Netflix released all eight episodes of season one of “The Witcher” last December. It turned out to be as popular and overtaking as “The Mandalorian,” the most popular on-demand TV show in the world.
The plot of “The Witcher” revolves around the titular character, Geralt of Rivia, a mutant who hunts monsters for hire. We meet Geralt as he is fighting a kikimora, a large, spider-like creature.
Although the first episode does not give us much information about Geralt himself, we discover that witchers are monster hunters, and discriminated against by many.
The casting of “The Witcher” was very well-done. Henry Cavill, who stars in “Justice League” and “Mission Impossible: Fallout” did a very good job as Geralt, quieting any doubts people had about his casting. He was very energetic in his portrayal of Geralt, and outside of the show in interviews, he displayed a large interest in the character.
His accompanying actors are not completely outshined by him. Anya Chalotra did a great job portraying Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Freya Allan was successful in portraying a 12-year old Ciri. Joey Batey was very good as Jaskier, singing his own songs as well as being a humorous travel companion for Geralt.
Cavill put great effort into acting as Geralt, learning how to ride a horse, how to fight, and he had to stay still for hours as the makeup team created his persona.
Additionally, he demonstrated his interest in “The Witcher” series outside of the show, explaining that he had played through “The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt” numerous times as well as having read a few of the books the games and show are based off on.
The casting of Anna Shaffer as Triss Merigold caused some unrest, since Triss is in both the books and the games, someone with auburn hair and pale skin, while the show completely changed the character.
Even though this is a big detachment from the character, the actress herself did a good job, but she only had a somewhat large role in episode three.
In the first season of “The Witcher,” the main plot of the show is shown through Ciri’s perspective, at least up until episode seven. Then, the timelines begin to merge.
Episodes one through six of “The Witcher” mainly show how Geralt works, his companions, his personality, and his success and failures as a witcher.
The first few episodes of the season have been described as confusing, with multiple jumps between timelines. I personally thought it was fine since you were able to distinguish the timelines from episode three onwards.
The episodes do not completely merge into the present timeline until episode eight. However, the rest of the episodes are well written, giving information about each of the characters, developing them and leading to each of their moments of triumph in episode eight.
Yennefer is also shown growing into a powerful sorceress, with the other side characters being slowly developed through the series. During episode eight, the timelines finally merge, and Geralt and Ciri finally meet.
It was very interesting how they decided to intentionally keep the timelines indistinct, with no real way to tell that they are separate until episode three, where King Foltest, who Geralt is talking to as an old man well past his 40s, appears at a ball in Yennefer’s perspective around the age of ten.
In my opinion, the second episode was the slowest, but it was also very important because it introduced the audience to the new characters, including Yennefer and Jaskier.
This episode also showed Geralt’s persuasiveness and compassion.
My favorite episode, however, was episode four. This episode was not only fun to watch, but it was also the funniest episode and had an epic fight scene. This also explained Ciri’s relationship with Geralt.
Season two of “The Witcher” is expected to be released early next year. Some surprising actors have expressed interest to join the series, and Kim Bodnia will be joining as Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor.
Until then, Witcher fans have to settle for rewatching season one, reading the books, listening to the soundtrack, or playing the games. Some people have called it the next “Game of Thrones,” but I think we should acknowledge “The Witcher” as its own personal show, and should not be compared to “Game of Thrones.”
Both are great shows, but one has ended, while the other has more to offer.