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Geralt – A Perfect F...

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Geralt – A Perfect Fantasy Hero

He was created behind the Iron Curtain in the dark times of the Cold War. The year was 1986 when a Polish monthly fantasy magazine called Fantastyka announced a competition for the best short story written by the readers. Andrzej Sapkowski, a translator and trained economist was among the ones who accepted the challenge, as his son encouraged him strongly to do so. He turned to legends and tales of the old. Inspired by them he created the world where the so-called Witchers – who are mutated super-humans not only with extraordinary strength, but also some magical powers – fight monsters and protect people for a living. The main protagonist of this writing was the Witcher called Geralt of Rivia, who was soon to walk his path through volumes of books, TV and cinema screens and the digital world of computer games.

Out Of The Dark Times

Sapkowski’s story was the second runner up in the 1986 competition, however, by public demand the author soon had to come up with the follow-up to his writing debut. Eventually, as the Iron Curtain collapsed, the first five stories published in Fantastyka in the years 1986–1990 were released together in a book simply called Wiedźmin (The Witcher) in 1990. More stories were released in the next volumes from 1992 (Miecz przeznaczenia – The Sword Of Destiny) and 1993 (Ostatnie życzenie – The Last Wish). Finally in 1994 Andrzej Sapkowski gave The Witcher's fans his first full-length novel Krew elfów (Blood Of Elves). Along with the further four 90s novels (Time Of Contempt, Baptism Of Fire, The Tower Of The Swallow and The Lady Of The Lake) it creates the canonical Witcher Saga.

In the same decade the Witcher also became a comic book hero with a series of six comics created on the basis of Sapkowski’s stories and originally released in Poland between 1993 and 1995. Two decades later Dark Horse Comics picked up The Witcher franchise for the US market. Those comic books have been released since 2014.

Into The Limelight

At the dawn of the new millennium Geralt of Rivia made his debut on the screen – both the big and the small one. The rights to The Witcher were acquired by a Polish film production company yet in 1988 (when Sapkowski’s stories were available only in the Fantastyka magazine); allegedly the first draft of the movie script was written in 1989 but nothing really came out of it. It was only in the year 2000 when the production started in Poland. The result was both a theatrical release (2001) and its extended version in the form of a TV series (2002) – both simply called Wiedźmin. The main character was played by a very popular Polish actor Michał Żebrowski.

The true international breakthrough for Geralt came with the release of The Witcher games trilogy developed by a Polish company called CD PROJEKT RED. The first game in the series, called simply The Witcher, was launched in 2007. Its story takes place a few years after the events from Sapkowski’s main book series. The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences gave it a nomination for the Role-Playing Game of the Year during the 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (the award eventually went to Mass Effect). 2011 saw the release of the sequel titled The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – a political thriller, where Geralt is falsely accused of murdering King Foltest of Temeria and finds himself in the middle of a very dangerous intrigue. In the third installment The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Geralt has to find his adoptive daughter Ciri and fight spectral riders called the Wild Hunt, who threaten to destroy the world with cataclysm called the White Frost.

The trilogy was a huge success around the world and spawned numerous side projects and products. Another breakthrough was the 2020 Netflix series The Witcher with Henry Cavill as Geralt.

The series presented Geralt of Rivia to those who somehow had not known him from Sapkowski’s books or the trilogy of games. It seemed that nothing could go wrong. However, after three seasons Henry Cavill – a dedicated fan of the books – quit, allegedly disagreeing with the creative direction of the series. He was replaced with Liam Hemsworth for seasons four and five.

And what is your experience with Geralt of Rivia and the world from Andrzej Sapkowski’s books? Have you seen the Polish film production or the Netflix series? Are you familiar with the novels or perhaps you have played the CD PROJEKT RED games? Well, we cannot help you with the books, but we can actually offer you the best deal for Netflix and the games. Don’t waste your chance to become one of the greatest fantasy heroes in history!