the urge to buy amuseable jellycats plants… palpable
Amongst the many, many, many themes The Witcher Netflix failed to adapt (notice I’m saying themes, not 1:1 scene adaptations), a crucial one is the theme of classism.
Witchers are perceived around the Continent as uneducated, mindless monster-killing machines that often serve as scary bed time stories for children to behave. We see Geralt being mistreated for his lower class status as a witcher, especially by people from the upper class: Istredd, driven by his jealousy of Yennefer, offends Geralt’s very existence using his status as a witcher; Calanthe, even as she’s polite to Geralt during the banquet, doesn’t make any attempt at hiding she thinks of him as just a mercenary for hire; Foltest is actually pleasantly surprised that Geralt is so eloquent; the sorceresses at Thanedd are pleasantly surprised that Geralt is so good looking (and immediately start fetishizing him); Vilgefortz is not shy in saying he thinks Geralt is just a stupid insignificant man, even while Geralt keeps up the conversation with him effortlessly; the professor (I forgot his name) at that boat in Blood of Elves refuses so adamantly to accept Geralt is not stupid, even while Geralt maintains a decent conversation there.
And you know what’s interesting? This perception is established and propagated a lot by people from the upper class (nobles and mages mostly, like I pointed out). The alderman in Blaviken is actually friends with Geralt, until the whole Blaviken massacre happens. The other people in the boat aren’t as prejudiced against Geralt as the professor is. There’s an exchange between Geralt and Yurga, a peasant merchant, where Yurga pretty much asks Geralt whether he’s interested in taking up his son to train to become a witcher — it’s a noble job in Yurga’s perception, and it’s better than whatever job Yurga himself can get for his son.
The point is: throughout the story, we easily realize that Geralt — and by extension, the witchers, a lower class and outcast portion of society in the Continent — is anything but a mindless monsterkilling machine. He’s educated, he went to Oxenfurt, he is quite the (annoying, whiny) philosopher, he is intelligent. When we meet the other witchers, we also get the sense that they’re also educated (whether they studied at Nenneke’s temple and/or Oxenfurt is not stated), that they’re intelligent and savvy enough to understand the broader politics of the Continent. Lambert, for instance, calls the visiting mage out on the “small talk” she’s doing trying to convince them to give Ciri to her — he understands broader politics enough to know that the upper class (in this case, the mages) are never interested in helping society, they’re only interested in helping themselves (and oh boy, isn’t he right in this moment?). Coën takes in consideration what Triss has to say and decides to make a life-changing decision and go to war in Brenna. They aren’t ignorant.
Which leads me to another point: I’ve said this again and again, the mages in the world of The Witcher are meant to be an allegory of our society’s upper class. Magic is a metaphor for money, and sorcerers and sorceresses are the lobbyist pushing politics (kings and queens) towards their own goals; they are our world’s billionaires who could do a lot to change society’s injustices, but just don’t because… it’s not really convenient or relevant for their plans, is it? So we have a really not subtle scenario: upper class (mages) belittling the working lower class (witchers) on several occasions. And we see it when Istredd belittles Geralt, we see it when Triss belittles the witchers when she’s visiting Kaer Morhen, we see it when Geralt visits Thanedd, we see it when The Lodge is formed, we see it until the very end, when Vilgefortz is doing his evil Vilgefortz shenanigans.
But Netflix fails to see any of that (or refuses to?). Instead of leaning into this classism problem and discuss it, they choose to portray the witchers with the least depth possible, as just mindless orgy enthusiasts who can’t even train a child without bullying her. They choose to ignore the significance of Ciri abandoning her title as Princess Cirilla of Cintra and finding a new family away from that political weigh — it feels like they can’t even fathom the idea that Ciri wouldn’t hold tight to her former princess title as her identity? Nevermind that, originally, Ciri was so traumatized that she leaned heavily on her status as Geralt’s child surprise instead of former princess of Cintra, and she leaned heavily on the hope that Geralt would find her after living for a few months with Yurga’s family. Ciri abandoning the upper class status and actually finding solace and comfort in a found family of the lower working class is filled with symbolism: it’s here that it’s established that political titles are just made up symbols of imperialism and oppression; it’s here where the themes of imperialism is bad and autonomy is important start to be discussed.
The Witcher Netflix fails to discuss all of that. They choose to focus on made-up mage politics instead of building working class-upper class dynamics to highlight the unfairness of it all, choosing to focus more on the opressor of the Continent instead of the oppressed — or not really the oppressed, they could focus on the classism problem without even focusing on a specific group. The witchers aren’t the only ones who suffer with classism, we can look at other characters such as Angoulême, Milva, Mistle and the Rats, the scoia’tael—hell, even freaking Rience-who-was-kicked-out-of-Ban-Ard-but-became-a-lackey-instead-of-a-lawyer.
(And on that note, let’s not ignore that a lawyer is still a prestigious position in-universe, it’s just a step down in the scale of privilege from actual mages, so it’s really another case of classism dictating social roles in the in-universe society.)
(And still on that note, let’s not forget that in Season of Storm, even though Geralt was being defended by an Aretuza drop-out lawyer — who obviously didn’t care about him in the least — Geralt himself had to figure out how to defend himself with his own knowledge of Law and Latin. Another instance of 1) Upper class not giving a damn and 2) Geralt proving the stereotype about witchers wrong, he’s very well educated.)
(And we *know* Netflix folks read Season of Storms because that’s where Nightmare of the Wolf was inspired from ;D)
TWN chooses to focus on the oppressor instead of the oppressed because… let’s be real, they want their Littlefinger vs Varys moment like in the early seasons of GoT (it’s either that, or they actually sympathize more with the class of mages than any other class in the Continent? Hmmmm.)
My point is: The Witcher Netflix ignores the classism issues found in the story. Why? Class discussion is a key part of the Witcher stories, but it seems that discussing class is not fashionable? For rich TV executives at least? Otherwise, why are they working so hard to avoid these issues and begging the audience to sympathize (be it through pity, charisma, or politic mind games, or even anger — why give Stregobor so much screen time?) with the upper class oppressors?
And class is so deeply interlinked with the theme of fatherhood!
Geralt works in a dying profession where he risks his life on the regular for very little money, and yet when he bounds himself by destiny to a vulnerable girl who has both immense political and magical power he doesn’t take advantage of her. If at some point in the story he had broken Ciri’s trust for his own gain then he would be one of the few characters you could almost sympathise with for doing so, and yet the thought never even crosses his mind. Geralt and his fellow witchers are some of the only characters who want nothing from her. Their working class perspective on power and corruption is why Geralt becomes a good dad.
And that’s also why Vesemir’s plot in the show felt so bizarre to me. The idea that the witchers might try to mutate Ciri and put her through the trials is something Triss thinks about while ruminating on why she was invited to the keep (as they would need a mage for the trials). Vesemir never shows any inclination that he might want to put Ciri through that. Instead he welcomes Ciri into the keep without fuss, sews her clothes to train in, adjusts her sword to her height, and comforts her during a lesson on ghouls when she’s reminded of the death she saw in Sodden. All we see Vesimir doing is sharing his skills with Ciri so she can better protect herself. He wants nothing from her. Why have him burden her with the legacy of witchers?
It’s not like Netflix executives are against producing shows and films where class is an important theme. For example Squid Game, Money Heist, Arcane, Maid, etc. Shows that start online conversations about classism and inequality aren’t particularly threatening to them and can often lead to more Netflix subscriptions. I think the issue is that the writers room lacks class diversity and that upper-middle class writers have a blind spot for their own prejudice. It can be incredibly difficult for working class people to break into the TV and film industry, and the exec producers of The Witcher and Netflix executives in general should be working harder to bridge the gap.
the fact I know basically all of the characters in the post and I only watched two of them (tog and twilight).
But Joe, honey deserves better then being put in a post with darkling.
Bella: you NiCkNamEd mY dAugHTER AFTER THE LOCK NESS M O N S T ER?
currently finding this netflix geeked insta post FAR too funny
ive heard conflicting opinions so question for americans and other foreigners: was drinking coke reserved for special occasions in your house when you were younger? do you relate to just why the little german boy was so amazed his mama allowed him to drink cola for no special reason?
also fun fact, “georg” is actually just the german equivalent of the name george and is pronounced something like “gay-orgh”, so when i first saw the spiders georg post i just read it as spiders gay-orgh and it took me a ridiculously long time to realise that actually most people probably just pronounce it as spiders george. which is so weird cuz to my mind it’s not “spiders george”, its “spiders georg” (spiders gay-orgh). so anyway genuinely curious, how do u guys all pronounce spiders georg
It’s my grandpa’s birthday next week and he said “I don’t want to be 85” and my grandmother, his wife of 59 and a half years, said “well your only alternative is to die”, I can’t believe how affectionate they are
I was having lunch with them today and my grandpa started throwing napkins at my grandmother, and she balled it up and looked all set to throw it back but then she put it down and said “I will not throw it because I was brought up properly, you were dragged” she has spent ¾ of her life with this man
I thought I’d let you know how they’ve been getting on during lockdown, so here’s some of the FaceTime conversation from today:
“My goodness, the way technology is advancing - in 20 years we’ll be able to shake hands through the screen!”
“Rex, I don’t think we’ll be here in 20 years.”
“Well you can make your own plans, I shall only be 109.”
What’s up friends, it’s been 3 years, grandpa has made it to 88 and they’ve been married 62.5 years! Please enjoy another instalment:
Grandpa: the new packs are.. it’s.. what is it. It self destructs
Grandma : biodegradable, Rex.
the undone cowboy writes to his sweetheart by silas denver melvin (click for better quality)
[Image description: the poem ‘the undone cowboy writes to his sweetheart’ written in black text on a white background. The poem reads:
could you lasso my legs, darling,
& press me tender to a hay bale?
been far from myself again.
need the yellow behind your eyes
to blossom right before a kiss.
I’m all jack rabbit & running again, darling.
you know those restless nights,
where the engine turns over
& i walk my way back to you.
i’ll skin you an apple,
tight between the knife & my thumb,
if you let me feed you every slice.
that’s the only paradise i can offer you.
(i’m sorry- it’s what i have- it’s what it is)
i bring the soft fruit of my heart
& you bring your boots propped up
on the kitchen table.
could you do that, darling?
i know you could.
jokes on you Kate my best friend's name is Humphrey Ketchup
Jokes on you Bird we’ve never had sex and now we never will. Why don’t you take your goddamn ketchup into the kitchen and make me a sandwich
the vibe of this role like the essence of it it smells like ketchup, I look at this photo and taste the ghost of ketchup
Sure I’ll post that
My Ben Barnes posts are getting notes again did something happen in the Shadow and Bone fandom
Still haven’t read Six of Crows….. Gotta get on with that ASAP. Anyway congratulations guys or sorry that happened
. Rewatch what for what
stupid leftists and their belief in *checks notes* the intrinsic value of human life
Reblog if you would burn down the statue of liberty to save a life
Here’s the thing, though. If you asked a conservative “Would you let the statue of liberty burn to save one life?” they’d probably scoff and say no, it’s a national landmark, a treasure, a piece of too much historical importance to let it be destroyed for the sake of one measly life.
But if you asked, “Would you let the statue of liberty burn in order to save your child? your spouse? someone you loved a great deal?” the tune abruptly changes. At the very least, there’s a hesitation. Even if they deny it, I’m willing to bet that gun to their head, the answer would be “yes.”
The basic problem here is that people have a hard time seeing outside their own sphere of influence, and empathizing beyond the few people who are right in front of them. You’ve got your immediate family, whom you love; your friends, your acquaintances, maybe to a certain degree the people who share a status with you (your religion, your race, etc.)–but beyond that? People aren’t real. They’re theoretical.
But a national monument? That’s real. It stands for something. The value of a non-realized anonymous life that exists completely outside your sphere of influence is clearly worth less than something that represents freedom and prosperity to a whole nation, right?
People who think like this lack the compassion to realize that everyone is in someone’s immediate sphere of influence–that everyone is someone’s lover, or brother, or parent. Everyone means the world to someone. And it’s the absolute height of selfishness to assume that their lives don’t have value just because they don’t mean the world to you.
P.S. I would let the statue of liberty burn to save a pigeon.
also, there is an extreme difference between what things or principles *i* personally am willing to die for, and what i would hazard others to die for. and this is a distinction i don’t think the conservative hard-right likes to face.
an example: so, as the nazis began war against france, the staff of the louvre began crating up and shipping out the artworks. it was vital to them (for many reasons) that the nazis not get their hands on the collections, and hitler’s desire for them was known, so they dispersed the objects to the four winds; one of the curators personally traveled with la gioconda, mona lisa herself, in an unmarked crate, moving at least five times from location to location to avoid detection.
they even removed and hid the nike of samothrace, “winged victory,” which is both delicate, having been pieced back together from fragments, and incredibly heavy, weighing over three metric tons.
the curators who hid these artworks risked death to ensure that they wouldn’t fall into nazi hands. and yes, they are just paintings, just statues. but when i think about the idea of hitler capturing and standing smugly beside the nike of samothrace, a statue widely beloved as a symbol of liberty, i completely understand why someone would risk their life to prevent that. if my life was all that stood between a fascist dictator and a masterpiece that inspired millions, i would be willing to risk it. my belief in the power and necessity of art would demand i do so.
if, however, a nazi held a gun to some kid’s head (any kid!) and asked me which crate the mona lisa was in, they could have it in a heartbeat. no problem! i wouldn’t even have to think about it. being willing to risk my own life on principle doesn’t mean i’m willing to see others endangered for those same principles.
and that is exactly where the conservative hard-right falls right the fuck down. they are, typically, entirely willing to watch others suffer for their own principles. they are perfectly okay with seeing children in cages because of their supposed belief in law and order. they are perfectly willing to let women die from pregnancy complications because of their anti-abortion beliefs. they are alright with poverty and disease on general principle because they hold the free-market sacrosanct. and i guess from their own example they would save the statue of liberty and let human beings burn instead.
but speaking as a leftist (i’m more comfortable with socialist tbh), my principles are not abstract things that i hold aside from life, apart or above my place as a human being in a society. my beliefs arise from being a person amidst people. i don’t love art for art’s sake alone, actually! i don’t love objects because they are objects: i love them because they are artifacts of our humanity, because they communicate and connect us, because they embody love and curiosity and fear and feeling. i love art because i love people. i want universal health care because i want to see people universally cared for. i want universal basic income because people’s safety and dignity should not be determined by their economic productivity to an employer. i am anti-war and pro-choice for the same reason: i value people’s lives but also their autonomy and right to self-determination. my beliefs are not abstractions. i could never value a type of economic system that i saw hurting people, no matter how much “growth” it produced. i could never love “law and order” more than i love a child, any child, i saw trapped in a cage.
would i be willing to risk death, trying to save the statue of liberty? probably, yes. but there is no culture without people, and therefore i also believe there are no cultural treasures worth more than other people’s lives. and as far as i’m concerned the same goes for laws, or markets, or borders.
This is an excellent ethical discussion.
The first time I came across this post, randomslasher’s addition was life changing for me. I suddenly understood where the right was coming from, and I had never been angrier.
This is also why so many people on the right fail to see the hypocrisy of trying to make abortion illegal when they themselves have had abortions. They can tally up their own life circumstances and conclude that it would be difficult or impossible to continue a pregnancy, but they’re completely mystified by the idea that women they don’t know are also human beings with complicated lives and limited spoon allocation.
This is also why they think “get a job” is useful advice. In their heads they honestly do not understand why the NPCs who make up the majority of the human race can’t just flip a switch from “no job” to “job.” When they say “get a job” they’re filing a glitch report with God and they honestly think that’s all it takes.
This is also why they tend to view demographics as individuals. They think that every single Muslim is just a different avatar for the same bit of programming.
Borrowed observation from @innuendostudios here, but: there’s also a fundamental difference in how progressives view social problems versus how conservatives view them. That is, progressives view them as problems to be solved, whereas conservatives do not believe you can solve anything.
Conservatives view social issues as universal constants that fundamentally are unable to be changed, like the weather. You can try to alter your own behavior to protect yourself (you can carry an umbrella), and you can commiserate about how bad the weather is, but you can’t stop it from raining. This is why conservatives blame victims of rape for dressing immodestly or for drinking or for going out at night: to them, those things are like going out without an umbrella when you know it’s going to rain.
“But then why do conservatives try to stop things they dislike by making them illegal, like drug use or immigration or abortion?” And the answer is: they’re not. They know perfectly well that those things will continue. No amount of studies showing that their methods are ineffective will matter to them because effectiveness is not the point. The point is to punish people for doing bad things, because punishing people is how you show your disapproval of their actions; if you don’t punish them, then you’re condoning their behavior.
This is why they will never support rehabilitative prisons, even though they reduce crime. This is why they will never support free birth control for everyone, even though that would reduce abortions. This is why they will never support just giving homeless people houses, even though it’s proven to be cheaper and more effective at stopping homelessness than halfway houses and shelters. It’s not about stopping evil, because you can’t; it’s about saying definitively what is Bad and what is Good, and we as a society do that by punishing the people we’ve decided are bad.
This is why the conservative response to “holy fuck, they’re putting children in cages!” is typically something along the lines of “it’s their parents’ fault for trying to come here illegally; if they didn’t want to have their kids taken away, they shouldn’t have committed a crime.” It doesn’t matter that entering the US unlawfully is a misdemeanor and child kidnapping isn’t typically a criminal sentence. It does not matter that this has absolutely zero effect on people unlawfully entering the US. The point is that conservatives have decided that entering unlawfully is Bad, anything that is not punishing undocumented immigrants – due process of asylum and removal defense claims, for example – is supporting Badness, and kidnapping children is an appropriate punishment for being Bad.
This is really long but please read it