Thoughts on The Witcher Ep. 01
After a long break due to moving towns, sickness and overall laziness, I'm finally back. I'm currently working on the next installment of the Algorithms Series and reading a book by Kurt Vonnegut for my next review, but I wanted to get some writing out today, and what better topic to choose than Netflix's new show The Witcher?
Fair Warning, This post contains spoilers for Netflix's The Witcher and the Book Series, you have been warned.
The Witcher is one of my favorite book series, and I highly recommend it to any fan of the Fantasy genre. I first came into contact with it by playing The Witcher: Wild Hunt and after beating the game I went ahead and started reading through all the books.
So when Netflix announced they would be adapting the books into a show I was pretty thrilled, and, frankly, a bit scared for the original material.
The show's first episode draws from the story 'The Lesser Evil' from the first book in the Series and from the Massacre of Cintra, an event that takes place long after in the Witcher Universe.
While this episode is a faithful adaptation of the source material, I think it should have highlighted this timeline difference a bit more clearly, If I recall correctly there was only one reference to it, being the first battle won by Calanthe.
Cavill makes for a believable Geralt with all his grunting, battle skills, and desire not to meddle in others affairs until his more humane, justice loving side forces him to intervene. Which is exactly what happens when Renfri threatens the town safety.
“Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”
The production quality of the show left nothing to be desired, as expected for a high profile show run by Netflix. Having good effects for the monsters and interesting battle sequences, the latter being one of the strong suits from the books.
I think my biggest problem with this first episode is the stories they choose to portray, I would have liked for it to be a bit more focused on Geralt, before introducing Ciri and the whole 'Destiny' plotline that gives raise to the novels. Or, if they really wanted to go with that route from the beginning, they could have chosen the short story 'A Question of Price' from the same first book, which explains how Ciri ended up being tied to Geralt without going into the different timelines issue.
Overall I really liked the first episode and I am looking forward to watching the next ones, although I think it could be a bit confusing for someone that's not familiar with the Witcher Universe.
In case you haven't heard about it, I am running a giveaway for Coil Creators on r/CoilCommunity. You can find all the details here. Coil subscribers can find some of my favorite quotes from The Last Wish, the first book in the series, below:
Continue reading with a Coil membership.