You can’t really encapsulate Poland in just a few words, since the country has a rich history, full of old traditions and a vast territory, filled with natural wonders. But after 2015, if you’d mention Poland to someone, more often than not, they’d associate the country with its (not so) new hero, Geralt of Rivia. But who is Geralt of Rivia?
“The Witcher”, is a series of 6 fantasy novels, written by polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The series is focused on Geralt of Rivia, who is a “witcher”, a term created by the author himself, being the equivalent male word for witch. “Witchers” are beast hunters who develop superhuman abilities at a young age, in order to battle monsters and wild beasts. The books have been adapted into a film and two television series. And yet, the most accurate adaption remains the trilogy of video games, since it was developed by a polish studio and stood faithful to the source material.
CD PROJEKT RED is the studio who revitalized the series, starting development as early as 2003, as a small development team, working on the first entry of the series (The Witcher). Although a small team, the final product, which was released on 2007, was very well-received, which allowed them to work on the sequel (The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings) which was released in 2011. Gaining momentum and expanding ever more as a studio, they released their magnum opus in 2015 (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) which blew audiences away, as it was, and still is, one of the most story-rich, immersive, role-playing games ever released.
Although simply a game series to some, this trilogy is considered a national treasure to a considerable amount of polish citizens. The games are loyal to the source material, which pay tributes to polish folklore, epic beasts from old polish tales, and the whole games take place in locations inspired from real life polish landmarks. But don’t take my word for it. Poland is so proud, that when president Barack Obama visited Poland in 2011, he received “Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings” as a gift, from the polish prime minister Donald Tusk. Furthermore, in 2016, Poczta Polska, Poland’s biggest postal operator, released 180 000 stamps as a limited edition, featuring none other than monster slayer for hire, Geralt of Rivia.