Newsbeat

The Witcher: Filling the Game of Thrones void?

Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia Image copyright Netflix

"What I think Game of Thrones did... it said fantasies are for everyone, and you can find yourself in this world too."

And Lauren Schmidt Hissrich will be hoping a few bereft Westeros watchers will be looking to her new series for their fantasy fix.

She's the creator of new Netflix show the Witcher, and credits Game of Thrones for opening up the genre for a wider audience.

"It's not just for this narrow niche of geeks and nerds," she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

The Witcher is based on a popular series of novels. It follows the journey of Geralt of Rivia - a monster hunter patrolling the Continent, a world full of both human and magical evil.

Image copyright Netflix
Image caption Geralt of Rivia is at first a solitary monster hunter

The character of Geralt is played by Superman himself, Henry Cavill, and he agrees with the impact of Thrones on the fantasy world.

"I think it's has paved the way in the same as Lord of the Rings did before. I'm very happy that the fantasy genre is coming to the screen lot more frequently," he says.

But can the show fill the space left by Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon Snow?

Lauren says comparisons with the hit show are inevitable, but that the Witcher has its own path.

"It's one where we hear it a lot. But I think the Witcher will stand on its own two feet. It's a very different show."

One particular area where the show stands out for Lauren is having powerful women in leading roles.

During his adventure, Geralt meets a powerful sorceress - Yennefer of Vengerberg - and a young princess named Ciri. They are played by Anya Chalotra and Freya Allan.

Image copyright Netflix

Freya tells Newsbeat that Ciri's strength is in how open she is to seeing the good in people.

"Even when that's a really hard thing to do - it takes a huge amount of strength."

Lauren says it was easy to include such strong characters in the show.

"It's unexpected for a fantasy series which has always been seen as a male dominated genre. But these strong women are all in the books. So we didn't have to take huge leaps to do that in the writers room."

"These women are incredibly powerful, strong and multi dimensional."

It's with these characters that the wider audience will form a strong connection, according to Freya.

"You don't need to be a fantasy fan to enjoy it. Because there are human relationships that everyone can relate to and follow."

Image copyright Netflix

One area where the show might follow Game of Thrones is in its fan following.

"The first publicity thing we had was San Diego Comic Con - so we were thrown into the deep end," Freya says.

"It's been a little overwhelming," Anya tells Newsbeat.

"Having never experienced this before - so many fans, a big production and we are quite new to this."

The signs are good though - the show has already been renewed by Netflix for a second season.

Tomasz Baginski, the show's producer, says regardless of any comparison with Game of Thrones he's proud of what the show has created.

"Life is fun. When you really think about this, even in the darkest moments."

"One of the things I'm glad about is that we were able nail that down - a bit like this bittersweet, darkly, funny type of tone. Which is quite unique and very rare, I think in entertainment."

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