Two years after The Witcher’s second season made a magical, monstrous improve to the collection, Season 3 plunges followers proper again into the turmoil of the Continent, the place Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Charlotra), and Princess Ciri of Cintra (Freya Allan) are being relentlessly hunted by…everybody?
In a five-episode, first quantity of two, The Witcher Season 3 sends our heroes on the run, severely ups the grotesque monster recreation, delivers these advanced politics, and lets Ciri kick some critical ass. Throw in a season-stealing episode solely set on the Met Gala of the Continent and the closest parallels but to the preferred Witcher recreation, and you have a successful begin to the third season of the collection, with showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich again on the helm.
The Witcher Season 3 explores a brand new household dynamic
Credit score: Susie Allnutt / Netflix
Season 3 picks up with Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri on the run from the entire rattling Continent, to not point out a herd of terrifying interdimensional enemies — do not take the collection’ unusually tame opening scene and its bumbling group of “hunters” as the true degree of menace right here. Because the trio transfer from distant cottage to distant cottage, the season’s’ first episode has actual Deathly Hallows forest-wandering power, and it is simply as strained, as Yennefer endures unsubtle shunning for nearly sacrificing Ciri to the Deathless Mom final season. Oh, she is aware of what she did.
As Geralt, Yennefer, and Ciri navigate their awkward new household dynamic via some unashamedly tacky montages — the guffawing tea towel flicking, I am unable to — these emotions of betrayal and estrangement soften to these of unity and love (learn: she’s allowed again in the principle home).
‘The Witcher’ Season 3 trailer is stuffed with magic, monsters, and dancing
Chalotra’s Yennefer lastly regains her energy in a number of methods this season, having spent the final two in various states of ache, misery, and incapacitation. Associates, it is about time. She reestablishes her identification as a savvy political negotiator, large time sorcerer, and maternal magic mentor for Ciri, whereas groveling to her beloved Geralt. Netflix’s The Witcher collection foregrounded Ciri and Yennefer as leads alongside Geralt from the start, and Season 3 solidifies this.
Cavill, in his final trip as Geralt, takes a grunting, sword-swinging victory lap with the function he is been fine-tuning for 3 seasons. Along with his character now as well-worn as his silver wig and leather-based armor, Cavill’s Geralt is at his finest each when he is careening via motion sequences or when he is resignedly pressured into traps, political conversations, dance sequences (you heard me), or Jaskier’s humor makes an attempt.
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With a Tim Minchin-style makeover, Joey Batey’s Jaskier is extra jaded and dramatic than ever, enjoying extra politics and having a giant ol’ crush on the hedonistic Redanian Prince Radovid (a particularly welcome addition in Hugh Skinner). This season, Jaskier remains to be the present’s comedian reduction however he is additionally man of romantic pursuits, dubbed “The Lothario of Lyria, The Romancer of Redania, The Stud of Cidaris”. The bard’s now requisite singalongs are designated elsewhere this season, with Jaskier’s greatest track as an alternative an emotionally weak ballad of unstated love — no butcher burning or coin tossing right here.
However the true star of the present this season? Freya Allan’s Ciri.
Ciri kicks ass in Season 3
Credit score: Susie Allnutt / Netflix
Having grown up over the past two seasons — from the terrified, petulant teen princess we noticed in Season 1 to the junior witcher of Season 2 — Allan strikes Ciri into younger maturity, towards her future because the inheritor of the Cintran throne and possibly essentially the most highly effective sorcerer on the Continent. Ciri explores her sense of function and justice as a future chief, desirous to “provide one thing totally different, a method ahead that does not divide, however unites,” as she tells Geralt and Yennefer, “to be the stability between kings and mages, and to align the Continent, as an alternative of continually pitting components in opposition to one another.”
Concurrently a sage idealist and an angsty adolescent beneath Yennefer’s tutelage, Ciri nonetheless performs some degree of the “mewling brat” she declares she is not — and Allan balances these parts completely. Chalotra and Allan spend Season 3, Vol. 1 navigating the pair’s rocky, pseudo-mother/teen daughter relationshi; Yen truly drops an “I am not offended, I am disillusioned” at her protege at one level, and Ciri pulls a traditional operating away stunt.
However importantly, in spite of everything that witcher coaching in Season 2, Ciri will get to kick critical ass this season. Placing her coaching at Kaer Morhen to good use, Ciri fights by fist and sword virtually as a lot as Geralt does this season, slowly changing into the monster hunter she desperately desires to be, with much more deadpan quips than her witcher dad.
The Witcher Season 3 sees a Continent divided (so sustain)
Like Seasons 1 and a couple of, The Witcher Season 3 does not spell out the lore for viewers, as an alternative requiring you to maintain up with the varied kingdoms, rulers, factions, and alliances via heated council conversations or idle chatter on the pub. In reality, I would heartily advocate hitting up a recap as character connections and context might soar previous you — or alternately, watching the episodes with subtitles enormously helped me sustain with all of it.
(In case you do not even have time for that, this is your TL;DR recap: Ciri has Elder Blood so everybody desires to both kill or use her, Yennefer received her powers again after the Deathless Mom possessed her, Ciri left open a portal to a different dimension with a gaggle of ghostly horsemen promising the tip of the world, Ciri’s dad may be very a lot alive and truly the Emperor of the southern Nilfgaardian Empire, and Geralt remains to be Geralting.)
Credit score: Susie Allnutt / Netflix
After ironing out that complicated timeline enterprise, Season 3’s narrative construction is the simplest but to comply with — and nonetheless, it is not a breeze. Do not stress an excessive amount of, although. Season 3 crams in a colossal quantity of disparate narratives that ultimately intertwine and make sense. It is all loosely primarily based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s Time of Contempt, the second guide within the Witcher saga; Season 2 was primarily based on the primary guide Blood of Elves, and the primary season on his brief tales.
It is a time of “rogue mages and power-hungry monarchs” this season, as Geralt describes it. The northern kingdoms of the Continent are in a state of excessive stress as phrase of the Elder Blood princess is out, mages wrestle to maintain kings in test, and the Nilfgaardians play a a lot greater function, constructing energy for an invasion. Throughout the lavish courts of Nilfgaard and Redania, there’s Sport of Thrones-worthy treasonous energy performs, grisly palace presents, the ol’ traditional blackmail, and conniving advisors. Redania’s unbearable King Vizimir (a wonderfully puerile Ed Birch) feasts and pontificates whereas his devious spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra (Graham McTavish) and highly effective courtroom mage Philippa Eilhart (Cassie Clare) covertly plot strikes.
However there’s nonetheless a rogue mage on the unfastened. Firestarter Rience (Chris Fulton) and the query of his actual boss and their aim stays the most important thriller for our protagonists to unravel.
Season 3 teases the large unhealthy villains (however solely simply)
Credit score: Susie Allnutt / Netflix
Magegate pervades the third collection, culminating within the season’s finest episode set solely at an opulent sorcerer’s ball dripping in costume designer Lucinda Wright’s unbelievable creations and edited from a number of views and timeframes.
However there’s a lot greater fish to fry right here, villain-wise, with Emhyr var Emreis (Bart Edwards) — aka The White Flame and Ciri’s very a lot alive father (the large reveal from Season 2’s finale) — along with his large Continental domination plans. Emhyr’s plans aren’t the main target of the primary quantity, nonetheless, and he is relegated largely to scenes reuniting with lengthy misplaced Nilfgaardian knight Cahir (Eamon Farren), so this is hoping there’s extra within the second quantity.
However there’s a fair bigger menace obvious, with the much-anticipated arrival of the Wild Hunt. Teased within the finale of Season 2, the Wild Hunt are the villainous group of skeletal corpses on horses, an apocalyptic foe that lastly guarantees to raise The Witcher to the world-ending stakes it deserves.
The Wild Hunt’s greatest second in Quantity 1 is a scene that greater than references The Fellowship of the Ring’s chase via the timber with Arwen, Frodo, and the Nazgul, however it’s just about all we get within the first half of the season. Fortunately, whereas we’re dreading extra motion from this flying V of doom…
…The Witcher Season 3 ups the monster recreation
For those who thought the dinosaur-like monsters who crawled via the portal at Kaer Morhen in Season 2 had been one thing, buckle up. Repeating the collection’ lengthy established monster-of-the-week format, Season 3’s monsters vary from winged Witcher favourites to one of the messed-up creatures you’ll see on display this yr — I will not spoil it however assume Avatar: The Final Airbender’s Koh the Face Stealer however worse. Monsters chase our heroes via darkish competition mazes, emerge from darkish fortress dungeons, and assault our heroes’ journey plans, which means we get loads of killer motion sequences with Geralt and Ciri in full flight.
Every battle scene in The Witcher, with or with out monsters, is meticulously choreographed by stunt and cinematography, with whooshing, uninterrupted, 360 diploma sequences following Cavill pulverizing numerous assailants with that beloved sword. It has been like this because the first ever episode, and it is solely getting greater and higher. Magic use can also be up throughout these sequences, particularly with Yennefer and Geralt, which means all of this monster and magic mayhem made this fan of The Witcher video games particularly tickled.
Followers of The Witcher 3 recreation will love Season 3
Although the collection is an adaptation of Sapkowski’s second guide Time of Contempt, the third season of The Witcher feels nearer than ever to the preferred online game within the franchise: 2015’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. By means of the arrival of the Wild Hunt itself, the growth of political parrying to Nilfgard, and thru particular costuming — Ciri’s outfits specifically really feel extra like her recreation character’s — the collection is creeping slowly towards acquainted territory for these launched to the Witcher collection via the video games as an alternative of the books. Whether or not or not the season will come nearer to the sport within the second quantity, or whether or not the present will hold this for the fourth season stays to be seen, however with the Wild Hunt at Ciri’s heels, it’s trying good.
The Witcher Season 3 is an immense political and magical story cleverly woven via 5 episodes, with the actors showing nicely settled of their roles by this level — a top quality that would show troublesome as soon as Cavill leaves the collection. However the battles are bloody, the lore heavy, the courtroom drama grisly, and the monsters grotesque. It is The Witcher, alright.
How one can watch: The Witcher is now streaming on Netflix.(opens in a brand new tab)