Bigger Monsters. More action. Less flashbacks. These are the highlight of season 2 of Netflix’s Fantasy, Drama, The Witcher.
Set on a fictional, medieval-inspired landmass known as “the Continent”, The Witcher explores the legend of Geralt of Rivia and Princess Ciri, who are linked to each other by destiny. It stars Henry Cavill, Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra.
The first season consisted of eight episodes and was released on Netflix in its entirety on December 20, 2019. It was based on The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, which are collections of short stories that precede the main Witcher saga. The second season, consisting of eight episodes, was released on December 17, 2021.
One of my biggest complaints about the first season was the confusing pacing that hindered the storytelling. Flashbacks, flash forwards, and more mad the first season almost unbearable. Still though as a huge fan of the video game series I was happy to see Geralt in live-action dispatching nightmarish beasts of all kinds.
It seems like the budget might have been expanded for season two as this season just feels epic in scope and the creatures that are conjured up to fight Geralt. As creature has a unique design and presents their own dangers.
Season two focuses much more on the relationship between Geralt and Ciri. Ciri starts to come into her own as a Witcher in training and Geralt has to learn to balance his duties as a monster slayer and a protective father figure.
Yennifer, who I expected to take a big leap forward this season, kind of spends most of the season crying and or being punked around. I always preferred Triss Marigold (the other magic wielder after Geralt’s heart) to the bitchy Yennifer anyways though. And speaking of Triss, I am more than happy to see her role expanded a bit this year as she tries to train Ciri in the ways of magic.
The live-action reveal of Kaer Morhen also doesn’t disappoint. It looks as if the showrunners literally took the location from the game and just moved it into real life. As the base of operations for the Witchers, most of the season is spent here.
Vesemir, the group’s de facto leader is played by none other than Kim Bodnia. Whether he’s chopping limbs off a murderous tree man or concocting a dangerous potion for an innocent teen, Vesemir (and Bodnia) give “The Witcher” the supportive juice it needs to expand without putting audiences to sleep. He’s a father figure to the lonely Witchers.
This season as a whole is built more like Game of Thrones, with heavily serialized arcs crossing paths here and there. (This does mean you’ll still have to keep track of lots of fussily named characters, places and magical artifacts. I suggest watching a recap of season one before diving into season two, and maybe keeping Google handy even then.) Its nice to see it kind of move away from the Monster of the week formula of last season. This season, all the creatures don’t fill like a tact on addition but feel more connected to the overall story.
Getting to know the other Witchers, like Lambert for example, is also a nice way season 2 expands the world of the show. At one point, when all the Witchers must fight together at Kaer Morhen against a slew of winged snake-like creatures, its reminiscent of seeing all the Jedis come together in Attack of the Clones.
The second season ends on a bit of a cliffhanger introducing elements that will set the stage for an explosive season 3. But no reveal was bigger than that of the Wild Hunt,
or Wraiths of Mörhogg as they are called in Skellige, a group of specters galloping in the sky.
They are a group of Aen Elle elves from Tir ná Lia who also call themselves the Dearg Ruadhri in their native Elder Speech, meaning Red Riders. They are led by the general, and later king, Eredin Bréacc Glas, commonly known as the King of the Wild Hunt. And they looked positively badass in live action.
Season 2 of The Witcher is a big step up from season 1 and sets the stage for all out war, even bigger monsters, and the Wild Hunt. Season 3 can’t come soon enough.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience highly recommends checking out The Witcher Season 2 streaming now on Netflix.