• Christopher Thomas

The Witcher New Season Coming Soon

Much Anticipated Season Two To Premiere On December 17th


The much anticipated Witcher Season 2 starring Henry Cavill, Anya Charlota, and Freya Allen returns Dec. 17, 2021.


With a rich and complex history and a focus on themes of morality, destiny, and nature, it is no surprise that this series could use a bit of a recap.


BACKGROUND


The Witcher is a beloved Polish title with a history in both print and digital media. Originally a series of books, The Witcher really started gaining popularity once it was adapted as a video game by developers CD Projekt Red.


The game series was so popular in fact, that it was a driving factor for Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix adaptation, to pursue the role.


In an interview with IGN, Cavill said “For me personally, it'd be like playing another run of the Witcher 3 but with a completely different skin on. I've played it through a number of times now, and it's like OK, cool, I've done it, I've seen it, and I still get that enjoyment of playing it through, but what if I could play it slightly differently. Then yeah, this is kind of what it is for me when you're doing the show. Yes, it's Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher, but he looks like me now. For me, that's an interesting thing. It creates a freshness to it, because the themes are still very similar.”


BOOKS


The Witcher novels are the true source material for the Netflix series with most of the events of the first season coming straight from the pages of the first novel: The Last Wish, which is a collection of short stories that each focus on the witcher Geralt of Rivia as he plies his trade of monster hunting.


Subsequent novels follow Geralt, Ciri, Yennefer, and Cahir as they fight to choose their own destinies. The four of them battle armies and monsters and the small-minded prejudices of others on their journey. The novels borrow many elements of classic fairy tales and subvert them in many ways.


GAMES


There are 3 games in total, not including games based solely around Gwent, that follow the story of Geralt of Rivia, the White Wolf.


The first game simply called The Witcher, was released in 2007 to generally positive reviews due to its system of morality-based choices interspersed within the main goal and the side quests of the game. When CD Projekt Red released the game, they used the original, written material as a springboard for the story they wanted to tell. The events of the novel had taken place, but the world of the game was new and unexplored with only the most key characters stepping outside of the pages of Andrezj Sapkowski’s The Witcher.


In the sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, fans were treated to a much more linear form of play, but it nonetheless received positive reviews. The game picked up right where the previous left off, but with a much larger scope than the previous game. The key feature, as with the last game, was the system of morality-based decisions with unforeseen consequences later down the road.


The latest installment, The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim. It took the morality-based system and expanded it while also expanding the game world, making it less linear. The scope of the game was massive, with a large play area, intricate storytelling, and massive set pieces. The game brought the story of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer to a close. The Witcher 3 still sees a lot of play and replay today.


NETFLIX


While not the first attempt at a series based on Sapkowski’s The Witcher, the Netflix series is by far the most popular. Over the course of 8 episodes, Lauren Schmidt introduced the witcher Geralt to a larger audience. The series practices non-linear storytelling and jumps between different times and characters in order to tell the story.


***SPOILERS AHEAD***


The first part of the series focuses on establishing the characters in the greater world. Fans meet Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher. His job is to fight and slay monsters who threaten human lives. He is paid for his work, but the townsfolk he saves generally fear him as much as the monsters, often calling him names like “mutant” and trying to make him leave town as soon as possible once the job is done. Geralt’s story really begins when he meets and befriends a woman named Renfri. Geralt was given a job to hunt and kill Renfri but does not want to. It is a case of “he said, she said '' from Renfri and her target, a sorcerer named Stregobor. Ultimately Geralt has to kill Renfri and fans get the first look at one of the guiding thoughts of the protagonist: who are the real monsters.



Through time jumps, fans learn that Geralt saved a young couple in a region known as Cintra. He didn’t want anything so he invoked an age-old tradition called the “law of surprise” where someone must give him something they didn’t know they had. In this case, it turned out to be their daughter. Geralt had no intention of ever claiming the girl, but destiny works in funny ways. War started and the girl was lost. Geralt knows that he must save her, and has embarked on that quest.


Ciri is the girl in question. She is heir to a powerful throne and has her destiny tied to Geralt. She also has a mysterious power that ties her to the ancient elves. The invading armies of Nilfgaard want her as a symbol and to use her as a way to gain more power. Others want to see her on the throne of Cintra. And Geralt knows that no matter what it is his duty to protect her because despite the claims to the contrary, he might be the most human character in the series.


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Christopher Thomas is a contributing writer here at thepyrrhic.com. He enjoys movies, television, and other forms of nerdery.


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