Speculation amongst the Tumblr-esque fans of Netflix’s Witcher series has long supposed that the show’s version of Dandelion the Bard, Jaskier, is bisexual or gay. This speculation was not only derived from the effeminate performance of Joey Batey but the leaked audition tape, which featured Batey flirting with an adult version of Prince Radovid. This proved that one of the defining aspects of the character’s personality they were searching for in an actor was his ability to have good gay chemistry.
Now, the Redanian Intelligence has confirmed that Jaskier will be in a gay relationship with Radovid for the majority of season 3. According to them:
“That there are more moments of flirtation and chemistry between Radovid and Jaskier later on. The two men develop a romantic relationship over the course of the season. And later, Jaskier and Radovid finally kiss.”
Speaking about this change and Jaskier’s love life as a whole in a recent TUDUM feature, showrunner Lauren Hissrich said:
“Jaskier falls in love. And it’s with a character who fans will know [and] continues showing up in the books. So what happens this season between them will have ripple effects for a very long time.”
In the same feature, Joey Batey elaborated:
“Jaskier is having his hot girl summer. It’s been really rewarding to see [his love life] told in a very visual way. [We] ensured that these romances are told truthfully — and sensitively and carefully, without resorting to stereotypes… Hopefully we’ve created something that is special, a sapioromantic and sapiosexual [connection] that is as flawed as any other relationship in this show.”
The first assumption about this change must be that this is Netflix making their customary diversity and inclusion changes to meet their internal policies. This assumption, and pretty much all the other logical subsequent ones, firmly relegate this change into a politically motivated one. Disregarding the motivation for a moment, this change has several canonical issues. Canonically, Jaskier is a famous womanizer, with hundreds of relationships with women but none with men. Additionally, soon after the events this season supposedly covers, Jaskier takes on the role of Lord Julian to engage Duchess Anna Henrietta in a long-term relationship. That storyline cannot play out if the character is in a long-term gay relationship with the Prince of Redania.
Another canonical issue with this change also drifts into a moral area. Jaskier’s reported boyfriend, Prince Radovid, is a child during these events in the books, roughly 10 to 15 years old. Radovid also has very little impact on the story for the first several books. Therefore, the showrunner specifically decided to age up the character to be legal, made him the king’s brother rather than his son, and expanded his influence on the story, all to make a boyfriend for Jaskier. They took a child and made him just old enough to date a man well into his 40s. Several audience members may take issue with such a change.
As much as Lauren Hissrich attempts to make the audience believe that season 3 will be the most accurate to the books, announcements like this and countless others prove her false again and again. Volume one of season 3 releases on Netflix on June 29th. The truth or falseness of her words will be revealed then.