After what felt like a historically long period since the last season, The Witcher’s return is just around the corner. Consisting of eight episodes, the second run of the highly popular Netflix series is dropping next Friday in its entirety. My anticipation for the return of this show was monumental. Though with the anticipation came the fear that it wouldn’t live up to the spectacular first season. And let me tell you, it’s good. Great even. Quite possibly some of the best television of 2021 in my opinion.
Warning: Spoilers from season two of The Witcher are below!
The Witcher picks up not long after the conclusion of season one. Geralt (Henry Cavill) finally unites with Ciri (Freya Allan) after the fall of Cintra (a moment that fans of the video games and novels had impatiently been waiting on). Becoming Geralt’s ward was predestined early in the first season, with Geralt’s new mission being to protect Ciri from harm. This mission becomes the driving factor throughout the six episodes that we were able to screen. One that brings him home to Kaer Morhen as winter starts to set in.
A good chunk of the story this season is told at Kaer Morhen, as Geralt and Ciri settle into their new normal. Interestingly, that is something that neither one of them seem completely prepared for. Geralt presents as an overprotective father figure for Ciri, motivated by his destiny and oath. On the other side of the Witcher coin, Ciri desperately wants to fight and protect herself. The differences of opinion cause tension between the two quite a few times throughout the six episodes I previewed.
The relationship between these two characters is made even stronger through excellent performances by both Cavill and Allan. Cavill brings a wild range of emotions to Geralt, while also being a stone-faced warrior like he was trained to be. Allan also channels a battle-ready princess incredibly well. With a mix of grace, quick grasp of fighting skills, and even quicker quips at the other Witchers at Kaer Morhen. Some of the best scenes were those between Ciri and the other Witchers as she earns their trust through perseverance and a desire to save the world. Especially in those scenes with Ciri and Vesemir (Kim Bodnia), who becomes like a mentor for Ciri as well.
It seems a good time to note with Geralt’s mentor Vesemir appearing in the second season, that yes, that animated Witcher film Nightmare of the Wolf released on Netflix earlier this year, and featuring a younger Vesemir, should probably be watched in the lead up to season 2 as well. See the trailer below:
While that is one of the main storylines, there are two more intertwined into the narrative. Similar in style to the three storylines of the first season. One was from Yennefer of Vengerberg’s (Anya Chalotra) point of view. Her story also picks up just after the fall of Cintra and deals with the repercussions of casting her fire spell during the battle. The journey that she goes on throughout this season was just as exciting and fascinating to watch as that of Geralt and Ciri. Chalotra continues to shine as Yennefer, delivering one of the best performances in this season.
The way the story was told in this season compared to the last felt like a vast improvement. The first season at times could get confusing, telling the story out of order and spread out through time. I watched the first season three times and still needed a map to spell it out. However, this season sees a shift to telling the story sequentially, which most definitely helps make following along a lot easier.
That being said, the pacing of the show still felt a little off at times. It seemed as if we were running through some huge moments without any time to stop and process what just happened. Every single moment was utilized to its highest potential, but it will certainly take multiple viewings to take it all in the way it deserves.
The second season took what was amazing from the first season and improved on it. With great action sequences (look for one of the best ones in episode 6), lots of twists and turns that caused me to gasp, and heartfelt moments between cast members, season two has something for everyone. And even if it’s a show you may have to rewatch to catch every detail, you won’t be disappointed with multiple viewing.
The Witcher season two’s full-season drops on Netflix on December 17! I’m eagerly anticipating the final two episodes! Check out the trailer for season 2 below!