witcher casting

The Netflix ‘Witcher’ series is getting close to wrapping up filming for its eight-episode first season. Thanks to previously released Witcher casting news, we know which actors are playing the main roles — Henry Cavill is Geralt, Anya Chalotra will play Yennefer, Freya Allan is Ciri, etc. While there are other important roles already cast, we still don’t yet know who will play some of the vital characters to the story, such as Mother Nenneke or Vesemir (or any of the other Witchers, for that matter). There will be others cast for the show, but it’s important to know which casting is newsworthy and which is simply window dressing.

Lauren S. Hissrich, executive producer and one of the writers for the show, has said multiple times the show will follow ‘The Witcher’ novel series written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, not the video games created by CD Projekt Red. With the casting of certain characters, such as Renfri, Stregobor, Mousesack, and others, it’s easy to assume we will either have a steady progression following the books, or — more likely — we’ll see flashbacks. Renfri and Stregobor are important characters in the story of how Geralt got the nickname ‘The Butcher of Blaviken.’ Mousesack was not only a central character in the story ‘A Question of Price,’ where we first meet Pavetta, Ciri’s mother, but he is mentioned in the books as someone who helps raise young Ciri — before the Massacre at Cintra.

However, there will always be casting announcements that are a little less newsworthy. For example, several websites were quick to write that Katia Bokor — who most recently appeared in an episode of the TV series ‘Ransom’ — had been cast as Queen Sancia. According to IMDB, she’ll be in the third episode. That’s great, but unless you are a true die-hard fan of Sapkowski’s series, chances are you saw the name, saw the character, and thought “Who?” Again, this is why not all casting news is, well, newsworthy.

In case you didn’t know — since she’s only briefly mentioned in the short story ‘The Witcher’ in the book ‘The Last Wish’ — Queen Sancia is the mother of King Foltest of Temeria. Without going into too many details about the story, Foltest and his sister, Adda, had an incestuous affair that resulted in Adda becoming pregnant. Once Foltest became king, he planned on marrying his sister, which really ticked off King Vizimir II of Redania, who had planned on marrying off his daughter to him. Adda, however, died during childbirth. No one is quite sure if it was courtier Ostrit, who was in love with Adda, or Queen Sancia, but someone put a curse on the child, turning her into a striga — which is basically a woman turned into a monster (or vampire, depending) by a curse. Geralt is summoned to either lift the curse if he can, or kill the child/monster.

And that’s about it. You won’t find Sancia’s name mentioned anywhere else in the series of eight ‘Witcher’ books. It’s a little surprising to have Sancia cast, actually, since she’s only mentioned in that one particular story. You never see her. However, since IMDB doesn’t have anyone listed as playing Ostrit, maybe they plan on taking some liberties with the story. Who knows? The point is this: yes, we’re all excited to see the show when it arrives on Netflix (hopefully this year), but it’s definitely not “Breaking News” when a very minor character is cast.