In a world where all manner of creatures go bump in the night, Witchers will be there to bump back. The Witchers are a group of magically empowered swordsmen and women who spend their days hunting monsters in exchange for money or items of value. Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavill of “Superman,” is one such man. He is a brooding, silver-haired Witcher around whom the critically acclaimed Netflix series, which shares the same title, is centered. Readers should be advised: The content of this article contains spoilers for season one of “The Witcher,” a titillating tale of magic and monsters, which is available now on Netflix. The series, based on the bestselling novels from Andrzej Sapkowski, is presented in chronological order for each character as they appear on screen – their stories occur at different periods in time. They are brought together in parallel as the story progresses.
After an intense conflict with a nightmare spirit called a Kikimora in the year 1231, Geralt finds himself in the town of Blaviken, where he meets a cursed woman named Renfri, who a wizard of questionable morals hunts. The wizard attempts to hire Geralt as an assassin to rid himself of Renfri; however, Geralt refuses. Renfri later offers Geralt a similar proposal, except the terms are reversed, and the wizard is his mark. This time, he does more than simply refuse – he gives Renfri an ultimatum for her to leave or lose her life. The following day, Geralt is compelled to engage Renfri in combat, killing her men and fatally wounding her. As she lay dying, she informs Geralt there is a girl in the forest who will be destiny bound to him forever, a fortune Geralt ponders for a time and dismisses.
Geralt travels the country for 18 years, slaying or driving off dangerous magical beasts and acting as a mediator in various personal conflicts for characters he and his bard companion meet along the way. During this time, he invokes the Law of Surprise (an agreement between Witchers and non-Witchers which allows the Witcher to be awarded something a patron has but doesn’t know about yet) as payment for helping someone break a curse. As fate would have it, the prize Geralt is promised happens to be the person’s unborn daughter.
Seven years after invoking the law of Surprise, Geralt is connected with a sorceress named Yennefer, played by Anya Chalotra. She travels with him and his companion until 1263, when the kingdom of Nilfgaard sacks the kingdom of Cintra. During the confusion of the battles, Geralt claims his payment by Law of Surprise to protect his charge, who has been revealed to be the Cintran Princess Cirilla, nicknamed Ciri. The group is separated after the battle at Sodden Hill until Geralt is reunited with Ciri by a merchant family. As they exchange greetings and share an embrace, Geralt realizes they do so in the very same forest Renfri spoke about over two decades prior. He knows now that Ciri’s future is his destiny as well.
Season two of “The Witcher” is reported to build on foundations laid in the first eight episodes while also focusing on Geralt, Cirilla and Yennefer as they grow closer together. Geralt will take on a more fatherly role, mentoring and protecting Ciri as she learns more about herself and the world around her. He and the other Witchers plan to train her in the art of swordsmanship and magic while at Geralt’s childhood home: the Witcher headquarters, Kaer Mohren. After the battle of Sodden Hill, Yennefer disappears. She has seemingly been captured by the enemy sorceress Fringilla and will struggle to survive and reconnect with Geralt and Ciri. Powerful and dangerous new monsters threaten the peace of the realm as well, challenging our heroes to give their all. Old friends return, and new faces appear from the shadows, like Kristofer Hivju, who played Tormund Giantsbane in “Game of Thrones.” He will grace the screen as Nivellen as the story continues to unfold. This highly-anticipated second chapter will be available for streaming on Netflix starting Dec. 17, 2021. However, this will not be the end of the saga as a third season has been confirmed to enter production in 2022.
by Kyle Manseill