The Witcher showrunner refutes claims the team "mocked the books" the show is based upon

The Witcher
(Image credit: Netflix)

The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has refuted claims that the show's writers "mocked" the novels on which the show (and video game, of course) are based.

For weeks now, the showrunner has been subjected to complaints and messages from angry fans who are unhappy at the direction Netflix's The Witcher series has taken. 

Even just a casual scroll through Hissrich's comments on this The Witcher Blood Origin teaser Instagram post shows hundreds of public messages, many of which deride Hissirch and her team's decisions, with some insisting that she reads the books.

Those complaints began when former The Witcher writer Beau DeMayo said in a recent interview that some of the show's writers  "actively mocked" the source material written by novelist Andrzej Sapkowski.

Hissrich has now publicly commented on the claim, responding to a negative comment left on another of her Instagram posts that she had "never mocked the books" as they are her "entire livelihood".

"I've never mocked the books," Hissrich wrote. "The books are my entire livelihood. I have a great relationship with Mr Sapkowski, and writer’s rooms are sacred and safe and - more than anything - supportive spaces. Don't believe everything you read."

And just in case you were wondering if the comments were unrelated to DeMayo's interview, one Instagrammer quoted the former The Witcher writer's words to Hissrich, prompting the showrunner to respond directly to them.

"I have great respect for Beau and the episodes he wrote!" Hissrich replied. "The striga episode is one of my favorites. He wrote the one where people came to Kaer Morhen and Eskel died which had a lot of backlash, but he was brave in telling the story he wanted to tell. It takes a lot of balls to do that. I respect that."

In related news, Hissirch recently shared some insights into Henry Cavill's recasting as Geralt of Rivia after it was revealed Cavill was exiting the role and would be replaced after the upcoming season 3 by The Hunger Games star, Liam Hemsworth.

During a conversation with Hissrich in anticipation of the upcoming prequel series The Witcher: Blood Origin, GamesRadar+ asked about the decision and what’s next for the series. 

"I'm so excited for viewers," she says of the recasting. "I think that it's just a new chapter for us. And I think new chapters bring new energy and that people will find things to love. So yeah, personally, I'm really excited."

Hissrich is also an executive producer on Blood Origin alongside showrunner Declan de Barra. The series is set some thousands of years before the events of the main show and follows a group of seven outcasts brought together under mysterious circumstances. Read our deep dive into the prequel with the cast and crew of The Witcher: Blood Origin here.

The Witcher: Blood Origin arrives on Netflix on Christmas Day, while The Witcher season 3 will be released in the summer of 2023. 

Check out our list of the best Netflix shows you can watch on the streaming platform right now.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.