Based on the hit Polish fantasy novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, Netflix’s The Witcher stars Henry Cavill as the famed mutant monster hunter Geralt of Rivia. While killing monsters is second nature to him, people are a bit more complicated and Geralt quickly finds himself mixed up with all sorts of characters like the bard Jaskier, Sorceress Yennifer and Princess Ciri.
For any show casting the main character must be right or the show is unlikely to succeed. The Witcher is no exception and fortunately, Henry Cavill is perfect in the role of Geralt of Rivia. From the costume design all the way to the small mannerisms of the character, Cavill has managed to help bring to life this character in a way that is great for newcomers as well as fans of the video games and book series. I would have only wished that he had more screen time!
The action in the show is executed to perfection, especially the swordplay Geralt shows and the large-scale action pieces alone.
Despite its dark fantasy setting the show also has a fair amount of humour in particular from Geralt’s charismatic bard companion, Jaskier played by Joey Batey. The unlikely duo is like a more adult version of Shrek and donkey which I for one can’t wait to see more of it in season 2.
Anya Chalotra also gives a brilliant performance as the sorceress Yennifer in a storyline that is as engaging as Geralt’s if not more in her quest for power and to become more than who she is. However, I feel the third storyline, following the princess Ciri, is the weakest due to a few too many characters and no real direction with the plot. The action in the show is executed to perfection, especially the swordplay Geralt shows and the large-scale action pieces alone. In its first episode alone, it establishes how skilful Geralt is in an awesome scene that shows like Game of Thrones wish they had. This is also partially thanks to Cavill as he performed all his own stunts and choreographed scenes meaning emersion wasn’t broken with a stunt double.
The costume design, set pieces, monsters (both practical and CGI) are also brilliant and help greatly in immersing you in the word of The Witcher. Some of the monsters will make you cringe just looking at them, and there is a great variety available so a second season is sure to show even more. For the first few episodes, the show definitely did stumble a bit and episodes 2 and 3 are some of its weakest but The Witcher soon finds its stride and concluding the first season well as well as laying the foundation for future seasons.
If you’re going through Game of Thrones withdrawal like me then The Witcher will be sure to fill that void, especially with Henry Cavill looking like Daenerys Targaryen.
Last modified: 10th January 2020