There is little doubt that fans are loving everything about The Witcher Season 2. Well, maybe not everything. People were understandably shocked when a strange version of Eskel was introduced in Episode 2 only to suffer a tragic fate right away. Now showrunner Lauren Hissrich is speaking out about the bizarre change the series made on one of the books' most loved characters.
In Episode 2, Geralt of Rivia finally brought Ciri to Kaer Morhen where she met his fellow Witchers. Eskel arrived late and appeared to be very different from how fans knew him in the books and games. Although this is believed to be caused by a leshy infection, it ultimately led to Geralt having to kill his closest friend.
It's a shocking way to introduce a great character in The Witcher Season 2 and fans were not pleased as they took to social media to post their anger and disappointment. But why did the show decide on doing THAT to Eskel? Lauren Hissrich addressed the controversial decision in The Witcher Unlocked.
Interestingly, the series had initially planned to introduce a new Witcher who would be infected by a leshy and get killed in Kaer Morhen. However, the writers agreed that it lacked weight and that they needed to make the stakes higher for Geralt.
“Well, we knew we had to kill someone in that episode. We knew that we wanted a monster to enter Kaer Morhen and have something to do with Ciri, and both Geralt and Vesemir and the brothers realize that bringing this girl into their witcher keep is going to fundamentally change things,” Hissrich said.
The showrunner further explained how a new character's death would be too obvious in the episode and wouldn't really affect Geralt as much as his beloved friend's death. That's when they decided that it had to happen to Eskel.
“Honestly, his death is what changes everything for Geralt and I think it propels Geralt’s need to figure out what’s going on with Ciri and to do it fast, because he knows that he’s going to risk losing her and his brothers if he doesn’t. And we really just wanted to motivate that character journey for him,” Hissrich concluded.
Okay we get it but we're still not happy about Eskel only showing up in one episode despite all the hype about his "huge role" in The Witcher Season 2. Eskel deserved better, and it will take a long time before fans can forgive the series for treating him so unfairly.
The Witcher Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.