The first season of “The Witcher” was a proverbial cornucopia of giddy foreshadows, cheeky easter eggs and delightful side-character favourites brought to life. In short, an utter treat for fans of the “The Witcher” games by CD Projekt Red and the books by Andrzej Sapkowski. While some casuals coming in took to the series’ dark fairy tale premise and political intrigue, some were left scratching their heads. Straining to keep track of the many, many names of nations, factions and characters. Sure they had a charismatic, stoic (and sexy) anchor to hold the whole thing together but there were moments when even fans got lost. Don’t lie, we all found the multiple time skips to be jarring.
Still for all of its structural flaws, there was something in the way the series approached fantasy that felt distinctly unique. It’s another one of the countless “Game of Thrones” knockoff, nor is it a YA guilty pleasure like “Shadow and Bone”. For all of its phenomenal creature effects, steamy romances and thrilling escapades, there was more to it than meets the eye. As if it was bidding its time to evolve into its truest form, to tell us the story it always wanted to. In its second season, “The Witcher” has found its footing and is ready to move the series forward with greater things in mind.
The last season ended with Geralt’s lover and the extremely powerful sorcerer Yennefer of Vengerberg unleashing total hell on the forces of Nilfgaard. Meanwhile, Geralt fulfils his destiny and claims the Princess of Cintra, Ciri as his adopted daughter. The plot this time around is a lot more easier to follow. So rest easy, there’s less time-jumping shenanigans this time around. The first season was in a mad rush to establish as many key players as possible in an effort to build context.
Now, however, the plot is fairly simple: everyone wants Ciri, and it’s up to Geralt and Yennefer to protect her. Yes, yes the whole parental-child emotional character arc is a well worn out narrative device by video games, films and TV shows. Trust us, though, when we say that the hunt for Ciri does pay off in exciting ways. For one, it finally gives us a reason to develop Geralt beyond his steely, emotionally-stunted mutant self. Bit by bit, we see Ciri chip away at his cold facade to reveal deep, paternal instincts beneath. Also watching the cold-blooded monster hunter trying to parent a rambunctious teenager that could spark the apocalypse is a delight. Even the notorious Yennefer begins to look beyond herself for the sake of young Ciri.
It’s fitting that the series goes to such great length to establish an unlikely father-daughter bond between Ciri and Geralt seeing that it resonates with this season’s theme of family. In ways that are as heartwarming as they are complex and world-changing. The Continent is about to explode with armies, sorcerers and spectral warriors looking to use Ciri for their own purposes.
While the series does streamline its multiple subplots for the sake of telling a more emotionally layered story, it still has a nasty case of jargonitis. It would have better served the story to have shown the historical events being referenced than to simply talk about them in hushed and dramatic tones. The story of Elven persecution at the hands of Nilfgaard and the various human kingdoms is one that deserves more screen-time and development. With the Wild Hunt on their way, it’s possible that we could see more of their plight in the future. Especially if Radovid will be coming in.
At this point, talking about Henry Cavill’s performance as Geralt is like talking about Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark. The man’s clear love for the character and source material is evident. The way he meticulously recreates the character’s flashy fighting styles and mimics the character’s low growl is impeccable. With the inclusion of Freya Allan as Ciri, Cavill’s Geralt has grown beyond the occasional flashes of rage and compassion. Freya’s Ciri brings a warmth and agency that brushes against Geralt’s more protective side. Anya Chalotra’s portrayal of Yennefer took us a while to warm up to but she’s really come a long way since the first season. Growing from power-hungry sorcerer to becoming a maternal figure to Ciri.
Beyond the trio, longtime fan favourites like Jaskier (or Dandelion) and Triss Merigold are back, adding to the group’s merry band of heroes and misfits. We were particularly excited with Kim Bodnia’s role as the grumpy mentor to Geralt, Vesemir. We’ve seen his much younger animated version in the film “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” transition from morally dubious mercenary to caretaker of the Witcher community. It’s nice to see the second season picking up on the events of the film.
In spite of this season having plenty of political intrigue and gripping character drama, the series still manages to accommodate for some fantasy horror moments. The season kicks off with a deeply unsettling Beauty and the Beast situation that quickly unravels into tragedy and bloodshed. From there, it ramps up into ever more creepy and disturbing situations. The Witcher universe is known for its myriad of monsters and demons and this time around, the creature effects blew us away.
The second season of Netflix’s “The Witcher” builds on its foundation of strong character performances and intriguing premise. The result is a far more polished chapter that remedies some of the plot structure flaws of the past while expanding on the scope of its characters and world. Cavill continues to prove himself to be the definitive live-action version of Geralt, in deed and speech. Still occasionally challenging to newcomers, the series gives good reason for investment.
This is exactly what we wanted for Christmas! A little bit of magic in the air and spending time with the Witcher family. You can now catch the second season of “The Witcher” on Netflix today!
So what did you think of this season of “The Witcher”? Were there any characters you were dying to see? Who do you think Geralt will end up with? Yennefer or Triss? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
Follow us on Telegram for more updates and breaking news: https://t.me/hypemsia
Netflix's "The Witcher" Season 2 Review
The second season of Netflix's "The Witcher" builds on its foundation of strong character performances and intriguing premise. The result is a far more polished chapter that remedies some of the plot structure flaws of the past while expanding on the scope of its characters and world. Cavill continues to prove himself to be the definitive live-action of Geralt, in deed and speech. Still occasionally challenging to newcomers, the series gives good reason for investment.
- Netflix's "The Witcher" Season 2 Review