Based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, with this first series being based on The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny short stories, The Witcher was released on Netflix in December 2019. The series is set on a fictional landmass known as “the Continent”, and follows the journies of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter, and princess Ciri (Freya Allan), who are linked to each other by destiny.
Overall Season Rating:
When it comes to the fantasy genre, there are several ways that a TV series or film can go. You can either have your Game of Thrones-style sex, gore, and dragons, or you can have your monsters, witches, elves and orgies in the woods. This is definitely the latter.
Although I hoped for more horror-fuelled monsters and blood spill as the first scene promised, what you end up with is a group of fantasy-stereotyped characters with hard-to-pronounce names, set in a fictional medieval-inspired world that is run by large goat-looking creatures rather than nightmare-ish beasts. It definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be.
Following the three main protagonists at different points of time before they eventually merge together, the different timelines and characters are definitely hard to get to grips with at the start. But the plot isn’t as complicated as you think, it just feels like you are being given a lot of information that you don’t know what to do with.
It’s definitely a whirlwind of a journey as you try to figure things out, but one that certainly gets easier and more enjoyable as the series goes on. There’s still a lot to be entertained by, though, and there’s some great dark humour which eventually begins to break through, although I did want a lot more of this.
Ther are some brilliant performances, too. Cavill is fantastic in the lead, and his chemistry with both Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, a love interest, and Joey Batey as Jaskier, a travelling bard who accompanies Geralt on his travels, is what will keep you watching.
At the time of watching this series, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not and wasn’t overly eager to keep up with it. Once I had finished watching it, however, I instantly felt like I wanted to watch more. I don’t know if I will get on with another season of The Witcher or not, but I’m definitely intrigued enough to give it a go as it feels like things were just beginning.
I may even rewatch this one at some point in hopes of being able to enjoy it more now that I understand what’s going on a little better.