Storyboard of The Witcher’s opening monster sequence revealed

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The Witcher season one is already making waves, having quickly become one of Netflix’s highest rated shows on IMDb and taking over social media (all in spite of unforgiving critic reviews). Long before the show launched on Netflix, and even before filming had begun, artist Ferenc Nothof was one of a large team of concept artists that helped shape the look and feel of the Continent. Now, Nothof has unveiled some of his work, an early storyboard of the series’ first scene. Read on to see how the fight between Geralt and the kikimore was first envisioned.

For those unfamiliar with the term, storyboards are used to establish the shots and cinematography of a scene before heading into the shoot, and they are especially important when planning scenes involving special effects and computer-generated graphics.

The scene we see in the storyboard is quite different from the finalized sequence in the show (and not only in the monster’s design). It seems that, originally, Geralt was to fight the monster above water before plunging into the swamp. At the end of the show’s first teaser, we see Geralt approaching the kikimore similarly, which means there is a longer cut of the fight which was shortened in the editing room. In the final edit, the fight begins underwater.

The artist shared these images on his Instagram account, along with the following caption: “So I suppose most of us already seen the first episode of The Witcher, but if you don’t … SPOILER ALERT! Although it was finally shot differently and the monster looks different. This happens a lot when you develop something with the director, but they can’t always afford to shoot it or have a better idea on the day… I think the scene becoming simpler was a good idea, indeed. This is what storyboards are for; playing around with ideas fast and cheap and even if you don’t follow it you still had your thinking phase.”

“I don’t have to tell that this project was a blast,” Nothof adds, thanking episode one director Alik Sakharov and Pioneer Images. Make sure to take a look at his page, as it has some beautiful art (both related and unrelated to the show).

So, now that we know the kikimore fight was originally longer and more complex, we can only wonder… which other scenes were shortened or deleted outright in the editing room? And will we, perhaps, have a chance to see these scenes in the show’s Blu-ray release? We certainly hope so.

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