‘The Witcher’ highlights the potential for fantasy genre

Show takes advantage of detailed lore


Fair use from Netflix: Geralt (Henry Cavill) fights the outcast princess Renfri (Emma Appleton). During the fight, Renfri tells Geralt information that will gain additional significance through the progression of the show.

Henry Brettingen

“The Witcher” combines fluid combat with extensive world building to successfully immerse viewers. The show, which isa Netflix original, is based upon a successful book as well as video game series. The plot follows a monster hunter, otherwise known as a witcher, named Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) on his epic adventures through various kingdoms over multiple decades.

The Netflix original has some of the best battle scenes of any show in recent years, rivaling the likes of “Game of Thrones.” The battle scenes have a fluidity to them, which when combined with the great camera angles, produce a highly entertaining spectacle.

“The Witcher” delivers exposition in an interesting way, delving into characters pasts and using the unnaturally long lifetime of witches and witchers to masterfully weave together the multiple storylines. 

Another great aspect of the show was the terrific casting. Henry Cavill, who portrays Geralt, was an excellent choice. Cavill captures Geralt’s conflict between his cynical spirit and strong sense of duty perfectly. According to Polygon, many were worried about the white wig Cavill had to wear, however the end result will put those doubts to rest.

“The Witcher” features a unique soundtrack that brings intensity to the show. Co-composers Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli bring a diverse soundtrack that fits the shows fantastical themes.

Although “The Witcher” is a story with fantasy elements, it’s more of an epic than a fantasy, with many morally ambiguous characters rather than having tolkienesque good versus evil conflict.

The only downside to the show’s complex lore and unique methods of exposition is that it can be a little hard to follow. For example, it took me three episodes my first viewing to discern that the storylines were occurring at different times.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the first two episodes are mostly Geralt monster hunting, as well as multiple forms of exposition. The lack of a centric conflict in the first few episodes can cause viewers to become disoriented by the large amounts of superfluous background information.

Overall,”The Witcher” is one of the best Netflix originals to date, giving fans of HBO a more reasonably priced alternative, with shows of similar caliber. I think season one of “The Witcher” is one of the best fantasy seasons in the last few years due to the great combat sequences and the immersive backstory.