The Witcher: 8 Hidden Details For Superfans
Who doesn’t want to find out all the secrets behind the iconic bath scene in The Witcher? Which transformational symbols did you probably miss about Yennefer? And was “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” originally… a rap song? Here are 8 hidden details you probably missed when first watching The Witcher.
1. Not a simple Daisy
Cast your mind back to the first time you saw Yennefer. Remember what she was doing? Yennefer was gently picking up a daisy that had been tossed aside, later being brutally bullied for doing nothing at all. It's not a big secret that daisies symbolize innocence and purity, which is exactly how we can characterize Yen at the beginning.
But that's not all! If you pay attention to Yennefer's first test in Aretuza, you'll notice that in order to make the rock levitate, she has to use - yes, you guessed it - a daisy! And that has its own hidden meaning. Just like how the flower dies as a result of the spell, Yennefer's innocence and purity are going to be used up throughout the process of becoming Yen: the continent’s most powerful sorceress. And yet, there's another thing that still bothers fans which you might've also noticed.
Despite the fact that students had to drain energy from the flower to make the rock levitate, we don't really see that rule at work throughout the course of the show. Well, that’s because Yennefer eventually achieved inner balance and had strong control over her powers so she didn't need to drain an external source anymore…
But that wasn't really explained in the series, which makes it look like an unexplained plot hole. And if we're being totally honest, the cost of using magic is wildly inconsistent throughout the entire series. We see how throwing a fireball can kill a person… whereas teleporting doesn't seem to actually hurt anyone at all. All in all, it’s pretty confusing!
2. Adventures of the royal sash
This royal attribute has a long journey throughout the timelines depicted on the show... and most of us probably missed something pretty significant about it. You might have first noticed the sash held by the dying Сalanthe at the very start of the show. It’s especially noticeable in the scene where she tragically throws herself from the window.
And then we see it again in a very short scene at the end of episode four where Mousesack grabs the sash from the Queen's corpse and hides it. By the way, it's not immediately clear what made him do that... Is it a symbolic bit of cloth that must be kept in the family? We don't really get much of an explanation…
Anyway, the journey of the sash continues as we watch how the doppler kills Mousesack and steals it. And finally, Ciri receives it from doppler who is trying to gain the princess' trust. Is that all? No! We see the sash one more time! But in a totally different timeline.
During the ceremony of Pavetta and Duny's marriage, Calanthe binds the hands of the newlyweds together with the very same sash! What a journey for a scrap of fabric! And it might not even be over, should the sash reappear in season two.
3. The voice of Geralt
We should start by telling you that Henry Cavill is a huge fan of the original story by Sapkowski, as well as of the games by CD Projekt Red. That’s why Henry spent hours trying to find the perfect tone for the voice that would suit his favorite character 100%.
‘I wanted to make [the voice] something which carried a lot of weight when you say very little.' Cavill revealed.
Much of his inspiration came from the voice of Doug Cockle, who we hear in the games. And you'll probably agree with me when I say that Cavill has done a great job at working those vocal cords!
One more secret about Geralt's voice is hidden within the Netflix series, though you may not have noticed it if you watched in English. If you watch the Polish dub of the show, though, you might have noticed that the voice of Geralt actually belongs to a “retired” witcher.
Michal Zebrowski was the star of the now somewhat infamous first TV adaptation of The Witcher, created in Poland. And although that version of the show was nowhere near as big a hit as the Netflix adaptation, the actor’s voice was probably one of the strongest and most memorable features.
4. Revealing the timeline
The complicated timeline was a real challenge in the first couple of episodes. But turns out there were dozens of hints throughout that were supposed to help us untangle the knotty problem of the plotlines.
Here are just a few of them. To start, Renfri actually drops a big fat hint in the first episode… She described the same one battle that Cirilla mentioned just a couple of scenes later. In case you forgot, Cirilla was talking about how brave her grandmother was when she was her age and fighting in the battle at Hochebuz.
That must have helped us figure out that there's at least more than two decades’ difference between those timelines. But if you missed that, we got another handy hint as early as the first episode.
Mousesack warns Ciri about the times when girls used to be locked in towers "many years ago" and, again, we hear about this reported as recent fact in a conversation between Geralt and Stregobor. And if you, just like me, failed to connect the dots, there's yet another hint.
Mighty King Foltest, the one who tasks Geralt with killing the Striga, actually appears as a child at the mage's ball in Yennefer’s storyline. But we truly don't believe that you could’ve spotted such a tiny detail on your first watch of those first few episodes. What do you think? Was it all a bit confusing?
5. What went wrong in the iconic bath scene
As an avid fan of the Witcher, Henry Cavill was more than excited to shoot that bathtub scene… as he knew exactly how iconic it would be for fans of the game, of course. And if you compare the two, the shots are very similar to how the scene appears in the game. However, there's one important difference.
Netflix Geralt doesn't put his feet up on the tub... And we know why... Actually, the first thing Henry tried to do was to adopt the exact same pose as Geralt from the game. But he failed! Why’s that then? Here's the answer:
‘When I was getting into that bath I was sitting there thinking “I wonder if anyone knows how much this is going to explode, this particular scene”. I was trying to put my feet up, and I couldn’t - the bath was the wrong shape. But I thought that might have been a bit much as well’
What a shame, though! If the circumstances had been a little bit different, we would have had an even more iconic moment...
6. The costumes reveal the secrets
While some were surprised by the twist where Borch Three Jackdaws turned out to be a dragon, others figured it out from the get-go. But how? Well, the secret was hidden in his costume all along! His human outfit is covered with scales, which is a strong hint about his true identity. And that’s not the only time the showrunners paid that much attention to a character’s costume.
Take the Dryads, for instance. As true forest dwellers, they only use natural materials for their clothes, incorporating real tree bark and even leaves into their Dryad armor. And some of their warrior weapons resemble human bones a bit too convincingly!
But the most exciting wardrobe secrets are probably those ones relating to Yennefer. As we witness her epic transformation from hunchback to the hottest sorceress ever - her costumes are a visual representation of that path. And no, we’re not talking about the obvious change between her sackcloth dress when she was cleaning up after the pigs compared with when she came out as a real sorceress. Even when she’s already a sorceress, her outfits continue to evolve and change.
During her first public appearance after her transformation into a beautiful enchantress, she wears a pretty classy dress. But within a couple of episodes, we can see that her outfit looks a lot more... explicit, very much in tone with the kind of magic she’s weaving. This also represents how confident, powerful and mature she has become as a sorceress.
7. Toss a coin to your witcher
In case you were wondering, there's a good reason why you couldn’t get this song out of your head. In order to craft the perfect catchy meta-pop song, the show’s composers used every trick in the book.
To get that ear-worm effect, they experimented with every possible style and even dabbled in... rap! Fortunately, they settled on a final version somewhere between modern and medieval… which is something we could actually say the same thing about Jaskier himself!
His haircut and overall behavior are more reminiscent of a modern-day hipster than a medieval bard. And that mix between contemporary and classic can also be spotted in the lyrics. It's right there in the first lines:
‘When a humble bard
Graced a ride-along
With Geralt of Rivia
Along came this song’
Well, obviously “Ride along” is closer to contemporary slang. But the next verse tries to get us back to that medieval feel with, frankly speaking, some pretty ridiculous phrases:
‘While the devil’s horns
Minced our tender meat
And so cried the Witcher
He can’t be bleat’
Calling oneself “tender meat” is rather... questionable choice. And “he can't be… bleat” doesn't really make much sense, although we must admit it's a fun idea considering the play on words works as a reference to the goat-man from this episode.
All that creativity made the song about Geralt so irritatingly unforgettable that it now has its own Wikipedia page, along with dozens of covers; including some really fun genre-bending versions like this heavy metal adaptation!
8. The mystery of the Parasites
At the end of the season when the battle of Sodden Hill draws near its climax, things get really brutal. Everything that can be used gets a look in, from unexpected blown-up magic mushrooms to a box of worms.
Speaking of which, when that box crammed full of slithering creatures opens up - we see hundreds of those unpleasant things crawling everywhere. Within a couple of minutes, we see how Sabrina and two other unknown boys betray their allies, as those wicked parasites get in their ears and mess up their minds. Although... how exactly did those magical worms get to them? We don’t really get an answer. But that's only half of the problem. The main question is why the heck did only three worms succeed at finding a host? What's wrong with the rest? Does that mean - the rest of the creepy little worms are just useless? We'll probably never know.