We’ve solely had two seasons of The Witcher on Netflix, however the present has already had considerably of an id disaster. It began off with a bang, with a giant, bloody debut that confirmed precisely why the books and video games earlier than it had been so beloved. It was darkish but humorous, filled with motion, sexual rigidity, and every kind of cool monsters — plus a wonderful Henry Cavill because the gruff and lovable Geralt of Rivia. Season 2, in the meantime, misplaced a few of that character because it tried to inform a extra grand — and typical — fantasy story whereas additionally deviating considerably from the books. Issues acquired much more off-track with the prequel Blood Origin.
Now now we have season 3, which is being cut up into two volumes and which is able to mark the top of Cavill’s run as Geralt (the present will proceed with Liam Hemsworth within the lead position). The primary quantity doesn’t precisely get away from the epic story the present is making an attempt to inform — there are nonetheless warring factions and magical forces and questions in regards to the nature of the world itself — however it returns a lot of the focus the place it belongs: on the principle solid of Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer. Extra importantly, the present is enjoyable once more, the place the large narrative beats don’t get in the way in which of all of the blood and jokes.
On the outset of season 3, issues haven’t modified all that a lot: everybody on your entire Continent nonetheless appears intent on discovering Ciri (Freya Allan), a younger princess with mysterious powers that could possibly be the important thing to uniting an enormous, violent world. Kings, mages, elves — everybody needs to search out her for their very own nefarious causes. Regardless of this, she finds herself in a considerably cozy state of affairs residing with Geralt and Yennefer (Anya Chalotra).
They’re on the run, consistently transferring on the slightest signal of hassle, however they’ve additionally settled into a snug sort of familial routine. They sit round sharing meals and washing dishes, whereas Yenn — who lastly has her magic again after being tragically defanged final season — tries to show Ciri how you can management her powers. After two seasons of nothing however dying and betrayal, it’s good to see the three residing a relaxed, comfortable life.
After all, that doesn’t final lengthy.
Outdoors forces compel the little household unit to separate up. Yenn takes Ciri to the magic academy Aretuza in hops of each serving to her be taught and maintaining her protected, whereas Geralt goes after Rience (Chris Fulton), a fire-wielding mage who’s after Ciri on the behest of a thriller benefactor.
There’s nonetheless a very good quantity of political maneuvering and treachery to maintain observe of. The remaining elves are divided over who to align themselves and one of the best ways to get revenge on humanity; the dominion of Redania — due to crafty spymaster Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and his accomplice Phillipa (Cassie Clare), who spent most of season 2 as an owl — finds itself within the thick of every thing; the Brotherhood of Sorcerers is battling infighting; and the White Flame (Bart Edwards) continues his quest to unite your entire Continent underneath his rule. That’s not even counting characters who discover themselves in fully new conditions, just like the exiled mage Fringilla (Mimi Ndiweni), who’s now an always-drunk poison tester.
However fortunately, in contrast to more moderen forays into the Witcher universe, all of that background is advised concisely and entertainingly and sits largely within the, effectively, background. This lets the present deliver its focus again to the principle solid — and this time, it does proper by these characters. Geralt stays a sullen but surprisingly lovable centrist as all the time, however Yenn has returned to being a robust, defiantly unbiased mage, and Ciri is coming into her personal and is lastly greater than only a damsel in misery whose energy is activated by screams.
This shift is probably greatest exemplified by Jaskier (Joey Batey), who devolved right into a sullen rock star in season 2 however is again to being a free spirit who makes far too many jokes, often on the unsuitable time. This time round, he has a rivalry with one other bard and a delightfully intense crush on a prince. He seems like Jaskier once more — regardless of the hair and eyeliner.
And whereas there’s a lot occurring, quantity one of many new season is actually about one factor: revealing who the brand new, massive dangerous villain is. Getting there entails every kind of typical witcher-y issues: a number of fights with terrifying monsters (together with one significantly grotesque creature that wouldn’t be misplaced in Akira or Inside), fancy events filled with sexual rigidity, some actually tousled betrayals, and Geralt being a smartass a lot to the frustration of the elite. However quite a lot of the enjoyable comes from sussing out simply who’s the key villain pulling quite a lot of the strings behind the scenes. The primary batch of episodes ends with a celebration, which you see from numerous views, forcing you — together with Geralt and Yenn — to sift by means of the lies, misdirections, and illusions whereas a band sings, “All just isn’t because it appears.” I used to be genuinely stunned with the large reveal.
The producers of The Witcher have stated the transition from Cavill to Hemsworth will likely be “fairly flawless.” However even nonetheless, this season is a vital sendoff for this model of the character — and it’s establishing this model of Geralt with a serious showdown to exit on. On the identical time, this season can also be a return of type of types, bringing The Witcher again to the issues that make it distinctive — it’s humorous, bloody, and attractive. There’s even a shower scene, which is as Witcher because it will get.
Quantity certainly one of The Witcher season 3 is streaming now on Netflix. Quantity two will likely be accessible on July twenty seventh.