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We Finally Know Why Eskel Had To Die In The Witcher Season 2

The end of "The Witcher" Season 2 contains plenty of surprises for fans of Netflix's fantasy series and sees Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) fighting to save Ciri (Freya Allan) from a nefarious demon named Voleth Meir (Ania Marson). The conflict is followed up by the unfortunate arrival of the Wild Hunt, a horde of interdimensional wraiths who are hunting Ciri because of her powerful abilities. Fans of the series were, of course, also surprised by how the Netflix show's second season chooses to deviate from both the original books by Andrzej Sapkowski and the critically acclaimed games from CD Projekt Red.

In fact, there have been many complaints about how the Witchers are written in "The Witcher" Season 2 and the way they're quickly overpowered by some of the different threats they're put up against throughout the season. But most of all, there's been fan uproar about how the Netflix series kills Eskel (Basil Eidenbenz) very early on in its second season. 

Eskel's unceremonious death comes shortly after Geralt returns to the Witcher stronghold of Kaer Morhen, with it quickly becoming apparent that the other Witcher has somehow been infected by a Leshy. The character's monstrous transformation turns him into the behemoth forest monster and he starts causing chaos in the castle right up until the moment when Geralt sets his sword on fire in order to kill his friend. 

To put it bluntly, this sequence of events does not happen in the "Witcher" books or games. Therefore, fans are asking: Why did showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich decide to kill Eskel in "The Witcher" Season 2?

Eskel's death forces Geralt to make an important decision

Netflix has recently released an in-depth spoiler video that dives into "The Witcher" Season 2 and features conversations with the show's cast and crew. The video provides some interesting insight into what it was like for the series' creative team to make it during such unprecedented times, and also allows those involved in the show to address some of the issues fans have with "The Witcher" Season 2. Lauren S. Hissrich, for instance, revealed that the show's writers always planned on killing a character as a way of pushing Geralt into agreeing to teach Ciri how to defend herself.

According to Hissich, the unlucky figure was originally meant to be a new character named John, but because their death likely wouldn't have resonated with the show's fans enough, the decision was ultimately made to put Eskel on the chopping block. "I know that there are fans who love Eskel and who feel like, 'Why would we do that?'" Hissrich acknowledged. "But honestly, his death is what changes everything for Geralt." 

The showrunner went on to say that Eskel's death further reinforces the question about whether or not the Witchers have run their course on the Continent. "So much of Season 2 is about the fact of, 'Is the Witcher brotherhood over?'" Hissrich said before adding, "Of course, we had to kill more." Hissrich did, however, note that the Witcher brotherhood will never come to an end as long as Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) is around, saying, "There's this history in Vesemir, he's the keeper of Witcher history."

All of this is to say that it sounds like, in the end, Eskel was killed not only so that Geralt's relationship with Ciri could continue to evolve, but also so that the Netflix series could further call the Witchers' place in the world into question.