Dijkstra, while a scheming mastermind, also finds himself in embarrassing situations in the Netflix show, especially after his plans are foiled unexpectedly. The books describe him as a spy for King Vizimir II, and the show highlights the everyday awkwardness Dijkstra has to experience while dealing with the foolish, bumbling king. This provides an interesting contrast to his more serious, cunning nature, such as when he kills Vizimir’s wife in cold blood and orchestrates events to rile the king up against Nilfgaard. McTavish spoke to GamesRadar+ about this fun duality, and how the show allows Dijkstra to embrace humorous, laid-back moments:
“One of the things I really appreciate about The Witcher is the humor, actually. The humor of all the characters, Dijkstra being one of them. Everybody has humorous interchanges, and I think that personally distinguishes the shows.”
The brutality inherent in Dijkstra is never compromised, but he is also allowed a few human moments where he’s not just rubbing his hands together and hatching evil schemes. There’s tenderness in the relationship he shares with Philippa, even though their bond has a bit of an edge, and this to-and-fro allows him to assume some sort of dimensionality in a show with innumerable characters who can be rather difficult to keep track of.
McTavish also goes on to talk about the many facets of Dijkstra that still remain under wraps, calling him “very kind, very thoughtful,” on choice occasions that are rare to witness. McTavish also references certain character quirks in the books, stating that Dijkstra’s “obsession with macrame and knitting are really very well known in Redania” but we just don’t get to see those aspects at this juncture.