In the Witcher Season 2 falls through in showing its disabled character by introducing new healthy characters and making them disabled, and various other issues.
The Witcher Series is based on witcher books, written by Andrzej Sapkowski and the witcher video games. The Witcher series is led by Henry Cavill, playing the lead role of the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. Geralt hunts down monsters for money and is on the journey to find his way in a world full of beasts.
Apart from the popular Witcher, Henry Cavill, there are other characters in the series, which are: Yennefer of Vengerberg, a powerful sorcerer who was shown disabled in the starting but cured herself with magic, and one of the essential characters is Princess Cirilla of Cintra, Ciri, who was known for the Child with Elder Blood and can be the end of the world, as per the prophecy.
The Witcher Series on Netflix is leading down towards the journey of Geralt, the Witcher, Princess Ciri, Geralt’s child surprise and Yennefer, powerful sorcerers together. They are protecting Ciri from the dangers of the world and her own, which possibly be the main focus of the Witcher Season 3.
However, the portrayal of disabled characters is not up to the mark in both the seasons released to date. Here we will be discussing how and when the series went in a wrong way in its mission.
The Witcher: Yennefer & Rience
In the year 2019, the witcher Season 1 was released on Netflix, which showcased a disabled character (as mentioned earlier), Yennefer of Vengerberg, played by Anya Chalotra. She was introduced as a disabled woman with kyphosis. In most of season 1, Yennefer faced a lot of prejudice and discrimination for being a disabled person.
Tissaia de Vries, one of the main members of the chapter, bought Yennefer from her parents for less than the price of a pig. Tissaia took Yennefer to teach her magic, and throughout her training, she used to call Yennefer ‘piglet’.
Well, on the plus side, Yennefer transformed herself through magic, but she had to sacrifice the chance of being a mother for a beautiful body. The plot around the character Yennefer is very disturbing. The first and foremost point is casting a non-disabled character for the role; it shows the exclusion of the disabled community, as Netflix gave one of the few roles of disabled character to a non-disable person.
However, the role after Yennefer’s transformation was magnificent. But the audience would be pleased if the role before the transformation would’ve been given to a disabled person to honour their daily hardwork. Well, the problem of the plot isn’t solved after Yennefer’s transformation, as she only achieved success after she was free of the disabilities.
The Witcher Season 2 displayed a disabled representation by introducing an antagonist mage named Rience. Once Jaskier, the bard, an acquaintance of Yennefer, she was happy after seeing him, was kidnapped by a mage Rience. Rience wants information about Ciri, and he thinks that Jaskier, the best friend of Geralt, knows about the girl, but he doesn’t.
Yennefer came to rescue Jaskier from the tortures of Rience, and during that, Yennefer gave him facial scarring by using his own magic on himself. The Witcher series decision of giving a disabled face to one of the main villains in the series was really disturbing.
James Bond series was also criticized on this thought, showcasing the scariness of the villain based on facial deformity. Netflix’s Witcher did the same, making the look of Rience scarier after the burnt face. It was constituted during the end of the Witcher Season 2 when Rience’s superior/colleague Lydia was shown facially scared too, which is shown as adding to the insult for the disabled community.
The Witcher Series has failed its plot to represent the disabled community in various ways. It focused on stereotypes about the facial scars, which made the characters look more horrifying. After the deformity was resolved, it succeeded the character and showcased the prejudice towards disabled people. However, only the witcher season 2 has been released, and this series, not perfect till now, has a long way to go.