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"The Witcher" Season 1 - the linear edit

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A project from November ’22 that fixed quite a big problem in the show’s first season.

I went into everything blind, not having read any of the novels or playing any of the games, so keeping on top of everything when the timelines suddenly hopped around at random was quite difficult more than once.
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Like some of my other projects, I’ve done multiple versions of some episodes. I know some of them are generally straightforward and true(ish) to the source, but others are quite padded with original material that may or may not improve the story. This means the season has gone from 8 episodes to 14 total, with 2 of them being alternate versions. As usual, because I’m nice, you can choose which one is best for your collection and download at your own discretion.

To keep things neatly sequenced, I sorted everything by the year on the Continent’s calendar, specifically in accordance with the Netflix timeline they drew up to accommodate the adaptation and its changes.
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1206.
“Four Marks” – 34 mins
The Yennefer portions from the second episode it shares the name of. Seeing her meeting Istredd, being sold, trained at Aretuza and her struggles academically & socially. The original episode’s artwork is of the eels the failed ascendants become and/or the snakes that are one of them’s biggest fear, as Yennefer states, so keeping that for this edit of the episode was very simple.
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1210.
“Big Changes” – 23 mins.
The Yen pieces from the third episode that sees her burgeoning relationship with Istredd, the revelation of her Elven blood, her transformation and securing a place at Aiden’s Court.
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The artwork in the brief title for this episode is of Yennefer’s amulet, which fits and it already a similar enough style to the rest of the episodes’ looks.
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1231.
The Last Wish: “The Lesser Evil” – 35 mins.
The Geralt portions of Episode 1 in Blaviken with Renfry and her seven ‘companion’s, and Stregobor. I kept in the final section that showed Ciri as Renfri’s words about her echoed over Geralt as he left Blaviken, but I used a vignette and black & white colour filter to make it clear it’s anachronistic. Also, there’s some music from the games while Geralt is carving through Renfri’s men, just as a bit of fun/easter egg.
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1240.
The Last Wish: “The Edge of The World” – 17 mins.
The Geralt and Jaskier portions of Episode 2 in Upper Posada, fighting “the devil” and meeting Filavendrel, before being released and parting as (greatly asymmetrical) friends.
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“Unlikely Relationships” – 28 minutes.
The G/J portions of Episode 2 and the Yennefer portions of Episode 4 when she’s trying to outrun the portalling assassin with the death beetle. The NTFX timeline states the latter also takes place in the year 1240, so using them to break up the G/J portions and beef up the (otherwise very short) runtime felt like a good idea.
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Ideally I would have liked the episode title artwork to be something distinctly “Elven” with everything that goes on at Fil’s cave. Unfortunately, finding an online artwork in the same style as the show is difficult, and one of the other episodes’ one from any of the seasons doesn’t really match up either – so both episodes have the same tree-sword artwork of Episode 4.
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1243.
The Last Wish: “Her Highness The Strzyga” – 43 mins.
The Geralt portions of Episode 3 in Temeria with King Foltest and Triss Merrigold. I took the name from a sidequest in the first video game, with the proper Slavic spelling of the monster’s name for authenticity, because having an episode of The Witcher just called “The Witcher” after the respective short story just sounds dull.
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1249.
The Last Wish: “A Question of Price” – 38 mins.
The Geralt/Jaskier portions of Episode 4 in Cintra with meeting Calanthe, Pavetta and Duny. I actually got very lucky with the artwork for this episode’s title – I found a Manticore artwork on Pinterest of all places that I flipped horizontally and erased a half-encircling shape just to make it more visually distinct than the last episode’s wolf title.
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1256.
The Last Wish: "The Last Wish” – 45 mins.
The Geralt/Jaskier/Yen portions of Episode 5 with the former meeting the latter for the first time in the city of Rinde and all of the funny business with the Djinn.
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1262.
Sword of Destiny: “The Bounds of Reason” – 47 mins.
The G/J/Y story of the dragon hunt in Episode 6 in the land of Caingorn.
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1263.
This episode is the second split into two versions, in 1263a the bulk of both is the Geralt/Cintra portions in Episode 7, and the Ciri/Cintra portions in Episode 1, but this time with the whole story. As in: in Episode 1, certain scenes and conversations were skimmed over because they’d be shown in proper detail later – and in Episode 7, conversely, certain scenes and conversations were skimmed over because they’d already been covered. In both cases, as Ciri escapes Cahir, the footage of Renfri’s words over Geralt in Blaviken from 1x01 appears again, but this time the colour and vignette are reversed: Geralt is in black and white, and Ciri is in colour – he’s the odd one out now, and it’s her time.
a1). The Slaughter of Cintra” – 1hr 4mins.
The Geralt/Ciri portions of the respective episodes in Cintra/Marnadal, with Yen at the Dwarven Monolith site in Nazair, the backstory in Aretuza with the meeting of the Northern Mages leading up to the Battle of Sodden Hill with Vilgefortz and Fringilla.
a2). Sword of Destiny: “The Sword of Destiny” – 42 mins.
Just the Geralt/Ciri portions of the respective episodes in Cintra/Marnadal, no extras.
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This is where things start to get tricky with putting them in the right order. I did my best, some clues were very obvious and clear so that’s good – but after the Slaughter of Cintra especially, nailing down the exact ‘whats and whens’ takes a bit more imagination.
To this end, I had to be creative with sequencing things to make everything work in an at least somewhat feasible single chain of events, while taking into account a lot of different factors. With this I had to balance Geralt, and Ciri, and Yen, and Sodden, and Cahir (before AND during Sodden), and Yurga with Geralt while his wife and then son are with Ciri at the same time, and so on….
b). “Chase of The Child” – 41 mins.
Firstly, we have 1x08 with Geralt in Cintra after failing to find Ciri in the chaos, before he leaves and encounters Yurga in the woods, unfortunately waking some undead beasts and being bitten. Then it’s the title card. Next it’s all of Ciri’s 1x02 portions (the line to Dara about her not speaking to anyone in three days has been excised, because it messes with the timeline). Next it’s Geralt on the back of Yurga’s wagon in 1x08 where he’s told he got bitten and hallucinates about his mother and her food. Next, it’s Ciri waking up in 1x03 and getting entranced into Brokilon Forest, seamlessly continuing into 1x04 with the Dryads until that night where she and Dara speak about Calanthe. Next it cuts to Geralt in 1x08 at night time, dreaming of Renfri and Visenna and speaking to Yurga when he wakes, who offers him The Law of Surprise for saving his life. Then it transitions aptly back to Geralt’s ‘Child of Surprise’ in 1x04 in Brokilon, having her red hallucination and hearing the banquet that willed her into existence. When the waters of Brokilon have no effect on her, Cahir and Fringilla’s Mages use Calanthe’s body back in Cintra to find her while they have Mousesack captive, and Ciri has her desert tree dream.
The artwork for this episode was the same sword-tree as the 1240 chapter(s) since it ends on that episode’s Ciri portion – but since it always had something to do with her more than anyone else, it makes more sense and fits in better here.
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c). “Not out of The Woods yet” – 40 mins.
The following day (1x05), Cahir enlists The Adonis to take the form of Mousesack, which he does that night. Then comes the episode title card, 1x05 by proxy since there was no artistically viable Nilfgaard sigil I could use, which would have felt appropriate here. Next, “Mousesack” arrives at Brokilon while the Dryads’ are discussing her and whether or not she’ll be allowed to stay – he lures her out of their borders and protection, with Dara in tow. Next it transitions seamlessly into 1x06 with Ciri nattering “Mousesack”’s ear off with a thousand questions and everything Ciri from 1x06 plays out in one go – with discovering the Doppler and trying to escape, tricking Cahir and him forced to kill a whole house. After Fringilla tends to his wounds that evening and Cahir declares war, it transitions into 1x08 with the boat of Mages heading to Sodden and Yen’s conversation with Vilgefortz on the stone beach. Next, Ciri’s walking through the small town in 1x07, failing to steal food, trading Pavetta’s ring for new gloves, meeting Yurga’s wife and stealing a horse. Next, the Mages are walking through the woods and Yen remarks it’s been hours (so it works well sequentially) and the Mages get set up at the old Elven Keep at Sodden Hill with the day going well into the evening. That night, Ciri in the marshland in 1x07 laments not trading the ring for food to the horse she stole, before she’s accosted by an old face and uses her dormant powers to defend herself, eliminating her would-be attackers.
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d). Sword of Destiny: “Something More – 43 mins.
Lastly, this final episode is all from 1x08, but with some portions out of release order, to accommodate the deliberately sequential changes made with the other parts of 1x08 across the last two episodes. It begins with Ciri waking up in the marshland with Yurga’s wife finding her and taking her with her. Then there’s the final title card where all the season’s symbols join together. Then it’s the night at Sodden Hill where Yen makes more arrows out of magic and has drinks with Triss, while Cahir is poised ready to attack. Next, Ciri is with Yurga’s son Nadbor in the stable while they witness Nilfgaard’s first attack, and the Battle of Sodden Hill begins. The sequence continues as normal with Yen being sent to the tower, but instead of cutting to Geralt, it goes to the archers and Triss using her poison powers and Cahir fighting Vilgefortz – once Fringilla drops the ear worms, it moves to Geralt. The earlier portion of Yurga mentioning the unnatural fog is moved here instead, and it prefaces the sequence of Geralt being told about Sodden and pouring his potion on his bite wound, flashing back to Vesimir finding him. Next is the Sodden sequence with Coral dying, Triss creating a vine gate & getting burned, Fringilla’s earworms working on Sabrina and the two boys & Yen stumbling out the foggy gate in a pause of the battle while Vilgefortz loses his temper and it transcends into night with Yen needing Tissaia. Up next is Nilfgaard almost succeeding in charging the Keep that night, but Yen holds them back with fire magic just as Foltest arrives with his army. From then it plays out just as it did in the original episode: Ciri in bed in Yurga’s house, her dream about Tissaia, Geralt and Yen at Sodden, leaving the house in the morning to go into the woods to find Geralt just as Yurga’s wagon arrives, and the two finally come together.
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It’s a Mega link like everything else.

Footnote: I am in no capacity a professional editor or VFX artist, so some areas are visibly mostly good as I have to be realistic with the footage in front of me and what I can do with it. If you do have any particular notes and feedback, feel free to give me your thoughts, but please be constructive and don’t be an ass about it.