Skip to main content

This Supposed ‘Witcher’ Spinoff Sure Sounds Familiar …

Now where have I heard this plot before?

Freya Allan as Ciri in Witcher season two trying to do her very best

While the fate of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, things don’t seem to be going in favor of the show’s renewal or fans of the Grishaverse everywhere managing to see a third season of Alina Starkov’s adventures.

The same fate probably hangs above what would have been the show’s spinoff, focusing exclusively on the Crows and reprising their original heist plot from the Six of Crows duology, of which they’re the only protagonists. They would finally get their own story in the spinoff, after Netflix decided to merge them into the first two seasons of Shadow and Bone, uniting the world-establishing elements of Shadow and Bone with the beloved characters from Six of Crows.

Still, one could say that we can’t count anything as absolutely done for until there’s an official statement from Netflix. And yet, a recent announcement about a spinoff of yet another Netflix show does not feel like it bodes well for the Grishaverse.

Netflix has been working on a new spinoff of one of its most popular shows, The Witcher, for a while now—the story should reportedly revolve around a gang of young criminals called the Rats, who happily rob their way through the Nilfgaardian Empire’s province of Geso until they bite off more than they can chew. In The Witcher canon, Ciri joins forces with them for a while under the alias of Falka.

According to a report by Redanian Intelligence, the plot of this new spinoff will focus around the titular Rats—who happen to be six teenagers—taking on the biggest heist of their careers, which will inevitably lead them to cross swords with the most dangerous criminal ring in the area—something that definitely sounds familiar to all Grishaverse fans, because that is very much the same premise of the entire Ice Court heist detailed in Six of Crows, the first book of the Crows’ duology—while the second, Crooked Kingdom, deals with its consequences and repercussions.

Four of the Crows look on to their next mark in the second season of Shadow and Bone of Netflix
Kaz Brekker hints at the Ice Court job in his very last scene in the second season of Shadow and Bone and there are no words to express how much I want to see that onscreen. (Netflix)

Sure, Netflix didn’t come up with the Rats plot by itself, since these characters do appear in some of the main Witcher novels by Andrej Sapkowski. The very first time they’re introduced on the page is towards the end of Time of Contempt, which came out in 2013—technically two years before Six of Crows, which was published in 2015.

The Rats characters are better developed in Baptism of Fire and The Tower of the Swallow, which were released in 2014 and 2016 respectively—so the story of the Rats in the grander scheme of the Witcher saga concludes in the same year as Crooked Kingdom brings about the end of the Six of Crows duology.

That means that it’s not a question of The Witcher copying Six of Crows, since the two are more or less contemporaries. It is, however, an issue of Netflix somewhat ignoring what audiences have been demanding for a good period of time. The first spinoff of The Witcher, Blood Origin, didn’t particularly rouse spirits, and no one seems to want a second one—while fans of Shadow and Bone have been very vocal about their desire to see Six of Crows brought to the screen by the cast they’ve come to know and love.

And that possibility is clearly growing smaller and smaller. That same report by Redanian Intelligence confirms that the cast of the Witcher spinoff is gathering in South Africa to start principal photography soon, and that the project has got a new director—Mairzee Armas, who has worked on both seasons of Shadow and Bone.

(featured image: Netflix)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.