The Witcher series (Polish: cykl wiedźmiński) by Andrzej Sapkowski is a series of fantasy short stories (collected in two books, except for two stories) and five novels about the witcher Geralt of Rivia. The books have been adapted into a movie and television series (The Hexer), a computer game (The Witcher), a comic book and others. The novel series (excluding the short stories) is also called the Witcher Saga (Polish: saga o wiedźminie) or the Blood of the Elves saga.
Note: For books not yet translated into English, approximate translations are given in parentheses.
Short story collectionsEdit
- The Last Wish (Ostatnie życzenie) (1993, English edition: 2007)
- Miecz przeznaczenia (The Sword of Destiny) (1992; while the book was first to be published, it collects later short stories and takes place later than The Last Wish)
- Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna (Something Ends, Something Begins) (2000) - only two of the series are set in the Witcher world, and only one of them is canon
Novels (or saga) Edit
- Blood of Elves (Krew elfów) (1994, English edition: 2009)
- Times of Contempt (Czas pogardy) (1995, English edition: 2013)
- Baptism of Fire (Chrzest Ognia) (1996, English edition: 2014)
- Wieża Jaskółki (The Tower of the Swallow) (1997)
- Pani Jeziora (The Lady of the Lake) (1999)
- Sezon Burz (Storm Season; unofficial name, does not belong to the saga) (2013)
The Witcher series started as a series of short stories, at first published in Fantastyka, a Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine. The first short story, "Wiedźmin" ("The Witcher") (1986), was written for a contest held by the magazine, where it won third place. The first four stories of the witcher Geralt — and the story "Droga, z której się nie wraca" ("The Road with No Return"), which took place in the same world, but dozens of years before the witcher stories — were originally collected in a short story collection titled Wiedźmin (out of print and now obsolete; all fifteen short stories were later collected in three books published by superNOWA.)
The second short story collection to be published was Miecz przeznaczenia (Sword of Destiny). While The Last Wish collection was published after Miecz przeznaczenia, it replaced Wiedźmin as the first book, as it included all of the stories collected in Wiedźmin except "Droga, z ktorej się nie wraca" (the only one not featuring Geralt). Although new short stories were added in The Last Wish, they took place before the ones in Miecz przeznaczenia.
"Droga, z której się nie wraca", along with "Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna", a non-canon story about Geralt and Yennefer's wedding, written as a wedding gift for Sapkowski's friends, were later published in the book Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna. The rest of the stories in this book are not connected to the Witcher series in any way. In some Polish editions, "Droga, z której się nie wraca" and "Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna" are added to either The Last Wish or Miecz przeznaczenia.
The stories and novels have been translated into Dutch, Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian, Swedish, Russian, German, Italian, Lithuanian, French, Portugese, Spanish and Finnish. An English translation of Ostatnie życzenie (The Last Wish), the first short story collection, was published in the United Kingdom by Gollancz in 2007 and in the United States by Orbit in 2008. Gollancz decided to skip Miecz przeznaczenia (The Sword of Destiny, the second short story collection) and publish Krew elfów (Blood of Elves, the first novel in the Witcher Saga) in the United Kingdom directly after The Last Wish, even though the short stories in this collection take place earlier and introduce some of the characters that become major characters in the novels. Blood of Elves was published in 2009 by Orbit in the United States.
The name "witcher"Edit
The original Polish name for "witcher" is "wiedźmin". The English translation preferred by Andrzej Sapkowski was initially "hexer" and is the name used in the international version of the film adaptation. However, CD Projekt chose to translate it to "witcher" in the The Witcher computer game, and this version was subsequently used by Danusia Stok in her translation of the book The Last Wish, as well as by Sapkowski himself in the book Historia i fantastyka.
Alternatively, the word warlock has been used informally in English translations, while "witcher", being a neologism in English (as wiedźmin is in Polish) arguably describes better the spirit of Geralt's profession.
In the Witcher fictional universe, "witcher" was a derogatory term constructed from the word "witch" (an exact translation of Polish word "wiedźma") and used by the sorcerers to describe males with limited magical ability.
Setting and storyEdit
Both short stories and novels are widely claimed by fans to be blockbusters of Polish fantasy. Geralt's stories are praised for their slightly ironic sense of humor and subtle links to modern culture (e.g. one of the wizards taking part in the Gathering of the Wizards is constantly complaining about "ecological" issues). Moreover, quite contrary to the classical fantasy scheme, there is no black-white partitioning. On the other hand, Geralt's world is not a typical dark-fantasy (where all characters are more or less evil). Sapkowski tries to emphasize the scale of grays in everyone (e.g. one of the local rulers engaged in incestous relation with own sister shows as caring father — at least according to Geralt's world standards).
The Blood of Elves series proper consists of the five novels about Geralt, in which Sapkowski links together the plotlines begun in the short stories, and adds new ones. Apart from Geralt himself, another central character is Princess Ciri. Their story is set against the background of the struggle of the Northern Kingdoms against the Nilfgaardian Empire.
Comic books Edit
- Droga bez powrotu (The Road with No Return, based on the short story "Droga, z której się nie wraca")
- Geralt (based on the short story "Wiedźmin")
- Mniejsze zło (Lesser Evil, based on a short story of the same title)
- Ostatnie życzenie (The Last Wish, based on a short story of the same title)
- Granica możliwości (The Limits of possibility, based on a short story of the same title)
- Zdrada (Betrayal, based on an "unused idea for a short story")
Currently, CD Projekt is preparing another comic book series, based on the three most important short stories: Kwestia ceny (A Matter of Price), Miecz przeznaczenia (Sword of Destiny) and Coś więcej (Something More), as well as the novels.
Film and televisionEdit
The Hexer is the international title of both a Wiedźmin movie (2001) and television series (2002) directed by Marek Brodzki, written by Michał Szczerbic, and produced by Lew Rywin. The role of Geralt was played by Michał Żebrowski, and the music was composed by Grzegorz Ciechowski. The film was essentially the then-unreleased TV series chopped into about 2 hours, and received very poor reviews from both fans and critics.
The 13-episode TV series came out the following year. The series was much more coherent than the confusing movie, but was still considered a failure. The TV series has been unofficially released with English subtitles on the Internet.
In 2001 a pen and paper role-playing game called Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni (The Witcher: A Game of Imagination), based on Sapkowski's books, was published by MAG.
Computer games Edit
A 2007 computer role-playing game based on Sapkowski's saga called The Witcher was developed by CD Projekt, and was released in Europe on October 26, and the US on October 30. It was advertised far more than its predecessor, and although it was CD Projekt's first game, it was received very well by reviewers in both the EU and the US, and was considered very successful. CD Projekt utilized the large gap between the graphical capabilities of high-end PC hardware and the then current generation of consoles to provide a gaming experience beyond what consoles could support at the time.
Mobile phone gameEdit
The Witcher: Crimson Trail (Polish: Wiedźmin: Krwawy Szlak), also known as The Witcher Mobile is a mobile phone action game created developed by Breakpoint on the license from CD Projekt. It features Geralt in his youth as a promising young student, has just completed his training to become an elite monster slayer – a witcher.
Two card games based on CD Projekt's The Witcher computer game have been designed by Kuźnia Gier. One, Wiedźmin: Przygodowa Gra Karciana (The Witcher: Adventure Cardgame) has been published by Kuźnia Gier and is being sold in Polish gaming stores, while the other, Wiedźmin: Promocyjna Gra Karciana (The Witcher Promo Card Game) is a simpler game added to the collector's edition of The Witcher in some countries.
The Witcher: Versus is a Flash-based multiplayer fighting browser game, developed for CD Projekt RED by one2tribe and launched in 2008. The game has you create a character from one of three classes and challenge other players to deadly battles. When you first sign up for Versus, which is tied into your thewitcher.com forum account if you have one, you choose from one of three character classes: Witcher, Sorceress and Frightener.
- Although the games (both role-playing and computer ones) are based on Sapkowski's saga, they are in fact non-canon.
|The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski|
|Short story collections|
|Wiedźmin (obsolete) | The Last Wish | Miecz przeznaczenia (The Sword of Destiny) | Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna (Something Ends, Something Begins)|
|Blood of Elves | Times of Contempt | Baptism of Fire | Wieża Jaskółki (The Tower of the Swallow) | Pani Jeziora (The Lady of the Lake)|
|Wiedźmin (graphic novels) | The Hexer (movie & TV series) | Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni (PnP RPG) | The Witcher] (video game) | The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (video game) | The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (video game)|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Witcher. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Witcher Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|