Now that the second season of The Witcher is available to watch on Netflix, many people are curious about the rest of The Witcher series. It’s no wonder that such a successful series sparks people’s hunger for more, but where do you start? The Timeline of The Witcher can be confusing, as the books, the games, and the Netflix series are basically separate universes. To help you get started, we’ll explain exactly how The Witcher series is structured. This way, you’ll know exactly the right reading order for The Witcher books, and understand how the books, games, and Netflix series relate to each other!
This article is up to date as of December 2021.
Given that The Witcher is originally a book series, we begin with an overview of all The Witcher books in reading order. The books are also available as The Witcher Boxed Set.
- The Last Wish (1993)
The stories of The Last Wish were previously published as ‘The Witcher’, only available in Polish. Although The Last Wish was published after Sword of Destiny, it is now considered as the first book in the series.
- Sword of Destiny (1992)
- Blood of Elves (1994)
- Time of Contempt (1995)
- Baptism of Fire (1996)
- The Tower of the Swallow (1997)
Sometimes published as Tower of Swallows.
- The Lady of the Lake (1998)
- Season of Storms (2013)
This story takes place during the events of The Last Wish.
Make no mistake, while everything does bear the name “The Witcher,” not all stories take place in a continuous The Witcher Timeline. The events of the books, the games, and the Netflix series are more or less unrelated to each other. This gave the creators of the Netflix series the creative freedom to divert from certain events or the way some characters look like, as is evident with Triss Merigold. That’s why we distinguish three separate timelines: for the books, the games, and the Netflix series.
Timelines at Beyond Video Gaming are divided into different eras. Icons will mark whether an item is a game, book, comic, or movie.
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Everything of The Witcher is based on the same source material: the books of the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Sapkowski started writing some short stories in the 1980s, starring Geralt of Rivia. Those stories were later compiled again, meaning that in the first years the publications and the chronological order were not quite the same.
After the short stories, Sapkowski wrote several complete novels starring Geralt and Ciri, and the short stories also got a permanent place in the whole saga. Sometimes, when numbering the books, people start with Blood of Elves as the first book, 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.
In the early 90s comics based on the short stories were also published, written by Maciej Parowski and illustrated by Boguslaw Polch. The comics are now also available in hardcover bundles, but for the sake of clarity, we’ll name them separately in the order.
If you really want to read everything (and if you can read Polish), Sapkowski’s collection of short stories Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna (roughly translated as Something Ends, Something Begins) includes two more The Witcher stories, of which Droga, z której się nie wraca (A Road with No Return) is actually considered a canon. Parowski and Polch also made a comic of this. The other story is a parody about Geralt and Yennefer.
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. If you still want to consider the video games as a continuation of the books, the first comic, Reasons of State, would take place at the time of the stories from Swords of Destiny. Fox Children was released after House of Glass but is an adaptation of a chapter from the book Season of Storms.
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
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!