The Witcher with Henry Cavill is back on Netflix, bringing with it one of the best follow-up seasons in a long while. There was a lot to like about the way Geralt of Rivia was brought to life in the show, but the first season never felt as polished as it could be. It captured the tone, style and feel of the universe, but made a few questionable design choices. Thankfully, those issues have been ironed out, with season two of The Witcher delivering a show worthy of the source material.
Season two starts off strong, bringing the stories and characters of the world front and centre. No longer are there time jumps or gimmicks being used to bring the show to new levels of interest. Instead, The Witcher season two delivers a solid narrative that weaves the different characters and factions into the story, giving a taste of the morally grey people that dwell across the land.
The world also feels much more alive this time around, with the creatures and different levels of magic finally given room to breath. There is a lot of talent involved with the series, and the source material gives plenty of ideas the team can work with. While we got a taste of the potential in season one, the world of The Witcher often felt flat, more like Xena, and less like Game of Thrones. Thankfully, the show has found its voice with this season, delivering a more exciting experience that is visually striking and what the stories deserve.
“The Witcher season two delivers a solid narrative that weaves the different characters and factions into the story.”
With Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) and Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) finally together, The Witcher season two is a more personal story. This finally gives some depth to our main characters. Gone is the brooding one-dimensional monster killer, with Geralt now feeling more conflicted, working as a protector and father figure. With the first episode setting the tone for the show, it gives the sense that this will be a much darker, more morally grey journey into the source material.
While season two delivers a few side stories and one-off episodes, The Witcher feels much more focused this time around, with every episode working to either paint the world and its people with depth, or to push the overall narrative beats forward to their inevitable conclusion. This is how I expected the show to feel when I first sat down to watch it, and they did not deliver in their sophomoric outing.
When Geralt and Ciri finally find their way to the home of all Witchers, Kaer Morhen, the show finds its true voice. The team behind the show manage to bring this setting from the books and games to life, and it feels haunting, brutal and strikingly real. The different Witchers’ that call this place home all feel like living breathing characters in the universe, letting us see what their day-to-day lives are truly like. By taking the time to build up the characters, the show finally delivers something most of the first season could not do. It has me invested in what is next.
“Everyone is given time to show their depth, struggles and motivations, making the feel of the show less black and white…”
Beyond just the Witchers’, all the factions are given time to expand their backstory, lore and motivations. Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) along with the new Elven character Francesca (Mecia Simson) all feel like complex players in the overall world. Everyone is given time to show their depth, struggles and motivations, making the feel of the show less black and white, bringing the moral ambiguity that has been the core of The Witcher in past books and games to the forefront.
While everyone brings painfully real characters to the screen this time around, Henry Cavill as the brooding Geralt of Rivia steals the show whenever he is on-screen. He embodies the character, bringing a sense of hope, pain and struggle to every scene he is in. His physical presence, combined with what feels like a love for the source material, really shines. With the way the season ends, I am very excited to see how the show carries forward into the next chapter of the characters.
With a strong start, fantastic flow and great story throughout, The Witcher season two is a fantastic entry into the canon. It recaptures the best elements of the first season, while bringing new conflict, character and depth to an already existing formula. While the first series was fun and a good take on the source material, season two cements Henry Cavill as Geralt, and creates a world I can’t wait to experience more of. The Witcher is a must-see TV show in the best possible way.