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Even though The Witcher was a pretty big hit for Netflix in Season 1, to the point where there are already major plans for a live action prequel and an anime spinoff film, the first season was not without its controversies. Viewers complained about there being too much grunting, said star Henry Cavill was too good looking to play Geralt, and took issue with other aspects, but the one thing that united audiences in dislike the most was the multiple timelines. Now, the showrunner has confirmed that one timeline-related fan theory is actually just the result of a production mistake.
As you may have guessed by looking at the photo which tops this article, while fan theories about The Witcher already abound, this particular one has to do with Jaskier (Joey Batey). Our tuneful friend managed to cross paths with Geralt several times during the course of the eight-episode first season, but because of the multiple timelines involved in the story, some of those interactions happened several years after the ones where the bard and the Witcher were first getting to know one another. But, as we see, Jaskier hasn't appeared to age much (or at all) during the intervening years.
This has led many fans to speculate that, just like Geralt and Yenn, Jaskier is actually not quite human, and is truly magical in some way. The fantasy series is, of course, filled to the sword-bearing brim with all sorts of magical beings, including those two lead characters. However, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich has now confirmed that this whole fan theory is really based on what was, essentially, a production mistake. Here's what she told TV Guide when presented with the theory:
No, that was just a mistake. We have this enormous timeline in our writers' room that takes up, like, two whiteboards and it's how we laid out the stories from Season 1, sort of tracking to make sure that everyone fits in. Jaskier was always the outlier because Jaskier would have aged a lot in that season. No, he just had great genes, you know, clearly.
According to the official Witcher timeline released by Netflix, which was then further filled in by Forbes, a total of 53 years pass during the entirety of Season 1, and it's thought that about 10 years pass between when Jaskier and Geralt have their first adventures in Episode 2 and when all the Law of Surprise shenanigans take place in Episode 4. By the time we see Jaskier for the last time in Episode 6, I'm guessing that he and Geralt have been running into each other here and there for up to 20 years.
Everything we see happening to young Ciri takes place in 1263, so if hers is the main timeline of Season 2 (which it probably will be, since Schmidt Hissrich has promised that the timey wimey-ness of The Witcher will be much more straight forward from now on), Jaskier should be 24 or more years older than when we first saw him. Phew!
Technically, the first season alone should have seen Jaskier age to at least his mid-30s (depending on how old he's supposed to be when we first see him, of course), so it makes total sense that a lot of fans simply figured he was some kind of magical bard man who either doesn't age, can hide his age like Yenn, or simply ages very slowly à la Geralt. But, it turns out that Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and her team had too many other details to keep track of when plotting the timeline shifts of Season 1, and regular ol' musically-inclined human Jaskier and his descent into middle age just fell by the wayside.
Well, that clears that up! Now, if Lauren Schmidt Hissrich can just confirm that they've found a way to bring back Queen Calanthe and Renfri without too much timeline trouble, that would be even better!