Both the games and the successful Netflix adaption of The Witcher make fans yearn for more, but the chronological order of The Witcher can be confusing. In fact, the books, the games, and the Netflix series all take place is separate universes, although the games do acknowledge the events that happend in the books, and by extend the Netflix adaption (which is based on those books). To help you make sense of it all, we created this The Witcher Timeline in which we put everything in chronological order.
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Chronological order of the books
Everything of The Witcher is rooted in the same source material: the books by the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski started writing a handful of short stories in the 1980s, starring Geralt of Rivia. Those stories were not compiled and translated until years later, so the order of publication and chronological order were not nearly the same in the early years.
After the short stories, Sapkowski started writing complete novels starring Geralt and Ciri. The short stories also got their fixed place in the saga. When numbering the books, people sometimes start with Blood of Elves as the first book as it is the first complete novel, even though it is chronologically speaking the third issue. The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny are also often bundled into one omnibus, making the numerical order of the books quite confusing. And to make it even more complicated: the stories in The Last Wish are not in chronological order either. That’s why we list every separate story individually in our timeline.
In the early 90s, a few comics based on the short stories were published. These comics are written by Maciej Parowski and illustrated by Boguslaw Polch. The comics are also available in hardcover bundles, but for the sake of clarity, we’ll name them separately in the order. Unfortunately, these comics were never translated into English.
Chronological order of the video games
Years after Sapkowski ended his saga chronologically with The Lady of the Lake in 1999, the Polish developer CD Projekt RED made the first game called The Witcher. Theoretically, the first game takes place after the last book, but the video games are not an official sequel. The video games are actually set in their own universe.
Author Andrzej Sapkowski once made it clear in an interview with Eurogamer that the video games are completely separate from his books. Yet we see the same characters, such as Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, and Triss Merigold, and there are references to events from the books. For example, Geralt is regularly called Butcher or Blaviken, a nickname he gets from a fight in the book The Last Wish.
In any case, Sapkowski is not a fan of video games (generally speaking) and it is therefore unlikely we’ll ever see a book that takes place during or in between one of the video games. This also gives CD Projekt Red the freedom to deviate from the books.
A number of comics have also been released around the video games, which are completely separate from the work of Parowski and Polch. Some of these comics take place during the events from the books. For example, Reasons of State takes place around the same time as Sword of Destiny, while Fox Children is an adaption of a chapter from the book Season of Storms.
Game developer CD PROJEKT RED also worked on various other The Witcher spinoffs that aren’t related to the main story:
Chronological order of the Netflix Series
And then there’s the Netflix series. Although this series has no direct ties to either the video games or the books, the story of the series is based directly on that of the books. On the two collections of short stories The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, to be more precise. The second season is based on the third book, Blood of Elves.
The Witcher- Netflix content in chronological order
As you might have noticed, the first season of The Witcher wasn’t chronologically told in itself. Fortunately, Netflix has put together a timeline for The Witcher that makes it a bit clearer in what order all the events of the first season actually took place.
The episodes are based on the following short stories:
- From End’s Beginning on The Lesser Evil from the book The Last Wish
- Four Marks on The Edge of the World from the book The Last Wish
- Betrayer Moon on The Witcher from the book The Last Wish
- Of Banquets, Bastards and Burials on A Question of Price from the book The Last Wish
- Bottled Appetites on The Last Wish from the book The Last Wish
- Rare Species on The Bounds of Reason from the book Sword of Destiny
- Before a Fall on Something More from the book Sword of Destiny
- Much More also on Something More from the book Sword of Destiny
The later seasons are told in a more lineair fashion, with every season roughly following the events of one book at a time.
Chronological order of The Hexer
In the past, there have also been other attempts to bring Sapkowski’s books to the silver screen. In 2001, for example, the film The Hexer was released. That story was continued in 2002 with a TV series also called The Hexer. Officially, these were only released in Poland. Although based on the books, they officially have nothing to do with the books, the video games, or the Netflix series.
This overview of The Witcher Timeline has been compiled with as much care as possible. Nevertheless, it is possible that an error has crept into our chronological order. Do you know more about The Witcher than we do? Then please contact us and tell us what we did wrong!
One question. You listed “The Witcher” TV Series having 4 seasons. I only remember it having 2. At least so far. Do you know something I don’t?
Currently, only two seasons are available, but Season 3 and 4 have been confirmed! It is not yet known when they will air though.
This is legit! Thanks for the great sum-up!
haha that part about: The Hexer is pretty funny. Especially the last 2 sentences. +joris