The second part of the third season of The Witcher premiered on July 29th. We will take the chance to look at the first part. Joining me (Maria) in this roundtable are Paula and Lizzy. Please be aware of minor spoilers ahead.
Q: At the beginning of the season, we meet a very different side of Geralt (Henry Cavill), a more amenable side. What do you think of this?
P:I’ll start by saying I haven’t read the books or played the games, but I love Henry and enjoyed the show as a good sci-fi fan myself. I had to rewatch some episodes of the previous seasons, since it has been a very long time since I last watched, and the change Geralt has throughout the seasons is very noticeable. He’s still the tough warrior we’ve known since the beginning, but now a different side of him is very present. Now he presents himself as a sort of father and has different worries, in addition to the previous ones. This shows a vulnerable side of him that, in my opinion, makes him look way braver.
L: I must be honest with you, I haven’t read the books or played the games. I just enjoy a good fantasy show. I don’t know how Geralt is supposed to be, but he seems indeed softer than he was in the previous seasons. And I don’t know how to feel about that. I loved to see how much he cares about Ciri (Freya Allan), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Jaskier (Joey Batey). He talked more instead of simply growling. I kinda miss the growling.
M: I have mixed feelings about this one. I have only just started reading the books, but this feels like a break away from his character. Geralt was always empathic with others, but this open display of emotions came too fast for me. I always enjoy layered characters, but the development doesn’t feel organic, and I wished it had happened more gradually. The show doesn’t feel like the Witcher of the first two seasons. I can’t help but wonder if this appears in the books like this. Maybe this was one of the deviations Henry Cavill complained about.
Q: While Nilfgard’s search for Ciri is still one of the main plot points, Nilfgard is not as present. How do you feel about this?
P: It definitely felt weird, like something was missing; but it didn’t bother me entirely. I believe that search wasn’t the main focus in this part of the season, but it still feels important for the plot, and we mustn’t forget it. I like how they managed to reflect this search was still on, but focusing on other story lines and plots, which in my opinion enriched this season.
L: Since I never really enjoyed the story arc of Cahir (Eamon Farren) and Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni), I was totally fine of seeing less of them. Let’s wait for the second part of the season. I have a feeling we will see more of Nilfgard again.
M: Usually I am a fan of the large story arc thing, but I definitely missed Geralt hunting. It also felt odd, that we didn’t see nilfgardian characters as much. It almost felt as if the writers wanted to make them more mysterious. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work, since we already know them. I especially missed Fringilla. When we see her again this season, she is in the dungeon. How she got there happened off screen, and she hardly gets anything to do. I enjoyed how Nilfgard was this overpowering villain in the first two seasons. I missed this.
Q: What was your general impression of this season, and how would you rate it?
P: To be honest, I liked it very much, but it didn’t feel as exciting or “glamorous” as the previous seasons. It seems writers are cooking up the best parts for the next season. This was just a warm up. I especially liked Geralt, Ciri and Yennefer’s storyline. I love the fact that they portrayed a more human forgiveness and domestic side, reminding us they’re not complete animals. Obviously, I love the monsters, fights and classic stuff, but these scenes actually warm my heart.
What bugged me a bit was Jaskier’s character, he didn’t feel natural or the same Jaskier as before. On the one hand, I understand the change, but it felt a bit forced sometimes. Comparing it to the previous seasons, I think it’s worse and needs the second part to connect the dots and be complete. I rate it 6,5/10. I loved the acting and visual effects, and I hope the second part will live up to fans’ expectations.
L: I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the first two seasons. Many things were too predictable, and other scenes felt staged or forced.
We still saw awesome fight scenes, the CGI is good looking, and I always enjoy watching Henry Cavill doing badass stuff. But whilst the first season was a straight ten out of ten in my opinion, the third season is just half as good. Well… I give one extra point for the one scene when Jaskier and Ciri made fun of Geralt and Yennefer while having a deep talk. It had me laughing for several moments. I rate 6 out of 10.
M: It didn’t feel like the Witcher. It almost seems as if they are trying to turn the show into a Game of Thrones rip off. I feel the show has lost its way, and I can imagine that this is why Henry Cavill left. Jaskier’s storyline was too much of a fan service for me. I don’t mind having a character who is pansexual, but it came out of the blue. As such, I expect a massive viewer drop in season four. But the production value is great, as is the cast and the fighting scenes. I rate 6 out of 10.
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