There are a few games that I’ve always been meaning to play but haven’t the Witcher series is one of them. Every time I consider playing a game that’s been out for quite some time I’ll watch a game play livestream or video which has a habit of changing my mind so it gets put back on the “to-do list” shelf. I’ve become quite familiar with Geralt of Rivia over the years so when the Netflix series was announced I was intrigued, then skeptical with Henry Cavill in the starring role.
It’s not just because Superman isn’t my favorite superhero but I was curious if Cavill had the gruffness Geralt needs that seemed hard to deliver with such a fine chiseled chin. My skepticism wasn’t well placed but it wasn’t incorrect either. Cavill plays Geralt of Rivia well as a stuntman, a horseman and a negotiator but as a lover, hexer, and ward he lacks conviction.
However, while these inconsistencies were occurring I was also being lured in by the interwoven storyline that moved between past and present without the usual text that accompanies such transitions. We won’t delve too deeply into any of it to preserve the mystery this series represents but along with the storyline comes a fondness for some of the characters including Jaskier the Bard whose songs bring comic relief.
Yes, the play for power between the kingdoms, races, and schools of magic are obvious – almost like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter moved to Mordor. However, it’s the internal struggles each character of the Witcher presents that keeps you wondering throughout all eight episodes. Tissaia De Vries plays a compelling principal of the school of mages in Aretuza where she trains Yennefer of Vengerberg freeing her from her disabled bounds and encouraging her obsessive nature that is always on the edge of chaos. The relationship between Yennefer and Geralt stirs hope but has you wondering if Geralt’s “law of child surprise” bond with Princess Cirilla will cause even more upheaval.
After finishing all episodes Ciri remains somewhat of a mystery knowing she is but a child. Throughout every episode, we learn of the plight of the elves, touch base with the druids, sorcerers, dryads, dwarves and dragonkin. Magic is the fabric of this Netflix series but at times it felt like eight episodes was just not enough. You cannot help but think the entire series would have played even better had a few more episodes been added to share each place, person and creature more memorably. Speaking of creatures.
It is most entertaining to see each monster Geralt hunts. His empathy for the cursed and his nonchalant attitude about the most fearsome foes or arrogant humans that seek his bidding is what wins you over about Cavill playing Geralt. Just like the Witcher series itself. By the final episode, you only want a happy ending for Geralt even if he has no attachment to such things.
The Witcher 3 Game
Is watching the Witcher on Netflix making you want to play also?