Season 2 of The Witcher has been a huge success for Netflix. Already, a huge proportion of the fanbase has devoured the eight new episodes.
But, as with any fandom, there has been plenty of heated discussion on social media about the ways in which The Witcher was altered from the book series on which it is based.
In particular, there was one death that has gotten plenty of fans riled up.
If you have not yet watched Season 2 of The Witcher in its entirety, now might be the time to check out another less spoiler-y article on The Witcher. Take, for example, that moment when Joey Batey got a mouse stuck in his chest hair or the vastly enormous amount of viewing hours fans have already dedicated to Season 2.
However, if you have seen all of the episodes, or want spoilers ahead of time, then please proceed.
The fate of one witcher was sealed
In the books, Eskel (portrayed by Basil Eidenbenz in Netflix’s adaptation) is a witcher who survives much further into the series than he did in Season 2 of The Witcher. Even the games based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s books also show Eskel in the third installment.
However, in Netflix’s adaptation, Eskel is infected by a monster in Episode 2. The character then transforms into a dangerous beast and Geralt, (Henry Cavill) along with the other witchers at Kaer Morhen, have to kill him.
To say that this caused some grief among fans is a gross understatement. Many took to social media in order to voice their opinions on how wrong Eskel was done by Season 2 of The Witcher.
The Witcher showrunner speaks out about Eskiel’s death
Now that the dust has somewhat settled — will it ever, though? — The Witcher’s showrunner, Lauren S. Hissrich, has spoken out on The Witcher Unlocked about Eskel’s death.
Hissrich explained that in the first draft of Season 2 Eskel was not going to die. Instead, they were to introduce a new witcher who would be killed off.
“In all honesty, the very first version of the script that we wrote, [there] was a brand new witcher that we’d never met before, we’d never heard of, and all of a sudden we were like, ‘Oh, our audience is going to meet Coen and Lambert and Eskel and, you know, John. Who’s gonna die? John is going to die.'”
Because of this, the showrunner reasoned that it would be better if a beloved character died instead of the set-up of a new witcher that was, essentially, a redshirt.
“So we thought about it really hard,” Hissrich explained.
“And I know that there are fans who love Eskel and feel like, ‘Why would we do that?’ But honestly, his death is what changes everything for Geralt and I think it propels Geralt’s need to figure out what’s going on with Ciri and to do it fast because he knows he’s going to risk losing her and his brothers if he doesn’t.”
The Witcher Unlocked aired after Season 2 dropped and gave viewers not only an in-depth dive into the latest installment of The Witcher, but included deleted scenes and details about the upcoming third season.
Season 2 of The Witcher is currently available to stream on Netflix.