Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich And Ciri Herself Freya Allen Talk About Netflix’s THE WITCHER At MCM London Comic Con | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich And Ciri Herself Freya Allen Talk About Netflix’s THE WITCHER At MCM London Comic Con

20 December 2019

Based on the best-selling fantasy series, Netflix’s THE WITCHER is an epic tale of fate and family. Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.

This past October MCM London Comic Con at London’s eXcel Centre played host to the panel for Netflix’s THE WITCHER, attended by Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich And Ciri Herself Freya Allen and moderated by the wonderful Claire Lim.

During the panel, they showed EXCLUSIVE CLIPS that Netflix asked us not to publish, to check out the series as a whole, head over to Netflix for all 8 episodes of season 1 NOW!


How does it feel? Because this is the best place for you to be to promote The Witcher. How does it feel to be amongst the UK fans?

Lauren: I’ll let you start...

Freya: Exciting. They’re less crazy (both laugh)

May I ask, how crazy the San Diego fans are?

Lauren: San Diego was wild. I mean it was our first Comic Con for both of us and I think (Freya interrupts)

Freya: I think everything was probably more amplified because of that, because we were “oh my gosh” we’re right in the deep end, and we’d never done anything like that.

Lauren: I think as we were heading out they said “oh there’s about 7,000 people in the audience.

Oh my goodness. Okay. So this is nothing? This is fine?

Lauren: No, this is amazing. I can’t actually see the back there but it looks like it’s pretty full.

Cool. And thank you guys for coming.

Lauren: Thank you.


Tell me, the show isn’t even out yet, there’s been quite a lot of hype online. What are the kind of common questions and things that you’ve been reading online about the show already?

Lauren: I mean probably the thing that I get asked the most is about where The Witcher will sit in sort of the pantheon of fantasy shows, and I think fantasy on television right now is amazing and I’ll just say it; Game of Thrones, really great show that we’re huge fans of too. And we get asked a lot too if we’re going to replace Game of Thrones and I think Game of Thrones is irreplaceable and I also think The Witcher is it’s own exciting thing and I think it’s going to have its own place.

Absolutely. And it deserves its own place as well. There’s room for everything.

Lauren: There is room for everything.


Now, Lauren I want to ask you because you’ve worked on lots of amazing shows from The Umbrella Academy to Daredevil and everything else in between, were there any similarities or differences coming to work on The Witcher? What did you bring from those experiences?

Lauren: Well, Daredevil was my first show with Netflix, so that was exciting because they’re such great creative partners and really allow people like me to have a lot of creative freedom in what I do, which is exciting. The big thing that I learned on Daredevil, Defenders and Umbrella Academy is about adaptation and about taking something that has a huge fanbase and that people really really love in its existing form and translating it to a new form, and the changes that have to be made between a comic book and television or between a beloved book series and television. With comic books I think it’s great because they have a real economy of language so you have to kind of fill in the gaps and with The Witcher there’s eight books, there’s not a lot of gaps that need to be filled; it’s a tonne of words like 4,000 pages of them. So, you know, (we went?) straight to the books, our source material, and it was really fun to adapt because there is so much to do.

Quite a lot.

Lauren: Quite a lot to do (laughs)

Now, I’m in the same position as the audience right now, because I have seen nothing in advance.



Oh, shivers down my spine. I love a good action scene as well. So explain what’s happening in this scene because there’s some bad ass moments going on.

Lauren: Well, there’s a guy named Geralt, Henry Cavill don’t know if anyone’s heard of him, (Claire laughs) our amazing Geralt. The great thing about scenes like that is that Henry does all of his own stunts, sometimes to our dismay, (we say “just let someone else do it”?) “don’t hurt yourself”, he does everything so anytime you see Geralt on screen it’s actually him. This was a fight that was shot over, I think, about 5 days total and we’re in a wedding sequence here and, of course, there’s a hedgehog man as there is in good wedding sequences and this is Geralt’s first sort of run in with destiny in the show and it really changes his journey for the entire rest of the season.


Now, should have asked this at the very start, for those of us who don’t know, tell us what a “Witcher” actually is, let’s talk about what a “Witcher” is. Can you explain?

Lauren: We were laughing earlier because this question was asked at San Diego Comic Con and if you asked me what a “Witcher” is it is a monster hunter. Thank god they asked Henry what a “Witcher” was because he gave about a five minute diatribe about growing up and children and mutagenic alchemy (Freya interrupts)

Freya: I was like “what is he on about?”

Lauren: What is mutagenic alchemy again? Geralt’s a monster hunter and “Witchers” were created by Mages in order to solve the monster problem on the continent ad what ended up happening was they are now almost as hated as the monsters themselves. So they’re a really marginalised piece of society.


Now, you’ve talked a little bit about adapting the book to screen, you mentioned that there’s eight books right? I mean that’s a lot to get through to really squeeze into what we see on screen. So where there any difficulties or anything that was easy, like, how do you go about even bringing eight books to the screen, it’s quite a task, where do you start?

Lauren: Yeah no it was not easy. Was any part of what we did easy? I don’t think so.

Freya: No.

Lauren: There are eight books, obviously I read all of them that’s where I started. To me, it was really about, the books start with a series of short stories called “The Last Wish” which is my favourite book of the series and I knew that’s where I wanted to start because that’s really it’s the foundation of the world, it’s where you get to understand what a “Witcher” is, the monsters that they’re hunting and really the political climate of the continent.

But there was a big problem for me in “The Last Wish” which is that Ciri, who Freya plays, and Yennefer, who Anya Chalotra plays, are not huge characters in it and I really wanted them to be big characters in the series from the beginning, I didn’t want to wait till season three to meet them. So one of the first changes that I made was that I really elevated the stories of Ciri and Yennefer and I brought them more to the forefront and what I think is great, and Freya can speak to this, is is that you get to meet Ciri, for instance, for who she is and her world and what it’s like to live as a princess in Cintra and you get to meet her before she ever interacts with any of the other characters, and she is a fully formed character by the time she starts changing again when she starts meeting the other characters.






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