Confused about how to go about The Witcher universe? Well, here is our guide to help you out. Starting with the books, we present to you a detailed chronology that you can follow.
The Witcher is one the most expansive universe there is. And it is quite a popular one too, if we are to go by the numbers too. The games, the popular Netflix series loads of fanfictions and even more everything are rooted in the works of Andrzej Sapkowiski.
The phenomenon that we now call The Witcher started with a book named “Sword of Destiny” published in 1992. It was long before many of the present fans and admirers of the universe were even born.
So in case you are new to this phenomenon it is alright if you are feeling a tad bit overwhelmed, it is completely normal. We are here to help you out of this conundrum.
We are here with how best to navigate The Witcher universe and we bring it to you right here. Now, all you need to do is, sit back, relax, take this as your guiding light and dive deep into this universe that has been winning hearts for so long.
Before we dive in, it is important to mention that The Witcher universe is based on six novels and fifteen short stories. This has been adapted into a film, a video games trilogy, two TV series, and last but not the least, a graphic novel series as well.
In this article, however, we will only be discussing the books and the games. We keep the timeline for the movie and the TV series for some other day.
Here is a chronological order of how to go about The Witcher universe.
We first start with the books since they are the source material for all that happened in the universe. The Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowiski started writing short stories that featured a character called Geralt of Rivia around 1980. He then went on to write full-fledged novels as well. To get a complete experience of the universe, we suggest to start with the books and then proceed further.
Here we present to you the official order for reading the books:
1. The Last Wish
Listen to The Last Wish: The First In The Witcher Saga
Although The Last Wish came out in 1993, a year after Sword of Destiny, this book is considered to be the first in The Witcher franchise. It is a set of four short stories. The stories introduce Geralt of Rivia and several of the characters who become integral to the plot of the novel.
2. Sword of Destiny
Listen to Sword of Destiny: The Second In The Witcher Saga
Sword of Destiny is the second set of short stories in The Witcher series. These stories too serve as a background to the saga and precede the events of the main novel. The book came out in 1992, and it still continues to enthral fans and new readers, alike.
3. Blood of Elves
Listen to Blood of Elves: The First Main Novel In The Witcher Saga
Blood of Elves is first main novel in The Witcher series. It was published originally in Polish, in the year 1994. Geralt of Rivia returns to collect, protect and groom the child he was promised as his world descends into war and mayhem.
4. The Time of Contempt
Listen To The Time of Contempt: The Second Main Novel In The Witcher Saga
Geralt of Rivia is back again in this second novel in The Witcher franchise. It is his task now to protect the child from the prophecy, Ciri, who holds the power to change the world for good or for evil. But somehow she has disappeared. Follow Geralt on his quest once again in The Time of Contempt. Published in 1995, this is the second main novel in the saga.
5. Baptism of Fire
Listen To Baptism Of Fire: The Third Main Novel In The Witcher Saga
Utter chaos has followed the shattering of the Wizards Guild and Geralt is seriously injured. However, he has a job to do, protect the innocent and kill monsters. Ciri still remains missing and Geralt must find her if he hopes to save the world. Follow Geralt once again on his quests. Published in 1996, Baptism of Fire is the third main novel in the series.
6. The Tower of the Swallow
Listen To The Tower Of The Swallows: The Fourth Main Novel In The Witcher Saga
The world has fallen into mayhem and war. And both sides are still looking for Ciri, the child from the prophecy. With her pursuers hot at her heels, she only has one place to escape to, The Tower of the Swallow. Follow Geralt, as he bands his allies, on his quest to find Ciri. Published in 1997, this is the fourth main novel in The Witcher franchise.
7. The Lady of the Lake
Listen To The Lady Of The Lake: The Fifth Main Novel In The Witcher Saga
Following the events of the previous book, Ciri has escaped through a portal in The Tower of the Swallow. She finds herself trapped in an Elven world. To make matters worse, her pursuer and her worst nightmare, is hot on her heels. But she is the child from the prophecy and she must make her way back to Geralt. Lady of the Lake, published in 1998, is the fifth main novel in The Witcher franchise.
8. Season of Storms
Listen To Season Of Storms: A Standalone Novel In The Witcher Saga
Season of Storms published in 2013 is a standalone novel in The Witcher franchise. The events of this book happen sometime during the events of The Last Wish. There is a significant number of the fans, who suggest reading this before Blood of Elves. However, the official order places it last.
Now that we are done listing the books, we come to the games. Before going on, let us just tell you that they are to some extent, independent from the book. This gave the makers to freely experiment and go about the series, the best way they deemed fit.
Years after The Lady of the Lake, CD Projekt RED released the game The Witcher. The events of the game are supposed to act as a sequel to the books. However, it was never officially acknowledged. So far there are three games in the franchise and with no official announcement in the horizon for the fourth one, we suggest, you better jump on the bandwagon.
Here is how you should go about with the games in The Witcher trilogy (games).
1. The Witcher
The Witcher (2007)
CD Projekt RED released the first game in The Witcher trilogy of games in 2007, for PC. The game follows Geralt of Rivia and has a host of other characters like Ciri, Yennefer, Triss Merigold, as well. The game is an action adventure RPG. Its manner of dealing with morality and the time delayed consequences were noteworthy and drew the attention of several.
2. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
CD Projekt RED was back in 2011 with the second instalment of The Witcher and the fans were equally enthusiastic to go back to the world of Geralt of Riva and follow him as he went on his quests. This one too like its predecessor received much acclaim from fans and critics alike.
The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Released in 2015, this is the third (and as of now, final) game in The Witcher franchise. The game follows Geralt in his quest to find his adopted daughter Ciri, before it is too late and The Wild Hunt claims her.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The game was received with wide appraise and critical acclaim. It is played in a third person perspective. And the gameplay, actions and controls have improved significantly as compared to its predecessors. It is available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation® 5, PlayStation® 4 and Nintendo Switch.
For now, we stop here. The Witcher universe is an expansive one. And we plan to explore it into further detail, very soon, once again. Apart from the ones discussed here, there are other short stories (in Polish) and games that fans can follow. We’ll be discussing that as well, in a later post.
The series, the books as well as the games, have gained much popularity. The books, originally written in Polish, gained a wider audience, over time. The games, as well, have done their part in spreading the word. And presently, they have been translated into 37 different languages, so far.
Let us know how you feel and your thoughts about The Witcher universe, what strikes you most, your view on the characters and what you feel could have been done better, in the comments below.