On Dec. 20 The Witcher premiered on Netflix, the concept based off of Andrezej Sapkowzki’s book series of the same title. The plot follows the adventures of a mutated man, Geralt of Rivia, who hunts monsters for coin. It attempts to fill the Game of Thrones-shaped hole by giving us monsters, morally ambiguous characters, sword fights and, of course, nudity.
Most know the story due to the immensely popular video games that were produced in earlier years. Players will recognize some characters from the games, but the main plot shies away from that of the video games and instead mimics that of the first book in the series, The Last Wish.
The Witcher begins by following the story lines of Geralt (Henry Cavill), his main love interest Yennefer, and his kind-of-adopted daughter Ciri, in different time periods that come together in the finale but are confusing to follow. While Yennefer strives to become a powerful mage, Ciri struggles to hide from an opposing king that sacked her home and Geralt goes about doing what he does best: killing monsters. It’s not made clear initially how the timelines fit together or how they relate but they ultimately provide crucial character development, especially for those viewers unfamiliar with either the books or the games.
The CGI used to create monsters like the Sylvan and Hirrika left something to be desired and the total amount of monsters in the show is dismal. It contains a grand total of two major monster battles, but we can applaud Cavill for making them epic scenes to watch. Cavill is the best actor for Geralt; not only does he have the appearance and gruffness that physically make up Geralt, Cavill is also a huge fan of the games and begged to play Geralt as soon as he heard rumors of the show. He went as far as reading the books in preparation for the role and doing his own stunts. The result was the best portrayal of Geralt that fans could have asked for.
The unexpected highlight of the series is the relationship between Geralt and the bard Jaskier, although many know him as Dandelion. Jaskier is an endearingly pesky bard who follows Geralt across the fictional continent making up songs about Geralt’s adventures, like the hit “Toss a Coin to your Witcher” that is still unavailable on Spotify. With his thinly veiled sex jokes and Geralt’s sardonic humor they create a humorous pair providing comic relief to combat the more serious events including, but definitely not limited to, an incestual relationship and the sale of a deformed girl for a price less than that of a pig.
Overall The Witcher has the makings of being one of the best shows on Netflix, leaving fans greatly satisfied with season one. The next season will not be coming out until 2021, so a wait reminiscent of that for the final season of Game of Thrones is ahead for TheWitcher fans.