The Witcher’s showrunner says it was ‘wrong’ for the series to erase Geralt’s disability

Viral Twitter thread has prompted Hissrich to reconsider how the series portrays Geralt’s disability

Annabel Nugent
Tuesday 17 November 2020 13:14 GMT
The Witcher trailer

The Witcher’s showrunner has said that she is “excited to dig into” Geralt of Rivia’s disability in future seasons.

Netflix’s hit fantasy series – an adaptation of the books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski – is scheduled to return to screens in 2021, with Henry Cavill reprising his role as Geralt.

The series’ showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has opened up about her plans to explore Cavill’s character’s disability in the show’s subsequent seasons.

In the original books, Geralt sustains an injury that he never fully recovers from. The character continues to suffer chronic pain that leaves him finding tasks such as riding a horse increasingly difficult.

Hissrich’s comments were prompted by a viral Twitter thread posted by professional disability consultant @Mustangsart who detailed the importance of Geralt’s disability in the books.

The original books see Geralt suffer chronic pain following a severe injury

They wrote: “That isn’t something you see very often in fantasy novels or the genre as a whole and as someone whose disabilities include osteoarthritis and nerve damage, it meant the world to see someone like me be a famed and powerful monster hunter.”

“It’s so very important that media normalises disabled heroes/protagonists and stops erasing the disabilities of those who were already established as being disabled,” they said. “It’s damaging.”

Hissrich shared the thread on her own Twitter, adding: “I haven’t stopped thinking about this thread. I’ve read these books a dozen times, these specific sections, and I’ve not thought of it further than: ‘Geralt has some pain, onto the next thing.’

“I’ve been wrong. I’m excited to dig into this more. To add this layer to our hero.”

In a similar vein, the 2012 film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s popular books The Hunger Games was criticised for omitting both Peeta’s (played by Josh Hutcherson) leg amputation, as well as the treatment Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) receives after she becomes deaf in her left ear.

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