At the end of the year, The Witcher's first season appeared on Netflix and became a huge success for the streaming service provider. The series is based on the book template, but it was of course an absolute must-see for gamers due to the excellent games from CD Projekt Red to Hexer Geralt. The Netflix production was also discussed in detail in our editorial team, so we are presenting four editor opinions here. Caution: Light spoilers included!
Not only did I go through every Witcher part several times, I also devoured the books years ago. I am halfway satisfied with the Netflix implementation, even if CD Projekt has simply solved some things better: Yennefer, for example, got much more impressive in The Witcher 3 (and thus closer to the book!) And the costumes are more believable. The series can score with a surprisingly good Henry Cavill, beautiful locations and some strong fan moments, including the great (and really rough) fight scene in Blaviken or the fight against the Striga. The often criticized leaps in time – although owed to the books – are unnecessary and confusing because even central figures like Queen Calanthe do not seem to age. How to not notice such a mistake is beyond me. I would also have liked it better if they had only used the first two short story volumes for season 1 and perhaps saved Ciri's storyline for season 2. But be it, I will definitely stick to it, after all, the series creators did a lot right. And I'm already looking forward to seeing Jaskier (aka: Delphinium) again! "O 'Valley of Plenty, oohohooo!"
I was skeptical at first because I simply didn't see any Geralt in Henry Cavill, but I was instructed right from the first episode. Cavill really gets the dry sayings and emotions of a Riva Geralt across. Since I already knew about the strange timeline, I was able to adjust a little beforehand. But the fact that neither Yennefer nor Geralt age does not necessarily make it easier to understand which character is at what time. With the simple display of a year when changing figures, that would be so easy! But there are always small clues that you only notice if you are really careful. I like that, the attention to detail is really clear. The fights are also beautifully staged and choreographed, and I like how Geralt always talks to roaches. I can't do anything with delphinium for that and his songs sound far too modern for me. As you can see, I'm talking about details here. I find the whole story a little confused and I only saw the big picture from the fourth episode on. But a very good start for the first season. Still not a new Game of Thrones. Sorry.
I felt well entertained until half of the series, after which the enthusiasm waned a little. I found the constant jumps in time and cuts to be unnecessarily confusing, but I understand that they wanted to establish the Ciri story right at the start. Yennefer is one of my favorite characters, the series version did not quite live up to my expectations, but far better than Triss, whom I would never have known, her name would not have been mentioned. What does it look like? A casting decision that I cannot understand. Henry Cavill did a good job of it as Geralt (which I couldn't imagine at first) and Joey Batey as larkspur, uh, I mean Jaskier. The effects sometimes seem a little cheap, yes, but they weren't so bad that they totally pulled me out of the action. The Witcher is just not a high-gloss movie with a gigantic special effects budget, but "only" a Netflix series. Despite all the little flaws I've gotten rid of, I will continue to watch the series in season two. In Game of Thrones, on the other hand, I jumped off before the end of season one because I didn't like how the books were implemented.
Source: Katalin Vermes / Netflix
My points of criticism: The CGI sometimes looks very cheap, despite time leaps the characters do not age, the moral complexity of the short stories is not fully achieved in the series, some unimportant things were devoted too much time, some important things too little and the penultimate episode annoyed me because it was used almost exclusively to make even the biggest junk understand that the story has been told over different time levels so far. Still, the first season of The Witcher entertained me pretty well. Henry Cavill is the perfect cast for Geralt from Riva. Not only visually, it also captures the very complex character very well. In addition, the sword fights are staged top and choreographed. Unfortunately, the series does without some of my favorite short stories from Sapkowski's first two books, but I knew beforehand that the creators would like to get to the Ciri story quickly. The Witcher lacks the epic of a Game of Thrones, but I'm optimistic that the series will continue to evolve. After the success of Season 1, Netflix will surely make more budget jump. Despite some shortcomings, I'm really looking forward to the second season.
Now it's your turn: How did you like The Witcher's first season on Netflix, what could the producers do better and what else do you want for season 2? Let us know in the comments!
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