As anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock will tell you, the Witcher games are based on books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. It is also well known that the books are pretty good and well worth a read. But let’s be honest, few have actually read them.
So the question is, just how close are the games to the books? The short answer is; not very. But let’s dig a little deeper and investigate some of the biggest differences.
Geralt Is More Compassionate
The Witcher games see protagonist Geralt as a sort of monster slaughtering machine. If he encounters a monster, he is certain to kill it. But this isn’t how he is supposed to be.
In the books, Geralt has a moral code that he abides by, and this doesn’t mean killing every monster. His true character is that if he encounters an intelligent monster that does no harm, he will let it live, and often even make friends with it.
Geralt Questions His Work
Although players often face moral dilemmas in the games, the books are literally swimming in Geralt questioning why he does the work he does. The books often feature the brave monster hunter questioning why he is killing monsters, and if humans aren’t significantly more monstrous in almost every regard. Pretty rough on his mental health if you think about it.
This is the theme of the games, of course, but book Geralt tends to vocalize the dilemma a great deal more openly.
If the Witcher games are sounding a bit heavy for you, you might instead prefer New Zealand pokies.
Signs Aren’t Powerful
In the games, magical signs are a central part of the arsenal. They can set enemies on fire, push them around like sacks of potatoes, and much more.
But this is extremely far from the books. Magical signs are only used as a last resort in the books, if at all, and are regarded as very primitive and crude magic.
Triss Isn’t A Love Interest
Sorry to say, one of the most beloved characters in the games, Triss Merigold, isn’t actually a love interest in the books. In fact, Triss is a sneaky character in the books, who wins over Geralt with some magical interference.
But even after being magically seduced, Geralt is not interested in Triss at all. His heart belongs to Yennifer, and Triss is nothing more than a third wheel. How bleak. Twitch streamers have a lot to say about this.
One of the most well-known quirks of the Witcher franchise is that Geralt has a set of swords. The steel sword is for people, and the silver sword is for monsters.
This is true in the books, but for a very major difference. He keeps the silver sword tucked carefully away until he needs it, since the weapon is not only extremely valuable, but it is also one of his most treasured possessions. Which is to say; you wouldn’t see him carrying it around on his back. Just how precious the silver sword is to Geralt is largely overlooked in the games.