Is there a property out there that you would just give everything to be able to consume at all times? From books, video games or even film and television, it is just never enough. To me, that property would be The Witcher. I just can’t get enough of it, I have replayed the games over and over again (The Witcher 3 stands as one of the greatest games of all time), re-read the books and even rewatched the first season in anticipation of the second season.
The Witcher is simply something that I could watch forever, never having enough, wanting more and more.
All of this is simply to say this one thing. The second season of The Witcher on Netflix was probably my most anticipated show of 2021. I just needed it so badly and so it was with very high anticipation that I started the second season. And finished the six episodes made available to me in one night.
But even after six episodes, I wanted more and so did not start this review until I finally finished the whole season. After long days at my day job, I sat on my couch and watched the rest of the season.
And now that this is done, it is time to answer the question that we all think about when preparing to watch a sophomore season of something?
Was it better than the first season?
The quick answer would be yes. The long one? The second season learned from the mistakes of the past and instead decided to streamline it to what works the most. The relationship between Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer.
The first season of the show was criticized for the way it told the story it wanted to tell. The different timelines didn’t work for everyone, and while I was not one of those, it’s easy to see why. But this time around, The Witcher doesn’t need to go through all of that again. The main characters are all introduced, the story is pretty set and it is clear where the show is going. This is not the story of Geralt alone anymore. It is the story of a found family, and the second season plays all of its cards on that knowledge.
This is what made the books and the game so beloved. The relationship between the core three. The love between Geralt and Yennefer, the parenting of those two towards Ciri, her relationship with the two who would become her adoptive parents. It’s what made this property so interesting and if you are a fan of that, the show plays right into that hand. This is the start of everything and once all three of them are together, it is fireworks.
Just like with the first season, the acting continues to impress. Henry Cavill proves that he is perfect for this role. He was a lot of fans’ first choice for the role and himself being a fan of the property, it is clear that he is having the time of his life playing this role. Anya Chalotra continues to be extraordinary as Yennefer. She continues to play the nuance that is needed for such a character, a character that in someone else’s hand might come off as something else entirely. She understands Yennefer and never tries to make her unforgivable acts lesser and yet, she somehow manages to create a character that owns all of my heart. It’s a testament to her acting and how much she brings to the table.
And then, there’s Freya Allan as Ciri. See, the first season did a lot of injustice to Ciri. Most of the season portrayed her in what one could assume to be this annoying and entitled child and the keyword in that is a child. The first season portrayed Ciri as a child lost who needs to find her way home with no idea how to get there. For fans of the books and games, we knew what was coming to us, we knew who Ciri was and who she would become. But with season two, we get the Ciri we all love. And Freya Allen gets some of this season’s biggest moment. The show might be called The Witcher, making it look like this is Geralt’s story but that is just on the surface. The most important character of this show is Ciri and Allen proves that she is more than capable of holding her own.
If the first season was about explaining the characters, this season is all about lore and the world. Expanding it and deep-diving into the world. It might not be for everyone, but it is necessary. Everything that we see in the show has a meaning and a reason to exist, everything will come to play later and it is clear that the writers of the show understand the world they are using. By the end of the season, we have everything set up for the third season and the world is wide open for them to explore.
With its second season, The Witcher avoids the sophomore slumps and knocks it out of the part. If everyone comes with their A-Game, this season’s MVP truly belongs to Freya Allan who gets to finally explore Ciri more and delivers on every single front.
If you are a fan of the first season, you will love it. The same goes for the fans of the books and the games. This season of The Witcher is just that good.