TELEVISION: The Witcher Is Bewitching



In the cold cruel world of The Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, aka the Great White Wolf and a bunch of other cool nicknames, slays demons while he wanders through life, wondering when he will encounter his “destiny.” Geralt is played by Henry Cavill, who’s swapped his Man of Steel muscle suit for a white wig and golden eye contacts. Created by Lauren Schmidt, The Witcher is based on a series of novels and short stories written by the renowned Polish novelist Andrzej Sapkowski. The opening scene of the first episode — a deer in a snowy, densely-packed forest drinking cool water from a small stream gave me Twilight deja vu. As the actual characters are introduced, we learn about Geralt (though most people simply call him “Witcher”) who is a mutant child of magic and human, born to fight and conquer any and all demons that cross his path.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Witcher is the deliberate ambiguities. Multiple times throughout the series’ eight episode run, comments are made that are not explained nor addressed until towards the end, like the “Law of Surprise” or the events leading up to the war with a neighboring country called Nilfgaard. Through most of the episodes, the timeline is scattered, which can cause the viewer to become confused and slightly unsure about what is going on. Depending on your tolerance for that sort of thing, this may seem like a negative but I think it’s part of the show’s considerable charm. At first, I did not feel this way. However, by the conclusion of the final episode when the method to Schmidt’s madness becomes apparent, the plot twists — of which there are many — hit like a train. I believe that Schmidt and her team have created the most interesting and daring medieval fantasy drama since Game Of Thrones. Chock full of evil sorcerers, corrupt magical officials, singing jesters, and a child with a cursed spine, The Witcher is a must-see for people who like that kind of thing. In my opinion, the best way to kick off the New Year is with a killer show featuring blood, gore, suspense, and an adorable side-kick horse named Roach. — RACHEL TESON