Netflix reveals episode titles and synopses for The Witcher

At long last, the hype train for The Witcher is picking up steam. Netflix’s adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy series drops next month. The cast is out there promoting it, we recently got a poster, and the trailer is making its way around the net.

Now, the official Witcher Twitter account has revealed the titles for the eight episodes from the first season…with a twist. Not only do we get the titles, but we get little graphics to go along with each, plus descriptions that when put together make a little poem. They went all out with these!

First up, we have the premiere, “The End’s Beginning.”

The premiere episode will adapt the story “The Lesser Evil” from The Last Wish, the first book in the series. The Witcher books are kind of odd in that the first two — The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny — are better described as short story collections than novels. Season 1 of the show will draw mainly from these two books, but weave the stories together into one narrative.

Anyway, “The Lesser Evil” tells the story of what happens when lead character Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a professional monster hunter, gets caught in a feud between a sorcerer and a brigand. By the end of the story, he has the name “the Butcher of Blaviken,” so you know it ends well.

This episode will explore the origins of Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), a powerful sorceress and Geralt’s on-again, off-again love interest. I wonder if they’ll bundle in the story “The Last Wish,” about how Geralt and Yennefer meet.

Based on the images we’ve seen, this episode will likely adapt the story “The Witcher,” about Geralt helping a king’s daughter overcome a frightful curse.

“Of Bastards, Banquets, and Burials” will adapt the story “A Question of Price,” a key tale that establishes a bunch of important things about the lore of the world, and introduces some characters who will be very important later.

I dunno exactly what story we’re looking at here, but the description mentions a bard, so it’ll probably involve Geralt’s friend Jaskier (Joey Batey), known as Dandelion in the English translation of Sapkowski’s, and in the video games fro CD Projekt Red.

Rare Species – “The hunt for a dragon is underway.”

This is definitely an adaptation of the story “The Bounds of Reason,” a fun yarn that brings together several characters on a hunt for a dragon.

Before a Fall – “A return to before a kingdom is flamed.”

These episodes sound like they’ll focus on how Ciri (Freya Allan) goes from being a princess of Cintra to Geralt’s protégé in the ways of the witcher.

Now, I’m talking about the show as if its adapting Sapkowski’s stories exactly, but there have been some things that have changed during the process, as executive producer Tomek Baginski explained to Antyweb:

Even though I’ve known the Witcher for 30 years, I have to admit there were some surprises while working on the show. We realized that some of the storylines can be presented in many different ways, just like certain situations and characters. We were considering what were the characters’ pasts, as there are some which appear in the books just for a few moments. In the show, you need to give the characters backstories that will interest the viewers. The show can’t be exactly like the books. It’s an adaptation. It’s a version of this world and this story from Lauren [Hissrich, showrunner] and the writers. What’s more, it’s a very coherent vision.

Baginski also confirmed that Sapkowski is aware of these changes and is on board:

Andrzej Sapkowski knows that some things are different than he wrote, but he trusts that it’s being worked on by professionals and that what will come of it will be very good. I also discovered that same thing, because scenes that I had some doubts about in script form shine incredibly on the screen, thanks to the interpretation of the actors and things which you just don’t see on paper. Suddenly, something that seemed controversial no longer is.

Okay, that’s enough nitty-gritty. Let’s put all the episode descriptions together and read them like a poem.

“A monster slain, a butcher named.”
“We look at a sorceress’s earlier days.”
“A picky eater, a family shamed.”
“The Law of Surprise is how one repays.”
“A fateful meeting, a bard is maimed.”
“The hunt for a dragon is underway.”
“A return to before a kingdom is flamed.”
“The Witcher Family as you all like to say.”

I can’t decide if I find this clever or too cute. At the least, it shows that showrunner Lauren Hissrich is willing to go the extra mile.

The Witcher drops on Netflix on December 20!

Next: Lyra on Lyra: The Golden Compass star talks His Dark Materials

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Watch Game of Thrones for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels

h/t IGNRedanian Intelligence

Spoiler Alert!

Please take care to tag spoilers in your comments by wrapping them with <spoiler></spoiler>. Spoilers in comments are hidden by a gray overlay. To reveal, simply hover or tap on the text!