I have many a thought of the Witcher season 2 (mostly good) actually and after enjoying most of the season and venturing deeper into the response and the Witcher fandom I have many, many a thought on that… Including why don’t I ever learn???
But for my own sake I’m going to separate the to and keep this post solely based on the show.
So Geralt (Henry Cavill) has now found Ciri (Freya Allen) and now starts the fun job of protecting her which means figuring out why everyone including seemingly the monsters want a piece of her.
Meanwhile Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) survived Sodden but is Fringilla’s (Mimi Ndiweni) prisoner, a state that will not go the way either one of them hopes. And the continent as a whole is continuing to fracture as Nilfgaard takes full control of Cintra and the elves make an alliance.
So let’s start with the iffy…
Unfortunately if I was going to really pick problems with this season it would mostly concern the Witchers and Kaer Mohren which I know is probably what most people would have been looking forward to. The actors are all fine. But there’s a total dick character introduced and killed off in episode 2. I mean seriously I was happy he died because it seemed like he was going to get rapey imagine my shock when I learned book fans were annoyed because this was a beloved Witcher.
Not too mention the fact even I know fulfilling the t&a quota with an orgy at Kaer Mohren one okayed by Vesemir nonetheless less is wildly out of character. Not to mention the fact I thought this keep was supposed to be a top secret place deep in the mountains. Apparently the girls are… just down the hill.
And then at the end the final monster is able to sneak up and kill several Witchers in their sleep including Vesemir, who she does get close to killing and only lives because Geralt comes barging in. Seems a little weird.
Which perhaps leads to my biggest problem with some recent streaming shows overall?
It needs more time.
Another episode at Kaer Mohren would have been much appreciated. More time for Ciri and the other Witchers to get to know each other as family. Like I bought they loved Geralt sure. And okay I love a hardened grumpy badass becoming an emotionally available dad so I was willing to buy that I’m just not willing to buy they all would have been hunky dory with Ciri especially with what happens at the end.
I don’t know why some streaming shows seem to constrain themselves to a certain number of episodes perhaps because in all most of all the recent cases I feel like they could use one of two more. You are streaming. You don’t have to sell ad space. Netflix could have easily coughed up the money for a ninth episode.
Which also maybe could have helped with everyone just magically getting where they needed to get.
The first episode was great. The make-up work on Nivellen was fantastic and the bruxa- well I could have watched more although I did kind of have to roll my eyes at the end when Geralt and Ciri were so horrified by him not because he let his girlfriend murder and entire village of men, women, children animals and travelers but because decades ago he was really cursed because he raped a priestess.
I mean truly it seemed to go from, “You’re not a monster,” to “Go and die.” Don’t get me wrong rape is a horrible horrendous crime. But he was punished for that. You’d think they would have been more upset by the accomplice to mass murder so I don’t have to be alone bit. But that’s just me?
Okay so what did I love about this season?
Like I said I appreciated the Geralt and Ciri relationship.
I also loved Jaskier going fully old school Taylor on Geralt. Yes I downloaded Burn, Butcher, Burn which I think is much better than Toss a Coin to Your Witcher but that’s just me. I mean he mocks his stupid hair!
More importantly I think the show actually did a good job of entertainingly giving us answers as to what Ciri can do, why she’s so important and why certain factions want her while still preserving a little mystery. (Although I have reservations about the execution of the White Flame reveal and if they really needed it here.)
Although I have to admit my favorite storyline was surprisingly Fringilla, Francesca and Cahir (whose name I couldn’t have even told you after last season.) Giving depth to them as characters and why they serve the White Flame makes their ending for the season surprisingly perfect and shocking. Even more so really than the reveal.
And while I really felt for Francesca even as she went over the edge I have to superficially admit she’s the most elf like person I’ve seen since Cate Blanchett in Lord of the Rings. (Although after the season I have read several people bringing up the whitewashing for characters like her and Tris. It’s something to keep in mind.) I’m most looking forward to see how those stories unfold.
So overall I liked it. I thought they did a really good job of getting the important points across entertainingly. Though it was bumpy and I can see especially with the core Witchers why some book and game fans would be upset. Though I do have to laugh by the people just assuming it will be cancelled next season. They just gave Emily in Paris a 4th season I’ll be shocked if they cancel the Witcher cause a bunch of people on the Internet don’t like it.
But I digress…I’m looking forward to season 3 and the Wild Hunt! Hopefully it won’t be such a long wait!