This is the second part to my earlier post about everything you need to know about the Witcher. A little intro again: The Witcher is a new Netflix original series that takes the tale of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter otherwise known as a witcher. The first season, while only 8 episodes long, has a lot to unpack and talk about.
So to start off, let's talk about the characters and the casting. Having not been a previous fan of this show but seeing the initial teaser photos, I was a bit skeptical about how everything would look. Henry Cavill is a phenomenal actor but at first glance, he doesn't give off the aura of someone who is menacing and not good with social interactions. On top of that, knowing what Geralt's voice sounds like and Cavill's voice sounds like, it's crazy to think it is the same person. Being such a dedicated fan to the series beforehand, Cavill came in and gave his all to making sure fans got the best adaptation there could possibly be for a live-action version of this series. With some intense workout regimens, hair and makeup, Cavill easily embodies this character to the fullest. The other characters that were introduced felt real. Their backstories were so realistic it was easy to jump on board and start supporting them as they progressed throughout the series. I love the dynamic between Jaskier and Geralt. It has to be the funniest and best bromance ever. Everyone needs a friend like Jaskier if they don't already have one. Not to mention his singing is so amazing and I find myself becoming obsessed with his songs playing them over and over, even though there are only two full ones with lyrics.
The storyline and storytelling are outstanding for this series. For many new series, the first seasons are always a little rough and have room for improvement. While that may be true for The Witcher, it was no surprise to fans that execs behind the show revealed plans for a season 2 that would air in 2021 on November 13th several weeks before the series even aired in December. One complaint from fans was that the first seasons felt choppy and the timeline jumped all over the place. However, the purpose behind this was not bad directing or storytelling; in fact, it was just the opposite. The purpose behind all the confusion and subtly of the first season was that it was largely based on the set of short stories that were written originally before the Witcher developed into a full novel series. As it stands, the first season was nearly a quick and simple introduction to our characters and the world they live in. Season 2 will start right off around where the actual series begins with Geralt and his relationship with Ciri. This particular aspect really made me enjoy the series so much more because you have to pay close attention if you want to catch the small details. It's not even clear until, like the 5th episode, that the majority of the scenes with Geralt are in the past. Some choice lines from Jaskier and the other dragon hunting parties really help hint that we are watching events unfold in the past.
Back to the directing and story writing - the way the world-building and the special effects were done was perfect. Lots of fantasy shows like GOT and LOTR take their time with establishing their world and all the minute and complicated details of it over several storylines and seasons. With the Witcher, that's not what we get. Right away everything is laid out for us plain and clear. We know that magic is a thing and only works with those who have an affinity for it. Like everything, this power comes at a cost, which goes for anyone in the story. There are many different countries of various sizes, but only two are really important. Even though the world may seem big, it's kept simple by establishing the main players and having the audience know that this is who they need to pay attention to and why.
With the production, a key feature that really helped it stand out was the combination of elements that went into this project. In an interview about the show, it was stated that Netflix's series would almost be like a fresh start but there would be little Easter eggs sprinkled here and there. A key part of the development was that this series had to be the presented in a way that it felt new and clear enough that new times fans who'd never heard anything about the fandom would be able to follow along while still staying true to the source material and showing that to long-time fans. I think they did a pretty good job at balancing each other out.
Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this series! Being a new fan, I was absolutely captured with this world and can't wait to see how things unfold in season 2. Overall, I'd say the Witcher came out of the gates strong but they have plenty of room to grow and expand and really dive into the lore of the universe. Well, bye for now and I'll see you all in 2021!!