The Witcher spoilers follow.
The Witcher boss Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has said that she and her team “worked really hard” to make season two’s monsters more “fully realised” than they were in the previous episodes.
As the new season of the hit fantasy show lands on Netflix, the showrunner opened up about the development of some of their grossest creatures, from the basilisk and the wyvern to Hissrich’s self-proclaimed worst nightmare, the myriapod.
But making them scary – and hoo boy, they are scary – wasn’t the creatives’ main priority this time round. In season two, they wanted to ensure the monsters were characters in themselves, not just unimportant parts of Geralt of Rivia’s story.
“[That] to me is the most terrifying monster, because I don’t like insects,” Hissrich said of the myriapod. “There’s a scene where [it] rises up, and you see these sort of human arms. It’s got its centipede body, but it has very human arms that are all reaching out towards Ciri.
“One of the things we worked really hard on this season was eye contact between our monsters and our characters, to make them feel more sort of fully realised, and more… that they have a point of view of their own.”
She went on to recall how, in season one, “the monsters were most successful when they were part of a bigger story” and referenced the moment in the third episode where Geralt (Henry Cavill) faced off against the striga.
“Fighting that monster changed who Geralt was, because he made the decision to save the princess, as opposed to kill her,” Hissrich remembered.
“We really took that into season two, and made sure that when we meet monsters, they’re not just something that Geralt is fighting along the way of a journey to someplace else, but that they’re actually an integral part of the story. And so they became characters, I would say even more in season two.
“When you’re watching the last two episodes, I would say: look for that, because there’s a lot of eye contact. There’s a lot more humanisation of them.”
The Witcher seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix now.