Well now we know why Netflix renewed The Witcher for a second season before the first season premiered.
The Witcher premiered on Netflix on December 20 with all of the fantastic CGI, nods to The Witcher lore and, maybe most importantly, Henry Cavill’s Geralt in a tub that one might expect from a big budget Netflix show.
From the opening scenes to the season finale, The Witcher’s use of CGI were well done. After later seasons of Game of Thrones set the benchmark for large scale fantasy on TV on a big budget many TV fantasy series can’t measure up. I was afraid The Witcher would end up looking cheap, but on a CGI cinematic scale it proved a worthy heir to Game of Thrones. Also, many of the fight scenes felt like those you’d expect from a top-notch gaming franchise.
I have loved Henry Cavill since I first saw him in Showtime’s The Tudors. In it and other big screen roles–not involving Superman–I have enjoyed his acting, but as the Man of Steel, Cavill always came across like he had a stick up his ass. I was concerned which Cavill would show up in The Witcher. Fortunately, it seems Cavill was able to depict an often stoic, yet compelling Geralt of Rivia without coming across as wooden. On occasion, when Cavill might have blundered into woodenness, The Witcher deftly wove the bardish humor of Geralt’s unwanted sidekick Jaskier (Joey Batey) into the scenes. More than once you’d notice Cavill’s lips twitch at Jaskier’s antics.
Equally compelling are Anya Chalotra as Yennifer and Freya Allan as Ciri, The Witcher’s two lead female protagonists. Yennifer’s character arc definitely has the most growth throughout Season 1, but it is easy to envision Ciri experiencing the most growth in Season 2.
The chemistry between Geralt and Yennifer was as hot as a dragon’s flame and it isn’t hard to imagine them spawning many Gennifer or Yenalt shippers.
What did you think of The Watcher’s pilot? Or have you already consumed the first season like a magical potion?
Love it or Hate it: The Witcher First Impressions