Long Overdue Review: Netflix’s The Witcher

Oren Cohen

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Photo: Netflix.

I played all the Witcher games. Ever since the first one came out over a decade ago, I loved Geralt’s journey and the intricacies and honesty it painted the world in as I played.

I only read the first book of the original book series — The Last Wish — which I’ll review.

The TV series will never top the games for me, but it was an extraordinary experience. Here’s why.

It’s Based on The Original Material

If you never played the Witcher games, they are brutal. Both in terms of gameplay and also in terms of roleplay. The choices you make have consequences, and sometimes this can be detrimental.

Seeing the show of respect for those “rules” of the world was very refreshing.

But it wasn’t just the world-building of this show that impressed me. It was also an accurate depiction of the characters. Cirilla’s arc was the most interesting one for me by far, but also the brutal upbringing of Yennefer was as cringe-worthy as it was captivating.

The characters lead the story forward, and the directors of this show did an impressive job.

I Couldn’t Stop Watching

Whoever wrote this show did a remarkable job ending almost every episode in a cliffhanger.

As I watched it, I was like, “damn, it’s already 1.30 AM, but I have to watch the next episode.”

Even if you aren’t as biased or familiar with the brand as I am, watching an episode ending in a cliffhanger is a surefire way to keep you engaged (or pissed, you decide).

With each episode I watched, the slow realization that I’m nearing the end of the season was solidifying, and I exhaled in relief because I wanted to get rid of all the tension.

But I was also sad that a show that keeps me engaged like this has to end.

Thank god they already green-lit season 2.

Henry Cavill Did a Great Job

Many of this show’s fans already played the games and fell in love with the virtual Geralt of Rivia, who they came to know and embody. Henry represented an “implementation” of that idea. This Geralt wasn’t mine or yours — it was Henry’s.

And Henry did a splendid job. He believably embodied Geralt. Whether it was the way he carried himself, the acting out of Geralt’s dry wit, or the action sequences where Geralt exercised his Witcher prowess.

There will be people who Judge Henry for a portrayal of Geralt that they disagree with; there are always people like that.

Also, let’s not let Henry have all the shine here. Freya Allan (Ciri) and Anya Chalotra (Yennefer) did a fantastic job in portraying characters we only ever saw in a video game. Bringing them to life in this way was a mesmerizing experience.

In my book, Season one was a success. Now let’s see how season 2 will go (whenever that happens with the Pandemic).

The Memories Were Confusing

At the beginning of the season and sometimes throughout, there are memories that either Geralt or other characters experience.

The memories were confusing the flow a bit. Their beginning was vague. I mean, it would have been as simple as adding a year whenever a memory was beginning, and that was it.

Maybe other people didn’t pay that no mind, but for me, I was engaged in a scene and then taken to a different one without warning.

For me, this could have played out better by adding a year.

The Video Games Might Get Involved

The Witcher 1, 2, and 3 are the events that happen after Ciri had left Geralt and Yennefer in the Isle of Avalon and left the world to travel to other dimensions. She did that because the Wild Hunt was after her, and she needed to put Geralt and Yennefer someplace safe.

The first video game begins with Geralt returning to Kaer Morhen after his time with The Wild Hunt without his memories.

He doesn’t remember who he is, let alone who Ciri and Yen are.

I’m curious to see if the show will run long enough to overlap some of these events from the Video games. There is a lot of ground to cover.

If it does, there will be choices to make. Decisions we as players had made that shaped the world of our game.

I’m interested to see how it plays out. Literally.

Conclusion

I love The Witcher’s TV show.

Whether it was the world-building that brought to life a world I’m deeply invested in, or it was the actors who portrayed characters I love, or the fact that the screenwriting was captivating enough to keep me up at night — I only have one thing to say:

Season 2 can’t come soon enough.

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I'm a geeky content creator. My content will usually be helpful articles for other content creators like me or some fun geeky articles about shows, video games, and literature. Recommend me a new fantasy book! Also, I'm working on my own fantasy story so stay tuned for that, too.

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