Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, the Witcher Showrunner, Explains Season 2’s Controversial Changes

Stop reading now if you haven’t watched The Witcher Season 2 yet, since I’m about to reveal one of the plot twists and one of the more important changes from the novels. So, in the second episode of Season 2, we enter Kaer Morhen, which looks quite similar to the videogames, and meet a larger cast of Geralt’s fellow witchers.

Ciri meets Vesemir, Lambert, Coen, and Eskel throughout her stay, however one of them knows Ciri less than the others. Eskel has been afflicted by a monster, which is a significant departure. He’s completely turned by the conclusion of the episode, and Geralt has to put him down.

Fans of the scarred Eskel, who appears in the novels and even appears in the games, assisting Geralt in pulling off a drunken joke involving cross-dressing at one point, aren’t pleased. It was destined to come up during the behind-the-scenes documentary The Witcher: Unlocked. Felicia Day, the show’s host, says, “Can you justify your decision to kill him off so soon?” “Because people are curious.”

“”In all honesty,” says showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, “in the very first version of the script that we wrote, [there] was a brand new witcher that we’d never met before, that we’d never heard of, and all of a sudden we were like, ‘Oh, our audience is going to meet Coen, Lambert, Eskel, and, you know, John.’ Who is going to die? John is going to pass away.’ So we thought long and hard about that, and I know there are people who adore Eskel and wonder, “Why would we do that?” But, honestly, his death is what changes everything for Geralt, and I believe it fuels Geralt’s desire to figure out what’s going on with Ciri, and to do it quickly, because if he doesn’t, he risks losing her and his brothers.”

It’s a startling moment in a season whose final surprise is well-known to book readers. From there, it seemed like anything may happen. Surprisingly, the actors shared this sentiment. “It keeps us on our toes,” Lambert’s actor Paul Bullion adds. He acts as though he’s looking over the script to see if he’ll be killed off in the upcoming episode. “It’s like, now no one is safe.”

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