Paige FTW: ‘The Witcher’ Gets It
As we are inundated with gaming adaptations that never quite get it — the Sonic movie looms upon us, ominously promising to continue that trend — it is refreshing to find a series that … does it right.
The Witcher, available on Netflix and already renewed for a second season, claims that it takes more inspiration from the novels that inspired the games, rather than the games themselves. The games, of course, are sequels to the novels (in a sense), so that makes perfect sense.
As an avid reader of the books, I can say that yes, they are hitting the major plot points that occurred in The Last Wish (albeit in that strange, triple-timeline order), and I expect future installments will continue the overarching plot that ensues from there.
But to say that the films take no inspiration from the games is a falsehood. Star Henry Cavill is an avid fan of the series (including the games), and his performance is clearly based on Geralt’s gravely voice in the games (provided by Doug Cockle). In fact, some have said Cavill is a better Geralt because of his reticence to speak as much (this is very true to Geralt’s nature in the books).
But honestly, the series is just … good. It embraces the weirdness of the games and novels. It embraces the sex and violence (Geralt killing Renfri’s minions in the first episode is brutal and efficient, as a witcher would be). It includes a very catchy, cheesy bard song by Jaskier (aka Dandelion). It talks about the Law of Surprise and Conjunction of the Spheres with zero explanation, expecting you to figure it out.
Maybe it isn’t as careful as laying out things as Game of Thrones was, but this is The Witcher. It’s not about politics. It’s about being a badass and getting into scrapes. It does what it needs to perfectly.