The Witcher season 3 was recently announced, and along with it came news of both a second anime feature film and a family-friendly spin-off series.
Unfortunately, the latter has drawn some criticism from fans of the Witcher universe, with questions around the appropriateness of the new series being asked.
Now, The Witcher’s showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has responded to concerns, arguing that although the Witcher world is “dark, mature” and even “controversial”, creating a way for children to enjoy the series’ characters and themes is a valuable thing.
Addressing complaints on Twitter, Hissrich wrote: “I agree, The Witcher is a dark, mature universe. I’d go further. It’s controversial. Political. A microcosm of humanity, for all its goodness and evil.
“But I believe — STRONGLY believe — that the moral dilemmas and ethical grayness that adults love in this universe…can be extrapolated to stories that kids in this chaotic world desperately need, and could benefit from.”
Recalling a time when her own 8- and 10-year-old children asked to watch the Netflix adaptation, she added: “They’ve begged me to watch the show. They can’t. It’s not appropriate, too mature and dark, as you say.
And how we can fight back against those bleak black holes of humanity, so everyone knows there’s a place for them? Then I’m in.
And yes, I hope this extends the brand viewership. I love The Witcher world. And I want more people to love it, too, no matter their age. Don’t you?
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) September 27, 2021
“But. If I can sit with them and watch a version they love, one they can laugh at, one they feel “gets them” and their small but meaningful place in the world — but that can also serve as a foundation from which to talk about big topics, racism, sexism, what it means to be a monster? And how we can fight back against those bleak black holes of humanity, so everyone knows there’s a place for them? Then I’m in.”
As for the somewhat cynical backlash suggesting that the creators of The Witcher are expanding its universe simply for the money, Lauren isn’t convinced.
“Yes, I hope this extends the brand viewership,” she wrote. “I love The Witcher world. And I want more people to love it, too, no matter their age. Don’t you?”
The Witcher season 1 is now streaming worldwide on Netflix. Season 2 will premiere on December 17, 2021.