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The Surprising Comedian Who Inspired The Witcher Season 2's Jaskier

Though he mainly serves as comic relief in the first season of Netflix's fantasy drama series "The Witcher," the bard Jaskier (Joey Batey) quickly establishes himself as a fan-favorite character thanks to his energetic attitude, an endless supply of jokes, and his performance of the iconic "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" anthem. Though once a fast friend to the legendary Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), by the end of Season 1, it was clear the Witcher had quite enough of the troublemaking bard, and the two part ways ahead of a tumultuous season finale.

Jaskier returns in Season 2 to make amends with Geralt and rejoin him on his adventures across The Continent. Intriguingly, the cocky young musician has changed quite a bit since we last saw him. This change is best illustrated in the contrast between Season 1's "Toss a Coin to your Witcher" and his new ballad, "Burn, Butcher, Burn," the latter of which paints a much more violent picture of Geralt and specifically references his nickname, "The Butcher of Blaviken."

The tonal and behavioral shifts in Jaskier's character are essential to his story moving forward. It may surprise some fans of "The Witcher" to learn that this new performance from Batey is inspired by a well-known modern comedian whose work is about as drastically different from high fantasy as you could imagine.

Jaskier's new attitude is inspired by Bo Burnham

In an interview with Gaming Bible, actor Joey Batey revealed that his performance as Jaskier on "The Witcher" Season 2 is actually inspired by comedian Bo Burnham. "I love his satire and his bravery, and he's a comedian that is very unafraid," Batey said. "[He] can make the dumb jokes, but also, you are going to be leaving going 'Oh, I think that was more intelligent than I am.'"

Batey went on to compare Burnham to a modern sort of bard, who uses his comedy to challenge our perception of what it means to be a comedian and explore all sorts of topics and problems in really intelligent ways. He explained, "I think that's where a lot of the music and a lot of the humor and darkness of Jaskier comes in with Season 2." Like Burnham, Jaskier responds to the changes around him through his art. As that world descends into bloody chaos, "The Witcher" character's comedy serves as a way to explore those developments and the impact it has on him.

It might seem natural to view Jaskier as nothing but comic relief once more in Season 2. But when you take the time to listen to what he's saying, you find that the series has started to incorporate a more nuanced, more philosophical side of Jaskier — one which could have major implications for his character down the line.