Photo courtesy of imdb.com
The eight-episode Netflix original series, “The Witcher,” generated a lot of buzz upon release, catching the eye of viewers drawn to dark fantastic worlds. The Netflix original is an adaption of the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski. The series stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, which is basically a monster hunter in the fantasy world called The Continent.
Right off the bat, the series gives off Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones-esque vibes. For viewers who have never read or heard of the books, the visuals alone are enough to appeal to a fan of the fantasy-adventure genre. Just the trailer as well as posters on Netflix are attention grabbing and draw in viewers.
In watching just the first few episodes, remembering all the names of the characters can be difficult, seeing as there are so many that play crucial roles in the plot. Since The Continent is broken into the Northern Kingdoms and the Southern Empire, grasping who is who and their loyalties is confusing at first. However, once the plot really takes off it gets easier.
The story itself is extremely compelling; however, the initial conflict is left slightly unsaid and the viewer may have to do a little research if they have no background knowledge from the book. Without giving away any spoilers, everything gets explained as the storyline continues.
The structure of the story is basically Geralt going off on different adventures every episode, hunting a different monster in each one.While it may seem at points that the different hunts have little impact on each other, they’re continuing story lines with multiple characters and their development. A young woman named Yennefer is shown growing her powers in the art of magic while also discovering herself.
The show constantly keeps the viewer wanting to press play on the next episode. The complexity of the plot and the spot on casting create a feeling of being immersed in the plot and the show itself. If you’re dedicated enough, it is possible to finish the entire series in one sitting, but hour long episodes may make for a day just for The Witcher.
Overall, the show is extremely enjoyable and captivating. The characters are played perfectly (from a standpoint of never having read the book series). Despite confusing aspects regarding all of the names and intertwined stories, it does an excellent job of creating believable conflicts in a compelling world.