The Wild Hunt is mentioned multiple times throughout Netflix’s The Witcher. It’s referenced in the pilot episode, and has several nods through this year’s second season. One day it will arrive, and change Geralt’s world forever. But for now, it’s a looming threat, much like Thanos was for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
At a recent press junket, IGN asked The Witcher showrunner and Executive Producer, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, if The Wild Hunt is the show’s Thanos. “Completely,” she said.
“What I love, and this is how it’s set up in the books too, is that the Wild Hunt is a ‘portent of doom’,” she said. “They’re always just mentioned when war is coming, or a battle is on the horizon. And so they have this air of evil mystery around them. What we’re going to start doing [in the show] is beginning to understand where they came from and what they want. And so, like all characters in Sapkowski novels, we’re going to get a little bit deeper into them so they’re not just the evil skeletal bad guys.”
Hissrich says that part of the reason the Wild Hunt has been seeded so early is that it helps communicate to fans that the team knows what is important. “We wanted to make sure we mentioned the Wild Hunt in season one, for instance,” she said. “It’s in the pilot, so that we can say ‘We hear you fans, we know that this is a big deal.’ The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, it’s what the fans know. But we’re not ready to get to it yet.”
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Building up to the Wild Hunt’s eventual introduction requires careful planning, but Hissrich notes that not everything has been placed deliberately.
“I would love to say that all of that is planned out perfectly,” she said. “Some of it is, there are things that obviously we knew we wanted to tell over the first couple of seasons. Sometimes, though, it’s pure coincidence. There are things that I look back on in season one and I think ‘Thank God someone threw that line in there’, and we’ve continued to play with it and expand it in later series.”
For more from The Witcher, check out our season 2 review, as well as Henry Cavill talking The Witcher 3: Blood & Wine and what characters he’d like to play in a Warhammer show.
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