Netflix’s own Witcher TV show is, as we know, based on ye olde novels by Andrzej Sapkowski and not the RPG trilogy by CD Project Red. But we’ve all seen the bathtub scene, yeah? So we know there’s some of the video game DNA in the small screen version of Geralt’s adventures if you know where to look. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich says that it’s not just the White Wolf’s thorough washing that came from the games. The Witcher 3‘s beautiful visuals were an inspiration as well.
Hissrich appeared on the Writer Experience podcast where she talks about watching a friend play when she first started researching for the project, despite not being much of a gamer herself. She says they sat down with some beers to “take in the visuals of the world.” She doesn’t specify which game(s) of the trilogy she’s talking about here but I’d wager a bet it’s Wild Hunt more likely than the original Witcher or even Assassin of Kings.
“Oftentimes, people think of fantasy as being very dirty and gritty and horrible and everything’s dark,” Hissirch says. “The truth is, The Witcher has a lot of colour, it has a lot of light, a lot of everything to it.” She’s quite right. The Witcher 3 is beautiful, especially if she got the chance to see any of the environments from the super fantastical Blood And Wine expansion.
“That’s something that I saw in the game—I saw how beautiful the world could be,” Hissrich said. “What a great balance for fantasy. This is real life, right? Even in tragedy in real life, the sun still rises and it sets. That can still be beautiful, even if there’s a war going on next door.” That’s certainly true in Wild Hunt. Despite all the ugliness with Nilfgaard, it’s easy for Geralt to run off the beaten path to find some really gorgeous locations—despite the monsters.
Aside from broader inspirations, Hissrich also acknowledges those bits that remind us specifically of moments from CDPR’s trilogy, saying “There’s a lot of little easter eggs in the show that are basically just there to say ‘video gamers we see you.’ We know you’re here too and we know that you love The Witcher and not just because of the books. So we just want to throw out little things to you as well.”
As a bonus, Hissrich also answers the question “if you could be any of the characters from the show who would you be?” by immediately blurting out “Yennefer. Hands down.” Sit on down, Team Triss.
You can listen to the entirety of Writer Experience episode 85 on Soundcloud. Jump to minute 50 to hear Hissrich talk about being inspired by Wild Hunt’s pretty sunsets and all.