By Marie DeFreitas
Netflix has now made season one of The Witcher available on their streaming service.
The Witcher, a medieval, sorcery and sword swinging fantasy series, somewhat similar to HBO’s very popular ‘Game of Thrones’ revolves around the witcher Gerault, a mutated monster-hunter struggling to find his place in the chaotic, wicked world he lives in while slaying deadly beasts.
Starring Henry Cavill, known for his performance in the ‘Superman’ films, as the protagonist Gerault, he is described by The Verge as gruff, sarcastic, always down for the fight, and impossibly charming. This hero seems to have been well received by audiences, but tends to occasionally fall into a few cliche victimized hero stereotypes.
Rather than a strictly fantasy duel type of show, The Witcher gives off more of a detective vibe, ultimately separating it from shows like ‘Game of Thrones.’ The audience follows Gerault as he investigates these deadly beasts he’s hunting and the havoc they cause. Much of the time this draws him into a more elaborate scheme.
The show also follows two other characters, a young princess with mysterious powers named Ciri, and Yennefer, a free-spirited and incredibly ambitious sorceress as their paths inevitably intertwine with Gerault’s. Each episode (almost every one based on short stories in the novels) follow Gerault as he solves an array on monster-related issues. The shows displays some impressive costumes and elaborate, well-choreographed fight scenes that carry the audience through the plot.
The show is adapted from a series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, but really reeled in popularity from a series of RPG video games they had been adapted into before the show. The first novel was published in 1994 and the video game adaptation was released (and well loved) in 2007.
The series, directed by Alik Sakharov, has gotten mixed reviews so far, (a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 88 percent and critic score of 63 percent,) but has already been renewed for a second season.
Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote of the show, “It’s a good moment to have an elaborate fantasy adaptation on the market, even if your C.G.I. dragons would make a wildling giggle.”
While Erik Kain of Forbes Magazine said in his review, “I think it’s a shame to write it off as a Thrones knock-off and I think many of the negative reviews I’ve read seem to misunderstand The Witcher, but that’s how it goes.”
Whether you’re still grieving from Games of Thrones, or just looking to see Henry Cavill take bath in a god-like white wig, check out The Witcher for yourself on Netflix and let us know what you think.