Updated: Feb 14, 2020
Fantasy lovers and Netflix binge-watchers (and Staff Writer Zainab Ansari) have been praising “The Witcher” as a brilliant live-action adaptation not so unlike the “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings.”
“The Witcher” is a fantasy drama series produced by Lauren S. Hissrich and derives from video game trilogy and books of the same name written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Diving into the newfound fantasy world without knowing the lore, I didn’t know what to expect, but the show proved to be a new favorite!
While the plot and worldbuilding wasn’t difficult to catch on to, the dynamics of different timelines occurring was confusing for the first half of the season.
The series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavil), a mutant with supernatural and combat skills who slaughters monsters for money as a witcher. Along with his quests, each episode is the overarching conflict of the Nilgaard empire mercilessly conquering the land. Cirella (Frey Allan), nicknamed Ciri, is a young princess of Cintra who fled when her kingdom had fallen and faces persecution by Nilgaard. Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) is a sorceress whose origin are pursuit of power is explored.
One interesting dynamic of the show was the different arc timelines taking place in the show featuring protagonists (in chronological order) Yennefer, Geralt, and Ciri for each.
It wasn’t until the third and fourth episodes that these three timelines could be identified as they were hinted upon. Gradually, these timelines caught up to each other as the show progresses as fate connects each protagonist together. Since Geralt and Yennefer show no signs of aging, it was hard to follow except by paying attention to details mentioned in each arc.
When it comes to choreography, the cast did outstanding to make combat and magic scenes realistic and original. The visuals for the variety of monsters and creatures did well in making them appear natural as well. Dialogue, while occasionally drawn out or unnecessary, was natural and suited for each character and their interactions. This series flows at a slow pace, but it well worth it to explore themes of social class tension, parenthood, misogyny, as they intertwine between different perspectives.
Complimenting these is the idea that morality isn’t black or white and each choice can have consequences. These elements add depth to the overall story and flesh out characters that make this show much more interesting to watch.
While this series requires some background knowledge for better understanding of what’s going on, it still makes a binge-worthy watch. Well-made and well-written, what this show may lack in simplicity is entertainment. We can be sure to expect with season two coming expected to release in 2021.