Did “The Witcher” Live Up to Its Expectations?

Hanry Cavill in "The Witcher"

The highly-anticipated Netflix Fantasy adventure The Witcher finally premiered in December, promising action, adventure, magic, and sorcery. And it didn’t disappoint.

What it lacks in the big-budget grandeur of Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Witcher makes up for in excitement, imagination, and a decent storyline that holds together despite its many intricacies and time jumps.

At the helm, playing the eponymous Witcher is recent Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill. Any fears that his Superman fame would overshadow this role are soon laid to rest in the opening scene. Cavill emerges leather-clad and sword-wielding from a swampy river mid-battle with a fearsome multi-limbed creature that wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars film.

Cavill is almost unrecognizable in his leather elven costume with long white hair and brooding attitude. Witchers are ostracised mercenary monster hunters said to have no emotions and Cavil nails this to a tee, merely grunting ‘Hmm’ to show both approval and disapproval in almost every scene without it becoming tiresome. Despite his supposed lack of emotions and mercenary nature, however, he appears to have a strict moral code that allows us to warm to him.

There are many characters and their stories unravel in constant time jumps throughout the series, unraveling backstories we didn’t realize we needed until they reveal themselves. This involves wizardry, royalty, destiny, morality, dragons and all the good things we have come to expect from a decent fantasy story.

The episodes themselves contain gripping standalone adventures too, so we never feel lost in the more intricate plot lines as we are too busy enjoying the immediate swash-buckling sub-story at hand.

Most of these mini-stories center around a monster or two, and there is plenty of swordplay and battling to keep the adrenaline pumping. Whether it be a CGI monster, a group of expendable baddies or a more skillful adversary, the choreography is spot on and Cavill proves that he is just as adept swirling a sword as he is with shooting laser eyes.

By the end, we are fully invested in the characters and their storylines. The Witcher season one leaves us wanting more and we look forward to finding out how each character’s destiny unfolds in series two.