Netflix's The Witcher Review

The Witcher is finally out on Netflix last Friday and like what the advance screeners had said, it is a great adaptation. The sword fight scenes are indeed onto another level. The story is so amazing that I watch it in one sitting. The first season of The Witcher is composed of 8 episodes with each episode spanning from 47 minutes to an hour.

I haven't gotten around to playing the games even though I have both The Witchers 1 & 2 games on my GOG library. On the other hand, I watched gameplays on YouTube for The Witcher 3 in the past, so I definitely know some of the characters. Of course, this Netflix adaptation is straight out of the books since the games have gone a different path. Still, the games have the books' base story.

Anyway, first, let's talk overall about some of the characters and then I'll share what I think about each episode. This isn't a conventional review as I was merely taking notes as I watch each episode and this write-up is mostly emotionally-driven.

Geralt of Rivia The Witcher on Netflix

Geralt of Rivia

Henry Cavill did an amazing job in bringing to life Geralt's character. His portrayal is a mix of stoicism, dry wit, and brooding. He copied the voice actor's style of talking in the games (perhaps to appease the gamers who might not approve of him as Geralt).

The script did amazing for Geralt's character. His banter and cutting sarcasm with both Yennefer and Jaskier are just so funny.

Yennefer - The Witcher on Netflix

Yennefer of Vengerberg

Albeit short, Yennefer has a great story arc. We would see how she'd transform from a sapless girl into a strong iron-spined woman.

Tissaia - The Witcher on Netflix

Tissaia the Rectoress

When the trailer came out, her character was the one who stood out to me the most. She intimidates me on screen. Later on, that scare factor will turn into respect and admiration. I love MyAnna Buring's portrayal of her. Both her looks and acting did amazing for the character.

Triss Merigold

Her casting had been one that many gamers have openly expressed disappointment and that's mostly because of her looks. In the games, Triss is a delicate-yet-fierce-looking redhead. I have no knowledge of her characterization but my takeaway for Anna Shaffer's portrayal of her is that she's so delicate. Her chaos has a strong affinity to nature so that's her strong suit, but otherwise, she has such a sorrowful look about her. I don't know but she came out to me as a weak witch.

Anyway, here are my notes as I watch every episode. I apologize if I sound all over the place.

Episode 1

This is an action-packed episode. A castle gets attacked on the get-go. The sacking looks terrible and gruesome. Very lovely indeed.

I also love how in a very short amount of time, they were able to show that Geralt fell in love with Renfri. I felt that on my very small screen actually (I was on a smartphone to save data). It reminds me of Doctor Who series. It was so obvious that the Doctor fell in love with her companion. The Time Lord is always accompanied by a human who gets to be his companion and never fell in love, but for 2005 version, it just happened.

I don't know if it's with the acting, the script or cinematography that made me feel the love even if the two characters only saw each other for a brief moment. The scene really translates well on the screen. I don't know about you, but perhaps I was just so emotionally vulnerable. I'm quite taken with any matter of the heart.

Emma Appleton crushed the role of Renfri. Her presence on the first episode is so strong. The writers' intention for her was so obvious: to create a strong impact so viewers would want to continue to the next episode.

Overall, I love the sword action. The fight scenes between two characters are so convincing in that they look like they definitely know how to wield a sword. In the end, all I can say is that it's a sad episode.

When the coming of Lilith was mentioned, I can't help but think of this trailer:

Episode 2

I cried when Yennifer uttered, "Four marks." Anya Chalotra has such a sweet voice that will make you soft for her. Her acting is superb. Her insecurities really rubbed off on me. I felt her self-pity and desperation. Or perhaps, that's only because I have depression. Anya did great in portraying that across the screen.

I just feel the evilness of this episode.

Episode 3

Geralt has a soft spot for broken things like him. And by broken, I mean mutated and cursed humans like him who never had a choice on what they had become.

Quotable quotes:
Victimhood is not your color.

So is heroism yours.
No amount of power or beauty will ever make you feel worthy of either.
For all it brightens, love casts long shadows.


Episode 4

Sexist king hired an assassin to kill the wife who'd only spew female offsprings. Very sad episode.

Bards are either a burden or comic relief in books (and role-playing games). Sure enough, there's an addition to the main cast in the series, Jaskier, a very funny one.

Episode 5

Finally, Geralt and Yennefer crossed paths. There's an intelligent conversation in the bath tub. Well, in the games, we always see them together talking with Geralt in a tub. I feel more chemistry between Geralt and Renfri than between Geralt and Yennefer.

Episode 6

I thought Witchers aren't supposed to have emotions. Geralt is just so emotionally vulnerable. It's obvious he has a thing for unusual people just like him. First, there was Renfri and now, Yennefer. It is implied that Geralt love Yennefer but I really couldn't feel it.

It's a sad thing about endangered species. Just because it's exotic doesn't mean it needs to be killed. In this episode, they're on a journey to kill a dragon. The path is perilous but not as perilous as how I imagined it to be. The Lord of the Rings really ruined things for me. I can no longer appreciate an adventure when the setting/scenery isn't as detailed and as ominous as how LoTR has portrayed things.

I stayed with the ending to hear Jaskier sing or more like hear the song he was composing at the beginning of the episode in full. His falsetto is always off-key, which makes me think the actor must have ruined his voice at some point in his life.

Episode 7

I could relate to Yennefer's first love so much. You distract yourself with work to forget about your sorrows, to forget about missing someone, and remember about your priorities before you met the person who changed something about you.

I've never mentioned Queen Calanthe but she's a real badass. The actress is amazing. Oh, and also Eist, her second husband.

Episode 8

Damn, this is the longest one hour I've experienced in a series for a long time. Simple setting for Sodden but the battle reminds me of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers somewhat.

There are lots of effickery in the story but I love how they're all tied up as a finale. Of course, there are plenty of loose ends. There are six books for a reason.

8 Comments

  1. My interpretation of this Witcher arrangement is, Henry Cavill nailed the presentation, the voice and the acting was incredible. I love the story and the sword battle. The CGI with the beasts probably won't be the best however it is sufficient. I love nearly everything about the show, my lone serious issue is the manner by which the story was unfurling, it is somewhat befuddling with the flashbacks, got me confounded a piece, they need to improve in that respects. Despite the fact that with all that, It is a 9/10 for me. I love that arrangement and I am going to watch it again for the subsequent time

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