The hole left in the hearts of the world's Game of Thrones fans might soon be filled by The Witcher, as the showrunner is promising that any sex or violence in the show will be integral to the plot.
The Witcher TV series is based on the fantasy novels of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, though the series is perhaps more known for the video game adaptations of the same novels that were developed by CD Projekt Red. The Witcher video games are known for dealing with adult themes, as well as for copious amounts of bloodshed and nudity, so the fans have been expecting the same from the live-action adaptation.
The showrunner of The Witcher is Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, who discussed the adult themes in the show during an interview with Entertainment Weekly at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. Hissrich was asked whether The Witcher would be a PG-13 show or whether it would be closer to something like Game of Thrones.
"It’s a very adult show. I will add it was important to me that any violence or sex drives the story and is not there just for shock value. I think audiences are really savvy and know when we’re doing stuff to just shock them versus do stuff that really drives the story."
The Witcher video games have been filled with violence since the beginning, as Geralt's role often involves conflict with both nefarious humans and wicked monsters, which usually ends in bloodshed. The series has also had a bizarre history with its sexual content. It's fair to say that the series used to be known for the ridiculous "Sex Cards" that the players were given after romantic encounters in the first game in the series, rather than for the quality of its gameplay. The second and third games in the series changed all of that, even if the sex scenes were equally as awkward.
Game of Thrones led to the idea that extreme levels of sex and violence might make an unconventional concept more appealing. No one would have guessed that a show about the political machinations of a fantasy kingdom would become such a cultural phenomenon, and there were some who attributed its success to the amount of sexual encounters that took place across the series. The Witcher has the same pedigree of adult content as the A Song of Ice and Fire series, so it should come as little surprise that the TV show adaptation would emulate its source material in that way.
The Witcher is due to be released on Netflix later this year.