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The Witcher is a Netflix series based on the eponymous novel saga by Andrzej Sapkowski. Aside from this, his novels have been turned into a movie (The Hexer), a graphic novel, and the three video games known and loved by many. The story revolves around Geralt of Rivia, a witcher trained from a young age to battle supernatural and natural threats. He chose the life of being a sword for hire, (toss a coin, yes?) but as the story goes along, one will learn that Geralt liaises with some of the most powerful people in the continent, such as royalty and mages. The first season of the series tackles on how Geralt got his reputation of being a slayer, meeting his “soul mate” Yennefer of Vengerburg, and him redeeming the bounty he acquired through the Law of Surprise, which is Ciri (Freya Allan), a princess from Cintra. All these are based from the first two books of the Witcher saga, which are The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.

Netflix almost pulled some stops into the series by primarily planning to release it as a standalone movie, but Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl said the material is rich and vast, thus it could not fit just one movie. (We have to thank her, then!) Lauren Schmidt Hissrich was then tasked to become show runner, with Sapkowski serving as creative consultant for the show. Schmidt Hissrich decided to go with the non-linear storytelling in the show, saying she was inspired by the style made by Christopher Nolan in Dunkirk. In all honesty, those who are new to the Witcher universe might find this jarring, as there were no indications of what event happened when. Subtitles and changes in color grading could have sufficed! The scenes were shot in Central and Eastern Europe, where the fictional continent is based on.

A lot of people will agree with me on how Henry Cavill was perfectly cast for the role. His physical looks, as well as his gamer-geeky background, are the reasons why he was able to make Geralt‘s character shine. In an interview, he mentions how he based his tone of speech on how Witcher video game voice actor Doug Cockle did his Geralt, which is why he appealed to the followers of the video game series. Meanwhile, some fans were disappointed on the casting of people of color, particularly for the roles of Yennefer, Triss Merigold, and Fringilla. They are saying they shouldn’t have been casted because all of the characters in the Witcher fictional universe are white, for it is largely based on Slavic mythology, which comes from a Caucasian continent. Nevertheless, Anya Chalotra, Anna Shaffer, Mimi Ndiweni, and the other POCs in the show did their jobs well. The unsung (pun intended) gem in the series, however, is Joey Batey and his portrayal of the bard Julian Alfred Pankratz, or Jaskier, or Dandelion, if you play the games. Aside from his memorable funny antics, he also gave to the world on the of greatest takeaways, which is this earworm:

His musician background really did help, didn’t it?

To sum up, NetflixThe Witcher is a very promising interpretation of the novels and an ode to the games. This is one of the book-to-screen adaptations that I really liked due to its level of faithfulness to the source material. I cannot wait for its second season, due in 2021. Schmidt Hissrich promised the new season will be more linear, as the origin stories have been already told. And, with Mark Hamill interested in being Vesemir, Geralt‘s witcher mentor, the new season might pack more punch than it already does. Personally, I am also excited about how the showrunners will go about introducing Emperor Emhyr var Emreis of Nilfgaard, because it could be a really surprising affair to the viewers who have not played the games. But who knows, it’s not much a surprise anymore because the series was so good, people are starting to play the games already.

In that case, it’s a win for the gamers overall!

The Witcher Season 1
The Law of Suprise!
  • 🎶 Toss a coin to your witcher 🎶
  • Henry Cavill's cleft chin
  • The elaboration of Yennefer and Ciri's stories are good
Destiny Taking You Down
  • Really confusing timelines
  • Nilgaardian black armor looks like Amidala's black gown in Star Wars episode 1
  • Triss, really?
93%Overall Score
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