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The Witcher: Ciri's Season 4 Storyline May Change Her (For The Worse)

Netflix's "The Witcher" is in a bit of hot water with its fanbase. The live-action adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's high fantasy novels just released Season 3 and bid farewell to Henry Cavill, who's set to be replaced in the title role by Liam Hemsworth for all future episodes. What's more,  production on Season 4 is officially delayed until at least next year. It's unclear whether the pause stems from Season 3 receiving the series' lowest fan rating to date, from the backlash against the celebrity swap out, from the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, or from some unholy combination of all three.

As if that weren't enough, the ending of "The Witcher" Season 3 opened the door for Cirilla of Cintra (Freya Allan) to become a canonically worse version of herself. In the final few moments, Ciri assumes the name Falka, which she steals from Hiftu Quasem's character, and joins the Rats, a group of murderers and thieves.

While the series relishes its moral ambiguity, Ciri has always been its unshakeable, righteous northern star. While her most recent choices mirror the actions made by her counterpart in Sapkowski's novels, and that's significant for a production that infamously takes a lackadaisical approach to adapting its source material, is this the right moment to fundamentally alter a core character's character?

The Witcher's future is a dangerous balancing act

While Ciri, as Falka, travels with the Rats, she sheds more than her name. She becomes one of them — a thief. She justifies it well enough as the Rats typically operate like Robin Hood by stealing from the rich and giving to themselves, but it's still a jarring shift from the young woman she was before. The Rats are a reckless, arrogant group and, in the end, it becomes their undoing. But it might be Ciri's undoing far sooner. In Andrzej Sapkowski's novels, Ciri slowly but surely reveals herself to be the series' protagonist, taking over for Geralt of Rivia.

It is not unreasonable to suspect that future viewers, whatever shape that demographic takes, will struggle to accept Ciri as "The Witcher's" focal point, especially if Netflix lingers on her time with the Rats. As it stands, the fans are already murmuring. On Reddit, u/Afraid_Impression_90 asked, "Is anyone else here who hasn't read the books and is just straight up sad about Ciri's final line and [her] claiming herself as someone she just ... never was before?" There's a certain irony to critiques like this one because it means that even non-readers — the group which studios typically change the source material for — aren't necessarily excited for what's to come.

Opinions on X (formerly Twitter) vary, too, with some complaining about the Ciri-centric episodes in Season 3 and others complaining about the lack of witcher-ing, in general. The only thing most of the internet can seem to agree on is how Henry Cavill was the heart of the series. And without him, other changes — however faithful to the source material they may be — might not be received so well.