The Witcher’s Timeline Guide and The Showrunner’s Reason Behind It

Showrunner Lauren Hissrich also explains how she had come up with that surprising element of the show.

The Witcher was finally released on Netflix last December, and by now many have watched what people dub as the next Game of Thrones. But before you read further, be advised that there will be major spoilers ahead.

While many of The Witcher's viewers were just delighted after watching the first season, some voiced out their confusion regarding one of the show's surprising elements: its multiple timelines. Finally, Netflix steps forward to help those still struggling to understand The Witcher through a helpful infographic. Check it out below:

Based on Andrzej Sapkowski's short stories and book The Last Wish, Netflix's The Witcher follows three main characters: Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Princess Ciri of Cintra. Through these three, viewers were able to have a quick grasp on how this fictional fantasy world called The Continent worked. Geralt introduced viewers to the life of a Witcher, a monster-hunting mutant; Yennefer gave us a glimpse of this world's magical aspect; while Princess Ciri gave us a closer look at its warring kingdoms.

In the first few episodes, we'd think that we're following three characters from the different parts of The Continent, but as it turns out, their stories were happening in different timelines as well. If laid out chronologically, the transformation of Yennefer happened before Geralt's story in Blaviken began, while the beginning of Ciri's story comes much farther after the meeting of Geralt and Yennefer.

The Witcher's showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich

Back when The Witcher star Henry Cavill and showrunner Lauren Hissrich visited the Philippines to promote the Netflix series, we got to sit with Lauren in a roundtable interview where she explained how she came up with the alternating timelines of the show.

"It started out as, I needed to solve a logic problem, which is that I wanted to start with The Last Wish [and the] short stories, but Yennefer and Ciri don't have a great presence in those stories. In fact, Ciri's not even born through most of them, [but] at the same time, I knew I wanted Yennefer and Ciri to be big characters. I wanted to give them a foundation and grow them as multidimensional as Geralt was" says Lauren. She went on to say how this presented a problem, as their stories did not happen at the same time.


"I actually had one of those shower moments where I was like, washing my hair and I jumped out and I said to my husband, 'I have this thought that I'm going to tell all three stories and they're all going to take place over different amounts of time. Yennefer's story is about 70 years, Geralt's is about 20, Ciri's is about two weeks, but they're all going to happen concurrently.' Is that confusing? And my husband's like, yes, that's confusing! But I felt like we could do it." She added.

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Lauren also shared how she rewatched Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which also tells a story through three concurrent timelines. As she was well aware, Nolan's films can be confusing but she believed that the audiences were smart enough to figure things out: "It's my hope that people reach episode four, realize what's happening, and go back to episode one, because there are small hints all throughout that these things are happening in different timelines."

The Witcher is still streaming on Netflix. For more updates, check out its official social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Homestream image courtesy of Netflix.


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The Witcher
Produced by
Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
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