An 8-episode version of The Witcher is now on Netflix. I’ve watched the first episode and it looks promising. What I like most about it, is the grim humor (pun intended) of the books made its way onto the screen. There are also some elements of the first video game that factored in as well, but no complaints there as I thoroughly enjoyed the first Witcher game.
We’re about halfway through the first season now (eight episodes, watched four). It’s quite good, and we’re thoroughly enjoying it, although I do have a couple of nitpicks (like the way the timeframe jumps around). So far it’s largely a weaving of the first two books of short stories into a set of vignettes to help us “get to know” Geralt, and it works for that.
Interestingly, Henry Cavill (who plays Geralt, and is better known as the most recent Superman) is a hard-core gaming enthusiast who loves Witcher 3 and has played it multiple times. Apparently he lobbied for more of Geralt’s magic to be included in the series, which has a prominent role in the games but much less emphasis in the books.
just watched all episodes, i liked it despite some nitpicks on it like nver explaining what city or town they are in based on scenes from the books and games (which are important since Geralt goes back to them several times!) or what year. I never read the books but know enough about it. ive played the games since witcher 2 and really like this universe they created.
As far as differences go ive gotten used to cd projects idea of the world using a more feudal artistic approach while the netflix series has a more game of thrones look to it. I guess i just liked it since its so different and much realer than this weird fashion they went with in the series. That’s about my only nitpick about it. They nailed the personalities of the characters spot on though and that seems to be its strong point. When geralt fights, its amazing! i look forward to seeing more of it.
Halfway thru it. Can’t say I’m feeling it and I really wanted to… Full disclosure, did not read the books. Cavil looks good but the acting, not so good… He just seems to shake his head at everything as if disappointed … I’m not usually a critic but I expected more with all the lore that already exists… … kinda lacks worldbuilding… no scope… Anyway my 2 copper pieces…
Gamespot did a very thorough review on it, and while I have yet to watch it, their concerns seem to mirror every other review. What changes is how important those flaws are to the reviewer and particular audience. Same happens to any objective critique. Endgame, Glass, Game of Thrones, etc are good examples of this.
The trick with most reviews is to find a reviewer that likes/hates/focuses on the same things you do. Otherwise you are mostly wasting your time. Will probably watch this over the weekend.
I didn’t get far with the game, as I found it hard to identify with Geralt, but the TV show works better as you don’t need to.
My wife isn’t normally a big fan of Sword & Sorcery (His Dark Materials is more to her taste) but was fairly interested in this one.
We did struggle a bit with the lore bombing. There were a lot of unfamiliar words and concepts without much explanation - maybe we’re supposed to have read the books?
Handsomely made, though. Will probably watch more.
Watched eps 1 and 2. Really, really good. Yes, it doesn’t have the usual texts detailing where they are or what year it is, but at least up to here, they DO make casual comments on it, you just have to pay attention. I recall the Gamespot reviewer saying it had cryptic lines he never understood, but the one example he made was clearly understandable within the context it was mentioned in. I would recommend a lot as far as I have watched. You don’t need to either have read the books or played the games to appreciate it.
It’s hard to follow the timeline - I read the books and can barely make sense of it. I can’t imagine what it’s like for non-readers. There are some significant plot changes in comparison source material, but most of the main points are intact (I think the changes only bothered me in the dragon episode). Other than that it’s awesome! The actors are performing extremely well, the monster designs are incredible (especially the strzyga) and action scenes are exhilarating. 7/10
Yeah, count me as one of the undecideds about this. I was maybe spoiled by the grittiness of GOT but this comes across as slightly fairytale - ish for me.
I think the action scenes are well done, there are some good snatches of humour in the dialogue and I love all types of fantasy so it has a head start with me and I’ve not given up on it but I’m on episode 5 now and it’s still not gripping me. I can’t figure out what I’m meant to think of the Witcher either. He wanders about dispensing random wisdom in a Magic Mike body ( which my daughter appreciates, btw) , seems to be ethical but is a killer, doesn’t believe in destiny but invoked the law of surprise, is immune to emotion but seems to get emotionally involved with every ( good looking) woman he meets. And what’s that with the good looking “babes”? Is every female in it a model? The one less than perfect looking one mortgages her future to obtain the aforementioned looks. No offence, but feels a very American series to me.
I’ve not played the game or read the books so the snatched references to the lore, the random flashbacks and the loose nature of the narrative aren’t helping but by this stage in GOT, although it still seemed sprawling I at least had a handle on where all the kingdoms were in relation to each other and who ruled them and could see roughly where it was headed. This seems like a very small world where I should be figuring out links but can’t.
Might just be me and the fact that I’m watching it late at night rather than the usual slot for GOT once a week ! Or I might just be getting a bit “humbuggy” because its Christmas ?
I don’t know what to expect from the end of this season but I’ll be looking for a better handle on the world as a whole by then. I really hope it comes up with the goods as I could do with another world to get into.
The first season follows the first book which is essentially a compilation of unrelated Geralt stories.Once they get to the actual saga the story will get more coherent. As for the model babes, in the books it is explained that the vast majority of sorceresses use magic to remain eternally young and beautiful (Yennefer is over 100 years old in the saga). As for the grittiness - there’s plenty of fucked up shit in the saga. One can only hope they’ll cover it in the series.
The second episode (where I finished so far) was better but I actually loved the original polish tv show and its soundtrack even with the original polish songs of Marigold. The biggest issue for me is the visualisation of elves.
I finished the series and while overall I enjoyed it, I wish they gave less attention to Ciri and more to Geralt. He is, after all, the namesake of the series. For myself, I enjoyed it a lot more than Game of Thrones – but really that’s just like saying I like pears better than apples. Personally I prefer the short stories rather than the saga, especially the ones based on fairytales but I understand why they wanted to focus on the saga instead.
I actually loved the fact Geralt is the hero of the saga, yet not the protagonist, at least as far as the overall arc goes. It was a very bold approach, and by the end, SPOILERS whether Ciri beats the alien blizzard doom or not, whether she becomes a witcher or empress,SPOILERS END it felt like the White Wolf’s role in this was that of a father, a mentor, a protector.
The story about dragon was awesome (and I actually saw it coming as there were hints).
I have question, this is all from books or there is some original content as well in this tv show?
There’s plenty of original content - the whole Yennefer origin is Netflix’s creativity. It was merely hinted in the books that she used to be ugly. Also the dragon episode was the most changed one. In the book the knight charges at the dragon and gets annihilated, the dragon hunters beat up and tie up our protagonists to have their go at the beast, Yen gets sexually assaulted and when she gets freed by Geralt she doesn’t go John Wick with a sword - she uses magic to change the dragon’s enemies into domestic animals.
Spoiler ahead !!!
Just finished season 1 and have to say I enjoyed the last episode.
I really enjoyed the idea of mages vs the rest.
I’m also just downloading the original Witcher game from Steam as I gather it was created using a souped up version of the toolset?
It is also weird that the whole serie is joined together with a random meeting of Geralt and someone else which escalates into single story or quest. It would be no problem if after that we saw Geralt slaying monsters or something but the moment story like this ends there is new episode in different time again starting with a “oh what an coincidence we meet again Geralt!”. I feels kinda rushed.
The original Polish tv show did a better job in explaining the origin of witcher, lore and everything, but I guess this tv show is meant for those who played any Witcher game or read the books and are familiar with it.
I doubt you can see this legally anywhere now, so if you know where to look try searching “wiedzmin” if you are interested in the original tv show. You are looking or a 13th episodes tv show, not the 8 one. It will have polish dubbing but there should be english subtitles. It has way better soundtrack as well (https://youtu.be/F9iJ0C7q_Bo).
Thanks for this, Shadow! I’ll have a look for that.