Spoilers for The Witcher and The Wheel of Time are underneath.
The Witcher makes you believe in the possibility of magic. In a world where monsters stalk the earth, Henry Cavill’s thighs can genuinely squeeze into such tight leather trousers. But there’s one thing this show can’t persuade us of: LGBT people actually exist.
We’re everywhere in the actual world. We’re promoting the LGBT agenda every time we get, whether we’re your kids, daughters, or non-binary loved ones. Even in a world where witches, dragons, and abs are the standard, The Witcher would have us think that LGBTQ+ individuals don’t exist.
And, before anybody says anything, Jaskier isn’t gay. At least, that’s what actor Joey Batey and writer Lauren Schmidt Hissrich of The Witcher say. Yes, we were as taken aback as you were.
Despite an abundance of subtext that often threatens to become text text throughout seasons one and two, Jaskier’s probable queerness is ignored by those closest to him.
When we queried Batey about Jaskier’s devotion to Geralt, he said, “It’s absolutely crucial to clarify that their relationship is purely platonic.” Hissrich corroborated this the next day, saying, “I don’t believe those characters have any homoerotic implications.”
The Witcher isn’t the only one who has experienced this. Fantasy is still, for the most part, straighter than Geralt’s hairline, but that doesn’t excuse The Witcher’s intentionally confusing approach to even the concept of queerness.
This is especially true now that fantasy series like She-Ra and Shadow and Bone have started to include LGBTQ+ themes into their realms. Thankfully, all of this recent advancement has culminated in Amazon’s The Wheel of Time, which has an incredible surprise.
Writer Robert Jordan hinted at the possibility of more to Moiraine’s bond with Siuan Sanche at different times in the source material. ‘New Spring,’ a 2004 prequel book, even refers to the two as “pillow pals” who share the same bed, but not everyone was persuaded (as Autostraddle just recently pointed out).
Thankfully, Rafe Judkins, the showrunner of The Wheel of Time, didn’t share those reservations – or, if he did, he didn’t seem to mind – since episode six brings this LGBT connection to life in the most beautiful and organic manner possible.
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Moiraine and Siuan keep their relationship hidden from the public, but it isn’t banned in the manner LGBT viewers are used to. The stigma linked to their relationship stems from the power dynamics at play, not from their same-sex partnership.
Rosamund Pike told Out shortly after the episode aired, “The shock should be Moiraine is in a relationship with the Amyrlin Seat, not Moiraine is in a relationship with a woman.” “I hadn’t really caught up on the reality of how unique it is if there is no stigma,” she said. “It’s all simply accepted now, right?”
How many other fantasy programs do you know that include a gay protagonist who is romantically connected with another queer person? It’s unparalleled, at least in the realm of popular fantasy filmmaking. And that’s not the only way The Wheel of Time has already shown to be relevant.
Someone asks Rand and Mat whether they’re in a relationship in an earlier episode. Rather than dismissing the notion outright, the two giggle and explain that they’re just buddies. And the fact that they’re asked so casually in the first place seems to reinforce that LGBTQ+ identities are the standard in our society, as they should be.
Rafe Judkins, the showrunner, is a homosexual guy who knows that queerness should be a natural part of any environment, including one that isn’t even real. Leaving such experiences out, particularly in fantasy settings like this, might imply that LGBT people are unimportant and undeserving of inclusion.
Unfortunately, The Witcher achieves just that by completely disregarding queerness. Is it necessary for Geralt to be gay? No, however it would be great with us if you did. However, things get problematic when you purposefully remove LGBTQ+ characters to the point that you refuse to even acknowledge that one may be classified as such.
Queer stereotypes may be terrible, but it’s perhaps even more offensive to insinuate that you can’t conceive a world in which we exist. Although it may be simpler to ignore LGBTQ+ representation for fear of making a mistake, this is not the best approach. That’s particularly true when you consider the fact that The Witcher’s source material contains LGBT characters.
Philippa, who has just been on the program for a few minutes, is “a gay icon for book lovers,” according to Hissrich. Ciri isn’t exactly a straight shooter either, despite the fact that you wouldn’t know it from watching the program.
To be fair, Lauren has said that there are plans to include gay characters in The Witcher in the future. Hissrich pledges to “get into Philippa’s character,” stating that her queerness is “not something we shy away from.” Ciri’s queerness, which is hinted at in the novels, will allegedly be explored on film as well.
All of this is fantastic, but representation alone is insufficient. Its quality is just as important, if not more important, than its inclusion in the first place. Given The Witcher’s shady history, it’s difficult to predict if Philippa and Ciri’s identities will be given the respect they deserve in season three.
Whatever occurs, it’s critical that their sexualities be naturally interwoven into the plot, as Moiraine’s was in The Wheel of Time. Because we understand. When you’re on a large dream adventure, you don’t always have time to think about sexuality. And it’s not like fantasy series like The Witcher have to continually emphasize LGBTQ+ themes. However, this does not totally justify a lack of queerness.
If we’re supposed to think that Henry Cavill can squeeze his thighs into those leather trousers without the need of witchcraft or magic, then a fantasy world with genuine LGBT people shouldn’t be too difficult to fathom.