The Witcher is a Polish/American fantasy drama show created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, and is based on the series of books of the same name.
The Witcher revolves around a monster hunter called Geralt, a sorceress called Yennefer, and the princess of Cintra called Ciri. The three travel together through the Continent, where many people and groups often act no better than the monsters Geralt hunts.
Season 1 is based on the short stories The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny.
Why It Rocks
- Good acting, especially Henry Cavill as Geralt and Anya Chalotra as Yennefer.
- Because he played the games and read the books, Cavill was arguably one of, if not the most fit to play Geralt, and nailed his character right down to how he sounded in the games.
- The action scenes are very well done, with Cavill doing an excellent job with swordplay.
- There are plenty of good fight scenes with monsters, but not as much as in the games so those fights don't take up too much time.
- The battle at Sodden hill is a great and exciting climactic battle to end the season on.
- The story, especially after the the three stories merge, is well-written.
- While confusing at first, the show handles the three different storylines well. The three stories are merged at the right time so everything from those stories all come together and make sense, something that many other plots with split timelines fail to do.
- Yennifer's story before the stories merge does a good job at showing her background and she became the person she is in the present.
- Each monster has their own backstory and lore to not make them feel out-of-place or forced.
- Well-written, in-depth characters, especially Yennifer as mentioned above.
- An excellent soundtrack that closely resembles the music in the games.
- Great looking and convincing CGI.
- Great scenery and environments that emphasize the tone during scenes.
- The costume designs are very detailed and stay faithful to the characters' outfits in the books and games.
- A good amount of dark humor here and there, some of which reference the games.
- Unlike most other recent Netflix shows, this show lacks forced, politically-driven morals and instead just focuses on characters and storytelling like in the books and games.
- The pacing is a mess towards the beginning due to focusing on three different points in time, which can make it hard to keep track of what's going on.
- Because of this, the world-building is a mess at first as well, with it being unclear where locations are and how they function.
- Ciri's story while the story is split into three is much less exciting and eventful compared to Geralt's and Yennifer's.
- Triss Merigold is underutilized despite being a fan-favorite.
- A few questionable casting choices, with some characters poorly resembling what they looked like in the books or games.
- Triss is the most notable example, as she looks almost completely different than what she looked like in the games.
- Although the costume design is great, the one exception is the Nilfgaard army's design. They look more humorous than they do intimidating.
- Some members of the production team apparently designed them terribly on purpose to poke fun at monarchy, which isn't a good excuse for their design.
The Witcher was met with mixed-to-positive reception from critics, and with very positive reception from and and audiences. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a critic approval rating of 67%, with an average rating of 6.21/10, while the audience approval rating is at 92%, with an average rating of 4.51/5.On IMDb, the first season has an average rating of 8.2/10.
Despite not having the best reception from critics, the show was a huge success, with over 76 million views within a month. Because of the show's success, AGW sold 554% more copies in December 2019 than it did in December 2018.