The Witcher - SPOILERS

edited December 2019 in Other TV
Anyone watching The Witcher? I'm 5 episodes in and really enjoying it, didn't expect much, but am pleasantly surprised. The first episode was a little funky, but has polished out nicely. 

Between The Expanse and The Witcher there is some good streaming going on in the house. 

(Played the game, didn't read the books)


  • edited December 2019
    I have not read the books or played the game, but I love fantasy story-telling.

    I made it about half way through the first episode.  I would send the writers back to Screenwriting 101. There was very little that drew me into the story so far.

    Minor Spoilers for 1st episode:
    • Show was clearly sold as a GoT clone, but it seems its heart is more in the hack & slash D&D genre. If they can embrace their inner monster-hunter, and forget the palace intrigue stuff, maybe it can get better. 
    • The royal court scene so far couldn't hold a candle to GoT, and the sex & violence didn't feel "raw" and dangerous the way it does on GoT.
    • Something very Disney/Ren. Faire about the production design. The costumes looked too clean, and the world didn't feel lived in. There is one establishing shot that focuses on some blood or mud dripping, but it calls attention to itself too much. It doesn't feel organic.
    • Illusionist scene was super cheesy. Seem straight of of GoT season 2 finale!
    • The writers did a poor job setting up their protagonist. Compare to Mandalorian, where we also have a "Man with no Name"/Ronin figure, but, in that show they do a much better job showing how he is a badass, but he also has vulnerabilities.
    • The main character is basically a bulked-up Elric, but without any internal conflict.
    • Too much exposition dumping that I could not follow and/or did not care about. Especially the tavern scene. Again, compare Mandalorian, which had a much better "tavern" brawl scene in its first episode. (Tavern brawl is one of the most overdone scenes in the universe, so you better have something to make it interesting ... and this one didn't even end in a brawl!)
    • Wasn't sure what the deal was with the princess, or why I should care. So she is escaping from something by doing the Mulan thing? Yet it is not clear what she is escaping from, since her parents seem nice enough. Again, lots of exposition, but no clear conflict establish with her family or the royal court.
    I will probably stick with it a couple more, since the consensus seems to be that it gets better.
  • I will say I turned on the subtitles 10 minutes in, it makes a difference. 
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    edited December 2019
    I watched the whole thing. I liked it a lot but I’m not sure I would say it is for everyone. I felt it had a certain amount of fantasy corn in it. It felt like reading a book that was from the era when it was written. Meaning it was kinda pre Game Of Thrones. Not saying it was a bad thing it seems to me, some people are not fans of the magic and what other as I might be. I think this is why the score was low on the mainstream critics side. I saw a lot of YouTube vids that thought it was great. 

    I haven’t read the books or played the game but I have two books and all the games. So there is that.
  • I thought it was great. There was some clunky stuff but I felt like it doesn't take itself too seriously, so it's a lot easier to roll with it and have fun. I played the Witcher 3 so I had a cursory knowledge of the characters maybe that helped. Also, I learned early that they were showing different timelines, which I thought made things easier to follow. It's never a "reveal" they just don't really spell it out for you.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    I just watched episode 1 and I was fairly impressed. Witcher 3 is absolutely in my top ten of all time games and I have to say, they hit a lot of the aesthetics of the series so far. Geralt isn't always the most compelling of characters, explained by the fact that Witchers lose their emotions during the process of becoming Witchers. And Henry Cavill seems to be playing that pretty damn well so far. The fight scene at the end of the episode was beautiful. Loved the entire look of it.

    @johnnytruant I wondered if they were messing with the timelines a little when Renfri was telling Geralt her story and she mentions the queen had just won her victory at (can't remember where) and earlier in the episode, Ciri had mentioned that same victory being when the queen was about her same age. That wasn't really lining up with how old the Queen seemingly is and about how old Renfri appeared to be.

  • @johnnytruant I wondered if they were messing with the timelines a little when Renfri was telling Geralt her story and she mentions the queen had just won her victory at (can't remember where) and earlier in the episode, Ciri had mentioned that same victory being when the queen was about her same age. That wasn't really lining up with how old the Queen seemingly is and about how old Renfri appeared to be.
    This is how I figured it out after reading discussion on the first episode. It blew right past me at first because it was a few episodes before I learned most of the names that weren't Geralt.
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    BroRad33 said:
    I will say I turned on the subtitles 10 minutes in, it makes a difference. 
    Hell, I have a damn street preacher spreading the good word via bullhorn 100 feet out my window. Subtitles were in order even without the funky, disjointed accents and poor sound design. Only a third of the way into the first episode, and its slowly roping me in. I like the little girl. She's funny.
    MurderbearBroRad33ken hale
  • I'm loving it so far having watched the first two episodes even though the voice audio has left me confused a few times.

     So many shows over telegraph every plot point to make sure those teenagers on their phones while half watching are catered for. This show makes me feel like I'm a bystander watching events unfold instead of being personally told a story by a narrator. It reminds me of playing the original half-life games where you have to actually listen to what characters are saying if you want to understand what's going on (instead of wandering off to shoot red barrels).

    I love the Mandalorian, it's entertaining and exactly what I wanted but the Witcher makes me really wonder between episodes what's going to happen next.

    Yes it's bloody hard to pick out names, locations and events mumbled by characters into their tankard of ale. I wonder if there's a silver lining to this though. There's a reason students memorize lecture notes more effectively from handwritten notes rather than typed notes even though most people type faster. Studies have shown the reason is that the extra effort and slower time to write out the letters is the reason you remember handwriting better. The secret is in the struggle it seems. Maybe this is why I sit in bed wondering about the next episode of the Witcher, because I had to work to understand the previous episode. I'm not saying the struggle is intentional but I wonder if it's why I wonder. 

  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Okay I watched the first episode and I too have not read the books or played the games. I thought the dialogue was terrible.  “We’re losing!”  Really in the middle of a battle? Lol  And too much exposition dumped by everyone. Editing and flashbacks would have helped immensely. 

    That said since I love the genre and D & D used to be my shit. I’m willing to give it another episode or so. 

    Okay so the Giralt story is in the past when the Queen was a teenager and the castle battle is 50+ years later?

    Whoa didn’t catch that. 
    ken hale
  • Yeah it took me like 3 episodes to realize there are multiple timelines going on. 
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Honestly though, the way anyone unfamiliar with this world is feeling is exactly how I felt playing Witcher 3, my only foray into this world. Lots and lots made countries, and people and then on top of that you have wizards and witches and Witchers and creatures can be a lot. It's kind of easier with a game I spent a few hundred hours with to let it all sink in. It's entirely different with an eight episode season. Hopefully they can keep everyone on board!
  • I made it 37 minutes into the first episode before quitting. Henry Cardboard is a constant disappointment.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    edited December 2019
    I made it 37 minutes into the first episode before quitting. Henry Cardboard is a constant disappointment.
    I'm not saying it makes for compelling television, I've still only seen the one episode, but he is actually perfect for Geralt. Geralt is pretty cold, unfeeling and will crack the occasional dry joke so Henry Cavill is actually the man for the job.
    BroRad33Kela15Teresa from Concordrkcrawf
  • I made it 37 minutes into the first episode before quitting. Henry Cardboard is a constant disappointment.
    From my understanding he's playing the character the way it's meant to be played as Witcher's don't have emotions.  I'm only 2 episodes in but it's definitely been mentioned in the show that they are devoid of emotions in the process of becoming a Witcher. 
  • 4 episodes in and I am really enjoying it.  It isn't GoT, but it is really well done Fantasy. I hope BaldMove covers it.
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    I just got to where Yennefer was transformed and I didn’t understand much of anything going on with the witches. Mostly whatever relationship there was between the head witch and Yennefer’s boyfriend. He seemed to want to hide Yennefer when she first teleported, then Yennefer ends up there anyway. I couldn’t tell if she was sneaking off to be with him or at least that’s what he thought? The thing with the witches transformed into eels? Why?  We’re they willing? They seemed to be. 

    I don’t really see the point in not making the timeline clear. It’s a trend that’s starting to bug me because often the story would be fine if they just established it early, and I think that’s true here. 

    manhattnikElisabazjensterken hale
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    After awhile I gave up on trying to figure out when where and who. Couldn't they have shown us a fucking map? And that last episode. Who the hell are all those pale witches with the same cheekbones? I couldn't tell them sort and hardly cared. We don't find out what the baddies in black are after until the last episode? And it's some damn cliche? The putative hero spends the entire finale literally on his ass and doing nothing? AN ENTIRE FUCKING ARMY appears over a ridge led by King Who the Fuck is That, AND WE NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN? I spent a lot of the series convinced I must've slept through an episode or two because it seemed important stuff had been happening, but what it was, I had no idea. It was all downhill after that spectacular swordfight in the first episode, anyway. I would watch it again to see if it makes more sense, but life is too short and none of the characters were developed enough for me to care. And we aren't told some important info about Witchers until the last episode? He was actually with that annoying bard for twenty years, yet the bard seems never to have aged or changed his clothing? 

    And, were they the magical version of electric eels?
  • I have just started watching and one thing I know for sure, once I finish this season i am going to start reading the books. It is bit confusing, and there are some things that work better than others. With that said, long haired Henry in leather with swords...yes please. Magic and fantasy and witches and princesses...I am all in. 
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    Fun fact. The queen of Cintra is the younger sister who jumps off the cliff in The Last of the Mohicans. Recognized her name in the credits. 
  • edited December 2019
    We should probably either throw a spoiler tag in the thread title.  I went into it knowing nothing from the books or the video games and I thought it was a good but not great first season.  I understand a lot of the criticisms that I read here and don't have that much of a counter argument against them but they didn't bother me.  I figured out what was going on with the timeline fairly early on so I think that helped quite a bit.  I absolutely love the score and music in the series, it's very much a fantasy adventure type of score.  And I definitely have "toss a coin to you witcher" stuck in my head but it's a very catchy tune so I'm good with that.  While the long game story of the series wasn't the most exciting, this series had enough of Henry Cavill cutting people down and being a total badass with a sword and that's what I signed up for.  
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    It’s almost like a microcosm of the X Files. Mess of a plot but the random monster stuff is really good. Similar relationship between the protagonist and various authorities too.
  • edited December 2019
    I finally limped my way through this. I’ll just say what I said when this was first announced- massive mistake to put this on television. This should have been at the very least a trilogy of movies from a big studio who could actually afford to hire actors and writers and wigs. 

    Henry Cardboard didn’t even wind up being in the Top 10 things that were wrong with this season. He’s marginal, which is exactly what Geralt always is in his own story, except for those very precise moments when he’s the most important person in the world. I’ve always heavily equated Geralt with Mad Max in the way that he navigates the world around him. 

    The ultimate problem I have with this show is that the other characters around him are deserving of much better casting that much bigger money could have allowed, especially the Sorceresses. The actual plot is much more deserving of it too. 

    Also, what in the dick was the point of telling this story so out of order? It’s so obvious that this person is a fan or Tarantino or Westworld or something. It added absolutely nothing to the presentation in my opinion.
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    Yeah, @RyanReeseman, I am getting really tired of these jigsaw puzzle storylines. Also, I don't get theLaw of Surprise. Suppose the surprise is that I stub my toe? Or is surprise a euphemism?
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    I have to say that except for the awful wig, Cavill did about as well as could be expected playing a man with no emotions. Oh, and Yennefer's bloody lady parts yanked out and tossed aside like offal has to set some new levels in grossness and titillation. 
  • I've never played games or read books. Thankfully watched non spoiler review so I was prepared for different timelines. 

    I would agree with those on the Internet complaining about the ball sack armor with penis head helmets of the bad guy army. Bad choices by the production team. 

    It was hard to follow at first but got better as it went along. I really enjoyed it. Will be back for Season 2, <sigh> in 2021.
  • Kela15Kela15 Malta, Europe
    I didn't even know who Henry Cavill was before watching this! I really enjoyed it. It was just what I needed for the Festive Season. Yes the dialogue and plot lines were clunky at times but it was all good fun and some scenes really stood out: the sword fights in episode one, especially the one-take one and Yennefer's transformation. Jaskier got on my nerves a tad, but his ditty is still stuck in my head goddarnit! Looking forward to learning more about Geralt's transformation in 2021!
  • This show kind of has pushed me to check out the games although I don't really have the time to dedicate to playing through them.  I think the biggest issue with the show is that there's so many different names and locations that are extremely difficult to remember.  Other than Ciri, Geralt, Jaskier, and Yennifer I don't think I remember a single name or location other than Rivia.  I read a couple episode recaps early in the series that seemed to help with the different timelines that others had issues with.  Although I've never read the books or played the games, I think Henry Cavill is perfect for the role.  Sounds like he's a fan of the games on PC and pushed pretty hard to try and get the role of Geralt which is cool.  I absolutely loved the score of the show.  There was a lot of what I would call fantasy video game music that just basically made me feel like I was watching a video game being played (I mean that in a good way).  
  • I couldn't make it past the middle of episode one, this show is trash. It's not even good trash like Xena and Hercules, it takes itself WAY too seriously and the the CGI hurt my eyes.
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