5 Episodes into The Witcher and it’s kinda hooked me, despite some clunkiness.
The decision to make the story flip between different time periods seems to be paying off. It adds some complexity/confusion to what is, at heart, a pretty simple story. If I hadn’t read the books I’m not sure I’d know quite what was going on, but something like GoT benefited from the multiple locations and characters making things complex and ambiguous at first. I’m not sure The Witcher would have had that if it had just told the story linearly.
It also adds a bit of depth to a few of the characters who only really got mentioned in passing in the books.
There seems to be some mild de-aging going on, though I’m not sure if it’s computer-aided or just makeup/hair. But it seems rather inconsistent and that kinda adds to the confusion
They seem to have made some big changes to a few elements of the books, such as the way the sorceresses from Nilfgard interact with the rest, but then other elements are sticking pretty closely to the books.
Episode 5 has a bit of a job to do as it has to portray the rather pivotal scene with Pavetta and Urcheon, which if I remember correctly was done more as a couple of plot twists/reveals in the books. The problem is that while those kind of worked as revelations, the entire scene in the books is pretty stupid and would look rather dumb on screen.
Like a lot of stuff in the books, it’s playing on fairy tale stereotypes, but those kind of things don’t always look great in reality.
The Law of Surprise is very fairy-tale (Rumpelstiltskin?, maybe, but actually it’s “Hans My Hedgehog”) but it’s kinda impossible to imagine real kings and queens sticking to it in a grown up drama where there is politics and backstabbing etc…
They did their best, added some depth and a few reasons for people to behave in the somewhat dumb ways they do.
But then they kinda undo it by having kids-tv-show level makeup. Jim Henson’s The Storyteller did it better. At least he wasn’t riding a giant chicken!
Cavill seems ok as Geralt, although he doesn’t say a lot. Dandelion, Calanthe, Yennefer(v1) and Renfri seem perfectly cast. Not sure about Triss, Yennefer(v2) or Ciri yet.
Fight scenes and magic seem mostly good so far. I like that the magic has an emphasis on
cake portals. I keep expecting a ‘now you’re thinking with portals’ joke though.
Now I want to re-watch The Storyteller.