Season 2 originally had more flashbacks depicting Eskel with Geralt, according to Lauren Hissrich, showrunner for The Witcher. Netflix’s acclaimed dark fantasy series, starring Henry Cavill as the Witcher Geralt and Basil Eidenbenz as his close friend Eskel, is based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s novel series of the same name about a monster hunter bound in destiny.
Season 2 of The Witcher begins to dive deeper into Geralt’s and the other characters’ personal experiences, investigating links from the books that may not be obvious from the equally popular video game adaptations.
Eskel and Geralt were close friends in every version of The Witcher, to the point that they could be termed, brothers. Because Eskel was raised in the School of the Wolf with Geralt to be a witcher, when Geralt finds Eskel at Kaer Morhen in season 2, episode 2, “Kaer Morhen,” viewers immediately recognise that something is awry based on Geralt’s reaction.
Unfortunately, Eskel has been infected by a leshy, a species of a forest creature, and Geralt must kill his companion in order to safeguard their mentor. While Eskel appears more frequently in the novels and video games, fans of Netflix’s The Witcher are only given a brief look at his and Geralt’s friendship.
In a lengthy Twitter conversation this week, Hissrich addressed Eskel’s character in Season 2 and discussed the writers’ reasons for his brief stint on the programme. More flashbacks were planned for The Witcher season 2, according to Hissrich, emphasising Eskel and Geralt’s former friendship. The writers wanted to use those flashbacks to emphasise the magnitude of Geralt’s sacrifice in killing Eskel. “I hope to return to them in the future,” she says. The following is a tweet from Hissrich:
While The Witcher does an excellent job of understanding its source material, when novels are converted for television, they typically lose part of their story’s richness. Because the speed of the two mediums differs, showrunners must strike a balance between conveying information and keeping viewers’ attention. Hissrich’s remarks highlight some of the issues that writers must examine in order to maintain that balance.
If the writers wanted to explore Geralt’s family ties, some fans may ask why Eskel’s flashbacks were omitted. After all, Eskel is Geralt’s younger brother. What better way to investigate Geralt’s relationship with his daughter than to delve into his past? To keep that balance in The Witcher season 2, the authors evidently thought that some of Eskel and Geralt’s background needed to be trimmed out, but it doesn’t imply those flashbacks won’t ever be seen on screen. Audiences will have to wait and see what Hissrich and the rest of the Witcher team have planned for season 3.