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The first pitch for The Witcher Netflix series involved Ciri as the main "focal" character

The Witcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher Netflix series (opens in new tab) showrunner has revealed her original pitch for the upcoming season. In what would have been a dramatic retooling of the source material, Lauren S. Hissrich planned to have Ciri, not Geralt, as the main “focal” character, with the character also acting as narrator.

“When I was first pitching to Netflix, I pitched them a completely different version of the story which I’ve actually never talked about before,” Hissrich reveals in a recent Netflix featurette on The Witcher.

“I pitched them a version of the story which actually started with the second-to-last book [in writer Andrzej Sapkowski’s series], which is Lady of the Lake. Ciri ends up sitting by a lake, meeting with a man, and sort of telling her story.” She added: “I started with that narrative structure, which is to have Ciri be our focal character and be kind of our narrator.”

But Hissrich soon found an issue with that style of setup: not enough Geralt. “The problem was… that I wasn’t getting enough of Geralt and his perspective, because it was all being told through Ciri,” Hissrich explains. “I went through several versions, and I literally had one of those ‘aha!’ moments in the shower, jumped out of the shower and said to my husband ‘does this make sense? Can I tell all three of these stories at the same time and not have it be too confusing?’”

Now, we have the prospect of the three core characters (and stories) of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer being presented at once – but it could have ended up very differently.

All eight episodes of Witcher season one will be available on Netflix worldwide from Friday, December 20.

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I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.