Merry Witchmas to all the little monsters out there awaiting Geralt’s arrival on the small screen. Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski has officially kicked off. If you’re not doing any holiday prep this weekend you can tuck in and watch all eight episodes starring Henry Cavill and co right now.
The Witcher on Netflix isn’t an adaptation of the game series. CD Projekt RED’s vision of Geralt’s adventures is just one branch off the trunk of the novels and the new TV show is another wending off in a vaguely same sun-seeking direction. The sun is you and your dollars. Netflix’s Witcher show has marketed itself as a dark fantasy, like the books, where monster-hunter extraordinaire Geralt of Rivia hunts down creepy creatures while also getting wound up in global politics.
Although it isn’t the show version of Wild Hunt, you’ll still see a lot of familiar faces in the trailer below. Geralt is joined by his sorceress lover Yennefer of Vengerberg, princess Cirilla, his horse Roach, and the eternally randy bard Dandelion (known in the show by his polish name Jaskier).
Trailers and screenshots for The Witcher show rolled out all through summer and autumn this year with all the urgent whispering and orchestral music that’s required by law for a fantasy drama. Netflix seemed quite eager to snap up all those formerly devoted Game of Thrones watchers who may be hungry for another show of sex and swords. If there’s one thing I know about The Witcher—books and games alike—it’s that it has bushels of both.
Amidst all the marketing though I was worried that the White Wolf’s adventures in TV land would be no more than just a cheesy grab at a now-popular character. Henry Cavill as Geralt, really? Netflix’s first quick video of Cavill as Geralt didn’t inspire much confidence. He looked a bit too much like a Hollywood star in a kid’s Halloween costume. Since then, each successive trailer has been a bit more convincing with a more grimy-looking Geralt hiding the Cavill beneath and what seems, from the trailers, to be a good grasp of the source material.
Either I’ve been thoroughly mind-tricked, or Netflix’s Witcher series looks like it could actually be decent. I’ll find out firsthand when I finally get to hang up the keyboard for the holidays but you can start right now if you like. Here’s a handy link over to The Witcher on Netflix.