As an avid fan of the “Witcher” series, both the books and the video games, I was a little skeptical about an adaptation into live-action. After watching Disney’s “The Lion King” and seeing what Hollywood did to “Cats,” I was afraid a TV show would sully the good name and reputation of the beloved series. I could not have been more wrong.
Not only did Henry Cavill make an amazing Witcher, seeing all of the monsters and characters of the show interact in the highest definition available was enthralling. Although you don’t get the same satisfaction of controlling Geralt of Rivia, watching the story unfold and seeing the action sequences of the battles more than made up for it.
The show follows the life of Geralt of Rivia, a human mixed with magic during adolescence to give him superhuman resilience as well as extremely long life. The world they live in is full of magic, beasts and monsters. Shunned by society for being a Witcher, his life consists mainly of travelling from town to town with his horse Roach, killing monsters for money and living mainly in solitude. Although a generally apathetic and cold creature, throughout the show the Witcher finds himself increasingly more caring about the events and people that come through his very long lifespan.
Despite the rather confusing timeline and hard-to-follow plot in the beginning, by the end of the first season it all comes together in a dramatic and captivating way. The show is mainly based on the books and stays close to the original script, except for one thing: the show takes several liberties with the order of events, and strings them together in its own unique way. Being a show about a stern monster hunter, the many funny scenes and characters pleasantly surprised me. Another positive adaptation was Geralt’s new catchphrases, which were very appropriate for his type of character: “F**k” and “Hm.”
I worried that for those without a strong grasp of fantasy fiction concepts, and those who have no knowledge of the Witcher series, the plot may be a bit confusing at times. This show is a little more difficult to get into than a show like “Game of Thrones”, whose plot gets increasingly complex as the story progresses. Another aspect that may be a bit confusing are the complex names. The character names range from Yennifer to Vilgefortz of Roggeveen. Once you understand the world and the people, though, the show unfolds beautifully.
Overall, this show, with its many cliffhangers and nail-biting moments, will leave you speechless. The beautiful cinematography and set design will keep you lost in the magical world. Whether you’re a high fantasy expert or rather inexperienced to this type of genre, by the end of the season you’ll be left wanting more. The perfect pacing in between scenes makes sure the action doesn’t overpower the story, or vice versa. The steamy romance will make you feel the emotional connection you wish you had while binging this alone on a Saturday night. Despite the hard-to-follow beginning, definitely do not sleep on this show!
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