There are surprisingly few female witchers in “The Witcher,” a Netflix television series, according to many viewers. If you’re one of them, perhaps you’ve questioned whether this exclusion is deliberate, a coincidence, or a more complicated situation. You might find yourself searching Google to see if there is a valid explanation for why men and women don’t seem to have an equal probability of becoming magical superhuman monster-slaying badasses.
Although you might not agree with it, there is a canon explanation for Kaer Morhen’s notable lack of female Witchers.
Few Survive the Trials
Why aren’t there any female Witchers then? The harsh tests that would-be Witcher candidates must successfully complete in order to become Witchers hold the key to the solution. The Trial of the Grasses is the first of these examinations, which entails injecting an alchemical concoction into the veins of potential Witcher candidates. This concoction is intended to alter the applicants’ physiology, making them more resilient and more equipped to deal with the creatures they would confront as Witchers. Although it may not initially seem horrible, the mixture’s effects on the bodies and minds of individuals who are injected are so severe that only a very small number of people are even able to survive the treatment.
The mixture’s unpleasant physical and mental side effects last for seven days and include excruciating pain, momentary insanity, fevers, vomiting, and a host of other unpleasantries. This is demonstrated in a depiction of one child going through the Trial of the Grasses in the first book that served as the inspiration for the “Witcher” series.
“For two days more did symptoms not subside. The child’s skin, hitherto drenched in sweat, grew dry and hot, the pulse ceased to be full and firm albeit remaining of average strength, slow rather than fast. No more did he wake, nor did he scream. Finally, came the seventh day. The male awoke and opened his eyes, and his eyes were those of a viper…”
Fewer than 30% of candidates who are put through the Trial of the Grasses survive the entire seven-day ordeal; the majority die by the third day. The fact that the Witcher trainees go through this process as little children makes it all the more bleak and drastically reduces odds of survival. That would be more than enough to take down even the heartiest of adults. Those who do make it through the Trial of the Grasses experience a bodily transformation as a result of their fortitude in facing the trial’s rigours, which gives them the superhuman qualities associated with Witchers, such as quicker reflexes, delayed ageing, and enhanced senses. Then, more challenges must be accomplished before they can become fully fledged Witchers.
Regardless of gender, most people perish before they can even complete the Trial of the Grasses because of how difficult the challenges are. The 30% of people who can survive this first test, as noted, are invariably male; no females have succeeded in doing so, despite tries. Why? Apart from the terrible suggestion that men are innately stronger and hence have a higher chance of survival than women, there isn’t really a good justification for it. It was simply worded in that manner. It’s not a very good explanation, but it’s the one we have so far.
Isn’t That Kinda Sexist?
Okay, sure. Nothing can disguise the reality that it is sexist. Does that inherently imply that Andrzej Sapkowski, the author of the books on which the “The Witcher” TV series is based, has any malice or ill will? Not necessary, but even if we like the piece as a whole, it’s acceptable to point out that some elements don’t look nice or didn’t hold up over time.
Regardless of motive, the notion that women are innately less capable or more likely to fail the Trials biologically comes out as misogynistic. Physical strength distinctions between boys and girls are small before adolescence, thus statistically you’d expect at least some girls to survive even if “The Witcher” and the trials themselves weren’t a fictional invention. We can still enjoy “The Witcher” while analysing and criticising its less than stellar elements because critical thinking is super cool and accepting everything at face value without further investigation or analysis is the exact opposite of cool. This doesn’t mean we have to throw the baby out with the Henry Cavill-infused bathwater.
So, is there a chance that Season 2 will feature a female Witcher? Since “The Witcher” season 2 is presently available for viewing on Netflix, you can find out right now.