Netflix’s The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has assured viewers there will be LGBTQ representation in its second season (via Reddit).
The adaptation has been well received, with praise for its performances, stunning fight choreography, and sumptuous set designs. It even convinced a lot of people to try out or return to CD Projekt Red’s series, with over one million players across all platforms dropping into The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in December 2019. However, the games and the show are like chalk and cheese, and that’s on purpose. Chucking fantasy tropes for “grounded horror,” Hissrich stressed that the show has “authentic style,” which serves to underscore the “really human stories” within. “A superb video game already exists, and I really didn’t want our show to look like it,” added the showrunner.
The Witcher series of books is incredibly popular, and as this is the second adaptation made for the small screen, plenty of people had plenty of questions for Hissrich in a Reddit AMA. The second season, thought to be targeting a 2021 release window, will be “more linear” and bring “fun new characters” into the fold. Regarding the dynamics between the characters who contrast and conflict with one another, Hissrich revealed that personal stories are key to enlivening the narratives in the book. “I ask all the writers to bring in their life experiences to the room, so many of the things you see in S1—Yennefer’s relationship with her father, and then her growing relationship with Tissaia for instance, or Ciri’s affection with Mousesack leading to her welcoming Geralt as a new father-figure—are not only based on the books but also our own experiences with our parents and our children. We want to be as honest and truthful as we can about how humans treat other humans,” she explained.
The diversity of the show’s cast was criticised as “randomly throwing around poc here and there with no origins or background,” and Hissrich provided the reasoning for the racial and ethnic diversity of the extras. “Because it’s 2020, and because the real world is a very big and diverse place, we made a different assumption on the show. That people don't pay attention to skin color—not because they’re all the same color, but because the bigger differences are about species, not skin. If you went to your local supermarket and there were people with horns and tails, do you really think you’d be paying attention to how much melanin is in their skin?” she answered.
And finally, one viewer asked the showrunner if we would see LGBTQ themes in the second season, to which Hissrich responded positively. “One of my favorite things about the books is that they are full of subversion,” she affirmed. “Yes, we’re gonna represent.” Given the success of the show, this is wonderful news, and avows The Continent as a multiracial and non-normative fantasy world. If anyone’s got an issue with this fact and “realism”, well, there are giant scorpions and magical portals in this same setting. The people who populate it have much, much, much bigger priorities than worrying about who’s kissing who.