Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series has become one of the most popular fantasy series of modern times, thanks to the immense success of the video game trilogy from CD Projekt Red. The arrival of a Netflix series based on the books later this year will no doubt increase the success of the books even further.
The cartography of the Witcher series is interesting. Sapkowski did not originally include maps in the books, despite the action unfolding over detailed descriptions of terrain. The first map did not appear until the Czech translation of the series was published, when translator Stanislav Komárek created a map based on Sapkowski’s work. It is unclear to what degree that Sapkowski considered the map accurate or canonical (given that the Komárek map has some notable features missing, such as the Kestrel Mountains).
In 2007, for the release of the video game The Witcher, CD Projekt Red created their own map. They consulted with Sapkowski on the map, which clearly has taken the Komárek map as a starting point, but made the map clearer and more concise, and addressed some missing features from the former map. This map was re-used for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in 2011 and seems to have formed the basis for almost all Witcher maps published since then. However, this map also has significant errors, such as placing the Nilfgaardian province of Gemmera, noted for its long sea coast, inland.
In 2018, whilst working on the Witcher TV series for Netflix, executive producer and showrunner Lauren Hissrich tweeted an intriguing picture, suggesting that Netflix had commissioned a new map for the series. This map is only partially visible, but seems to have returned to the Komárek map and started again, ignoring the CD Projekt material (probably a necessity of them not having the licence or rights to use video game material in the TV series). It does seem to have repeated some of the omissions of the Komárek map, but also extends the map considerably far to the south and incorporated fresh mistakes by ignoring details from the books (such as Bremervoord being the western point of the continental mainland and the continent curving south-westwards rather than south-east). It does at least put Gemmera in the right place, however.
In 2015 DeviantArt user MartynasB published an excellent map of The Witcher continent, easily the most detailed and attractive made to date. I used this map as the basis for my own; however, there are some issues with the map, particularly the placement of Sodden, Toussaint and the Amell Mountains, that I was unable to fully fix. Other issues from his map, such as the incorrect location of Gemmera, I fixed on my version.
I am planning a full read-through of the books later this year, so may revise the map based on a closer reading of the books at that time.