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Netflix Witcher is terrible adaptation of Witcher books [Spoilers]

Dontero

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Reason for making thread: To show people that this adaptation is shit and if you like Witcher 3 you should really go for books.
No it is not "nitpick" bad where someone changed color of someone skin, that shit has hardy any reason to be called for when you have much heavier death sentences to deal with.

I could write huge wall of text but it would be better to leave it to someone in video form and she does really great job at it:

First of all summary of whole show and comparison to books:


Second individual episodes going into detail how fucked up Netflix Witcher is:





You should definitely watch ep4 comparison because it is the most messed up eps of them all.
 

IntentionalPun

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Man I wish all Witcher Book Readers would be imprisoned or something.

There was nothing more obnoxious about discussing Game of Thrones online than dealing with pissy pants book readers, and while not nearly as numerous they do the same shit for The Witcher.
 
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Man I wish all Witcher Book Readers would be imprisoned or something.

There was nothing more obnoxious about discussing Game of Thrones online than dealing with pissy pants book readers, and while not nearly as numerous they do the same shit for The Witcher.

Agreed. I mean... Game of Thrones turned to shit, but it's important to be able to divorce the different adaptations from the source material. The books are the books. The show is the show. The games are the games, etc. No reason to make them all the same.
 

Dontero

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Man I wish all Witcher Book Readers would be imprisoned or something.

There was nothing more obnoxious about discussing Game of Thrones online than dealing with pissy pants book readers, and while not nearly as numerous they do the same shit for The Witcher.

The difference between Game of Thrones and The Witcher is that Game of Thrones is nearly 1:1 book adaptation with barely anything being changed. It is only when they run out of books that they started to invent their own stuff which made that show go down.

Now imagine if you start watching Game of Thrones and Snow is Lannister, Ned doesn't die and Tyrion role is cut out of tv show.


Agreed. I mean... Game of Thrones turned to shit, but it's important to be able to divorce the different adaptations from the source material. The books are the books. The show is the show. The games are the games, etc. No reason to make them all the same.

Game of Thrones turned to shit when screenwriters didn't have anymore books to base story on.
The witcher turned to shit because show writter either didn't read the books or she just read summary of some stories. It is not 1:1 adaptation like GoT was and it was precisely when they run out of books that people noticed dip in quality.
 
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The difference between Game of Thrones and The Witcher is that Game of Thrones is nearly 1:1 book adaptation with barely anything being changed. It is only when they run out of books that they started to invent their own stuff which made that show go down.

Now imagine if you start watching Game of Thrones and Snow is Lannister, Ned doesn't die and Tyrion role is cut out of tv show.

Sure, I'd watch that version of a Game of Thrones TV show.


Game of Thrones turned to shit when screenwriters didn't have anymore books to base story on.
The witcher turned to shit because show writter either didn't read the books or she just read summary of some stories. It is not 1:1 adaptation like GoT was and it was precisely when they run out of books that people noticed dip in quality.

It was clear the showrunners had no idea what to do once they ran out of book material. Doesn't mean a good Game of Thrones show that didn't try to more or less follow the books 1:1 couldn't have been good in its own right.

I don't think The Witcher has turned to shit at all. The first season was rather enjoyable for me.
 

finowns

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I understand the book readers frustration they made a fairly generic tv show from the source material. Not comparable to Game of Thrones because it actually followed the books very closely at least for the first couple seasons.

They did the bare minimum on the Witcher and failed to capture the feel of the universe. The show could have been really cool but instead we got a lame product that is somewhat enjoyable; the books are much better.

Edit - Dontero Dontero Holy crap we are on the same wavelength.
 
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GreyHorace

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I don't fully agree with that assessment. I think the Netflix show has done admirably in some areas of adaptation, while worse in others. To break down some of the issues I had:

- The series does a terrible job of introducing new viewers to the world. We don't get much of an idea of what the hell witchers are and how they operate, probably because they adapted the first Witcher short story for the third episode 'Betrayer Moon'. The series instead starts with an adaptation of 'The Lesser Evil', which is the third short story Andrzej Sapkowski wrote.

- They really should have focused on Geralt alone in this first season. He's the main character of the short stories and much of the world is viewed through his eyes. Having the series focus on additional main characters like Yennefer and Ciri just served to confuse viewers especially since each of their storylines occur on different points in time (something the show doesn't make you aware of until later).

- They completely botched the meeting with Geralt and Ciri in The Sword of Destiny. He and Ciri first met in Brokilon forest, which doesn't occur here. Geralt didn't take her with him then because he didn't want to fulfill the destiny he foolishly asked for with the Law of Surprise. After the fall of Cintra (of which he was never present for like in the show), Geralt feels guilty because he think Ciri died, so it's much to his surprise and relief that he finds her alive in the farmhouse. It's one of the most emotional moments in the books and the series messed up on that front.

So yeah, other than that, I thought the show was fine. While it's not perfect, I think they did good with expanding on events that were only hinted at in the books. Such as Yennefer's backstory (seriously, Anya Chalotra as Yen was the best thing about the series. She killed it), and the Battle of Sodden Hill.
 

Wvrs

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I read all the books multiple times and it's really not all that bad. I completely understand why they skipped some short stories, changed a few events and inserted some show-only details for cohesiveness' sake, so the overarching plot flows as we move from the short story collections into the Witcher saga next season.

A few minor gripes. My only major gripe is:

them cutting out Citi and Geralt first meeting in Brokilon when she's a young child; that omission completely robbed the final scene of the season of any emotional weight, when it had me in tears and chills in the books.

But overall I loved the show and I expect it will adhere more closely to the source material now we're heading into the saga vs short stories that are only loosely connected.
 
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Dontero

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The dragon ep left a sour taste in my mouth I think.

The dragon story actually was the closest to book story they got. They messed up a bit toward end where they didn't show at all how dragon fought with people in some sort of weird tourney but the main gist of meaning behind that story was conserved. They really did fantastic job on Yarpen and his group. There are things i didn't like like how Yennefer knight who was supposed to be actually proper knight who doesn't fuck around (but racist as fuck) was someone who was viewed as actual problem for other party members as they fought he could actually kill dragon. Show killed him literally while taking dump.

There are things in show that were great. Like case of Cavil being Geralt, or Yennefer actress doing best from script she was given (and that has severe issues). Jaskier which name was supposed to be translated because it loses all meaning if show public doesn't unnderstand his stage alias did fantastic job. Fight scenes were also great though they were wrong from point of perspective of books but that is small nitpick.

But all of those things are overshadowed by what that youtuber said. The main motive of here is "why?"

There are several reason why show might be changed. Usually the main reason is budget or just plain incompetence.
But Netflix Witcher has so many very very very weird changes that can't be explained other than writer of show being idiot or just plain want to sabotage show.

Goos example of that is Ciri in Brokilion:

- Why dryads were using crossbows and spears and why there were males among them ?
- Why there was blinding light ?
- What was the point of Ciri visiting it if not being there against her will when dryads wanted to brainwash her ?

Literally none of those things had anything to do with budget. They could just as easily do 1:1 which probably would end up cheaper than what they had with whole FX dream stuff and it would have meaning. Geralt saves Ciri live not knowing who she is and bonds with her to at the end again effectively run away from that kid which bugs him later.

When Cintra fall down Geralt gets the news that Cintra was butchered and barely anyone got out alive (he wasn't there unlike show), calanthe was murdered as well as her family including Ciri. This really hits him and he feels really guilty that he didn't take that kid.

And then show ends with scene where Geralt arrives on farm of guy he helped that will be staying for a while to heal and finds out Ciri is ok in one of the greatest endings to book series you could read and show you could watch if this was proper adaptation.

In show literally Geralt never bonds with girl, he doesn't know anything about her and there is literally no reason why he would feel guilty at all.

I read all the books multiple times and it's really not all that bad. I completely understand why they skipped some short stories, changed a few events and inserted some show-only details for cohesiveness' sake, so the overarching plot flows as we move from the short story collections into the Witcher saga next season.

But overall I loved the show and I expect it will adhere more closely to the source material now we're heading into the saga vs short stories that are only loosely connected.

Honestly speaking i hope you won't reread books because your memory is clearly rusty here and you might fuck up show for yourself if you do. For and example to anyone who read books Tor Lara stuff in Aretuza was RED ALERT. Aretuza itself was an issue because in books it was female only school for mages while Ban Ard was male version of it but that is small stuff.

Tor Lara/Tor Zirael is literally one of main themes of books (with one book directly named after it) and they made it into some kind of pond rather than chaotic portal offlimits to anyone which has serious consequences to story later.

The other big issue is that whole book series is literally chase after Ciri and in first episodes Nifgard sorcerers show up that they can force someone to eat meat of kin and read from guts of that victim where someone is. They literally point out she is near brokilion. That is huge fuckup lorewise because if nilfgard has that ability then rest of mages should which means that ciri location is not unknown anymore and literally whole plot of books don't make any sense.

Literally due to changes they made in this show it can only go down. So either they retcon stuff or they go and fall down on face as show will completely diverge from books.

I know nothing of the Witcher books or games, but liked the show. :messenger_alien_monster:

Which means you should try witcher books. They are 1000 times better than show.
 
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Ornlu

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Agreed. I mean... Game of Thrones turned to shit, but it's important to be able to divorce the different adaptations from the source material. The books are the books. The show is the show. The games are the games, etc. No reason to make them all the same.

Running out of books to mine for material is what made GOT turn to complete shit, though. They're differentish, but not really different.
 

Dontero

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The overall worst crime of show is that it changes meaning of The Witcher from folklore myths gone mad into pulp fantasy.

The very thing people love about games that CDPR got right in games aka the low stuff, the weird rituals of people, the pesants living their own life having their own worries, the folk stories in which people deal with devil the quest in which you not just kill stuff but also think about philosophy, the difference between good and evil etc is completely absent from the show.

It is like those CDPR trailers for witcher 3 that made witcher to look like hollywood fantasy to sell the show for newbs and then in game lambert makes fun of geralt how serious he sounded like when he rescued that woman from being hanged.
CDPR was responsible with source material to not make it typical pulp fantasy which is where Netflix crew failed at. Netflix crew probably wanted to make their own Tolkien/GOT not understanding that Witcher is completely different in tone and all of that sorcery and swords are just background to real mean of Witcher stories aka characters and their interaction.


 
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Kadayi

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Running out of books to mine for material is what made GOT turn to complete shit, though. They're differentish, but not really different.

Yeah, people are all too willing to throw D&D under the bus (and tbf they last two seasons felt rushed, which is certainly on them) but at the same time, they didn't expect Colonel Procrastination to sit on his ass for 6 + seasons and do anything but work on the goddamn books especially given the fat fuck had a production credit.

As for The Witcher. This is yet again another case of Book Wankers not understanding what an Adaptation is or how TV Shows are made and how budgets work. Apparently, for all the whining (justified or not), the show went down great guns with Joe Public.
 

Xaero Gravity

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I loved the books and yet that didn't stop me from enjoying the show, despite the changes.

The people that enjoyed the show but aren't familiar with the source material don't need any your annoying and obnoxious reeeeeeing or screeching about "muh books". You're just going to make the fanbase look bad and at worst drive away people from discussing the series.
 
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It's a great series and story, but one that's completely unoriginal and copied (note the lack of wording of the term "plagiarized" in order to stay away from THAT travesty of a debate).

Bring on the Elric series!
 
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finowns

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Yeah, people are all too willing to throw D&D under the bus (and tbf they last two seasons felt rushed, which is certainly on them) but at the same time, they didn't expect Colonel Procrastination to sit on his ass for 6 + seasons and do anything but work on the goddamn books especially given the fat fuck had a production credit.

As for The Witcher. This is yet again another case of Book Wankers not understanding what an Adaptation is or how TV Shows are made and how budgets work. Apparently, for all the whining (justified or not), the show went down great guns with Joe Public.

They understand what an adaption is that doesn’t prevent people from being critical of the adaption. People in here saying it is even close either didn’t read the book or don’t remember it. Just tone alone the books are far less sentimental than the show. The depiction of war and the people fighting is also very stark.
 
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jason10mm

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It's a great series and story, but one that's completely unoriginal and copied (note the lack of wording of the term "plagiarized" in order to stay away from THAT travesty of a debate).

Bring on the Elric series!
I agree with you on elric.

But given that the witcher was written what, 30 to 40 years ago, what do you think it copied? It is far less tolkeinesque than what a lot of stuff was back then.
 
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Kadayi

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They understand what an adaption is that doesn’t prevent people from being critical of the adaption. People in here saying it is even close either didn’t read the book or don’t remember it. Just tone alone the books are far less sentimental than the show. The depiction of war and the people fighting is also very stark.

No, they clearly don't. You assess a piece of media against itself in terms of 'what works/what doesn't' as an experience in itself not against some arbitrary yardstick of how it compares to a book, based on your interpretation of it. No one's holding a torch to Scorsese because 'The Wolf of Wall Street' wasn't a verbatim retelling of the self-same Book by Jordan Belfort. It never ceases to amaze me that people consistently fail at grasping this simple concept time and time again.
 

BadBurger

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I personally think it's OK. The writer(s) had to make some changes to streamline things, craft it so that the viewers would be invested in the stories of the three main leads. I don't like all of the changes they made, but it I have to admit it works for TV.
 

Ornlu

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No, they clearly don't. You assess a piece of media against itself in terms of 'what works/what doesn't' as an experience in itself not against some arbitrary yardstick of how it compares to a book, based on your interpretation of it. No one's holding a torch to Scorsese because 'The Wolf of Wall Street' wasn't a verbatim retelling of the self-same Book by Jordan Belfort. It never ceases to amaze me that people consistently fail at grasping this simple concept time and time again.

There does come a point, though, where changes become too much and the adaptation has so little to do with the original IP that keeping the name at all is silly.

I only read a few of the short stories; no idea if that's the case with this show.
 

Pagusas

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If I wanted it to be 1:1 with the books, I’d just re-read the books. The show is fine, it’s it’s own spin on things.

personally I fucking hate book Ciri and actually like this Ciri. Time will tell though, I hope they scrape most of her storylines or rewrite them going forward.
 
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BadBurger

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There does come a point, though, where changes become too much and the adaptation has so little to do with the original IP that keeping the name at all is silly.

I only read a few of the short stories; no idea if that's the case with this show.

The show hits all of the main beats from the short stories, altering them in ways that probably made it easier to film on a budget. They also changed it so Dandelion / Buttercup is present earlier in the timeline. They also humanized some characters more like Renfri.
 

Kadayi

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There does come a point, though, where changes become too much and the adaptation has so little to do with the original IP that keeping the name at all is silly.

I only read a few of the short stories; no idea if that's the case with this show.

Different mediums possess different requirements. You'd be hard-pressed to name any book to film/show adaptation wherein the latter stays true to the former save in terms of general direction and beats. Which is why this 'how does it compare to the book' style analysis is largely a waste of time because invariably it devolves into misplaced pedantry.

With the show, it wasn't a case of them looking at the short stories and simply picking ones to adapt as self-contained aspects. They're looking for opportunities to convey certain universal ideas and principles to the viewer about the characters as well as give the audience a greater understanding of the world in which the characters exist as the series unfolds. This is a distinctly different challenge from how a story unfolds, which is often just telling a straight narrative with some moralizing at the end.

One can argue about how successful or not a show may be in conveying itself, but again you have to assess it is against itself, and what the show's writers are trying to communicate to you the viewer. For the record, I think the Show was a Solid 7/10 experience for the most part, but as an opener that's not bad and there's scope for improvement as I dare say they'll have a bit more budget and resources for Season 2 based on the series success. I'm hoping that translates into better direction, better effects, better environments & tighter writing.
 
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finowns

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No, they clearly don't. You assess a piece of media against itself in terms of 'what works/what doesn't' as an experience in itself not against some arbitrary yardstick of how it compares to a book, based on your interpretation of it. No one's holding a torch to Scorsese because 'The Wolf of Wall Street' wasn't a verbatim retelling of the self-same Book by Jordan Belfort. It never ceases to amaze me that people consistently fail at grasping this simple concept time and time again.

This is bs. The tone and themes of the movie were similar to the book. Your hyperbole isn’t helping your argument either as a verbatim retelling isn’t being asked for. Believe it or not The Witcher books are not generic fantasy.
 

Grinchy

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It's pretty rare for any video adaptation of a book to compare favorably to the books. It's something I just assume at this point.

Having never read the books, I liked the show a lot. If I had read them beforehand, I'd probably think the show was shit.
 

MDSLKTR

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I don't read books, I didn't like the games but I'm hooked on the show. It does some things right but I'm not exactly sure of what yet.
 
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finowns

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It's pretty rare for any video adaptation of a book to compare favorably to the books. It's something I just assume at this point.

Having never read the books, I liked the show a lot. If I had read them beforehand, I'd probably think the show was shit.

I don’t dislike the show but it’s clear to me that show runner was hired to do a job as opposed to being really passionate about the subject. Not to say the books are the best thing ever either the writing is pretty weird but the books are quality fantasy.
 
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Kadayi

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This is bs. The tone and themes of the movie were similar to the book. Your hyperbole isn’t helping your argument either as a verbatim retelling isn’t being asked for. Believe it or not The Witcher books are not generic fantasy.

I've read the books. They're entertaining, but they're not exactly Shakespeare. Cry some more though. I mean you're accusing the show of being generic Fantasy...wtf does that even mean? The books have Elves, Dwarves, Dragons, Magic and Curses. How are these not 'Generic Fantasy'?


I don’t dislike the show but it’s clear to me that show runner was hired to do a job as opposed to being really passionate about the subject. Not to say the books are the best thing ever either the writing is pretty weird but the books are quality fantasy.

That's some generic fantasy you're concocting right there. 🤔
 
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Stiflers Mom

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The show felt like a convoluted mess.
That timeline fuckery bullshit just confused the hell out of me.
Nothing was explained well and world building didn't happen.

I felt all the time, that I was supposed to know the books or games to understand what's happening, or whatever.
Which I didn't.
 
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Texas Pride

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The more I play the game the less I think I like the show. I watched the show before i got the game and loved the show. Characters in the game are fleshed out more than a limited episode show and it resonates better to me. I play the missions with Yen & Triss and look at the show and they don't seem to jive with one another.
 

finowns

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I've read the books. They're entertaining, but they're not exactly Shakespeare. Cry some more though. I mean you're accusing the show of being generic Fantasy...wtf does that even mean? The books have Elves, Dwarves, Dragons, Magic and Curses. How are these not 'Generic Fantasy'?




That's some generic fantasy you're concocting right there. 🤔

You want me to explain to you how the books aren’t generic fantasy? I won’t
 

Wvrs

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i hope you won't reread books because your memory is clearly rusty here

Probably more a case of my memory being rusty with the show, only watched it through the one time and it was with friends so I wasn't 100% focused. I recently re-read Last Wish/SoD so they're both pretty fresh in my mind.

I honestly didn't mind the changes. Sure some stuff irked me - Cahir, the Sorcerors, Vilgefortz, Brokilon, but maybe I just had low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. And all those changes can be rectified later on (they could even retroactively incorporate Ciri/Geralt's first meeting via flashbacks, just change the location and have it so they never learned each others' names or who they were to each other at the time).

I'm also being extra lenient because of the short story format of the first two books and I will expect them to adhere more closely to the source material as we head into Blood of Elves.

I think they got so much more right than they got wrong. And everyone involved with the show seems really passionate about it.
 

yuadesa

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the first half seemed pretty good overall but it was a struggle to get through the last couple of episodes. geralt and jaskier really carried the episodes they were together, great chemistry. I liked the 4th episode (the one about the wedding feast) even better than the book because of the jaskier angle they added. the first season should have been more focused on geralt and introducing the world slowly, felt like they were rushing all the politics stuff which hurt the pacing. too many time jumps and lack of explanations.
 

Stiflers Mom

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geralt and jaskier really carried the episodes they were together, great chemistry.
Really? Completely opposite to me. I always wondered why Geralt would keep that loon around. It felt completely out of character for him.
 

GreyHorace

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Really? Completely opposite to me. I always wondered why Geralt would keep that loon around. It felt completely out of character for him.
Not really. He hides it under his stoic and gruff demeanor a lot but Geralt is actually really lonely. He longs for companionship but being a witcher makes the prospect difficult most of the time. That's why he puts up with Jaskier's annoying antics because the bard is one of the few people willing to have his company. This is true in the books as well as the show.

Geralt is someone who values his friendships deeply. That's an aspect of his character that I think CD Projekt Red captured well in the games. Aside from Jaskier (whom we know as Dandelion), there's also Zoltan and of course, Regis. He even gets a brother in arms with original characters like Vernon Roche.
 
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yuadesa

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Not really. He hides it under his stoic and gruff demeanor a lot but Geralt is actually really lonely. He longs for companionship but being a witcher makes the prospect difficult most of the time. That's why he puts up with Jaskier's annoying antics because the bard is one of the few people willing to have his company. This is true in the books as well as the show.

Geralt is someone who values his friendships deeply. That's an aspect of his character that I think CD Projekt Red captured well in the games. Aside from Jaskier (whom we know as Dandelion), there's also Zoltan and of course, Regis. He even gets a brother in arms with original characters like Vernon Roche.

exactly. the books and show also do a good job showing that a lot of people hate geralt solely because hes a witcher and arent afraid to let him know it. even the people that hire him half the time try to betray him or get out of paying him. finding someone like Jaskier that accepts you makes it clearer as time goes along why he would keep him around. the games suffer a bit from this, just because you cant have 80% of the npcs refusing to talk with you or driving you out of the towns as soon as you arrive.