While The Witcher series on Netflix has done with remaining true to much of the franchise’s source material, it still hasn’t been able to avoid changes to a couple of significant plot points. One of the most notable involves the School of the Wolf Witcher, Eskel. In the Netflix show, Eskel’s fate ties him to an ancient forest creature referred to as a leshy, also known as a Leshen in The Witcher video game series. While players can engage several Leshens in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, none of them are responsible for the death of Eskel.
Eskel’s fate in The Witcher games plays out over a greater amount of time compared to the show. While Eskel isn’t as famous as his comrade Geralt, he is as skilled and experienced as the White Wolf. The two were introduced to one another as trainees at the same age, surviving the turbulent and dangerous upbringing Kaer Morhen provided. As adults they looked forward to recounting stories of their travels to one another, making the winter reunion scene at Kaer Morhen much more inviting than it was depicted in The Witcher on Netflix.
Eskel in The Witcher Games
During one of these reunions, Eskel first meets Ciri in both the show and the games. In The Witcher games, Geralt’s ward is welcomed by Eskel, one of the new Witchers introduced in Netflix’s second season, despite his skepticism. Eskel’s endearing persona and willingness to help train Ciri presents him as welcoming and warm compared to some of his other brothers from the School of the Wolf. Part of this may come from his own experiences as a Witcher, and his use of the same Law of Surprise.
In season 2 of The Witcher series, Eskel has a more chide attitude regarding the Princess of Cintra being at Kaer Morhen. In the games, Deidre Ademeyn was Eskel’s reward in the Law of Surprise, and while he tried his hardest to avoid collecting this bounty they eventually came to meet when she sought refuge among the Witchers. As a woman believed to be cursed by the Black Sun, Deidre was ostracized, and her fate with Eskel in the games comes down to a choice by the player.
If she is not helped, an outburst scars Eskel and it’s heavily implied that the Witcher has to hunt her down and stop her reign of terror on the lands around the Witchers’ keep, Kaer Morhen. However, if the player does help, Deidre instead accidentally slashes Eskel in a fight with her brother and regrets it, leaving as a way to resolve the matter. These actions and others help paint Eskel as almost the exact opposite of how he’s presented in season 2 of The Witcher.
Well after Eskel’s problems with the Law of Surprise and the training of Ciri, the Witcher takes part in the defense of Kaer Morhen against the Wild Hunt. While the Wild Hunt is set to be in the Netflix show, how this will be presented could be wildly different thanks to Eskel’s death. In The Witcher 3, the Wild Hunt’s attack on Kaer Morhen is fended off but ultimately leads to the death of Vesemir. In the time following this incident, Eskel takes over the responsibilities of Kaer Morhen for some time before going back to his travels as a Witcher.
Eskel’s death in the Netflix series takes something away from his character. Instead of Eskel being Geralt’s equal as an efficient and skilled Witcher, his failure in a fight against the leshy ultimately costs him his life. Rather than stepping up in his responsibilities as a Witcher, like he does in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, he has to be slain by his long-time friend, and can no longer be the future caretaker for Kaer Morhen.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
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About The Author
Malachi Lyonsdove (200 Articles Published)
Malachi jumped into video games with the family consoles he played on as a kid. Classic cartridges like Super Mario Bros 3, Aladdin, and Mortal Kombat were almost always loaded in. He continued his gaming journey on Nintendo systems with the Gameboy Advance where he spent countless hours waiting for streetlights on nighttime car rides. The GBA helped to introduce Malachi to games that he loved like the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Pokemon Crystal, and Pokemon Emerald, as well as the Power Rangers. As he got older Malachi’s love for games and storytelling grew with series like Halo. While he enjoys the mechanics and gameplay of newer titles like Destiny 2, The Witcher 3, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the experiences are what keep him engaged. Malachi looks forward to the rich worlds and deep stories that can be told in the ever-growing games industry and is excited to see how unique ideas translate as hardware gets better.