The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a well-known action RPG, developed by CD Projekt Red, which draws aspects of the characters, myths and plot of the fantasy novel series The witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski. However, the game differs from the books especially when it comes to the characterization of key characters and the emphasis and omission of certain plot points. The witcher is a popular franchise, having recent Netflix productions including an eponymous series starring Henry Cavill and a spin-off animated film, The wolf’s nightmare, with the voice of Theo James.

Wild hunt follows two previous games: The witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which all take place following the events of the main saga. Throughout the game’s trilogy, players control Geralt of Rivia as he takes on quests as a supernatural monster hunter, known as the witcher. The games are considered a kind of fan fiction sequel to the witcher book and the events it contains are not canon. However, the game continues the theme of the fate of the books; a fate that will always reunite Geralt with Cirilla, an orphan princess from the kingdom of Cintra and an extremely powerful magical being. Known as Ciri, she and Geralt are required to protect themselves through Fate and the Law of Surprise, getting lost and frequently found in books and games.


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Despite being an important main character in the franchise, Ciri in The Witcher 3 is quite different from his book itself. The Witcher 3‘s Ciri appears to be a watered-down version, portrayed as a strong young woman learning about her powers and position in the world, who often puts others before her. However, in the books she is a bit more off balance.

How Ciri Is Different in The Witcher Books

Ciri in The Witcher 3

At one point, Ciri joins a group of bandits and participates in the murder of innocent people. By excluding these traits of Ciri in The witcher games, CD Projekt Red cleverly made Ciri’s character more likable and approachable. Another huge difference from the witcher books is Ciri’s relationship with Yennefer de Vengerberg, powerful witch and lover of Geralt; The book Ciri is pretty much Yennefer’s adopted daughter, but this close, loving relationship isn’t really touched on in any play dialogue. Yenn’s emotional and motherly guidance is certainly lacking. The Witcher 3 as she acted as a source of solace and guidance for the struggling princess, relating to her when she learned to control intense magical abilities.

How Triss is Different in The Witcher Books

The character of Triss Merigold is portrayed on a whole different path in The Witcher 3 as the saga of the book. Triss is a powerful potion-making mage and is ironically allergic to magic potions herself. In the books, she helps train Ciri until she realizes her powers are too complex and summons her good friend, Yennefer, to take over. Triss briefly associates with Geralt despite being aware of his stormy relationship with Yenn, an act the witcher regrets. Triss is a major character in the first two games, but takes a back seat in The Witcher 3 after the introduction of Yennefer.

Game Triss departs from the book as she is romantic in all three games, while Book Triss’ unrequited love for Geralt causes considerable tension. Seems like an odd choice on the part of the developers considering the fate that surrounds Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri as family, and seems to have only been added to give Witcher 3 romantic options players.

How the wild hunt is different in the witcher books

The major antagonist of The Witcher 3 is the wild hunt; Based on European folklore, these supernatural spectral horsemen are an omen of war, pestilence and other evil things. In The witcher franchise, they are a group of Aen Elle elves, and in The Witcher 3 they hunt Ciri to use her immense magical powers. Given their central role in the games, one would expect this group to maintain a substantial position on the books. However, this is not the case because while Book Ciri meets their leader, Eredin, Book Geralt never interacts with Wild Hunt and they are only briefly seen.

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Another surprising departure from the books is the nature of Geralt’s career. Hunting for monsters is not as lucrative a profession as the game claims it is. Book Geralt often ruminates on the fact that he hates being a witcher, citing that he struggles to find work and often finds himself hungry and homeless. However, in the games there is an abundance of monsters and a lot of coins to claim.

How Geralt Is Different in The Witcher Books

Geralt in The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

Book Geralt also operates under the code that he will only kill monsters that pose an immediate threat to humans; if Geralt finds intelligence and the monster can be taken into account, Geralt will forfeit the bounty contract and try to help the creature limit its harmful ways. The Witcher 3: Wild hunt gives the player the option to deflect Geralt from his code and kill as many monsters as he wants. Additionally, Game Geralt makes extensive use of signs in combat, which are basically magical abilities used to ignite, push, and trick Jedi NPCs, among other things. However, in the books the signs are seen as crude spells that anyone can learn and Geralt only uses them as a last resort, preferring to use his weapons instead. That being said, the witcher the books reveal that only certain monsters require the use of a silver sword to damage them, unlike the game which emphasizes this weapon for monstrous enemies.

Perhaps the most striking difference between The Witcher 3 game and books is – (Huge spoiler coming soon) – that Geralt and Yennefer are (probably) dead. As the games take place after the last book, The Lady of the Lake, which describes how the witcher and his witch lover met their end, it’s unclear how they come alive in the games. Ciri is an ancestral blood child, a prophesied being known as a source capable of manipulating time and space. In the final witcher book, she escapes into an alternate Arthurian reality in which she recounts the death of her mother and father to Galahad, a knight of the Round Table. So, it could be that the games take place in a lifetime after Ciri’s creation, or maybe Ciri managed to heal or resuscitate her adoptive family.

Whatever fans choose to believe, it is nevertheless a departure from the bittersweet end of the books. Again, The Witcher 3 refers to this as Geralt states “I used to be bold and brash like you. Then I took a fork in the stomach. I almost died. “This is exactly how Geralt’s death is described in The Lady of the Lake to the Rivia pogrom, dying defending his nonhuman friends from violent human riots (and adds a reference to the Skyrim adventurer meme). So while it differs enough from the books to include dead characters with no absolute explanation, CD Projekt Red does provide some subtle Easter Eggs for the enjoyment of book fans.

Globally, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is true to the books when it comes to its geopolitics, racism issues, and myth. The game surprisingly deviates when it comes to characterization and plot points, perhaps the most surprising being Geralt’s appearance. The white-haired, yellow-eyed witcher in the books isn’t quite Henry Cavill, and is actually described as “ugly” /, “skinny” and possessing an “unpleasant voice”. His in-game scars are well healed and aesthetic, making the protagonist look like a tough guy; The scars in the book Geralt are described as nervous and hideous. The book Geralt doesn’t even have his unique eye scar! Nonetheless, there is no doubt that Geralt of Rivia, whose recognizable image has now moved into the Netflix adaptation.

Next: The Witcher 3: Pros And Cons Of Choosing Yennefer

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