Following the release of the second season of Netflix’s The Witcher, the lead protagonist Henry Cavill — who plays Geralt of Rivia — raised fan anticipation by talking about how his character would have closer links with the books in the second season. However, those who adore the original fantasy books have spotted something strange about one character. Warning, there are spoilers for season two ahead.
Sapowski’s 1990s novels had sparked interest in the Witcher-verse, with numerous games and spin-offs grabbing the interest of gaming fans. The popularity of the games led to Netflix adapting it into a hit live-action series.
The show’s first season was based on the short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. The first season saw Geralt finally coming closer to comprehending his destiny, including Princess Ciri, played by Freya Allen.
According to Cavill, the second season will have a more accurate characterization of Geralt in close relation to the original source materials. Instead of the occasional grunts, he would “speak more” and display his “intellectual” side. While there will not be a complete change in character for the gloomy, brooding witcher, he will definitely be more closely aligned with the portrayal in the books.
“This season, I really wanted to make sure that we represented the book’s Geralt more accurately, and that we saw him speak more,” he said. Talking about how closely he was invested in the process, he said, “I pushed really, really hard for that. I wouldn’t say cheery. He’s still Geralt of Rivia, but he’s definitely coming across as more of an intellectual.”
But it is the character of Eskel that has ruffled feathers. Within the books, Eskel is like a mirror to Geralt — studious, brave and courageous. However, in this season’s showing, Eskel clashes with Geralt, finds himself sex workers whenever he can, and, ultimately, dies from a tree spore.
Although part of that story is written in the original books, Netflix chose to kill off the character and forge their own path. It garnered some seriously negative audience comments.
Showrunner, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, welcomed the critiques: “Sending love and also excitement for future Reddit debates with everyone watching,” Hissrich said. “I’ve never been one to shy away from digging in, so love it or hate it, keep those passionate opinions coming. And yes, we’ll talk about Eskel…”