The Witcher – Season 1

13 December 2021 TV/Film

If dark, gritty fantasy stories are your thing, then The Witcher might be the show for you.

After the release of the first season in December 2019, The Witcher had Netflix’s biggest TV show premiere with 76 million views in its first month. Two years later, it’s still up there among Netflix’s other giants: the likes of Bridgerton, Squid Game, and Lupin.

On December 17th, season two of the popular show will be released. Therefore, that means you have plenty of time to binge the first season before then.


Without giving too much away – or spoiling much – the first season follows monster-hunter Geralt (the Witcher himself), a princess named Ciri, and a sorceress named Yennefer. All three have separate journeys but their paths soon cross.

The trio each encounter a variety of creatures including wizards, elves, Djinns and ghouls, some of which we see when leading man, Geralt, is carrying out his monster-hunting duties. These tense, action-packed scenes are what lure you into this dangerous fantasy world more than anything else.

Geralt (Henry Cavill) fights Renfri (Emma Appleton)


One particular scene in the first episode really sets the precedent for the rest of the season. It’s a perfect showcase of the clear time and effort that goes into the stunts on this show. Not only from the crew behind the scenes, but also the actors – especially Henry Cavill (Geralt) who does his own stunts. The said scene is a sword fight between Geralt and Renfri, played by Emma Appleton. It’s a perfect culmination of incredible stunt choreography, stunt work by everyone involved, and amazing camera work.

Our thoughts

I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s perfect. It has its downsides like everything else.

For one, it can get pretty confusing. This is one of the main criticisms of the show so far, and I think it has a lot of truth to it.

Personally, I had started reading the first book before I started watching the show, so I at least had some context on the fictional world in general. However, it’s easy to see how some people could get lost within the first few episodes. I think that as the show goes on, it begins to tie itself together and resolve the issue though. 

The CGI is… a little off-putting. Just a little. Now, it’s a fantasy show, it’s going to have CGI, right? But considering there was around $80 million in its budget, you’d expect it to be better. Apparently the show avoided CGI as much as possible, instead using prosthetics and practical effects. Perhaps this is why the scenes with CGI are more obvious and sometimes kind of jarring. There are rumours of a budget markup of at least 50% in season 2, though, and early reviews of season 2 are already mentioning the improvement in its CGI.

All in all though, you’re in for a treat if you do decide to watch it. Critics generally had some less than favourable opinions of the first season but, by and large, reviews for the second season seem much better.

I love fantasy; books, shows, movies, you name it, but a big issue with the genre at the moment (or, at least, the professional critics reviewing it) is comparison. Every fantasy show that is released will now be compared to other fantasy shows, especially Game of Thrones. That’s a huge problem for The Witcher too.

The Critics

And the critics are right! It’s not Game of Thrones; but it’s not supposed to be, nor is it trying to be. In fact, the books themselves were actually published before the Game of Thrones series. Aside from the fantasy element, there are no real similarities, or at least none that would imply the show is trying to copy its counterpart anyway.

So, I’ll leave you with this bit of advice: if you’re going to watch it, don’t go into it thinking about other shows. It’s a great show in itself, and it’s only going to get better.

Charlotte Pace, Broadband Freedom Film Critic

Season 2 of The Witcher hits Netflix on December 17th 2021