The Witcher is a multimedia franchise of books, video games, television series, and movies based around the written works of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. - Witcher Wiki

I'm interested in trying out this universe.

However, I like to fully get the whole canon (which is what attracts me to complicated universes).

As such, I am somewhat deterred from Witcher by the worry that in order I would have to play the Witcher video games (which - as a non-gamer - irked me to no end about Star Wars EU. God bless Wookieepedia and its little frequently inaccurate heart).

As such:

Is there any meaningful material in "Witcher" canon that requires[1] playing games to learn and isn't also covered in books/movies/TV?

By that I mean, either universe rules, or specific important events that affect continuity or character story, etc....

[1] ...assuming I don't cheat and read that canon data off of linked Wiki :)

  • 2
    From what I understand of the franchise, it all fits together fairly well. You may not miss important plot details by not playing the games, but at the same time you wouldn't be experiencing THOSE events in the life of Geralt. Personally, I highly recommend the books, the Polish(?) TV series, and the games.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 19:09
  • 2
    The first question in answering this would be, if the games are actually regarded canon and how one would define canon. To my knowledge Sapkowski wasn't involved so much in creating the games (neither the movie/TV-show), so their status as even relevant for canon stays debatable in the first place. Just because that wiki site calls it a "multimedia franchise" doesn't mean it has a clearly defined set of rules for what is canon and what isn't, it's far from Star Wars in this regard. If in doubt I wouldn't call anything canon that isn't in the books...
    – TARS
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 12:11
  • ...But that being said, while having read most of the books and played both games, and watched the moviefied version of the Polish TV-show (and ejoyed all of it), I don't really have a clear answer on this either. But interesting question. That being said the actual story of the games is set after the events of the books and references book events now and then, but regarding universe rules and history, I'm not sure they are adding so much in this regard at all, since they would rather tread lightly if the author isn't involved. The TV-show is an adaptation of the first two (short story) books.
    – TARS
    Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 12:14
  • 2
    The TV Series is probably THE worst thing that ever happened to the otherwise great Witcher franchise. Just look at this -cyfraplus.pl/ms_galeria/galeria/35254_4.jpg . I can really recommend the books tho. Story told in the first 2 games has no real direct connection to the books besides the characters.
    – Chris K.
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 11:41
  • @ChrisK. - having watched the "Red Cynic"'s takedown of the TV series, it sounds like you're correct. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


Games are unofficial continuation of the books and technically not canon. They were made after most of the books and Sapkowski didn't even play them, much less helped in their creation. You won't lose anything from books because of not playing, but they are, overall, pretty good.

On the other hand, the movie was bad and the series, well, less bad, and they weren't canon - just low budget adaptations.

The game - with all due respect to it, but let's finally say it openly - is not an 'alternative version', nor a sequel. The game is a free adaptation containing elements of my work; an adaptation created by different authors [...]

Adaptations - although they can in a way relate to the story told in the books - can never aspire to the role of a follow-up. They can never add prologues nor prequels, let alone epilogues and sequels.

From an interview to Andrzej Sapkowski.

Update: There was a new movie planned (source 1, source 2), but a series is produced by Netflix instead (source 3). Unfortunately, I'm afraid Netflix isn't doing much better job, then authors of the earlier TV series adaptation :/

  • I think that 2017 film is bust - at least for 2017. There has been no cast revealed, no script, nothing. Presumably, Platige are working on it, but IMHO, if they don't cast Mads Mikkelsen and develop a decent story, Witcher should best stay unadapted to silver screen. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 21:17
  • 1
    @Gallifreyan Yeah, I guess that it won't be that soon. Even maincast is rather in sphere of speculation, but I don't feel it needs superstars, que sera, sera...
    – Mithoron
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 22:44
  • 1
    Yasss! Series! And Sapkowski will be advising them! Dream come true Commented May 17, 2017 at 16:24

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