflix’s The Witcher said they wanted to stay as close to the source material as possible. History has shown when writers or directors stay relatively close to the source material, the movie or show is received well. Yet showrunner, Lauren Schmidt-Hissrich, went back on that claim after the first season. Even the first season had a few changes to it, but it was few enough for fans to let it slide. Especially because the story was so wonderfully crafted.
Witcher fans quickly took notice when those changes happened again and again in The Witcher. Some were small changes, the type of thing that writers, directors, and showrunners do all the time in order to make that transition into a new media format, such as changing how a character acts from the books versus the show. Other times these changes are vast and cause major questions to rightfully be thrown towards the writers of the Netflix show. One such change is when Yennifer loses her powers in the second season and even tries to sacrifice Ciri to regain her power. This obviously never happens in the books, thus causing many fans to question why the writers would even change it. There are numerous other things they could have had Yennifer do, yet they chose something that made the least amount of sense.
By the third season, other than bringing it up once, Ciri seemed to have moved on. When fans watched the third season, they saw how even more changes were added. Changes that would break The Witcher’s plot if they had taken it out.
Lead Star Tries to Bring Change
Fans weren’t the only ones who were vocal about their disapproval of the treatment of the source material. Actors in the Netflix show were also frustrated with the trajectory of the characters that they were portraying. Most famously, Henry Cavill advocated for the show to stay true to the books. He was a huge fan of the game and read all the books when he was brought on as the legendary white wolf. His very public struggle with the writers and showrunner herself was well documented by the fans. Every interview Cavill did about The Witcher displayed his passion and dedication to the source material and the fans who made it all possible. Coming from a previously wildly successful and critical movie role with an even more critical fanbase, he knew what to expect. He knew that keeping the fans happy was crucial to the success of The Witcher.
Cavill would go on to air his concerns about the script to the writers of the show, and word quickly got out. Fans realized that Cavill was one of the few people on the show who were trying to bring about change. Most of the fans stood behind Henry because of it and hoped he could change the minds of the writers and showrunner. Unfortunately, it did not happen, and shortly after the third season, Henry Cavill would leave the project entirely. At first, fans were skeptical about Henry Cavill playing Geralt of Rivia, but after seeing him as Geralt for three seasons, they couldn’t think of anyone better for the role. Now, the fans’ number one supporter was leaving the show, and the idea of keeping Netflix’s The Witcher true to the books left with him.
What finally turned most fans away from The Witcher was the disrespect the show’s creators displayed towards the fans and the original author, Andrzej Sapkowski. After Henry Cavill’s departure, numerous reports came out of Netflix’s The Witcher. Most of these were crowd control, trying to sway the fans to stay by their side even after losing their leading man. Sadly, fans had already begun to turn on the show by this point, especially when the first half of the third season hit Netflix. This feeling of disrespect was amplified when the announcement for Henry Cavill’s replacement was announced while Cavill was still technically under contract as if they were waiting for him to leave so they could slip someone new into the role.
Producers of The Witcher even said the point of the oversimplified plot was to cater to the needs of the fans themselves. Simplification is necessary to reach more people around the world, and since the focused audience was in the United States, they thought they needed to make the plot super simple. Fans saw this explanation as a flat-out excuse and disrespectful to viewers as well as Andrzej Sapkowski himself. One of the best things about the world of The Witcher is that nothing is simple. There is a gray line in everything. It is what makes The Witcher so interesting to fans. These are some of the few reasons fans have turned their back on the Netflix series that could have been the next fantasy phenomenon, The Witcher.
It’s always sad seeing a fandom of something so great slowly lose their excitement and passion for it. Yet one can hardly blame the fans for turning their back on The Witcher the way that they did. Seasons 1-3 can be found on Netflix right now! Go give it a watch and see what everyone is so upset about.
The Witcher: Season 3 (2023) Netflix Official Trailer