Ever since The Witcher was adapted into a Netflix Series, the interest in the games and books is also increasing enormously. Steam Charts saw the number of players of The Witcher 3 roughly triple in December 2019. It’s only natural that such a successful series fuels the hunger for more. So where do you start? We’ll show you where, with our The Witcher Timeline: all books, comics, movies and video games in chronological order.
This article is up to date as of April 2020.
Make no mistake, although everything bears the name ‘The Witcher’, they don’t share one universe. The events from the books, the video games and the Netflix series are therefore basically independent of each other. This gave the makers of the Netflix series the creative freedom not to let the cast exactly match the characters from the books and video games in terms of appearance, for example which can be seen especially with Triss Merigold. That’s why we officially use three different parts in The Witcher Timeline:
Yet everything 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 or 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 als the first book, even though it is chronologically speaking the third issue. The Last Wish and Swrod of Destiny are also often bundles 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.
The Witcher – Books in order:
- Book: The Last Wish
- Book: Season of Storms*
- Comic: The Witcher
- Comic: The Lesser Evil
- Comic: The Last Wish
- Boeo: Sword of Destiny
- Comic: The Bounds of Reason
- Comic: The Betrayal (not based on a short story from Sword of Destiny, but on a sketch by Sapkowski)
- Book: Blood of Elves
- Book: Time of Contempt
- Book: Baptism of Fire
- Book: The Tower of the Swallow
- Book: The Lady of the Lake
*Although Season of Storms only came out in 2018 and is therefore considered the eighth book, it is set between the short stories of The Last Wish.
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.
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.
The Witcher – Video Games in order (including tie-in comics):
- Comic: The Witcher: Fox Children
- Comic: The Witcher: Reasons of State
- Video Game: The Witcher
- Video Game: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- Comic: The Witcher: Matters of Conscience
- Comic: The Witcher: House of Glass
- Comic: The Witcher: Killing Monsters
- Comic: The Witcher: Curse of the Crows
- Video Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Comic: The Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame
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.
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. It is to be expected that the second season (release in 2021) will continue the story and adapt the story of the third book, Blood of Elves.
- Animated movie: The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
- Series: The Witcher – Season 1
- Series: The Witcher – Season 2
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
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!