Review of the second season of the Witcher series from Netflix
We've been waiting for this for two years, we've been catching every rumor, analyzing every frame, teasers and trailers shown, and finally we've waited.
On December 17, Netflix premiered the second season of the most discussed series of recent years – "The Witcher", which was based on the stories of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.
Last month, we recalled our impressions of the first season, and today we are in a hurry to share with you a scattering of emotions after watching the second season.
It is worth saying, and maybe even warning someone, that if you thought that the first season significantly deviated from the primary source books, then the second season surpasses and multiplies this fact doubly.
For those who are familiar with the books, the very first minutes of the first series will show how much the creators of the series decided to advance in the free interpretation of the stories.
A lot has been redone, a lot has been omitted altogether, and a lot has been created from scratch.
Does it spoil the series? Perhaps the main question that can be asked now, and the answer to it will determine the viewing experience.
Sapkovsky's books have a rather ragged history with an abundance of gaps and non-docks, questions without answers.
Netflix, despite the sea of criticism of the first season, continued to adhere to its own vision of the history of the Continent, and in the second season it worked 100%.
But, if you are an ardent fan of books or games about the Witcher universe and do not tolerate deviations from the canon, then save your nerve cells and miss the second season, and in general the adaptation from Netflix.
Such an abundance of hooks abandoned in the second season only says that in the third and subsequent season, as well as in the series about the Conjunction of the Spheres, the creators of the picture will go even further and expand the existing boundaries of the universe to unprecedented sizes.
About the presentation of the plot
The creators of the series in the first season chose, in my opinion, a very successful decision to use several (or rather three main) timelines at once. Yes, at the same time, they significantly increased the threshold of entry and involvement in the Witcher's universe, but made the plot dynamic, multifaceted and, most importantly, complex. It was this conditional complexity that forced us to notice every detail, the paintings on the walls, the names of kings and world events.
But this step was met by the public far from being equivalent, and to my regret, in the second season they simply decided to abandon this nonlinearity.
This step made the plot flow smoother and flatter, and personally I lacked the dynamics of the first season.
Well, let's take it in order and run through each episode separately, and at the end we'll try to gather our emotions into a single conclusion about the quality of the second season of the Witcher series.
Of course, we will try to avoid critical spoilers, but in general it is almost impossible to do without them in the review material.
It has long been no secret to anyone that the first episode of the second season is a free adaptation of the story "Grains of Truth", where Geralt meets a cursed man named Nivellen, forced to lead his lonely lifestyle with the appearance of a beast.
According to the books, this is one of the early stages of Geralt's adventures from Rivia, almost his first outing on the highway.
And if he was alone in the book, then in the series he stays in the Nivellen estate already with Ciri, seeking refuge on the way to the witcher fortress.
I agree with the statement of some colleagues that Cirilla's presence made the already emotional story even stronger.
It is impossible not to note the magnificent acting of Christopher Hivew and Agnes Born, who elegantly performed the roles of Nivellen and Vereena.
In the series, Geralt and Nivellen were presented as friends they had known for a long time and even played it with a kind of backstory, also linking it with a "real" book story.
This series plays an important role in the formation of the serial Ciri. On the way to Kaer Morhen, Cirilla feels like a monster, feels anger inside herself and cannot recover from the events that happened to her after the fall of Cintra.
It was acquaintance with Nivellen and Vereena that showed her that it was not the appearance that spoke of monstrosity, but actions.
A qualitatively interwoven philosophy and morality, coupled with a very emotional and well-played ending, absolutely deservedly receives the highest rating, at least personally from me.
But from the second episode, the peak of deviation from the canon begins, which I have always treated fairly evenly and not only with regard to the Witcher.
The visual embodiment of the legendary witcher fortress definitely deserves all praise. It looks very impressive and familiar.
It is also impossible not to say about another direct hit in the caste - this is Vesemir performed by Kim Bodnia, who seemed to descend to us from the creation of CDPR.
I was upset by the decision of the creators of the series to modify the story of the witcher Excel, and in general to show Kaer Morhen not as a harsh fortress, where Vesemir keeps order like a kite, but as a "passing yard" with parties and courtesans.
A very controversial and somewhat reckless decision, even considering the generally interesting behavior of Geralt's friend and the influence of monsters new to the continent on the whole season.
Despite the title of the episode, here we witness not only Ciri's arrival at the fortress, but also the development of the story about what happened to Yennifer after Sodden.
We knew these events fragmentally from books, but here we see a rather ambiguous story with the appearance of an original character created by Netflix.
And it is Volet Meir, perhaps, who is the most controversial component of the entire second season.
If, with the capture of Jennifer, she still more or less fits into a given line, then here is a hut on the legs of a kurolisk with a well-known saying, just some kind of ridiculous patch passes through the whole season.
Volet Meir as a character is interesting and allows you to look at the conjugation of spheres from a different point of view, and what can we say about her influence on Wild Hunt ... Oops, let it slip.
If we talk about points, then the second episode is the weakest of the entire season.
But I have absolutely no complaints about the third episode. It will not be a spoiler that here we will see Ciri's training, a series of unsuccessful attempts to show everything that she is really capable of.
The acting of Freya Alan (Ciri), again, personally, does not cause rejection for me. Yes, Cirilla in the first season and Ciri in the second are two completely different characters, including externally.
Otherwise, the split between the witcher in Kaer Morhen, melancholy and guilt, attempts to explain what happened and link it all into some kind of understandable and scientifically grounded cause-and-effect relationship - all this is happening in the witcher fortress against the backdrop of global changes on the Continent.
And these changes are also dictated by the greater and greater influence of wizards on the political map, under covert games, including with the participation of Jennifer, an unexpected alliance between elves and we won't say who, and many local hotbeds of tension that will explode sooner or later…
A balanced series, moderately dynamic and interesting.
is another episode that did not cause negative emotions in me. Finally, we saw Jaskier again, although without such a hit as "Minted Coin", but still.
And of course it is impossible not to say about the head of British intelligence Sigismund Dijkstra, whose role was so brilliantly played by Graham McTavish. Definitely 100% hit in the image.
Here we witness the appearance in Kaer Morhen of the enchantress Triss Merigold, who was supposed to become Ciri's mentor in the management of chaos.
Unfortunately, Anna Shaffer was again unable to embody on the screen the image of the young Triss, who, even after the events on Sodden Hill, should have remained the same in many ways.
Here, as in the first season, Triss appears to us as an exceptionally serious woman, almost not smiling at others, and even to herself.
A rather ambiguous episode that left behind some misunderstandings about the motives and actions of key characters.
The first appearance of the "fire-loving" Rience, the meeting of Geralt and Istrid, even in a completely different context than in the books, the obsession of Vesemir, which caused me a lot of questions, and the overly timid Triss, who again got out of my personal vision of this "young" enchantress.
The political games of Fringilla and Francesca Findabair z Dol Blathanna, the hitherto unknown adventure story of Jennifer, the new story of Cahir, the importance of monoliths and the appearance of Wild Hunting!
The series is not characterized by high dynamics, but it carries a lot of answers about the subsequent direction of not only the second season, but also the entire adaptation of The Witcher from Netflix.
In our analysis of the trailer and episode titles, we assumed that the series "Dear Friend" one way or another, but will show us the meeting of the key trinity, which turned out to be right.
But for those who have read books or are generally familiar with the ent of the universe, the series is notable for the fact that in it the well-known "firefly" will talk about the customer of his services. He asks this question of the enchantress and Arethusa graduate who freed him - Lydia van Bredevoort. Who is this mysterious hooded man whose face we will never see? Lydia's story can explain a lot of what is happening in Arethusa…
An interesting episode with a good plot plot.
How many times have we wondered about the possible plot of this episode. The theories were very different, but in many ways they turned out to be unfulfilled.
It will be difficult to do without spoilers here, if we talk about the plot and its direction.
In this episode we see all the main actors who will take an active part in the fate of the Continent.
We will see reunions of old friends and acquaintances, political intrigues and unsuccessful attempts to stay in power, betrayal and losses, cruelty and mercy.
An interesting episode, even though it significantly modified the book source.
Everything that happened in the final episode is a new story, which is only partially based on the collection of stories by Andrzej Sapkowski.
Is it good or bad? A difficult question.
Much of what was shown in this final episode closes many gaps, which are in abundance in the stories of Pan Sapkovsky. This is certainly good, as it allows you to look at the history of the Continent more holistically.
If in the books the Conjugation of Spheres is some long-unknown event that is practically not explained, then in the second season, including in the final episode, everything is more holistic and interesting, but this does not lessen the questions. It's good that we will get answers to some of them in the series "The Origins of Blood".
Impressions are mixed. In some ways I was deeply disappointed, in some admired, and something left even my far from superficial knowledge of Laura, out of the lot.
Well, the final shots of the season were guessed long before the release of the series…
The first season introduced us to the Content and its main directions of forces. The second season, including the final episode, should be considered as a preface to the main plot, which will begin to develop in subsequent seasons.
As the showrunner of the series Lauren Hisrich has already stated– the third season will be much more global, and it will be based on the most important book in Laura – "The Hour of Contempt", and "Wild Hunt" will be at the head of everything.
If you try to put together all the emotions from watching the second season of the series "The Witcher", then I will repeat what I said at the beginning.
If you did not like the first season, and you are not ready to put up with the free interpretation of Sapkovsky's stories, then this series is clearly not for you.
But otherwise, there is everything that was in the first one – dynamic battles, good acting of the main cast with rare exceptions, a wonderful visual series, gorgeous monsters, and what not to say an interesting plot.
My main complaint about the second season is that the presentation of the plot with one timeline is too simple and predictable even for a new viewer.
This is not the best series of the year, for me personally, but next year I will also review it and the first season with pleasure!
And if we talk about points, then deserved - 4 out of 5!
The second season of The Witcher promises to divide the fan community of the universe again. For the most part, it is shared because of CDPR games, where there are also a lot of liberties, blunders and blunders.
Before watching the series, it is worth leaving the prejudices and all the knowledge about the "Witcher" laura. Put it on pause and just try, of course, if you wish, to understand the scope of the creators of the series and get a general positive impression of the adaptation.