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SilverStormm

Compare & Contrast: Why'd They Change X To Y?

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Given that I'm late to watching the season and that this topic has never been used, there's probably not much interest. But I've been so perplexed by the decisions the creative team made this season, and this seems to be the right topic for it. 

Blood of Elves sets up so much, and the show has thrown it all out. But they haven't just thrown it out--they've done it in ways where it seems impossible to see how the rest of the story can happen. So are they committing to telling an original story? Why did they want to adapt the books then if they didn't want to actually adapt the books? Last season had changes, but it was all logical book vs. TV stuff and in general seemed very close.

I've seen claims that not enough happens in Blood of Elves, so the show needed to add stuff, but I don't think that's true. We have training scenes at Kaer Morhen, which should have given us character backstory and joy... the happiness before all the horror that's coming. We get the mysterious foreshadowing from Ceri, the interactions with Triss, and actual training with Nenneke and Yennefer. We're supposed to see Jaskier the guest professor and spy and get our first hints of the "Everyone Sucks Here" approach to politics that the books take. We get hints of Nilfgaard's good side, and the elves as actual threats with the Scoia'tael. Yennefer's initial plot is thin, but I don't think it would be hard to work her in with Tissaia and the Brotherhood politicking instead of what they did (or leave her out for a bit like they did with Jaskier).

Fringilla is not a major character, and the show didn't need to invent a plot for her and bump up her screentime. Francesca comes in later and differently. She didn't need to be brought in early and in a way that seems to make the later Lodge of Sorceress stuff impossible. Yennefer certainly didn't need Triss's 14th of the Hill story that doesn't even mean anything for Yennefer. I don't know why the show is destroying Cahir's character given Cahir's significance later in plot. The poor downtrodden elf stuff is less interesting than the cyclical nature of violence, prejudice, and revenge that we see in the books.

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9 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

I've seen claims that not enough happens in Blood of Elves, so the show needed to add stuff, but I don't think that's true. We have training scenes at Kaer Morhen, which should have given us character backstory and joy... the happiness before all the horror that's coming

True. Geralt barely speaks to his "brothers". Instead of showing as interactions between Ciri, Geralt and the other Witchers we've got weird Vesemir's plot with wanting to create more Witchers.

9 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

We're supposed to see Jaskier the guest professor and spy and get our first hints of the "Everyone Sucks Here" approach to politics that the books take.

I think and hope that we'll still see some of that in the season 3. Since Dijkstra wants Jakier brought to him I hope Oxenfurt part of the books will happen, just later and differentely. Similar like they integrated Nivellen story later.

9 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

Fringilla is not a major character, and the show didn't need to invent a plot for her and bump up her screentime. Francesca comes in later and differently. She didn't need to be brought in early and in a way that seems to make the later Lodge of Sorceress stuff impossible.

They introduced both Fringilla and Cahir so early, they had to find something for them to do in season 2.  I don't want to judge this yet too harshly, cause I don't know how they plan to go forward with them. I sure liked Fringilla more this season when she's not so cartoonishly evil. As for the elves , they changed Lara Dorren's and Ciri destiny so much that I'm really not sure where they are going with this. It seems that instead of White Frost we will have humans vs elves conflict in the centre and Ciri have the power to stop this or just destroy humanity? At least thats how I interpreted Triss's freak out.

Generally I am confused about the changes too, but I still hope the show can tell a good story. I am not a book purist. What disappointed me the most this season is lack of any good interaction between the main three. Games already destroyed Ciri/Yen bond IMO and I hoped the show will do them justice. Not so far. At this point I hope they will spend the whole season three together and save Thanedd for the finale.

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Generally I am confused about the changes too, but I still hope the show can tell a good story. I am not a book purist. 

Yeah, I'm not a book purist either. I thought most of the changes last season were smart. I expected things to be simplified and side journeys that were moving in the books to be cut (like I wouldn't expect to see Jarre and the PFI). But I do want the show to preserve the main character/plot beats and themes and to tell a good story.
 

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On 3/30/2022 at 8:21 PM, Zuleikha said:

But I do want the show to preserve the main character/plot beats and themes and to tell a good story.

Let's hope they deliver next season. I'm most intrigued how will they handle Emhyr.

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On 3/30/2022 at 12:49 PM, Kasienka said:

They introduced both Fringilla and Cahir so early, they had to find something for them to do in season 2. 

In the case of Cahir, I believe the set up for his character on the show already made him drastically different than the book version.

I think making him an experienced commander who was at the forefront of the invasion of Cintra rather than his book set up certainly changes how people perceive the character. The book set up is understandable, if not outright sympathetic, when we get it where as the show's really isn't unless they have some rabbit to pull out of their hat.

Not to mention knowing Cahir got locked up in part for talking crap about the emperor and was 

Spoiler

traumatized by what happened in Cintra as well helped garner points with me.

So while it's certainly possible, I have to think it's going to be quite harder to (a) take some of the bite out of his previous actions and (b) for a certain group to trust him in a believable way simply given the set up on the show.

Of course, that's assuming they plan on following a somewhat similar path with the character as the books did. 

Edited by Dac22
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On 6/17/2022 at 12:22 AM, Dac22 said:

Of course, that's assuming they plan on following a somewhat similar path with the character as the books did. 

I think they will. Emhyr turning on them is IMO turning point for both Cahir and Fringilla. I suspect they will have to work with their former enemies out of necessity rather than a change of heart at first, but eventually they will join the "good guys" side, if there even is one in The Witcher. They already tried to make Fringilla more sympathetic this season. I wouldn't be surprised if Fillipa tried to make some contact with her and considering that her and Francesca should eventually end up in the Lodge, the bond they established  between those two should help. Fringilla already knows who really killed Francesca's baby and common enemy might bring them together. I do wonder where the show will take the elves, cause I can't imagine Franceska working with Emhyr, unless she never finds out.

As for Cahir he was definitely a sympathetic character in the books. He was so young and had no idea how war really looks like. He was never evil, just had a misfortune to be born in Nilfgaard empire under Emhyr's rule. Giving him a redemtpion arc will be way more difficult than in the books but it can be done. I think the actor is great, so if the writing won't fail him he will be able to sell it. At least Geralt's aversion towards him will be way more understandable than in the books. I just hope they will abandon any romantic feelings he may hold for Ciri. It was already weird in the books, here the age difference is even bigger. I wonder if that scene he had with Yennefer that had some shipping vibes is here to switch his interest to her. It'd be more appropriate and if he has some feeling for her, it might serve as his reason to team up with Team Geralt. And would add tension to his relationship with Geralt.

Speaking of problematic relationship can we abandon Mistle rapes Ciri plotline? Considering they end up in a relationship later and Ciri is shown to care deeply for her, I'd prefer if they have happy start . Considering how it'll end.

Edited by Kasienka
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11 hours ago, Kasienka said:

At least Geralt's aversion towards him will be way more understandable than in the books.

To the point that I think it's going to be very hard to buy Geralt would trust him.

Not only has Cahir done some truly awful stuff from Geralt's perspective, but he's also basically been Emhyr's right hand man. I'm certainly willing to give the show the chance, but it doesn't appear to be a smooth path like the books presented. 

I do agree Eamon Farren is quite talented and is a great fit given the direction they've gone with Cahir. 

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I just hope they will abandon any romantic feelings he may hold for Ciri. It was already weird in the books, here the age difference is even bigger. I wonder if that scene he had with Yennefer that had some shipping vibes is here to switch his interest to her. 

I imagine they'll drop the romantic angle given they've aged Cahir up by a decade at least. The dilemma in the books was always Ciri's age given the actual difference between them is pretty close to what it was between the main characters in Disney's Tangled

But I don't think switching it to Yennefer really helps given how important those dreams and the connection to Ciri is/was to his story. It also provided his character with a unique connection to Geralt that they bonded over given they already had enough to be at odds.  

Perhaps they'll alter it to Cahir's devotion towards Ciri is about her fulfilling a prophecy of some sort rather than romantic confusion.

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Speaking of problematic relationship can we abandon Mistle rapes Ciri plotline?

I think it's going to be a very dangerous minefield for the show. I would expect there to be significant backlash if the show stays true to the source material with the rape and/or Mistle's death.

While Ciri did come to care about her, her time with the Rats was part of her descent into darkness which included said relationship. So there's so many ways the show could go wrong with it unless they want to completely change things. 

But, personally, I would be a bit disturb if they played the Mistle relationship as healthy given she did take advantage of Ciri in the source material. I honestly would have preferred they went with an original character to essentially be Mistle's stand-in rather than portray their relationship as healthy. 

Edited by Dac22
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11 hours ago, Dac22 said:

I think it's going to be a very dangerous minefield for the show. I would expect there to be significant backlash if the show stays true to the source material with the rape and/or Mistle's death.

While Ciri did come to care about her, her time with the Rats was part of her descent into darkness which included said relationship. So there's so many ways the show could go wrong with it unless they want to completely change things. 

But, personally, I would be a bit disturb if they played the Mistle relationship as healthy given she did take advantage of Ciri in the source material. I honestly would have preferred they went with an original character to essentially be Mistle's stand-in rather than portray their relationship as healthy. 

It's probably one of the hardest plotlines to adapt, so many ways to offend someone. Personally I'd prefer it if they abandon rape plotline and focused on how the times spent with Rats and Mistle negatively influenced Ciri. Their relationship could still be unhealthy given in what state of mind Ciri was at the time, but I feel better if they remove the noncon part. Mistle could just encourage Ciri's darker instincts or maybe have some other ulterior motive. But I have a feeling the show will try to show them as happy couple and I wouldn't be surprised if they saved Mistle from her fate. Having a protagonist in a same sex relationship is a big deal and having them start with rape and end with brutal murder won't sit well with many people. Unless they plan on introducing some original character that could be more positive represantation, maybe some love interest for Fil or Triss. Or maybe their relationship will develop into something more.

Tbh I was sure there were giving us hints for Fringilla/Franceska in season 2, but apparently may gaydar isn't that good.

As for Cahir I really don't know what they'll do. I don't want him to have feelings for Yen, with Geralt's many dalliances and Istredd still being in the show, I wouldn't want them to complicate the situation between them even more. It was just something that stood out to me during the scene he told her how amazing she was at Sodden. It had vibes:) I hope they will do the character of Cahir justice and we'll find his character arc believable and moving.

Speaking of romances, anyone thinks there's any chance at Geralt and Fringilla having the same relationship like in the books?

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9 hours ago, Kasienka said:

But I have a feeling the show will try to show them as happy couple and I wouldn't be surprised if they saved Mistle from her fate.

Which would be a pretty big change to the story overall even if it was the safe option.

Mistle being included is really the only thing that gives The Rats death any weight with Ciri and I'm not sure where she would fit in if she was left alive. I thought isolation and tragedy was a big part of Ciri's path in the books. 

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It was just something that stood out to me during the scene he told her how amazing she was at Sodden. It had vibes:) I hope they will do the character of Cahir justice and we'll find his character arc believable and moving.

I could see that with his interaction with Yen. It's just I'm not sure it would have the same impact that the Ciri angle had in the books? It certainly isn't something Cahir and Geralt would bond over or improve their relationship.

Hopefully, they can pull it off with Cahir despite the changes as he was my favorite in the books with Milva right behind. 

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14 hours ago, Dac22 said:

Hopefully, they can pull it off with Cahir despite the changes as he was my favorite in the books with Milva right behind. 

Milva is the best. They better do her justice.

I agree that Cahir having feelings for Yen wouldn't improve his relationship with Geralt. I'm not sold on the concept myself, like I said it's just something I noticed in the episode and it got me thinking.

The show already made major changes to the source material, so I'm not sure what plotlines and character arcs are ahead of us. Emhyr saying outright that Ciri is his daugher, Lara Dorren being some mystical warrior created by the elves to fight humans and not the White Frost etc. I think many characters may play different roles than in the books.

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