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Andrzej Sapkowski - The Last Wish

US cover of The Last Wish, the first book in the series

Blood of Elves UK

UK cover of Το Αίμα των Ξωτικών, the first Witcher novel

The Witcher series (Polish: cykl wiedźmiński) by Andrzej Sapkowski is a series of fantasy short stories (collected in two books, except for two stories) and five novels about the witcher Geralt of Rivia. The books have been adapted into a movie and television series (The Hexer), a παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή (The Witcher), a comic book and others. The novel series (excluding the short stories) is also called the Witcher Saga (Polish: saga o wiedźminie) or the Το Αίμα των Ξωτικών saga.

βιβλία

Συλλογές διηγημάτων

  • The Last Wish (Ελληνικά: Η Τελευταία Ευχή / Polish: Ostatnie życzenie) (1993, English edition: 2007)
  • The Sword of Destiny (Ελληνικά: Το σπαθί του πεπρωμένου / Polish: Miecz przeznaczenia) (1992; while the book was first to be published, it collects later short stories and takes place later than The Last Wish)
  • Something Ends, Something Begins (Ελληνικά: Κάτι Τελειώνει, Κάτι Αρχίζει / Polish: Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna) (2000) — only two of the series are set in the Witcher world, and only one of them is canon.

Novels (or saga)

  • Blood of Elves (Ελληνικά: Το Αίμα των Ξωτικών / Polish: Krew elfów) (1994, English edition: 2008)
  • Times of Contempt (Ελληνικά: Οι Καιροί της Περιφρόνησης / Οι Καιροί της Οργής / Polish: Czas pogardy) (1995, English edition expected: 2011 or 2012)
  • Baptism of Fire (Ελληνικά: Βάπτισμα Πυρός / Polish: Chrzest Ognia) (1996)
  • The Tower of the Swallow (Ελληνικά: Ο Πύργος του Χελιδονιού / Polish: Wieża Jaskółki) (1997)
  • The Lady of the Lake (Ελληνικά: Η Κυρά της Λίμνης / Polish: Pani Jeziora) (1999)

Publishing history

Short stories

The Witcher series started as a series of short stories, at first published in Fantastyka, a Polish science fiction and fantasy magazine. The first short story, "Wiedźmin" ("The Witcher") (1986), was written for a contest held by the magazine, where it won third place. The first four stories of the witcher Geralt — and the story "Droga, z której się nie wraca" ("The Road with No Return"), which took place in the same world, but dozens of years before the witcher stories — were originally collected in a short story collection titled Wiedźmin (out of print and now obsolete; all fifteen short stories were later collected in three books published by superNOWA.)

The second short story collection to be published was The Sword of Destiny (Miecz przeznaczenia). While The Last Wish collection was published after The Sword of Destiny, it replaced Wiedźmin as the first book, as it included all of the stories collected in Wiedźmin except "Droga, z ktorej się nie wraca" (the only one not featuring Geralt). Although new short stories were added in The Last Wish, they took place before the ones in The Sword of Destiny.

"Droga, z której się nie wraca", along with "Something Ends, Something Begins", a non-canon story about Geralt and Yennefer's wedding, written as a wedding gift for Sapkowski's friends, were later published in the book Something Ends, Something Begins. The rest of the stories in this book are not connected to the Witcher series in any way. In some Polish editions, "Droga, z której się nie wraca" and "Something Ends, Something Begins" are added to either The Last Wish or The Sword of Destiny.

Translations

The stories and novels have been translated into Bulgarian, Czech, German, Russian, Lithuanian, French, Portugese and Spanish. An English translation of Ostatnie życzenie (The Last Wish), the first short story collection, was published in the United Kingdom by Gollancz in 2007 and in the United States by Orbit in 2008. Gollancz decided to skip Miecz przeznaczenia (The Sword of Destiny, the second short story collection) and publish Krew elfów (Blood of Elves, the first novel in the Witcher Saga) in the United Kingdom directly after The Last Wish, even though the short stories in this collection take place earlier and introduce some of the characters that become major characters in the novels. Blood of Elves was published in 2009 by Orbit in the United States.

The name "witcher"

The original Polish name for "witcher" is "wiedźmin". The English translation preferred by Andrzej Sapkowski was initially "hexer" and is the name used in the international version of the film adaptation. However, CD Projekt chose to translate it to "witcher" in the The Witcher παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή, and this version was subsequently used by Danusia Stok in her translation of the book The Last Wish, as well as by Sapkowski himself in the book Historia i fantastyka.

Alternatively, the word warlock has been used informally in English translations, while "witcher", being a neologism in English (as wiedźmin is in Polish) arguably describes better the spirit of Geralt's profession. Witcher is used by the makers of a παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή based on the books and it was chosen for the English translation of The Last Wish.

In the Witcher fictional universe, "witcher" was a derogatory term constructed from the word "witch" (an exact translation of Polish word "wiedźma") and used by the sorcerers to describe males with limited magical ability.

Setting and story

Both short stories and novels are widely claimed by fans to be blockbusters of Polish fantasy. Geralt stories are praised for their slightly ironic sense of humor and subtle links to modern culture (e.g. one of the wizards taking part in the Gathering of the Wizards is constantly complaining about "ecological" issues). Moreover, quite contrary to the classical fantasy scheme, there is no black-white partitioning. On the other hand, Geralt's world is not a typical dark-fantasy (where all characters are more or less evil). Sapkowski tries to emphasize the scale of grays in everyone (e.g. one of the local rulers engaged in incestous relation with own sister shows as caring father — at least according to Geralt's world standards).

The Το Αίμα των Ξωτικών series proper consists of the five novels about Geralt, in which Sapkowski links together the plotlines begun in the short stories, and adds new ones. Apart from Geralt himself, another central character is Princess Ciri. Their story is set against the background of the struggle of the Βόρεια Βασίλεια against the Αυτοκρατορία του Nilfgaard.

Adaptations

Εικονογραφημένα μυθιστορήματα

Komiks Geralt okladka

Cover of the Geralt Εικονογραφημένα μυθιστόρημα

In 1993-1995, Sapkowski's stories were adapted into six Εικονογραφημένα μυθιστορήματα by Maciej Parowski (story), Bogusław Polch (art), and Sapkowski himself. They are:

  • Droga bez powrotu (The Road with No Return, based on the short story "Droga, z której się nie wraca")
  • Geralt (based on the short story "Wiedźmin")
  • Mniejsze zło (The Lesser Evil, based on a short story of the same title)
  • Ostatnie życzenie (The Last Wish, based on a short story of the same title)
  • Granica możliwości (The Bounds of Reason, based on a short story of the same title)
  • Zdrada (Betrayal, based on an "unused idea for a short story")

Currently, CD Projekt is preparing another comic book series, based on the three most important short stories: Kwestia ceny (A Question of Price), Miecz przeznaczenia (The Sword of Destiny) and Coś więcej (Something More), as well as the novels.

Ταινία και την τηλεοπτική σειρά

Wiedzmin plakat

Movie poster

The Hexer is the international title of both a Wiedźmin movie (2001) and television series (2002) directed by Marek Brodzki, written by Michał Szczerbic, and produced by Lew Rywin. The role of Geralt was played by Michał Żebrowski, and the music was composed by Grzegorz Ciechowski. The film was essentially the then-unreleased TV series chopped into about 2 hours, and received very poor reviews from both fans and critics.

The 13-episode TV series came out the following year. The series was much more coherent than the confusing movie, but was still considered a failure. The TV series has been unofficially released with English subtitles on the Internet.

Games

The Witcher EU box

Role-playing game

In 2001 a pen and paper role-playing game called Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni (The Witcher: A Game of Imagination), based on Sapkowski's books, was published by MAG.

Παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή

A 2007 computer role-playing game based on Sapkowski's saga called The Witcher was developed by CD Projekt, and was released in Europe on October 26th, and the US on October 30th. It was advertised far more than its predecessor, and although it was CDProjekt's first game, it was received very well by reviewers in both the EU and the US.

The plot of the παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή is set 5 years after the end of The Lady of the Lake (the last book of the series).

Mobile phone game

The Witcher: Crimson Trail (Polish: Wiedźmin: Krwawy Szlak), also known as The Witcher Mobile is a mobile phone action game created developed by Breakpoint on the license from CD Projekt. It features Geralt in his youth as a promising young student, has just completed his training to become an elite monster slayer – a witcher.

Card games

Two card games based on CD Projekt's The Witcher παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή have been designed by Kuźnia Gier. One, Wiedźmin: Przygodowa Gra Karciana (The Witcher: Adventure Cardgame) has been published by Kuźnia Gier and is being sold in Polish gaming stores, while the other, Wiedźmin: Promocyjna Gra Karciana (The Witcher Promo Card Game) is a simpler game added to the collector's edition of The Witcher in some countries.

Browser game

The Witcher: Versus is a Flash-based multiplayer fighting browser game, developed for CD Projekt RED by one2tribe and launched in 2008. The game has you create a character from one of three classes and challenge other players to deadly battles. When you first sign up for Versus, which is tied into your thewitcher.com forum account if you have one, you choose from one of three character classes: Witcher, Sorceress and Frightener.

Η Σειρά The Witcher του Αντρντζέι Σαπκόβσκι
Συλλογές διηγημάτων
Wiedźmin | Ostatnie życzenie | Miecz Przeznaczenia | Coś się kończy, coś się zaczyna
Βιβλία
Krew elfów | Czas pogardy | Chrzest ognia | Wieża Jaskółki | Pani Jeziora
Προσαρμογές
Wiedźmin (Εικονογραφημένα μυθιστορήματα) | The Hexer (ταινία και τηλεοπτική σειρά) | Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni (PnP RPG) | The Witcher (παιχνίδι για υπολογιστή) | The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings | The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
dk:Witcher serien

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